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.
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
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
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