Monday, April 19, 2010

Grand Canyon!

In our effort to conquer as much of the great Southwest as we can while we live here, we recently took a trip to Sedona (you can read the entry here) and the Grand Canyon.

We made our home base in Sedona and drove up to the Canyon one day. It’s about a 1.5-2 hour drive. Very easily done, but eat in Flagstaff if you’re hungry because the pickings get pretty slim the closer you get to the park.

On the stretch of road that leads to the park there are only 2 restaurants, a Wendy’s and some sort of pancake and spaghetti shack. I wish I had taken a picture. Sigh.

You can pretty much just follow the signs into the park and then park your car and get out to walk. Unless you’re pretty hard-core, you’ll probably want to stick to the Rim Trail. Which is actually more of a stroll than a trail just along the rim of the canyon.

But the most popular trail is Bright Angel. However, we didn’t pack decent shoes, there was snow and ice all over the trail and we’re not that motivated, so Rim Trail it was for us.

When you first walk up to the first overlook for the canyon, it will literally take your breath away. Literally, because you’re something like 7,000 feet in the air and oxygen is pretty thin up there.

It really was amazing. Not visit a second time amazing, but glad I saw it once in my life amazing.

One thing that really surprised me was that there are a couple houses in the canyon. They were variously used as artist/photographer or park ranger houses.

You can rent rooms or rustic cabins in the canyon but you have to book months in advance. I didn’t want to try this because I didn’t know there was a restaurant/bar on the hotel premises. I’m definitely not into rustic living. The restaurant/ice cream parlor area was packed with tourists, but I can imagine what the scene would feel like at night with no one there and the wind whistling through the canyon.

There are several buses that will take you to various drop-off points throughout the park. It was hard for me to find exact info on the Internet before we went, but trust me, if we can figure it out so can you.

Again, it’s something I’m really glad I saw, but once is enough.

Oh, all the sites I read said the famous mule trips weren’t worth it (even though the Brady’s did it and it looked like so much fun). Plus, they took the whole day and were expensive, so we skipped it. Not to mention, I have a deathly fear of heights and the mules go down some very narrow roads.


  1. yeah...I kind of agree on The Grand Canyon experience: It is cool, but probably not something I'd do over and over again. Sedona, however, is AWESEOME. Great mountain biking and running trails, food, spas, and art. The best time to go, in my opinion, is the fall when it's cool. Amazing photo ops also. Flagstaff is really pretty this time of year too.

  2. Great photos & I like how you write about these experiences :-) Been to both this side of the Grand Canyon and a few years ago to the new Skywalk, which was interesting because of the whole set up around there being still very brand new.