A long 8 mile hike through the Hoodoos

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Rubys Campground
What I did
Fairlyland Loop Trail

Flag of United States  , Utah
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Woke up late and bummed around until Pooh said she wanted to do a big hike. Well, I can't pass up a hike at a national park. So I choose the Fairyland Loop which is an 8 mile trail that goes into the canyon and back up – just like the Navajo Loop but much longer. There is no shuttle bus to take you to the trail head so we had to drive. At a lower elevation this trail is not so hard. But at 8,000 feet you do have to take it slower when going uphill. The trail was not as amazing as the Navajo, but it was still packed with hoodoos of all shapes and sizes and not too many people. I do love my solitude on a trail. About halfway on the trail I saw some storm clouds heading our way. We did bring rain jackets but the major danger out here is lighting. Everywhere you went on the trail was a tree that had been struck. And now we were heading into a forest and away from the protection of the hoodoos. It only rained a few drops on us but the ominous wind from the west foretold of bad weather to come. For one and a half miles it was a straight climb up. The closer we got to the rim the darker the clouds were getting. Finally, the top of the rim and time for a rest.

Or maybe not. We still had 2.5 miles to go on the rim trail to get back to our truck. My water was low so I decided to take us to the campground general store to fill up. It was only a 5 min. walk so it was not too bad. However, I could not find any water sources outside. I ended up having to press the water button at the coke dispenser in the store. I did have half a bottle of water but it was still frozen from this morning. Due to the stormy weather, the temperature ever got to hot today. I needed a little bit of rest so I found a patio outside the general store to sit for a bit. This was one of the best decisions I made on the trip – because after a few min. a massive downpour hit us like an Asian monsoon. What timing. The heavy rain lasted for about 30 min. I got a little kick out of watching people on the outside scramble to get where we were. Besides the rain, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees so it got a little chilly. Even I had to put on my rain jacket to keep the chills away. We just sat there and enjoyed Mother Nature from a safe place. Pooh drinking her coffee and eating an apple while I drank my water and ate my Indian biscuits. I waited for about 15 min. after the rains ended to walk the final 2.5 miles. We had cell service too so I checked the radar. The cell that passed through was so forceful that the weather service issued a flood warning for the area.

The 2.5 mile rim trail was not all that flat. There were some up and down hills to tackle. And only half of the trail was really on the rim where you could see the hoodoos. It was pretty amazing to see the storm that just hit us slowly move through the Bryce Canyon Valley of which we could see for miles and miles. Once majestic mountains were now hidden by the storm. After an hour of waking this trail and the mud the storm produced we made it back to our truck and drove back the 5 miles to our RV.

So, after that trail and surviving a flash flood, I needed a reward. I took Quique in the truck with me to drive to a store. There was a small one in just a few miles. However, the prices were like that at Ruby’s. I could not find my OJ with pulp so I reluctantly got a Red Grapefruit juice bottle for $7 – ouch!!! I’ll have to sip that like fine wine. I got Pooh some alfredo packets to keep her happy. But no fresh fruit or veggies at this place. Back on the road I hit my reward – a Subway. And the best news is the prices are the same as everywhere else. I got an Italian sub for $5. I really think that around here if I bought all the ingredients to go into that sub it would have cost me $10. So cheaper to eat here. Plus they had free Wi-Fi but I did not need it. Back at the RV I chomped down on my sub and it was gone in no time. I did some internet stuff for a few hours and then it was back on the road with Quique.

We took a driving tour of the southern part of the park that did not have bus service. It was 18 miles from one end to the other. The drive took us from 7,000 ft. elevation to 8,000 ft. elevation. Our first stop was at the very end of the road at Rainbow Point. As with the rest of Bryce Canyon this had its share of hoodoos but not as many as the main part of the park. You come here to see the vista and most of Southern Utah. Since this was a paved area I got to take Quique on a walk. We also went to the viewpoint just a half mile opposite called Yovimpa Point in which you had a vista of another side of Southern Utah. There were a few trailheads in the area but I only had time for the one mile Bristlecone Loop Trail. Since the elevation is so high you had Fir trees growing in this area. And the smell was so good. At the end of the loop was a 1,600 year old Bristlecone Pine. Plus the overlooks were just as good as the others. Coming back down the road we stopped at a few more overlooks that had their share of hoodoos – Black Birch Canyon, Ponderosa Canyon, Agua Canyon, and last, Natural Bridge – which really did have a natural bridge. From here it was 12 miles back to the RV. Since we had the hard rain today the night was much cooler. So I put on a jacket and sat at a picnic table close to the office to get some good Wi-Fi to upload as many pics as I could before I went internet free for a week. Yes, it was the coldest night on the trip. When I came back around 11:30 I had to turn the heat on in the RV just to go to sleep.
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