Bryce Canyon: Fairyland Loop Trail

This is our favorite hike in Bryce. Aside from Tower Bridge, it doesn’t have the same famous postcard spots, but it’s also 8.5 miles of quintessential Bryce Canyon. The parking lot is modestly sized, but a lot of people are only there for the scenic viewpoint. We were able to wait on a parking spot to open up after only a few minutes. Good thing, too. We were told after the fact that the shuttle wasn’t running to this trailhead.

This is another hike in which we recommend going counter-clockwise. There is a huge steep stretch a few miles long right in the middle of this trail. By going counter-clockwise, you can go uphill for half the distance at both the beginning and end of the trail, rather than enduring it all at once in the middle of the day.


The Fairyland Loop can be something of a money hack for those traveling on a shoestring budget. While the trail itself is inside the National Park, the turnoff for the trailhead is outside the Visitor Center and ranger station where they collect vehicle fees. The assumption is that, if you came to Bryce to hike Fairyland Loop Trail, you probably want to see the rest of the canyon as well. And they’re right. Pay the entrance fee and see the park in its entirety.