I had been to Vegas before, and although I was looking forward to get down on the dance floor and soaking in the Nevada sun, I wanted to see something new on this next trip. I had always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and was hoping it was possible to do a day trip there. Of course, being the over-planner I am I wanted to find a way to see the canyon without:
a. Breaking the bank AND
b. Only having to spend one day of the vacation seeing it.
There are numerous tours you can take that pick you up from the strip and the main tour that kept coming up was with “The Grand Canyon Tour Company.” I obviously read all the reviews and decided (after consulting with my crew) that the $80 seemed well worth it. I booked the tour a few weeks before our trip and received the scary confirmation, which stated our hotel pick up time was 6.25am. Usually that would be no problemo for me, HOWEVER when you are in Las Vegas you are guaranteed to NOT be in bed before 2am.
As predicted we hit the sack the night before the tour at the glorious hour of 3am-giving us a solid 2.5 hours of shuteye, so needless to say the morning was a little rough. We obviously needed to shower and primp due to the large amount of photos we knew would be taken that day. The bus was about 25 min late picking us up, which we would have loved to use as sleeping time but what can you do.
We boarded our bus, which took us to the tour companies office, where we checked in and boarded bus number 2. We started to doze off again to then be interrupted approximately 30 minutes later for our stop at the Hoover Dam. We took in the sites, did our usual photo opp and boarded back onto the bus.
I originally thought the drive to the canyon was only a mere 3-4 hours away from Las Vegas. When I had found out it was more like 6-7 hours it was after we already booked and I was scared to break the news to my friends. SO with that, we continued on the trek stopping two more times along the way firstly at a rest stop and secondly at a buffet in Arizona.
Something I found interesting was that we drove a few minutes down route 66. I am not American, however I have heard about this road and knew some of the history.
After a LONG 7 hours (we got caught in traffic after the Hoover Dam) we FINALLY reached the Canyon! We got dropped off at the first lookout called “Yavapai Point.” It is no surprise this is one of the wonders of the world. It was STUNNING! I felt as though I was looking out into a painting. No photo I could have taken would do this view justice.
I am pretty sure I took at least 150 photos here, trying to capture how unreal this place was. There were numerous ledges both fenced off and open so we made sure to be VERY careful. I didn’t want one of my friends to have to call my mom and tell her I wasn’t coming home. We did the typical yoga poses, heads together looking out, staged candid photos- nothing out of the ordinary then continued on to the next lookout point. We had the option to either hike to the next lookout point along the rim or get back onto the bus after 1.5 hours and ride the coach bus to the next stop.
The next lookout point was along the Bright Angel Trailhead, where the views were equally as great as the first lookout. Here we had another hour to take in the views, stop into the gift shop or grab a snack or coffee. Even though we spent more time in transit then we actually did at the canyon-It was definitely worth the trip. There was an option to stay the night in one of the many lodges surrounding the canyon, which would have been really nice if we had a bit more time.
The ride home seemed to go by a lot quicker then the ride there thankfully and we were back on the strip by 10:30pm. It was a long day but the photos turned out amazing and the memories will last forever. While I perused the gift shop I was able to find mini cacti in a box, which you assemble at home, so I was able to take a little piece of the canyon back with me. Fingers crossed I can keep them alive so I can look back on the trip every time I pass by them.