Road Tripping: Grand Canyon

3 05 2012

On the third day of our great Northern Arizona adventure we headed to the Grand Canyon. We read all kinds of horror stories concerning crowds and how long it can take just to get into the park. However, when we asked at the front desk of our hotel we were told that at this time of year crowds shouldn’t be a problem. So we didn’t take advantage of places in the town just outside the park that let you park and take a shuttle in. If you go during the summer you may want to investigate those options.

In an effort to go greener, the Grand Canyon shops no longer sell disposable water bottles. We heard this on the AM radio station you can listen to as you approach the park. Thank goodness I was bored enough to fiddle with the radio and hear this little nugget of info. They do sell refillable water bottles in the park but the least expensive option I saw was $7.99! So we brought our own water bottles in with us. The park has installed a number of bottle filling stations so, with bottle in hand, getting more water wasn’t a problem.

Skipping the water bottle is not really an option. Hubby and I live in a very dry place but it is still not as dry as Northern Arizona. I always have dry skin but Hubby is blessed with skin that is never dry. He will look amazing in his old age while I will look like a hag, I am sure! But, after four days in Northern Arizona I saw something weird on his arms….It was dry skin! Almost 26 years of marriage and this was a first! So I highly recommend keeping a water bottle in hand at the Grand Canyon!

We parked at the visitor’s center. We hit the trail first and went over to the edge of the canyon to see one of the greatest natural wonders in the world. A picture is worth a thousand words so here are a couple:

Photo of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon has a great shuttle bus service. Hubby, Bro and I decided to just leave our car parked and use the shuttle bus. The visitor’s info said it came every fifteen minutes but we never had to wait that long. There are several different shuttle lines so keeping a copy of the newspaper they hand you at the entrance gate with you helps as it has a map of the lines inside.

We took the shuttle to the Village area. There we ate lunch at the Arizona Room at the Bright Angel Lodge. The menu was not extensive but there was something for everyone on it. The prices weren’t too bad either. The view, however was unbeatable! Because of the time of year, we were able to just walk right in a get a seat.

In the Village area beware of the squirrels! They are obviously taught by their mothers, from birth, that humans have yummy food with them and those furry little creatures will do everything they can to try to get it from you! They are not scared of people at all and will literally try to take food out of your hands. We were aware of this little issue from out last trip to the Grand Canyon. On that trip we bought hot dogs and chips and sat outside on a low wall to eat them. While a couple of squirrels practically did a can can dance in front of us to distract us their partner in crime almost managed to steal a bag of chips. You read that right, the bag, not just a single chip. I recommend standing while eating your ice cream cone or they might go right into you lap and try to take it from you.  You may think I am exaggerating. I am not.

Squirrel at the Grand Canyon

Do you like the way this squirrel is posing for me? He is really just trying to decide if I have some food!

There are so many things I could tell you about but I don’t need to turn this post into War and Peace. However, I did want to mention the weather. We had a nice sunshine filled day and it was about 70 degrees. Normally, I would consider that jeans and T-shirt weather. Maybe it was the elevation, but we could have easily worn shorts and would have been very comfortable. The air was pleasant but the sun was very warm! Do keep in mind that the Grand Canyon can also be very cold if you plan on visiting. The only month there with no recorded snow is August!

The amazing thing about the Grand Canyon is that every few steps a new vista is revealed to you, even more amazing than the last. We wish we could have spent more time but Flagstaff was an hour and a half away and we had to hit the road.   We can’t wait to go back!

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3 responses

4 05 2012
kittyhere

Enjoyed your post. I have neighbors who will be hiking rim to rim at the end of the month — I am not the outdoorsy time like most who live around me.

3 05 2012
Beth

Interesting that the Grand Canyon has gone greener by going retro with the water.

3 05 2012
katecrimmins

When I visited Phoenix several years ago, I found that I had to go out and buy something similar to axle grease for my face as it was peeling and flaking from dryness. The temps were only in the high 70s. Can’t imagine it during high summer. This sounds like an awesome trip.

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