Grand Canyon Trip 2015

In September 2015 we took a trip to see the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.

But first stop was Hoover Dam. image-center

The Grand Canyon is one of the nation’s most-visited parks. Fortunately, the canyon is so huge, it’s easy to find an unobstructed view. Except at sunset: we had to wander around for a while to find a place to sit and watch, and there were still people in our shot!

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Pro-Tip: The South Rim has free shuttle buses. These are great if you’ve taken a hike along the rim and need a lift back. There’s also a park-and-ride shuttle from the nearby community of Tusayan, if you can’t find parking in the park itself.

We had a fun time riding bikes around the rim.

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Our next stop wasn’t a national park. Instead we took a little detour into the Navajo reservation to visit Antelope Box Canyon, touted as the most-photographed place in the world.

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It’s certainly pretty crowded.

Pro-Tip: The tour leaves from their home-base in the town of Page, AZ. You ride out to the canyon in what is basically the back of a truck. The ride will take you through a dry riverbed, and is a bit bumpy and dusty.

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Next up was Bryce Canyon, which is famous for its “hoodoo” rock formations. There are also lots of Ponderosa pines, which have a delicious smell: something like butterscoth or vanilla.

L: Ponderosa Pine, R: The Narrows

Then we went to Zion National Park. Zion is another canyon, carved by the Virgin River. In some places the canyon is so narrow that hikers must wade through the river: this is called “The Narrows.” We did a few other hikes, including the very strenuous Angel’s Landing trail up to Scout’s Lookout, and an easier one to Emerald Pools.

Pro-Tip: We had planned to enter Zion Nation Park at the East entrance, via US Hwy 89 from Bryce. But the entrance was closed due to a rockfall and we had to take a LONG detour. Call ahead or check highway information!

Scout's Lookout
Scout's Lookout

Trip Summary

Here’s a rundown of the places we stayed and the sights we took in, along with some of the prices (at the time of our trip: be sure to check current prices!)

Day 1 - Hoover Dam

  • Dam Tour: $30 per person
  • Powerplant Tour: $15 per person
  • Spent night in Kingman, AZ

Day 2 - Grand Canyon South Rim

  • 2-1/2 hour drive from Kingman
  • Bright Angel trail hike partway down into the canyon
  • South Kaibab trail hike down into the canyon (to “Ooh Ahh Point”)
  • Watched sunset at Yavapai Point
  • Spent night at Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn

Day 3 - Grand Canyon South Rim

  • Bright Angel Bicycle Rental tour
  • Spent night at Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn

Day 4 - Antelope and Bryce

  • 2-1/2 hour drive from Grand Canyon to Page, AZ
  • Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
  • 2-1/2 hour drive to Bryce Canyon
  • Hiked Navajo/Queens Garden Loop
  • Spent night in Bryce Canyon City, UT

Day 5 - Zion

  • Hiked Angel’s Landing trail to Scout’s Lookout
  • Hiked Emerald Pools trail
  • Spent night in Springdale, UT

Day 6 - Zion

  • Hiked the Narrows
  • Spent night in Springdale, UT
  • 3 hour drive to Las Vegas (next day)