When we find a restaurant we like, we tend to return again and again. Hikes are the same way. When we find a hike we really like, we stick with it. So it was with the Fairyland Canyon hike at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Starting at an elevation of over 7700 feet, we bundled up and took backpacks not only for water and snacks but as a place to shove our jackets and other layers as we warmed up along the way.

Unlike Queen’s Garden and the other more heavily travelled trails, this trail wound leisurely into a canyon among towering evergreen trees and the ever-present hoodoos.

The trees provided great shade when we were ready to stop for some fresh apples and trail mix. And to make sure the GPS was tracking our route!

Maybe because this trail wasn’t as busy with human noises and scents, we did catch a glimpse of this Tree Swallow…

…a Mountain Bluebird…

…and this little reptile (I haven’t learned these yet… still working on the birds, so chime in if you know what this lizard is!):

Here’s a difference between being on vacation and being on the road full time: you can stay someplace as long as you want. And when you stay someplace for awhile, you start to see the details of it that you would have missed otherwise.

Take this tree, dramatic and majestic…

Now look more closely, and you’ll see an array of colors you might have missed if you were in a hurry to get down the trail so you could get on to the next attraction:

This vast panorama is gorgeous…

…but so is this furry tree…

…and this evergreen, curious to me because its little limbs look as though they were pushed into the tree because they sprout straight out from the fat trunk:


It was fun to begin to recognize some of the regional plants, like this Manzanita:

No matter where we looked, something caught our attention. Before we left, we spotted this grazing Pronghorn, who didn’t seem very distraught by our presence — maybe because it could escape faster than we could follow — they can run at more than 60 mph!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in and Critters in General, Animals, Birds, Hiking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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