They were right, it’s pretty grand

Grand Canyon National Park

The main reason for taking a trip to Vegas was to go to the Grand Canyon

There were a few options for how to do this:

  • Take a helicopter over it – coolest option, but comes with a giant price tag
  • Airplane trip – fly in, then explore the area and fly out, this is the most time effective option
  • Bus trip – cost effective, get more information from a guide, get to explore and get to make stops in new places

So we went for the bus that went to the South Rim, stopped at the Hoover Dam, and Route 66

After reading up on whether to go to the West or South, we learnt that the South was the better area

Although the West has a new, large, glass observation deck, that is the main thing that it has going for it, whereas the South has a large ledge that goes out further, so you can see more of the Canyon

The decision was also made a little harder as we wanted to see the Hoover Dam if we could, but only one tour company went there with the South trip

So it had to be them!

16-hour day on a bus, here we come!

Not something we’re unfamiliar with at this point

The tour included breakfast and lunch. Breakfast was an apple Danish, banana, cereal bar and juice. Lunch was a ham sandwich, crisps, cookies, apple and mints. Plus, unlimited water throughout the day.

Our tour guide was great. He explained each area as we drove through it, telling us little facts about famous people that live there; how much property costs; efforts that have been made to conserve water; and the history of the gangs that ran Vegas.

Hoover Dam

Where we drove in you could see the Colorado River and Lake Mead, but you couldn’t see the Dam

And then we drove over the new bridge that joined up the areas – this wasn’t built that long ago, but is meant to reduce the amount of pressure on the crossing at the Dam

You can do tour specifically for this that take you out over the walkway to see it up close

Route 66

This, now fairly unused area is believed to hold the souls of the people that used to drive through it on a daily basis and those that worked there

We stopped off at an old barber shop that is now more of a gift shop

Along the street you could see motels and little stores that at one point or another were probably well used, but now it’s a bit of a ghost town

With references to “Cars” around the street, including old cars that have the eyes in the windscreen

It was a funny little place, that I’m glad I’ve seen, but I wouldn’t be able to stay there

The Canyon

We got three hours to stop at the Grand Canyon to explore

With the option of going to Bright Angel Lodge and walking the 2.5mile trail to Mather Point and back

Or going straight to Mather Point and walking to Bright Angel Lodge – I think this one was mostly to cater for the families with children

So we went for the full walk

As soon as you get through the lodge it opens up into the Canyon

The vast, open space that is red, brown and orange with speckles of green dotted around for trees

You immediately notice the layering colours where the rock has receded and been exposed, as well as the chalky surface

As you get further up the trail it opens out more and you can see more mounds where the rock has eroded and left towers throughout the valley

It also gets redder as you keep walking, maybe because its newer rock

While we were walking, we started to notice that the sky was getting darker and the air was getting colder

Which was casting some amazing shadows on the rocks in the middle of the valley, but also making me worried that we were going to get soaked!

Luckily the weather held up long enough for us to get up to Mather Point – which was definitely the best part

The rock has eroded more unevenly, so there are ledges that are strong enough and safe enough to walk out, and they have built railings around some to encourage people to go out and look

Unlike some parts that don’t look completely safe, but lots of people went out anyway

There were some ledges that I went out and stood or sat at the edge, that seemed fine at the time, but when I was walking back and saw other people doing it, it turned my stomach

The whole experience was amazing and definitely worth the trip

But the photos will do it more justice that I will

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