of canyons and lakes

I couldn’t have been more excited to be in America were it not for this road trip that I had planned which would take us to 3 states. From Los Angeles, California we took around 8 hours on the road (with 2 pit stops) before finally arriving at our first stop: Arizona.

South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park

We arrived at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon during the late afternoon, and the canyons greeted us with soft, light, pastel tones. It was also upon arrival when we learned that 2019 marked the centennial year of the Grand Canyon since it was established as a National Park in 1919! It felt super special for me to be here at this time.

Also, I noticed that there weren’t many visitors in the park and we were even told later on that we picked such a great time to be here because according to the ranger it was jam-packed a week ago. This probably played a huge part in why I enjoyed my stay so much since I’m very sensitive to crowds.

Mohave Point

Because we arrived just a few hours before sunset, we decided that we could do some exploring before it turned dark. We were advised to check out Mohave Point to catch golden hour and it was such a pretty sight! I’ve seen many photos of the Grand Canyon but the feeling is completely different when it’s right in front of you. From this viewpoint, you’ll also see the Colorado River in the distance.

Most tourist spots tend to be underwhelming as soon as you arrive (for me anyway), but I was immediately impressed with the Grand Canyon because not only is it even more beautiful in real life, it is extremely visitor-friendly. There are shuttles that take you anywhere you want to go and multiple routes you can explore.

I think even people who aren’t very outdoorsy would enjoy it here since it’s very well maintained with restaurants, restrooms, and other establishments around the area. For people who don’t enjoy hiking that much, there are a ton of viewpoints that the shuttles can take you to which require minimal walking. It really is a place for everyone!

Bright Angel Trail

The Bright Angel Trail is a trail that descends you into the canyons. It’s deceiving because descending is pretty easy, but going back up is a different story.

On our way down, 2 people who started the hike later than we did went ahead of us but after maybe 20 minutes we met again but this time they were on their way back up to the starting point. We asked them why they weren’t doing the full hike and one of them said “oh that’s for silly people!” haha! I would definitely love to come back to complete the hike someday.

After our hike, we went to the Arizona Steakhouse restaurant located at the Bright Angel Lodge which was conveniently situated near the entrance of the Bright Angel Trail. We didn’t even think of checking out other restaurants anymore because we were so hungry. The food was really good!

Yaki Point

Yaki Point was one of my favorite viewpoints and I feel like it’s super underrated! I never came across the name of this place when I was researching which points of interest to visit in the Grand Canyon, but perhaps that’s a good thing because there were no crowds at all and we shared the space with just a few other people. The view is stunning and there are a few areas to take pictures of as if you’re on the edge of the rocks. I could stay here for hours.

Mather Point

If you do your research on recommended spots to visit in the Grand Canyon, you’ve for sure come across suggestions to see Mather Point! It was pretty much on every blog/travel guide I’ve checked out. It’s a beautiful spot but it was also the most crowded one I’ve been to.

This place was packed with people and I believe this is why they installed metal fences. It’s a short walk down some stairs and then you come onto this viewing deck where you can take lots of nice pictures. There were lots of squirrels here too, probably because tourists like to feed them. They’re reallyyy cute and fuzzy but it’s best to leave them alone.

I would definitely recommend staying overnight at the Grand Canyon because there’s so much to see, a day trip would not be enough! Plus with an entrance fee of $35/vehicle valid for 7 days it’s so much more worth it if you stay for more than just a day, maybe 2-3 days for non-hikers/light hikers and up to 7 days for experienced hikers.

Lower Antelope Canyon

En route.

After 2 nights at the Grand Canyon, we moved on towards Page, Arizona to see the Antelope Canyon. The drive to Lower Antelope Canyon takes 2 hours from the Grand Canyon Village, but we left 2.5-3 hours earlier just to be sure that we wouldn’t miss our schedule.

A guide to visit Antelope Canyon is required so you must book your visit in advance. There are 2 sections to the Antelope Canyon: the Upper and the Lower, both are operated by different tour agencies so you would have to book twice with ample time between your 2 schedules so you can drive to the next meet-up/check-in point with ease.

We chose to see just the Lower Canyon and for this, there are only 2 tour operators. I don’t think it really matters which operator you pick since the prices are the same, but our experience with Ken’s Tours was great. The tours started on time and the waiting area was nice and clean. Our guide’s name was Justin and he was so eager to show us around and to take our photos too. Thanks, Justin!

They call this one “The Chief”

Lake Powell

This ride along Lake Powell was pretty relaxing but it’s probably something I wouldn’t do again, not because it wasn’t pretty or anything, but just because it wasn’t as exciting as the other things I’ve seen so far. Worth seeing if you’re a first-timer though!

And that’s it for our stay in Arizona! I would love to be back so, it’s such a beautiful place.

Lodging El Tovar Grand Canyon Village
Tours Ken’s Tours (Lower Antelope Canyon), Point Marina Tours

x Alexis


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