My word, Arizona. You really are spectacular!
We spent just two nights and two days in the Grand Canyon State but it really blew us away. The drive from Las Vegas was somewhat dull – the landscape was vast and empty, enormous plains that stretched away to desert mountains in the distance. One thing that has struck me again and again on this road-trip is just how big America is. It’s SO big! But eventually we rolled up at the tiny town of Valle, about 20 miles south of the Grand Canyon and stayed in a cute Bed and Breakfast overnight.
The following day we went to the Grand Canyon. I’ve been twice before – once on our honeymoon and once when the Dude was just one. However it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been – every time you first see that canyon it’s just jaw-dropping. It was brand new for the boys and they were incredulous as well.
We’d been given a secret heads-up to check out Shoshone Point, an unsigned viewpoint known only to locals. So we parked up and headed up the trail for a mile. It was 10am and already hot. But once we got there….just wow.
We stayed there about half an hour, sat on the bluff, just marveling at the place. We had it more or less to ourself, just a few others were there. It was amazing.
Photos of the Grand Canyon never do the place justice. The light was too hazy, the colours aren’t true to life…but still we try to capture its beauty.
We didn’t even scratch the surface of the Grand Canyon! The Husband and I would love to hike down into the canyon and camp overnight, but with a small kid (and a big kid) and when the temperatures were dangerously high, we knew this wasn’t the time.
What’s more, our time at Shoshone Point was pretty much perfect so we were content with what we’d seen. So we drove on to Page, further north, site of something I was really excited to see – Horseshoe Bend.
By the time we arrived there it was 4pm and it was over 35 degrees C/104 degrees F. The entire South West (and further afield, I believe) is going through a heatwave at the moment and temperatures are crazy! We knew that coming to the desert in the summer would be ‘hot’ but we’d underestimated HOW hot it would be, and how the heat would drain us!! At Horseshoe Bend, there was no shade, the heat was merciless. We slogged the half mile to the viewing point. It was so hot I secretly wondered if it was worth it…but then we saw it and it was honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
We spent the night in Page, a small town with blessed air-conditioning and in the morning we set out for another thing we’d been dying to see – Antelope Canyon. We were VERY lucky to get in – we hadn’t realised that most people book onto a tour and there’s limited availability, so if you go without reservations my advice would be:
- Get there as they open. We were there 10 minutes before they opened and were 5th in the queue.
- Take cash, there are no cards accepted. It’s about $50/adult and $30/child.
- You can only take in water and a camera. NOTHING else.
It was, however, jaw-droppingly incredible. No words to describe its beauty.
We loved every expensive second of our Antelope Canyon tour! It was wonderful!
And then we drove a long way through a very, very hot Arizona desert to the Utah border where more astounding scenery awaited us. But that’s another story!