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blue Fairyland Loop

  4.9 ( 57 )

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8.1 mile 13.1 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,460' 445 m
Descent: -1,458' -444 m
High: 8,139' 2,481 m
Low: 7,181' 2,189 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tom Robson

A less-crowded loop through beautiful hoodoo formations.

Tom Robson

Features Views

Family Friendly Though kind of long and a bit steep at some points, if you have a hardy family, you should be able to complete this route without too much complaining.

Watch for snakes on the trail.


The Fairyland Loop begins at Fairyland Point, and takes you through spectacular hoodoos and scenery along the rim and into the canyon. Enjoy views of Tower Bridge and China Wall on this wondrous journey.

Need to Know

Be sure to carry plenty of water—1 quart (liter) for every 2-3 hours of hiking per person, as this hike typically takes 4-5 hours round trip over the 8 mile (12.9 km) length. Especially after rainfall or snowmelt, hiking boots or hiking shoes with good grip are a necessity—at that point, be aware of heavy mud that ruthlessly sticks to your shoes, more than doubling their weight. During one short section, the trail is bound on both sides by somewhat-steep cliffs. Though the trail isn't very narrow, those with more than a moderate fear of heights might be a bit scared.


From the Fairyland Point parking area, dip down into the canyon heading northeast on the well-marked trail. As you descend steadily, the impressive Fairyland amphitheater of hoodoos is sandwiched in on your right between the trail and Boat Mesa. Watch for the Sinking Ship formation across the valley to the east.

After about 1.5 miles, the trail reaches its lowest point and begins a stiff climb up to a saddle and the cliffs below the Coliseum. From here the grades ease a bit until the Tower Bridge Side Trail turnoff - note that it's well worth the short detour to ogle Mother Nature's creativity.

Once back on the main Fairyland Loop Trail, begin the challenging climb up through parched Campbell Canyon, also crossing its namesake creek. The meandering trail ascends steadily through open terrain passing the Chinese Wall formation to the south. More vegetation and gnarled trees (look for evidence of lightning strikes) begin to appear closer to the rim. The Fairyland Loop Trail ends at a "T" junction with the Rim Trail about 0.3 miles north of Sunrise Point.

Once you reach Rim Trail, you've completed the hardest portion of this hike! Turn right and continue north, back to Fairyland Point. At this point, pass through some meadows and a sandy, beach-like area. Once you finally reach your destination, stop for a while and enjoy the views!

Flora & Fauna

Not many animals are found along the Fairyland section, but you might see some birds along the Rim Trail section. As for plants, you'll find the Bristlecone Pine, Ponderosa Pine, and maybe a Quaking Aspen beneath the rim.


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Apr 16, 2019
Went a bit past Tower Bridge. Awesome, ever changing views, with a bit of the famous clay mud. 4mi — 2h 09m
Apr 7, 2019
Marcos N
Apr 4, 2019
Andrew B
Jan 17, 2019
Lenny Draheim
Nov 1, 2018
Justin Clark
Oct 16, 2018
Ross Ridder
Oct 5, 2018
Michaela Fernström
Oct 1, 2018
Kelly Melia-Teevan

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 57 votes


in Ampitheater


  4.9 from 57 votes
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