Welcome to Fairyland!

Have you ever had a time where you have had to re-write a post? Well this is take three. Not that this one will be more grammatically correct or it will be published on the freshly pressed page because it will be breath taking, but I simply did not like the last two and how they started. So here is the next attempt.

One week ago I was on a geology field trip for school and we visited a few places. Last week I spoke about Red Canyon, this week I want to talk about the next area to explore and that is Fairyland. Yes that is its name. Why is it titled that…? I have no clue. My best guess would probably be if you were taking LSD like the guy I ran into 2 days ago on my most recent hike, then I bet the place would be crawling with fairies.

To get here, drive like you were going to Bryce and soon after you pass Ruby’s Inn you will notice a turn off on your left that leads you to the trail. There is a small parking lot to park but no bathrooms so make plans elsewhere.

When we arrived our teacher had us all pile out of the vehicles and gather around the overlook. Out stretched before us where the hoodoos and a large canyon that the trail descended down into. Here he pointed out something called conjugate lines. These are formed due to a convergent  fault (moving towards each other) that is causing the earth to crack in the subsurface.

As time passed and erosion has taken place, it has revealed them. So when you look around Bryce and this area you will see them all over. They form an “X” in the hoodoos that is hard to miss, and few park rangers will talk about them, so this is secret information for you guys.

Now let’s talk about the hike and some details first.
Distance-8 miles or so
Water at trail head-no
Bathrooms-no
Fee-none… good deal right!?

The trail is a 5-8 mile loop that takes you down amongst plenty of spectacular hoodoos. After my teacher spoke to us, he gave us an hour to explore. So that means that I did not do the entire trail, but I did romp a mile or so down the trail, so let me tell you about what that is like. I figure it’s safe for me to mention only this because most of you won’t do the entire 8 miles.
The trail begins at the front of the parking lot, and leads off left next to a steep incline. Soon after you begin though, the trail turns interesting. Unlike most areas you visit in national parks, there is only one trail and that’s it. Here on the other hand there are branches that take you away from the main trail leading you across many fins that take you up to some spectacular cliffs and vistas, I suggest exploring a bit. Luckily the main trail is quite pronounced so you can see it from everywhere and most of these off shoots lead back to it after a few minutes.

I went down and followed the trail for a while but soon departed and headed for a high point that followed a fin for ways. Here I got a great view of a little arch that had formed, and I could walk across a spine that lead to the bases of some hoodoos. After I had my fill of romping through these parts I left to follow the main trail again.

On the way to the trail I almost had a catastrophic disaster though. I carry my camera on a small little gorilla pod, so it has joints that can swivel and change positions. Well these joints are only fitted together so well and as I was leaping down the little trail that took me back to the main one my tripod popped in half.

For a split second I saw my camera separate from the tripod and begin to fly away. I was only saved due to a good habit I had picked up earlier in my hiking career of wrapping my neck strap around my wrist. Well the camera flew away from me about a foot before it snapped back and I recovered it. But for a split second I could see in my minds eye my little camera shattering all over the rocks 15 feet below me.

After the disaster was averted I headed down the trail a bit farther.A part of me wanted to explore farther and farther, but something also reminded me I needed to not go too far.  One, I was on a time limit, but the real reason was that for every step forward I was taking, I was descending in elevation. And that means I have to take every one of those steps back out and 500 plus feet of elevation to gain in about a mile adds up really fast.

So about a mile into the hike I turned around and headed back to the car. I did take a minute though and enjoy lunch with a couple class mates. Still didn’t see any fairies, but had a good time.

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3 responses to “Welcome to Fairyland!

  1. FairyLand because it is so fantastical… and like a fantasy land.

    Nice photos. Nice to note – the top of Bryce is at about 8000 ft elevation – this part is a little lower – but yes, if you are not used to hiking around at 7000+ feet elevation, that climb back up and out can be a quite a haul.

    I was there once and saw a young kid and his mother huffing and puffing back up the trail. The kid stopped and leaned against the side to catch his breath and said, ‘Man, you don’t want to go do there’. I took his advice that day – but I have been back and been down and about at Bryce since – great place and worth the hike back out.

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