Its been a year since we made this trip to Grand Canyon. While browsing through photos, I decided to give shape to this beautiful memory by writing about it.
It was a three day trip. Two days of Grand Canyon, One day at Antelope Canyon and horse shoe bend and the last one, sight seeing in Vegas. Today I am sharing fond moments from the day 1.
We flew to Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove to our hotel in Williams, Arizona. The distance was approximately 240 miles and took us around 4 hrs to reach.
Initially, we planned to stay inside Grand Canyon. However, all the hotels inside & outside of main attraction were reserved to full capacity. The nearest hotel we were getting was in Williams, Arizona. It was 60 miles from the Grand Canyon South Rim Entrance. We booked it without further delay.
A Tip : If you plan to stay in Grand Canyon, book it at least 3-4 months in advance.
We checked in our hotel and rested for an hour and had lunch. It was two in the afternoon by now. We were a bit late than what we planned.
Tip : If you have decided to go to Grand Canyon South Rim from Las Vegas, do take in to account an extra hour or two above the estimate google map shows you.
The drive from here to Grand Canyon Entrance had less traffic. The route was mostly single lane and scenic.
The only signs of traffic would be noticed when you reach Tuscan Village and from there to the entrance of the National Park. After taking our parking permit from the entrance, we followed the signs to Visitor Center.
Tip : The parking permit is of 30$ per vehicle and valid for seven days. So keep hold of it if you are planning to come back again next day and days after that.
Here, we parked our car in the parking lot. Then we went inside to get our maps and some information. People in visitor center were very helpful.
Tip : There are free shuttles inside Grand Canyon, so just park your car in any of the parking lots and use these shuttles to wander around whole of south rim.
We conferred upon going all the way to Hermit’s Rest and then coming back to Mohave Point to watch the sunset.
Tip : The shuttles take a lot of time to reach your desired destination because of the stops involved. If you are late then just visit the Mohave point and Hopi Point. If you have a lot of time then go all the way to Hermits Rest, and while coming back visit all the points along the way.
We took the blue shuttle and reached Bright Angel Lodge. From here, we had to switch to red shuttle which would take us to Hermits Rest.
The huge line at the bus for Red Shuttle settled that we should visit the ridge here at the lodge. We went in, bought some snacks and started view points present here.
After a lot of wait, we caught one of the shuttles, and reached Hermit’s Rest, sight seeing other points on the way.
The view at Hermit’s rest was stunning. There was this stone arch with a rustic bell hanging. The sun rays were getting scattered on the arch making the scene photogenic and beautiful.
The view of canyon from the ridge was equally breathtaking. The changing color of rocks from top to bottom and tiny flowing river visible at the bottom were all miraculous to your eyes.
We started walking on the trail alongside the ridge to Pima Point and waited for sun set.It seemed that sun went all the way down under the canyon from far.
We sat here watching the sun set and the color of the canyons fade into blackness. The temperature dropped and it became chilly.We were not dressed right for the night and hence started shivering.
The last shuttle took us to Bright Angel Lodge where again we changed to blue shuttle towards Visitor Center.
Grand Canyon has a single road which goes on to Williams. Due to an accident on this route, this main lifeline of the park was packed with cars. This unexpected jam on our way back, again altered our plan.
We got down at Yavapai Lodge and decided to have dinner as we didn’t know how much time we will be stuck here.
The restaurant was quite big and had a lot of choices. We didn’t deliberate a lot on the menu. And quickly ordered a pizza, coffee for me and coke for him. The pizza was gone in just a few minutes as we both were famished.
With our bellies full, yet again we ventured into the chilly night for another adventure. As there was no shuttle in sight, we started walking towards the parking lot.
There were no lights here, a possibility of encountering wild life, the temperature was too cold and to top it we didn’t even knew we were going in the right direction!
There sure was a plus side, the quite, the stars and both of us singing along the way. It was the best night we had had in that year.
Ultimately we did find the Visitor Center, then the Parking lot and finally our Car.
All’s well that ends well. The first day had ended with lots of small delightful adventures. And now we couldn’t wait to come again to cover the remaining part of South Rim.
We drove into the night, on a road with no lights, back to our hotel. Here without wasting any more time, we closed our eyes and went to sleep…..