From Death Valley, we drove on through the desert past Las Vegas – my worst nightmare, we steered well clear of this neon monstrosity. We did add one extra stop, however, on the way to what I knew would be the highlight of our trip: suddenly Hoover Dam appeared on the map on the way to the Grand Canyon so of course we had to take a peek.
The Grand Canyon has always been high on my list – again because of Thelma and Louise?! You can spend your whole holiday only here in the National Park, taking an 8-day rafting trip, or why not a helicopter tour, or hiking or taking a mule down into the bottom of the Canyon. We didn’t have that kind of time, though, and wanted to make the most of the two days we did have. During my research, I had found a blog that recommended the full-day activity tour as the best way to experience the Grand Canyon and it was this that we booked onto.
Flying over the Grand Canyon happened to be on my bucket list so what better way to start our day than with a little flight? We set our alarms for 4am and headed off to the airport, just a couple of minutes down the road from our hotel in Tusayan.
Unfortunately this was all a bit too much for me as that night I lay shivering in bed and the following morning, after very little sleep, I woke up with a fever and a throbbing headache. Sun or heat exhaustion after being exposed all day – but it was worth it, I tell you! My poor aunt, though, had to then drive the whole way back to Los Angeles airport where we handed back our beautiful Beetle, SNIFF, and the whole trip ended on a bit of a quiet note as I went to bed early on the final night.
So here’s the overview of our road trip: more than 2,000 miles across 3 states over 10 days!
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The practical bit:
The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon, Tusayan: This hotel was perfectly located for our early morning flight from the nearby little airport. We had dinner both nights at the restaurant at the hotel and it was here that I discovered my new favourite bourbon, Woodford Reserve. Yes, I now have a favourite bourbon. That’s the kind of gal I am…
Grand Canyon adventure: We did the Scenic Canyon River Adventure, which includes the early morning flight over the Grand Canyon, a visit to Antelope Canyon, and a 15.5 mile smooth rafting trip down the Colorado River; I strongly recommend that you bring a hat to protect you from a whole day in the sun! If you want to do one of the bigger tours or take one of the famous mules down into the Canyon, you may need to book this as much as a year in advance.