If you were Mark and Jim and had the chance to hike the Fairyland Loop, would you pass it up? I didn’t think so, and neither did we.Our second stop in Utah was Bryce Canyon National Park. We got to the town near the park entrance in time for lunch and, after lunch, Mark & I headed out for an afternoon hike. The good news was that at around 8,500 feet in elevation, the weather here was a huge improvement over the mid-90s we’d experienced in the afternoon in Zion. And besides just the name, the Fairyland Loop seemed perfect: a “strenuous” 8-mile loop that would take maybe four or five hours.
We didn’t really know what to expect, but discovered a world unlike anything we’d ever seen anywhere. Erosion has created thousands of “hoodoos”, spires created when relatively soft rock is topped by harder stones that protect the lower rock from erosion. While Bryce Canyon supposedly has the world’s largest concentration of hoodoos, Cappadocia in Turkey is also famous for its hoodoos so we may have to get there soon to compare them.
At any rate, it was a spectacular hike; it seemed as though every five minutes we’d turn a corner and gasp all over again at the beauty. And one of the nice things of doing a pretty challenging hike in the afternoon is that there were only a few other hikers on the trail so we had it largely to ourselves.
Oh, and one other nice little aspect of our hike: we have drop-off and pickup services. Mark’s parents drop us at the trailhead, we estimate our time of return and – after their own driving tour of the park – they’re there to pick us up. Being chauffeured after a tough hike is a good thing.
Finally, you may have noticed the lack of pictures of great food. That’s not an oversight.
Breathtaking (scenery, not food)! Mark’s parents evidently were on to something, urging the Utah trip.