Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Visiting the Grand Canyon

A week a go we did a summary of our trip to Vegas, you can see the post here

One of the highlights of the trip was our day at the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is certainly grand and deserving of it's 7 wonders of the world status! It is as breathtaking as you think it will be and more beautiful then you can imagine. The colours, sights and quietness are unexpected and mesmerising. 

The part we visited was on the southern rim about a 4-5 hour drive from Vegas to see one small 22 mile part of the 277 miles of canyon!

We started our day early, not quite as early as hoped thanks to one of the rental cars not being ready for our 7.30am pick up but we were all packed up and ready to hit the open road by 8.30am. A last minute late night Walgreens dash had allowed us to stock up on road trip essentials so all we had to do was load up and head off.

Road trippin crew
Our group was split into two cars, the youth car that included Laura and I, my sister and her boyfriend. The other car was the parents cars with my Mum and Dad and Aunt and Uncle. With the sun shining we had the roofs down we headed to the highway. 

We made it an hour into the journey before stopping in Kingman for lunch and to stretch our legs. It turns out that the back seats in convertible cars are tight. We had known that from our road trip across California, and detour via Death Valley, and had advised the rest of our group but they wanted the experience and who were we to argue. My sister is pretty small so didn't find it too bad. Her much taller boyfriend was a little squashed but as I had my chair moved forwards he seemed okay. 

In hindsight the adults should have had a proper car - my Mum and Aunt had a harder time as my Dad needed his chair further back to drive and my Uncle needed his pushed back because of his knee. Turns out the wind got a bit much for their ears after a while too. Ah getting older ey!

Our final stop before reaching the Grand Canyon was a toilet break that turned out to be a wonderfully random shop packed to brim with souvenirs, treasures, stuffed animals and a LOT OF COWBOY stuff. I even got to check out a tepee. It was just by Ash Fork.

When we arrived at the Grand Canyon park entrance we had to pay $30 per car for 24 hours. At the entrance we were also given a map that I then used to plan our visit. As we had arrived later than expected we had to make a few adjustments and pick out the key views to see before dusk. 

On arrival you drive into Grand Canyon Village. There is a large shop that stocks just about everything and has a place to top up your water bottles for free. Here you can also drive a loop to see the the Grand Canyon train and all the accommodation that is available to stay at. 

The first view of the Grand Canyon appeared behind trees as we drove on the main road alongside the rim as we followed the map we had:
To see the full map click here
Our first view was a Pipe Creek Vista and what a view!

As we made our way along the south rim we stopped at the various pit stops and each view was spectacular for different reasons. The size was incomprehensible. Someone said that each view allows you to see the equivalent of a fingernail on a body. For some reason that really gave me a perspective. 

At Grand View point I took the opportunity to get my namaste on, the tranquillity allowed you to feel really zen and for a brief moment and there was barely anyone else around. 

Our final stop on the south rim was Desert View Tower. It is a 70 foot high tower that allows spectacular views up the canyon. The tower is decorated inside with artwork that is worth seeing and has a history of the area. Plus it's free to enter so it is well worth checking out. 

Thanks Wikipedia for this image

This is the view from the top:

Inside the tower:

The sunset as we headed back and we had to be a little careful of the wildlife, especially these beautiful mule deer that were as big as the car. 

The drive back to Vegas was long and dark but my wonderful wife did a superb job doing most of the drive after tiredness hit me an hour an a half in. Most of the back seat passengers only awoke when the bright lights of Vegas welcomed us back.

We were aware that the West Rim is closer to Vegas but having looked into the option we thought we would opt for the iconic views and make the drive to the South rim. 

The West Rim is owned by Hualapai Indians who charge $82 entrance fee to walk the Skywalk out over the canyon but they don't let you take your own photos - which as i'm sure you can understand is not something we would happily forego. 

And there are the helicopter tours from Vegas that worked out about $250 per person, for 8 people this would have been a pretty expensive trip. 

Depending on your budget and available time it is worth assessing your options.

Even though it was a long day for us to reach the South Rim it was definitely worth it in my opinion!


  1. We did the same drive a couple of years ago and always meant to go back and spend more time there. Great post and pictures!

  2. Great pics! I visited Vegas and the Grand Canyon years ago! I loved the trip. Thanks for bringing back a fun memory! :)

  3. Beautiful pics-- love the one in Tree Pose! The Grand Canyon is definitely on my list of places to visit; like I said your pictures are gorgeous, but I bet they don't even do its beauty justice!


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