Distance: 3.6 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 7999' (Sunrise Point)
Elevation Gain: 858'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.68
Round trip time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Recommended water: 24 oz.
Parking/Fees: $30 National Parks (per vehicle, one week pass)
The morning Navajo Loop hike wore out the kids, or more likely wore out their interest in additional hiking for the day. Leisa was game so we went back to Sunrise Point with a plan to descend to the Tower Bridge formation along the fairyland loop trail. There were a lot of people in the park now and the parking lot was overflowing. Near the top of the trail, an NPS trail crew was at work smoothing out the rough spots on the fairyland trail. It was apparent from the cemented foot and horse prints that this trail melts in the rain, then solidifies the footprints like an anonymous Hollywood walk of fame. It was lightly raining when we started with a 30% chance of PM thunderstorms. Bristlecone pines were sparse and the forest was less dense than the main Bryce amphitheater. About half way down, we spotted the Chinese Wall, a long line of tall, connected hoodoos. At the bottom, a sign marked the short spur trail to the Tower Bridge. It was a double arch with a tall spire on the right side. Quite a sight. The rain stopped on the way down, leaving us a short, but hot and humid hike out of the canyon. Bryce Canyon trails offer big unearthly views in exchange for modest effort. A good trade for anyone.