The Grand Canyon is more beautiful, breath-taking and phenomenal than I ever dreamed!
You know that moment when you feel “little” in your life? Well, stand on the edge of the Great Grand Canyon and then tell me how little you feel.
The Grand Canyon and Arizona weren’t always on my bucket list, but because we wanted to see as much as possible in our two-week trip to America, I squeezed them in. And oh boy, I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did because this road trip was by far the best part of it! If you missed the first part of our road trip to the Grand Canyon, you can catch up via this link and then come back!
Like I said previously, we left our Las Vegas hotel at 5 am and with a few sightseeing stops and lunch breaks – we made it to the Grand Canyon South Rim at about 1 pm. Yep, 8 hours so far…!
I feel like I should give a little advice to those who plan on visiting The Grand Canyon – this place is massive and separated into a few different Rims and national parks. You can go to see either the West, North, Or Hualapai Reservation which when arriving from the East is much closer than the Southern Rim. But don’t fall for it – all the tours offered things like Sky walking, etc for ridicules charges and in my opinion, are not worth it. I don’t see a reason why you should pay to walk on a glass bridge and see the bottom of the Grand Canyon when you can hike through the bottom of Grand Canyon for free (though it is a big hike, so be prepared) and enjoy the view for as long as you want it! It takes little planning, but everyone nowadays has GPS in their phone or you can purchase it when you are hiring a car for a small charge, which is what I did. And it worked great, except the one point it wanted us to go off road through some field, but hey it made it interesting. Just remember to take your time and research when will be the best time to go, where to park, which route to travel on as to make the most out of it and how long the trip will be.
Entrance fees for Grand Canyon National Park are only $30 per vehicle, so the more of you going the cheaper it is. And if you didn’t already know – the gas in America is extremely cheap (I wish the UK was!!!), so for the three of us it worked out as $10 per person per entrance + fuel per person $25 totalling $35 for a round trip of 650 miles with tons of memories – Amazing value!
After you pay for entrance it is a bit of a drive to the parking spaces, because of all the wild protected animals (including the mountain lion) the speed limits set at 25mph. There are workers and signposts everywhere to help direct you making it very easy to get to which area takes your fancy. Some of the areas are off-limits to cars but they have regular free shuttle services all over the routes making it so easy to get around.
I don’t even know how to describe Grand Canyon. It was just all so unreal, how could something like this be created, the scale, the time it took? We, humans, are like children pretending to be in charge until Mother Nature comes along and reminds us just how great and powerful she really is and how small we really are. She created this, and without even trying.
How old is the Earth? A few billion years and ageing? And how long does the average human live? 80 years? I hope you get my point now. There is nothing we can do to change this. This is a privilege for every single one of us to admire; breathe in Arizona’s air, feel that freedom, see something that humans cannot defeat nor fully discover. You can get lost there and no one will ever find you…
The whole experience of The Grand Canyon left a mark on me, it planted a seed – top of the bucket list is now to travel along the bottom of the Grand Canyon, see it from a different perspective and go rafting down the river Colorado which you can see on one of my pictures.
The Grand Canyon is about 280 miles long, 18 miles wide and about a mile deep. A mile deep? Yeah, you don’t want to fall in… and was created about 70 million years ago.
If you are planning to go here, make sure you have plenty of water with you, or at least keep the empty water bottles – there are water stations placed around the South Rim Village and Viewpoints (but not everywhere). We made one mistake – we didn’t consider the weather. We were all thinking that because it’s so hot, which it was when in the forest etc, there won’t be any need for jackets and coats we were unprepared for when we arrived at the edge which is a very open space making it very windy. And when the sun disappears, well, wearing just shorts and bralette felt like I was in Alaska! Not kidding, the weather’s temperature dropped so much, I wish someone would have warned me that the weather dropped so quickly as I would have brought extra layers or at least a blanket. So definitely take extra layers, especially if you want to stay and watch the amazing sunset.
After the nice buffet pasta dinner at Market Plaza Place (Visitor Village), where for $15 you get a nice little buffet including drink, we decided to head to Desert View Point to watch the sunset. Timing in The Grand Canyon is everything. As I said before there are free bus shuttles services which can take you to most of the parks viewpoints, car parks and shopping areas. If driving to the further viewpoints, be warned it takes up to 35 minutes to get there (not including stopping at any other viewpoints if you want along the way).
The sunset in The Grand Canyon is beyond fantastic. We made it to the Desert View Watchtower just on time when the sun was not too high, nor too low. I have never seen such a beautiful display of sky colours. Do you remember that toy you placed in front of your eyes and by pressing the button the picture changed colour? I felt like a child playing with it again. So excited, so happy, the sky was changing colours every second and every time I pressed the button there was another picture in front of me. More colourful and more beautiful. Some people were looking at us and probably feeling sorry, standing on the edge of The Grand Canyon, fighting with the wind and praying not to get blown away or frozen to death in our summer clothes… what idiots, but still totally worth it!
When the sky put on her black coat laced with glittery stars we knew it was time to head back to Las Vegas, taking the 93 Highway instead of Historic 66. Which – as I mentioned in my previous blog – was stupidly long and boring; especially when you must drive it during the night.
There was no gas station, no restroom stops, nothing around to look for. It was just straight, black road edged with tiny lights competing with the millions of stars above our heads which would take several lifetimes to count.
Keeping ourselves awake by singing (badly-mainly me) and eating way too many sweets we finally arrived back at our hotel in Las Vegas around 1 am, beyond exhausted but still so excited, full of all the great memories we had just created in that timescale. With my hand on heart, I can say it was easily the best 20 hours of my life – fulfilled to the max and relishing every one of the seventy-two-thousand seconds it took.