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!
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.
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!
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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. 🙁
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.
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!!!!
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.
Thanks for the super helpful directions! It was so fun!
Glad you enjoyed it! Fairy Forest is one of our favorites!
how was crossing the river? Was it high or easy to get across with young kids?
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) =)
Anyone know the coordinates?
we went today- the grown ups helped the kids, your feet were wet, but its doable
several families made the trek
Thanks for sharing! We are heading there tomorrow, hopefully it won’t be too bad for crossing 🙂
When you say raging river does this mean its impossible to cross?
We haven’t visited in the spring so we don’t know what the river looks like. Hopefully Cheri will reply soon!
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.
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.
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!
magical and wonderful I have always search for such a place thank you
We are SUPER excited to go and find this tomorrow! LOVE IT! I have never heard of it until now! THANKS! 🙂
Love this! Thx for sharing