Sunday, April 10, 2016

Grand Canyon West Adventure & Touring Tips

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to cross something off my bucket list! My amazing family, (my Aunt Gin in particular, you know, the one I'm always bragging about in reference to her mad culinary skills) flew the gals of the family out to enjoy a trip to Las Vegas! It had never really crossed my mind to see this town, being terrible at poker (and pretty much all other gambling related things for that matter) I wasn't really sure how I would occupy my time here but I was pleasantly surprised at all there is to do for us non-gamblers.

Considering the chances of me actually being in this neck of the woods ever again are roughly 1 in a million, I HAD to see the Grand Canyon. I think people often shy away from this because they think it's super far away or it will take up too much time but we were really happy with our bus tour and how organized everything was. The one we chose included a stop by the Hoover Dam, Eagle Point and Guano Point, as well as breakfast and lunch for around $100. Here's how it went down from beginning to end...

We actually booked our tour last minute (like, the night before) which I would not recommend but in this case it worked out perfectly.
They pick us up from our hotel around 6am and then we were off!

The drive out to the Canyon was about three hours but we made a stop at this place called the Hoover Dam (you might of heard of it) which was amazing in the morning light! The remainder of the trip flew by - the tour guide provided some background of Nevada/Arizona and I also got to take a much needed nap. The West rim of the Canyon is owned by the Native American instead of the American government (which means less touristy stuff) so that was a contributing factor to why we chose this particular tour.

Our next stop was Hualapai Ranch which was slightly corny but it was nice to visit with the horses and explore the dessert landscape up close.

Skywalk and Eagle Ridge was the next adventure, it was an extra $35 to go out onto the Skywalk and you weren't allowed to take you're own pictures out there so I personally decided to sit that one out - you can get plenty of good views for free in the surrounding area.

One thing that shocked me was how far people were willing to go for a selfie! You could see a group of teens nearing the edge trying to cram everyone in with the selfie stick - darn youths!

You grow up seeing pictures of the Canyon but like most things, nothing prepares you to seeing it in person. I was amazed at the shear size and vastness of it all not to mention the surrounding landscape was like nothing I've ever seen. I would highly recommend this tour, it was affordable and I felt that I had more then enough time to explore the canyon. We arrived back to our hotel around 4pm which still left plenty of time to catch a show and go out at night.

Some things to remember:

-Make sure to check the weather before leaving the hotel. For some reason I thought that the dessert would be hot at all times so I was the odd one wearing shorts in windy 45 degree weather.

-Wear hiking shoes and/or sneakers with a good tread. I wore very comfortable shoes but they had flat bottoms which made climbing rocks/cliffs somewhat terrifying.

-This tour provided us with plenty of food and water but you might want to be prepared and bring some water of your own just in case.

-Carry cash for tipping the driver/tour guide. You don't have to but it's just a courtesy.

Still day dreaming about the Vegas trip - pictures from the city will be up soon!

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