Visitors at Bryce Canyon National Park nearly always experience sensory overload when viewing this majestic landscape for the first time. Bryce Canyon simply is like no other place on earth and it is so far removed from the norm that viewing this picturesque landscape is like stepping into a dream. The bright orange, white, red and yellow sandstone canyon is so vivid, that it almost looks artificial upon first glance. Bryce Canyon has a way of making the jaw drop in awe and this is soon followed by absolute captivation. It can be difficult to form words to describe this majestic place during the first visit!
The best way to become familiar with Bryce Canyon National Park on a first visit is to tour the scenic overlooks along the paved road that runs through the length of this park. After becoming familiar with the landscape, choosing a hiking trail that peaks the interest is what most folks do. The hiking trails in Bryce Canyon range from easy to strenuously difficult. The park map brochure lists the hiking trail difficulty levels, so it is easy for visitors to find a path that suits their comfort zone.
There are two trails that begin at the Fairyland Canyon Overlook and one is much more difficult than the other. The Fairyland Canyon Trail goes deep into the majestic hoodoo filled landscape and the trail ends at Sunset Point further south on the rim of the canyon. It is the steep ascent to the top of the canyon that makes this trail so difficult and there can be icy conditions well into spring. The Rim Trail is the easier trail and this one is like taking a walk in the park.
For some, the scenic overlook at Fairyland Canyon is enough to keep the mind in a state of chaos for several hours! The unearthly appearance of this landscape is so strange looking, that is easy to get the feeling of being in some kind of a fantasyland. The tall rock spire formations and hoodoos do look animated, which adds to the effect. This canyon is so intricately eroded, that it appears to have been accomplished by design!
Viewing Fairyland Canyon on a sunny summer day can be a blinding experience because this canyon glows with intense brightness in this high elevation. On an overcast day of drizzling rain during the spring season, much more of the finer details can be seen and the colors are also more vivid. I have photographed Fairyland Canyon during the dry season in September and during the unpredictable month of May. Both of these seasons yield a dramatic visual experience when viewing this intriguing landscape, however, the gloomy overcast weather does add a magical look that is truly awe inspiring!
The spring season is the best time of year to catch a day of light drizzling rain as the heavy clouds brush against the top of the mountains. The temperatures can drop dramatically without warning when storms pass through, so it is best to pack some warm clothes along with rain gear for the excursion. I actually took on the Rim Trail from Fairyland Canyon to Sunset Point during my visit and the drizzling rain turned into a white out snow storm just about halfway through. Hiking in foul weather in the high elevations certainly is a challenge, so for most folks, viewing Fairyland Canyon while the conditions are wet will be satisfying enough.
Fairyland Canyon sure is a pretty sight to see in the spring season, especially when the eroded sandstone canyon is wet and the colors are as bright as fresh paint. The remnants of winter snow in the crevices of this eroded landscape does add to the visual effect. Those who do take the time to experience the Fairyland Canyon Overlook in light rain will certainly be captivated!
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