Hello everybody! I AM BACK! Had a fantastic time with my fantastic road trip partner – MY MOTHER! Who else can bear with me that long in an enclosed tin on 4 wheels? Here is a run down of a trip everyone should undertake… I had a general idea of what I wanted to see and along the way since the topography was so enticing we tweaked the itinerary and the end result was a fabulous trip that i feel the need to share with all you travel bugs!
Here it goes.
Total distance travelled : 2369kms
Total days : 7
Starting point : LAS McCarran Airport
Ending point : LAS McCarran Airport – add a full flight to that equation and food poisoning —-> 12 hours later we were kissing the Canadian soil at 6 am :-D. We like it like that!
Entry fee to the National Parks : $ 80 ( I purchased the yearly pass to all parks, individual entry rates have been mentioned next to the park description)
LAS McCarran Airport- Hoover Dam- Parker- Prescott- Saguaro National Park- Sedona- Grand Canyon- Page- Bryce Canyon- Zion National Park- Hurricane- LAS McCarren Airport
This is what the itinerary should have been and actually was except not necessarily in that order. I had borrowed my dad’s GPS to avoid getting lost except I forgot to tweak his personal setting. Which meant I took all the back roads possible to make my way over to the Grand Cayon avoiding all the major highways ( which is what I had forgotten to take off under his settings) and ended up seeing so much of everything related to the change in topography to so little of any humans on the road. Let’s say I got to see the WILD WILD WEST and I LOVED IT!
The pictures will give a little insight into the changing landscapes however unless visited on your own, it’ll all look the same. Empty roads, blue skies, huge rocks and a never-ending road.
My expectations of the Hoover dam ($10 parking fee or else you can simply park out at a distance from the dam if you don’t wish to spend that amount on parking) were some what shattered when I saw it in person nevertheless it is quite a spectacular feat in engineering and shouldn’t be missed out on any account. When you want to see something for such a long time, your mind and your imagination alters the real image and distort it into something else. This is THE real deal-:
The Saguaro ( $30 entry fee to the national park)cactus is the monarch of the Sonoran Desert, definitely a plant with personality! Since 1933 this cactus has been protected within the Saguaro National Park and even though this place wasn’t something I had planned on visiting as my agenda was not to be on the road for more than 4 hours everyday, I am so glad I got to pay this amazing desert a visit. A little bit of info that I gathered on visiting these giants : The Saguaro collect water with a network of roots that lies about 3 inches below the desert surface and stretches as far from the main trunk as saguaros are tall. In a single rainfall, these shallow roots along with the small root hairs that grow in response to the moisture may soak up to 200 gallons of water, enough to last a saguaro for a year!!! The water is stored in its trunk! Amazing giants! Here is a picture of the majestic Saguaro
Beautiful town of Sedona ( free entry to all the fantastic trails). Fantastic little place, simply beautiful. Definite must visits once in Sedona-: Tlaquepaque village, bell rock, chapel of the holy cross, Cathedral rock. the whole town is very picturesque and if you have enough time there, pop into the heritage center to get a bit more about the history of the place. There are plenty of hiking trails and picnic spots around the outskirts of the town.
The grand Canyon! ($30 entry fee ) This place needs no introduction, I am sure it is on everyone’s list of places to visit. By the time we got to the Grand Canyon, we were lucky, everyone had left or was leaving after spending the whole day around wandering the canyon. We took the longest route possible to get to it,going via Prescott… the idea was to go the faster way possible but do you know me? I like to get lost and discover complex ways of getting to the intended target, which is exactly what we did. Fantastic drive all the way from the Hoover dam down to Parker, through prescott straight to the grand Canyon! 9 hours later this is what we saw:-
The drive from the Grand Canyon to Page is spectacular. The scenery changes and you see a lot of adventurous spirits all the way from British Columbia and Alberta making their way over to the quiet, small town of Page known for its beautiful Lake Powell. I was advised by a good friend to visit the Antelope Canyon and go on a boat tour, it is a must do. The entry fee to the Antelope Point Marina, which is where the boat tour leaves from is $ 25 and the boat ride is also $ 25 per person! Since this falls on the Indian Reserve, the federal government doesn’t collect this amount and the entry fee isn’t covered by your yearly national park pass which is useful to invest in, if nature is what interests you. It costs $ 80 and gives you access to all the national parks around the States.
Just be careful in case you are taking your own equipment like a kayak to explore the Lake Powell – which everyone should do in my opinion, make sure to totally decontaminate your equipment prior to leaving the vicinity as the Lake is quagga infested.
Bryce Canyon,( $30 entry fee) visit this place and be totally mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of rock layers and formations. This canyon is very easy to hike down to, I won’t say it is as easy to hike up but it is totally doable! Give yourself a full day though, bring plenty of water and sandwiches. In addition to the geological features the parks fundamental resources include natural soundscapes, clean air and stellar night skies! Amazing.
Zion National Park, steep cliffs, narrow canyons and unpredictable weather, quite an adventure. I would have loved to have more time to really explore around this place, visit the Angels landing route and the narrows but this was just a trip to suss out and get a taste of what is out there to explore. The next trip will be very point specific and detailed. We got to explore the Pa’rus trail and that in itself was beautiful. If you are a climber, this is the place for you. The Zion is known for big wall climbs, the place for experienced.
On a side note
One thing I learnt, people are scared of the unknown, in my experience it has been anything but scary. I have had the best time letting go of my inhibitions and fears, as a result I have seen and experienced a lot more than those who build walls and lay down restrictions on themselves. Enjoy life, live free and give love, respect and freedom. Explore this earth fearlessly