A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about our trip to Las Vegas last year and how much I loved it. We had no idea what to expect of our time there and so we didn’t book anything to do up front apart from a trip to the Grand Canyon.
There are two main options for trips from Las Vegas – you can either fly with a helicopter or take a jeep which takes about 3.5 hours one way. Given that I have a fear of helicopters we had no choice but to opt for the long drive and were picked up at our hotel early in the morning before setting off with about 6 other tourists in a fabulous pink jeep.
In hindsight I’m so glad we chose the drive, our driver was absolutely lovely and very knowledgeable keeping us informed of everything as we made our way there. We went over the Hoover Dam which I wasn’t expecting and had a quick pitstop for photos, a truly awe-inspiring structure and area of beauty.
Setting off on the road again, we gradually climbed higher and higher above sea level, watching the landscape change as we went. The beautiful red rocks looked so familiar from old Westerns and we drove through expanse after expanse of Joshua trees which can only be found at a certain height in order to survive.
Arriving at our first stop at the western rim of the canyon, I was completely unprepared for two things – 1) how utterly cold it was (lots of people went straight to the gift shop to buy extra emergency layers) and 2) how breathtakingly beautiful it would be. I’ve been to some of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands and I never thought anything would compare to those in terms of scenery but the Grand Canyon is truly something else.
What struck me as slightly crazy is that there are NO safety cordons so you’re literally standing right on the edge of the world. It’s why I had to sit down at some points, I’m that clumsy that I could have easily toppled over the edge. There’s also a viewing platform which you can pay extra to go onto with a glass bottomed floor but it’s really not worth it bearing in mind how close you can get to the edge anyway and there are so many great photo-taking opportunities.
We then took a bus ride to another area of the canyon where we had a catered for lunch along with all the other visitors, nothing fancy but it was well-organised and much needed after such an early start. Thankfully it had warmed up and we had an hour or so to go off exploring before we had to regroup for the journey back.
Needless to say on the way home, as try as we might to stay awake I think everyone in our jeep drifted off and we got back to the hotel around 7pm. It was absolutely fantastic and should you find yourself in Vegas and fancy a break from the craziness of lights, noise and gambling, head to this most tranquil and stunning of scenes, nature at its very best.
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? What one place on earth would you love to see?
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