Fairy Forest | Mirror Lake Highway

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We heard rumors of a “fairy forest” along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, but we couldn’t find anything about it on the Internet or anywhere else. Finally, we found some sloppy directions and set out to see if we could find it. After stumbling around in the woods for awhile, we did.

Respect the Fairy Forest

In 2016, The Fairy Forest changed. The Forest Service had to haul out tons of trash and a major clean-up effort was also organized to help clean up the forest. The Forest Service no longer allows paint or foreign objects in the forest, so please plan on looking and leaving only. A few painted rocks are said to remain, but the Fairy Forest should not continue to grow. So now we will enjoy the Fairy Forest by walking through and admiring the rocks. Here is the Forest Service announcement!


Fairy Forest

The Fairy Forest is a rather large area near a campground that has painted rocks, and some wood sculptures that are arranged to look like fairies had a hand in it. Of course, visitors have painted and stacked the rocks. It’s a really nice walk– hardly a “hike” at all, but our kids loved it. Below are some of the pictures we took as we admired the area. You’ll find very specific directions about how to get find here below.

The boys at the unofficial entrance to the Fairy Forest
The boys at the unofficial entrance to the Fairy Forest
Some rocks are arranged, others are painted
Some rocks are arranged, others are painted
The boys peered into this tiny fairy house. I think they really may believe in fairies!
The boys peered into this tiny fairy house. I think they really may believe in fairies!
Our 4 year-old was excited at every new rock, this one especially because it's a painted fairy!
Our 4 year-old was excited at every new rock, this one especially because it’s a painted fairy!
This was one of our favorite displays. It was freshly painted, too.
This was one of our favorite displays. Not sure if it is still around.
The turtle was so cute. Some rocks have inspirational messages.
The turtle was so cute. Some rocks have inspirational messages.
The Forest Service cleaned all of the plastic and toys and left the painted rocks.
Fairy Stonehenge
Fairy Stonehenge

We love the Mirror Lake Highway, so if you visit the fairies, you should also check out our hikes and other things to do on the Mirror Lake Highway!


To get to Fairy Forest, head up to Kamas. Take the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway (Hwy 150). Make sure to stop and pay the $6 entrance fee, or use your National Parks pass for admittance. Drive to mile marker 17 just past Shady Dell campground. There is a pullout right at the mile marker. Park and follow the trail that goes to the right (as you face the forest).

You’ll cut through the campground, and find yourself in a dry creek bed with huge river rocks. Be careful– some of them roll. After you cross the river, bear right. Trails head off in front of you, and that’s where we got lost and ended up all the way down by the river, but the Fairy Forest is within 30 yards of this creek, so don’t go too far. If you go right (and down) about 30 feet after crossing the dry creek bed, you’ll find yourself at the entrance of the forest. Good Luck!

The trail leads right to the creek.
Depending on the time of year, this creek can be really high.
Before the ban, we made our own contribution to the fairy forest.

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Mona

    Just saw a Forest Service post on FB about how they went in and took 100 bags of “garbage” from Fairy Forest and that it is illegal to leave anything because it is littering. Look up the US Forest Service Uinta -Wasatch-Cache Forest post. I sort of understand but it is still sad. I took my kids up there this summer and it was such fun. We spent a long time at home looking forward and creating our setting. 🙁

    1. Natalie

      We have been saddened by the changes to the Fairy Forest as well, but we also understand that there has been a lot of garbage left there too. Thanks for sharing about the post. We will look into it.

  2. Tasha Snow

    do you know if the river goes up or down at certain times during the year? We are wanting to go this week, but it defiantly wont be worth the drive if the river is too high.

    thanks for this great activity!!!!

    1. Natalie

      Yes, the river is very high in the spring. We went in late July and crossed easily. We usually try to go in late July or August. The river might still have water in it, but it’s usually still an easy crossing on the rocks.

  3. Jessica

    Thanks for the super helpful directions! It was so fun!

    1. Natalie

      Glad you enjoyed it! Fairy Forest is one of our favorites!

    2. Tasha Snow

      how was crossing the river? Was it high or easy to get across with young kids?

  4. janboss

    we loved it, thanks for coordinates! I would have to suggest to future builders to check out this site:


    the creativity of the forest was AWESOME, I loved how it attracted families to do some art in nature. we all had a blast, but I have to say the odor of spray paint being used was a bit icky. FAIRIES LOVE NATURAL MATERIALS! ( and the forest does too) =)

  5. Anonymous

    we went today- the grown ups helped the kids, your feet were wet, but its doable
    several families made the trek

    1. The Jessee Journal

      Thanks for sharing! We are heading there tomorrow, hopefully it won’t be too bad for crossing 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    When you say raging river does this mean its impossible to cross?

    1. Natalie Ockey

      We haven’t visited in the spring so we don’t know what the river looks like. Hopefully Cheri will reply soon!


    2. Michele

      We tried to go 2 days ago, & I didn’t think the river looked safe to try to cross. It’s not a dry creek bed, it’s a river.

  7. Hie, faerie folk! Just to let you all know – the dry creek bed is a raging river in springtime due to the spring runoff. Not safe for young children right now. I’ll post again when the runoff subsides.

    1. Cheryl Ann - "Cheri"

      Greetings from Shady Dell. The spring runoff has subsided. There is still water at the crossing and the rocks can be a little slippery, but at worst you’ll get your feet a little wet. Come see us!

  8. Anonymous

    magical and wonderful I have always search for such a place thank you

  9. Michelle P.

    We are SUPER excited to go and find this tomorrow! LOVE IT! I have never heard of it until now! THANKS! 🙂