weather: 100 F
Hotels and Car booked via Expedia and Booking.com
Day 1: We arrived at Mccaran (Las Vegas) Airport at night, checked in the hotel and strolled through Vegas strip. Vegas is pretty much alive at night; with all the brights lights and loud music, party goers and casinos everywhere, it’s definitely a sight and an experience to check out.
Must not miss spots for photo: Paris, New York New York, Venetian. If you have a lot of time, enter other hotels like Bellagio, Caesar’s, Aria, Ballys, it’s pretty fun. The uber driver told us to go to old Vegas strip but we were already tired and out of time.
Day 2: We went to Alamo car rental and drove to Hoover dam but stopped over first at Southwest diner for our breakfast. It’s about 1 hour drive.
It was so hot during that day that I almost collapsed. Tip: always bring bottled water!
We then drove to Best Western Premier Grand Canyon, to stay overnight so we could be in GC early morning the next day. This was around 4 hours drive, including a stop-over for snacks along the way. We originally planned to see the sunset at Hermits Rest Route but it was cloudy and raining. I was also not feeling well and got bloody mucus in my nose so we decided to just rest for that night. We had dinner at Big E Steakhouse.
Day 3: We woke up early to avoid crowds. We had breakfast at Bright Angel Lodge to start our day, and then took the Village Route and Kaibab/Rim Route. There were free shuttles (included in the entrance fee) but we thought that it would be more convenient for us to just use our rented car. Though looking for parking slot was a bit time consuming, we at least had our own pace and itinerary, and we have all our things in the trunk. Seeing Grand Canyon for the first time was beyond overwhelming. Standing there having the view of that vast wonderful creation, I was in awe. They didn’t call it Grand for nothing and pictures couldn’t just capture it perfectly like the eyes could actually see.
Just be careful in having photos at the edge of the cliffs because there had been records of fatal accidents already. With the wind blowing pretty hard and a lot of tourists moving, one can lose balance and fall.
Our last stop in GC was at Desert view known for the watch tower. We had late lunch at its snack bar and this also served as our exit point going to Page. We then drove to Horseshoe bend for around 1.5 hours and hiked for around 15 minutes to be able to see this beauty:
As expected, there were a lot of other tourists and we couldn’t risk going with the crowd having pictures taken at the edge. Just one missed step and one could fall directly into the bottom. So we just took pictures just around it, with much lesser people around:
Day 4: We woke up early again to avoid the crowd, and hola, we had this spot all to ourselves for a few minutes.
After hiking, we went back to our hotel, Best Western Plus Lake Powell and had breakfast, and then went to Ken’s Antelope Tour office. I had this booked in advance because slots were limited. I originally planned to also book Upper Antelope but it was already fully booked. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because we could have spent more with its expensive entrance fee, and I think Lower Antelope was already enough (for me). Note to bring cash because they don’t accept cards. The tour duration was about an hour. Going inside the canyon was beyond amazing! Though it’s hot, windy and dusty, I couldn’t complain; I was so much pre-occupied with how wonderful the landscape was.
tip: wear cap, shades and face mask/hanky
We ate lunch and then drove back to Vegas taking the Utah route (In the map, you could see our route was counter-clockwise). We passed through Zion National Park and though travel time was around 5 hours, it was enjoyable because it was very scenic.