I'm going to Fairyland!!!
This is a wonderful and less crowded hike in the Fairyland Ampitheater just north of Bryce Canyon National Park. You can access it from one of two trailheads... Fairyland Point which is before the Visitor's Center or from Sunrise Point. Either way you go, it's a true gem.
We started from Fairyland Point at 12:30 PM and hiked this clockwise immediately starting a 600 foot descent into the canyon in the first mile and a half. Terrific views of Sinking Ship and Boat Mesa reward you as you descend through Douglas Fir, juniper and Bristlecone pine. There are some truly beautiful photo ops through this area. You will then cross a wash area and continue down into the canyon. The trail is easy to follow and is just an up and down hike through some gorgeous vistas....sheer rock cliffs of Boat mesa off to your right and some really astounding hoodoos along the way. I'm entranced by THIS fairyland. Several more wash crossings and suddenly you are heading back uphill. Not a huge climb but a climb all the same......AND true to our trip these last 2 weeks, we have gusty winds which threaten to blow my hat off at every exposed area. There are some beautiful vistas of Fairyland Canyon when top off here. You then descend a bit more as you reach the the intersection of Tower Bridge where you can take a little spur trail to the bridge. We opted not to do this today but probably should have just gone. It is 4 miles from Fairyland Point to the Tower Bridge intersection. Once here, it is an uphill climb of 800 feet in 1.5 miles to Sunrise Point but the terrain and rock formations are amazing.....the Chinese Wall is on your left. After topping off near Sunrise Point (elev 8017), you then take the Rim trail back to Fairyland point, another 2.5 miles but a gentle one along the rim of Bryce Canyon.
The BEST part of this trail other than the scenery is that there are NO crowds! AT ALL. I think we saw maybe 16 people all afternoon. We saw three sleeping backpackers and heard one crying child being hauled in a childpack (we let them pass us).
I highly recommend this as a "must do" when in Bryce Canyon~~~~While it doesn't have the same WOW factor that the Navajo Loop through Wall Street does, it still packs a wallop and the views are just awesome.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.