Fairyland Point Trail | Bryce Canyon NP

With a name as surreal and unique as Fairyland Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, the trail lives up to its name with its peaceful seclusion and striking features across the colorful terrain of the park. Wind through a forest of hoodoos and sloping red hills to fully absorb one of the best trails the park has to offer. This trail is not only a way to get out and enjoy the clean air, it’s a way to exercise and live the experience that Bryce Canyon has to offer.

Fairyland Point Loop

The entire 8 mile hike typically takes 4-5 hours to complete, so it’s advised to bring plenty of water and snacks for the trail. During the summer, temperatures can be warm, so dress light, wear sunscreen, bring a wide-brim hat to avoid sunburn. The trail features a few changes in elevation, making it one of the more strenuous hikes in the park considering its length and steep elevation changes. The lowest point of the trail sits around 7200 ft. in altitude, while the highest point is around 8100 ft. in altitude, with many elevation changes in between those points.

On the northern end of the park, this scenic day hike also features a trail to Tower Bridge. Although the trail is considered strenuous, the trail is well-cleared and graded tracks for those who might generally struggle with other difficult hikes. Enjoy pink silt-stone framed trails on this quiet hike through some of the most colorful desert scenery on earth.

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Park Shuttle info: The free park shuttle bus (with NPS entry fee) runs between both Fairypoint and Sunrise trail heads (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) about every 15 minutes from May 23rd to September 28th. Bike racks are at both trail heads.

For more info, visit nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/fairylandloop.htm

Panguitch Lake Balloons

Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally Continues Despite Wildfire

With the growing threat of the rapidly growing Brian Head Fire, many places in Southern Utah feel solemn. Despite this incoming threat that has so far evacuated over 1,500 residents in the area, the annual Panguitch Valley Balloon Ralley was not cancelled for the weekend after the fire began and started to rapidly grow in the nearby town of Brian Head. While smoke filled the Panguitch Valley from the nearby fire, making it hard to see the festivities and balloons, it was a great way to lighten people’s spirits and give a reminder to everyone that there is hope and to remain positive, even during threatening times.

Over 36 hot air balloons launch into the sky, glowing during the evening as festival goers are welcome to walk around vendors and restaurants that keep their doors open late for this event. There was live music, inflatable rides for kids, a raffle, biker parade, bingo, bike show, parachute jumping, and a craft fair, starting Friday night and going until Saturday night as the balloon glow happens. Saturday morning, a 5k started at 7:30 AM.

The fire has since evacuated parts of the Panguitch Lake area to residents living on the west side. As of June 28, 13 homes have been destroyed, many in the Panguitch Lake area. Over 1,600 personnel from all over the nation are helping out with this fire that has grown over 50,000 acres in ten days. There is only 10% containment reported on the fire, but the Panguitch community is grateful to the firefighters who have come to help save their mountains.

For more info on the festival, click here.

For more info on the Brian Head fire, click here.

Photo from the Balloon Rally’s Facebook page.

Panguitch Lake Balloons

 

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Night Photography in Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley at Night

Photo by Wayne Pinkston via Flickr

Goblin Valley is one of the most untouched places on the planet – by light pollution at night, that is. That’s why it attracts so many photographers in the dead of night to photograph the stunning night skies, showcasing the Milky Way like you’ve never seen it before. It’s beautiful in the daytime as well, but its view of the night sky is unchallenged by most places in North America.

For more information on Goblin Valley and night photography, click here.

Fishing Trout at Panguitch Lake

Here’s a helpful video for beginners planning to fish at Panguitch Lake, or even for experienced fishers who want to improve their fishing this summer. Cutthroat and Rainbow trout are the most common fish you’ll catch at the lake and this video goes through helpful tips on how to catch more trout. Boats and fishing gear are available to rent at Panguitch Lake during the summer.