Road Trip to the Grand Canyon AZ

The day after I arrived in Los Angeles in January 2017 Trish, my fellow adventurer from Florida,  and I headed off on our road trip to Arizona. The Grand Canyon was my bucket list item for this trip. Last year it was Niagra Falls.

We had stayed the night at Trish’s Aunt Susie and Uncle Larry’s house in Orange County CA. The were so lovely and welcoming and made be feel like I was one of their family.

Our first stop was Laughlin NV. I picked it because it was about half way between LA and the Grand Canyon. We stayed at the Colorado Belle. I chose that hotel because it was cheap,  but not nasty, and it looks like a paddle wheeler.  It has a lovely view out the back as it is set on the Colorado River. Laughlin is a casino town and as a non gambler that held no appeal for me but we did have a great steak dinner, probably the best steak I have ever eaten in the USA.

For our road trip we hired a car which means when you need fuel for the first time you have the challenge of which side the fuel cap is on and how do you open it. Well which side was easy, the car was a Hyundi which I have back home so LHS no drama. The fuel release not so easy, it took two of us at least 5 mins with the assistance of google to find out where it was. They had hidden it under the armrest on the driver’s door. Seriously! But I guess it all adds to the fun and the memories.

Hidden fuel release – Iphone 7

Next stop after Laughlin was the Grand Canyon. I don’t know about you but when I think of the Grand Canyon, I think huge and hot. Well I was right about huge but it was freezing. It snows in Arizona in winter. Luckily I had done some research and did know about this beforehand and packed my beanie and parka.

The closer we got to the Grand Canyon National Park the heavier the snow. We arrived in the late afternoon and after booking into our cabin and a quick trip to the General Store we drove to the rim carpark and had our first look of the canyon.

Photos do not do this place justice. It is huge beyond comprehension. You can’t see all of it from any point. its wide and long and deep. Trust me you don’t want to go too close to the edge, especially when it is snowing as it is very slippery. Trish and I found this out the hard way when we were walking from the carpark in the early morning to see the sunrise and both managed to hit the deck on black ice.

I chose Yavapai Lodge in the Grand Canyon National Park as I wanted to be close to the canyon in the morning to try and catch the sunrise. We woke up before sunrise and when I peeked out our cabin window I could see a male elk sleeping in the snow outside our room. He was just visible in the moonlight which was amazing. When I looked out the front of our cabin I could see that there had been quite a bit of snow overnight and our car was covered in it, this did hold us up a little as we needed to clear the windscreen. We made it to the rim of the canyon before sunrise but due to the cloud cover it was a pretty subtle event.

After a quick breakfast we then spent the rest of the day exploring most of the lookout points that were accessible along the south rim. I would love to come back when it wasn’t snowing and walk down one of the trails. I might need to work on my fitness for a while though as it’s a long way down to the bottom. My quest was to try and capture the cloud sitting in the top of the canyon before it lifted.

When you witness the Grand Canyon in person it is easy to see why it is listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Photos except where marked were taken with my Nikon d7100 and 18-200mm lens Additional photos on my FB page

5 replies to “Road Trip to the Grand Canyon AZ

  1. Glad you had a nice trip, sounds very fun.
    Small tip: If you look at the little gas indicator on your dashboard, you should see a tiny arrow next to it. That arrow actually points to the gas tank side of your car, in the US anyway.

  2. Lovely pictures. If you get the chance to hike down the canyon, plan for it to be twice as hard to hike back up especially when it is hot! Learned that the hard way and only went 2 miles but it was awesome. Bright Angel Trail

  3. Woah! It looks incredible in the winter!!
    How do you decide which accomodation is affordable but not a dump? Very curious to know as it’s one thing I have always been concerned about when travelling overseas, Sometimes I wish I had more friends all around the world so I could just couch surf!! lol!!
    The car incident made me laugh, when we went to the gold coast last year we got a flat tyre on our second day and it’s one of our funniest moments and memories from the trip!!

    xx Shell –

    1. I look at the photos and the reviews. Most of what I book is through something like and I read the reviews. Most are pretty accurate. Sometimes you get it wrong but it’s all part of the adventure.
      The snow was gorgeous setting off the Canyon perfectly.

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