Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona? I am always one to take advantage of a long weekend, and this past one was no exception! My kids were at their dad’s house, so my sister proposed a unique road trip. One we’ve never experienced. One that would be just us, on the open road. One that would be strenuous. Wait, what?
We decided that we would road trip in Arizona from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon! Now, I am always down for adventure, but the word ‘strenuous’ had to go. Instead of driving from Southern California to Phoenix, then to the Grand Canyon, and then all the way back, we flew the first leg from Los Angeles to Phoenix and rented a car. Problem solved!
We drove through Sedona, which is about the halfway point from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. We had dinner at Elote Cafe (must try Mexican food!) and spent a little time there before we hit the road. Two hours later, we hit the Grand Canyon area and stayed in a hotel right on the outskirts so we could wake up in the morning and get right to it!
Route 180: The road to the Grand Canyon
This experience was truly awesome. The sun was shining, and hiking with weather in the high 40’s made it pleasant and not too hot or cold. Our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon was at Mather Point, one of the closest to the Visitor’s Center. Would you look at this?! WOW was all we could say!
The depth. The colors. The vast size. So gorgeous, it looks like a drawing!
There are shuttles that take you to different points and trails around the Grand Canyon, it’s about 1,904 square miles in total and it takes days to get from one side to the other on foot! We hopped on the orange shuttle and headed over to Kaibab Trail, it was one of the shorter distances for us to hike, and we headed down to Ooh Ahh Point which was about 3/4 miles down the snowy, yet peaceful trail.
This photo is from looking down the canyon into the snowy trail. Whoa.
It cascades back and forth and doesn’t seem too steep, that is, until it’s time to come back up! Oh my goodness, if you’re out of shape you SHOULD NOT attempt this hike. The elevation made it very difficult to breathe and the trail is super steep – and I am in great shape (I work out 3-4 days per week). Also,there was snow and ice on the majority of the trail, and lots of mule poop to dodge (see below), making it that much harder to hike back up. Out of breath and burning legs for a good 30 minutes straight was no joke!
There are also signs about making way for mules as they pass on the trail. “Uhhh ok”, we said, as we embarked on our journey.
But when we actually got a little further down… MULES! We spoke to the mule guide pictured here and he told us that they take a daily trip up and down the Grand Canyon to bring supplies to the bottom where there is a lodge and camp site. Rain, shine, sleet or snow, they’re making the trip! The other wildlife we saw were elk, bucks, squirrels, blue jays, and other large birds that looked like huge black crows. Pretty neat!
Enjoy your next adventure at the Grand Canyon! It is truly breathtaking, these views can really only be seen in person, my photos don’t really do it any justice. Nature is amazing, every rift and rock along the sides of the canyon are surely a beautiful sight, and there’s so much that we didn’t see! I’ll definitely return one day and try another trail on North Rim, or the other side of the canyon.
Life is grand, take the time to live it!