The Grand Canyon is definitely a magical place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It's a natural wonder of the world and it's right here in the United States. The Grand Canyon was the first place that made me realize I don't have to go across the globe to see breathtaking views and explore other cultures. I can do that right here in my own country! It's inspired me to keep traveling the U.S. and see everything it has to offer.
Bryan and I took a trip in October 2015 to the Southwest and Grand Canyon was the first stop on our journey. This is how we did a brief but magical trip to the Grand Canyon.
First off, we flew to Las Vegas (my first time there) and rented a car as soon as we got there. We stopped for a quick bite at Shake Shack and then we began our voyage to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We brought our camping gear since this was part of a larger camping trip so we stayed at Mather Campground in Grand Canyon Village. I believe it took a little over 4 hrs to drive there. We ended up getting there around 11:30pm so we quickly set up our tent in the darkness and went right to sleep. I highly recommend camping but just know it gets really cold at night!
Since we only had less than a day to explore the Grand Canyon we woke up early to catch the sunrise over the canyons. It was WELL worth it! These sunrise photos are from the Bright Angel Trail which is a super easy and well defined trail. The views were amazing!
After our morning adventure we ate snacks and I probably napped. The second adventure of the day took us to the visitor center. We took all the pamphlets possible since we didn't have much time to read and then we started the next hike, Mather's Point.
There are so many things you can do at the Grand Canyon (guided tours, bus tours, bicycle tours, mule rides, helicopter rides, white water rafting, etc.) but with under 24 hrs, we were pretty satisfied with these two hikes. I would love to go again and spend more time doing some of those activities though.
From there we wanted to have lunch/dinner in Flagstaff, AZ so we began our drive down which took about an hour and a half. It's a sweet little city with cute shops everywhere and I enjoyed stopping there for a few hours. We briefly went to Buffalo Park, Steep for some tea, a few random shops and MartAnne's Burrito Palace (which was amazing and delicious!).
We drove back to Las Vegas, returned the rental car and by then it was really late so we were ready for bed. Since we got in super late, our hotel reservation at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel was filled! They gave us a new room though (for the same price) and told us it would be a surprise. We ended up getting a two story apartment! We were very grateful for this little slice of luxury since we were so worn out from camping, exploring and driving. The next morning we went straight to the airport and headed out for more exploring in the Southwest. I'll post about our Southwest trip another time since we did SO MUCH. Hope you enjoyed the Grand Canyon!