Fairyland and Mossy Cave – A Second Chance

Monday, June 12 ~ A return to Bryce, Fairyland and Mossy Cave

On the edge of the wilderness area

The wind was still howling this morning, but the forecast claimed it would subside by sometime mid afternoon. We were both getting a little cabin fever and wanted to get out and do some exploring. 

We came up with a game plan to visit the horse riding corral to sign up for a ride for the next morning, go into the small town of Tropic for lunch, then find some Internet to check emails, return to Bryce NP to find Fairyland Point which had somehow eluded us a couple of days ago, and then round out the afternoon with a stop at Mossy Cave for a short hike.

Well, it all sounded fine and started off well.

Reservations for trail ride – check

Lunch at Rustler’s Restaurant – check

Then things went down hill…

Traffic was at a dead stop on Scenic Byway 12 as we got closer to the Bryce turnoff. We could see smoke coming up over the trees. Yep, there was a fire just east of Mossy Cave and the road was closed in both directions.

Fire almost knocked out

The best update we could find out from other stranded travelers was it could be 1.5 hours or more, depending on how long it took to knock down the flames, before the road would reopen.

So, we did a U-turn and returned to our lunchtime hangout, logged onto their WiFi, and entertained ourselves for the next couple of hours. Eventually we noticed cars coming through from the other direction and we once again headed back toward Bryce.

At least by now, much of the wind had calmed down and as we passed by, the fire crews were in mop up mode, putting out a few remaining hot spots that were near the roadway.

Fairyland Point – check

Fairyland Hoodoos

The tree hanging on the edge of the cliff that I remembered so fondly was nowhere to be seen. There was a picture of it on the sign at the overlook though, so I snapped it and will try to find out if it finally lost its very tentative grip and slid down the side of the hill or something else.

Does anyone know what happened to this tree?

Someone said the tree was named Twinkle Toes and was actually located at Sunrise Point. I’ll have to research that possibility when I can.

Nature is ever-changing, but I was still a little disappointed in not being able to find it. For me to remember one specific tree from a trip years earlier, you know it must have been unique.

I did love seeing the fairy hoodoos.

Mossy Cave – check

Taken from the bridge on the Mossy Cave hike

The short .4 mile hike to Mossy Cave is pretty uneventful. A not too strenuous uphill walk along the side of a rushing mountain stream. A bridge crosses over the water and offers up a great place to take a picture over the river and catch gorgeous rock formations in the background.

Unfortunately it was much later in the afternoon than we had originally planned and our lighting was way past optimum.

Mossy Cave itself is really nothing much to see this time of the year, as the ice which makes it stand out is usually gone by June.

Tim at Mossy Cave

So, if you must, take a quick look and then take the fork that proceeds a bit further upstream to see the waterfall. To the right of the waterfall is my favorite view, and what brought me back.

My favorite view from above the waterfall at Mossy Cave

Do be careful as the soil is loose and on the slopes it is easy to have your feet slip out from under you. I found out the hard way and ended up landing not so gracefully on my backside. The only thing wounded was my pride and a bit of a sore spot on my “bu-tox” as Forest Gump so elegantly called it.

We will see how tender it is tomorrow after riding a horse for two hours…

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for a fast response which resulted in the well-trained firefighters getting things under control before it escalated into a major forest fire.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in National Parks, Photography, RV Life, United States, Utah and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Fairyland and Mossy Cave – A Second Chance

  1. The scenery on your trip is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing it.


  2. paperpopups says:

    And yet another great read with photos.
    As you are reminded of a sore sit down, thankful you were not hurt worse, I will share the frog poem- of sorts.
    When the frog sits,
    He hops.
    When he hops,
    he hops on
    what he ain’t got.
    -Author Unknown


  3. I’m glad to hear that the fire didn’t escalate. Too bad about your favourite tree. We were at Fairyland Point when we did the loop trail last November and just loved the whole area. Great view from Mossy Cave (I haven’t done this). Bryce never gets old for me. Hope your bo-tux is better!


  4. joylennick says:

    Hi Joanne,I share your love of trees, especially unusual ones, so that was a shame..But what fascinating rock formations! Trek on….


  5. Terry says:

    Patience is rewarding, glad you checked off all on the list for the day. I am having fun following and seeing the photos you have posted. This is on my bucket list and I was grateful you mentioned the National Park passport book, I forgot all about that. WIll pick one up on my trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone in August.


  6. Too bad you didn’t see the tree. I can only imagine how remarkable it must have been to have stayed in your memory bank all these years.


  7. tippysmom2 says:

    Glad you were able to check all of the planned places off of your list and glad the the firefighters were able to put out the fire before it raged out of control The Hoodoos are amazing. Thanks for sharing your photos of this unique landscape.


  8. We’ve only spent a few hours in Bryce. Reading your post reminds me of what we missed.


  9. wanderingweightwatcherswithwine says:

    Thank you for following Jan and I as we traveled. You have far more experience than we did, obviously, so you can share much more. We will enjoy following you now that we are back to our homes and Day to day lives. It was a wonderful adventure for us and we are actually talking about a late April 2018 trip up the CA, OR and WA coast into Canada! If we are blessed to stay healthy and get to do that it will be 1 more thing on our bucket list to mark OFF. God Bless you as you travel! Have fun!
    Gari Cave


  10. curvyroads says:

    Beautiful photos! Despite two visits to Bryce, we didnt go to Fairyland or Mossy Cave, so thank you for sharing. 😊


  11. Pingback: Month of June Travels in our National Parks ~ Highlight Moments in Pictures | A Note From Abroad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.