What to do at The Grand Canyon, Arizona

sunset at the grand canyon in arizona

After visiting Las Vegas we drove to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Well we’d booked a hotel there, but we hadn’t booked transport yet. So at 6:30am we went down to the rental car section of our hotel (because Vegas has everything) and we tried to get a car. Our options were an average sized car or a convertible mustang… I’m gutted to say that we didn’t choose the mustang, how cool would that have been!

Anyway after we had our final Vegas brunch we headed to Arizona and stopped off at the Hoover Dam on the way.  We didn’t realise that we’d booked our hotel on the South side of the Canyon which is in Arizona, so that was a nice surprise from the rental car lady who told us our hotel was a six hour drive away. What can I say, people make mistakes or at least I do.

I’d chosen the Best Western in Tusayan for us to stay in as it was a five minute drive to the Grand Canyon South Rim entrance. It was a fantastic hotel! The South Rim was in fact only a four and a half hour drive from Vegas, which wasn’t so bad really, BUT there was the worst storm ever going through the mountains. Fork lightening literally meters to our left and right, I was convinced there was going to be a tornado mainly because I’ve seen Twister too many times, but also our satnav said “WARNING WIND STORM GET OFF THE ROAD”. Reassuring. But then there was a spectacular sunset, so it all evens out I guess.

The next morning we hopped into the hotel’s indoor pool, yes indoor, as it was only around 10 degrees. The weather in Arizona was very temperamental. It was cool in the mornings and evenings, warm from 10-3pm and then storms in the afternoons and calm evenings. It was the same pattern every day.

The buffet breakfast at this hotel was amazing – I could literally do a post about buffet breakfasts in America at this point. There was the usual set up endless coffee, fruit, mountains of scrambled eggs and bacon and ENGLISH TEA. The added bonus is obviously that we could make the tea so it actually tasted like English tea. My family enjoyed making their own waffles too, they’re easily pleased.

After changing outfits as the weather was already warming up, we drove to the entrance to head into the Grand Canyon National park.

It was $30 for us to get into the Grand Canyon and park in the car, so it only worked out $10 per person, which was for a weekly pass. It was so cheap. Once you get into the park there is so much to do, you can do probably walk half of the canyon by foot and shuttle bus and the other half in your car, unless you’re up for a 23 mile walk to Desert view tower.

We did the walk first, thankfully not all 23 miles, and walked round past the visitors centre to Mather Point, to meet this view.

Grand canyon arizona

It was spectacular. Unless you’ve seen it it’s very hard to explain or comprehend how something that complex and MASSIVE was made naturally.

Most of our time at the Grand Canyon was spent in awe and taking a gazillion photos.

watch tower grand canyon

After the walk, we back to the car to explore the longer track to Desert Watchtower. It was built in 1923 by an American architect Mary Colter, it was designed to look like an ancient watchtower, and it functions as one too, as you can go into the tower and get a spectacular view of the canyon.

We spent a while here, before the grey clouds started to come in and we could see the rain falling across the canyon and decided to head back to lower ground. Mainly as all the signs at the Grand Canyon read “don’t be outside in your cars when storms happen”, you know due to all the dangerous af fork lightening.

storm grand canyon arizona

Also this photo is of rain, not twisters. How crazy!

Then as we headed back to the visitor centre and Grand Canyon village, we stopped off at Lipan Point and to gaze out again at the breath taking view.

arizona grand canyon

We had to leave the park briefly to go and get warmer clothing, but I think that’s just part of the Arizona lifestyle.

Then we drove back in, in time for the sunset. This sunset was one of the most wonderful evenings of my life. I will never forget that moment at the Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Now I had a great time… but my fam on the other hand… well… they lost me and were freaking out. I ran round to the furthest point possible to see the incredible sunset, and what felt like a few minutes was around 45 apparently. I didn’t even realise. So then when I was walking back round in the dark and trying to avoid the Elk (yes casual Elk and Moose roaming around) my family weren’t so impressed by my photos.

Also, at the Grand Canyon I saw a flipping enormous Moose. A Moose in real life is HUGE people. HUGE.

My point is I would go back to the Grand Canyon in a heartbeat and I recommend you do the same.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon or Arizona?

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