When we were planning this trip, our first goal was to see the Grand Canyon. The state of Arizona, which we've never visited before, was also interested in geography and native american culture. We thought we could take the memorial day weekend, add two more days to the long three-day weekend, and set our course. We were going to start in Phoenix and cross the Great Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion national park and end it in Las Vegas.
The reason we chose Phoenix as the starting point was because there were affordable freaks from Dallas and to go to the Grand Canyon through Sedona and see it. Our flight was late Friday night, two hours behind Arizona, Texas, and we were making it two hours behind, but according to our biological clock, we landed pretty late in Phoenix. We took our rental car and went to econolodge closest to the airport, where we were just going to spend that night.
When we woke up the next morning, there was a bright, warm weather outside. We chose vovomeena we found at yelp for breakfast. The massive cacti we saw along the way until we went to breakfast made our first impressions of the Arizona geography. Our breakfast place was a small, cute café, it didn't have a very long queue in front of it, the service was fast, we were pleased with what we ate, a place I could recommend to american-style breakfast lovers. We quickly completed our breakfast and went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago park, Phoenix's largest park. I think it's definitely a place to see in Phoenix. Of course, if you're interested in plants, especially desert plants, cactus and succulents, 🙂 The park is quite large, if you want to walk all the routes comfortably, you have to take 2 hours, especially if you are traveling with children like us. In the park, you have the opportunity to live in the desert environment a little bit and walk among the huge cacti, and the park also hosts many animals. Various lizards, birds, squirrels and mice are what we can see.
After spending about 2 hours in the park and the children got tired, we made our food, drink and gas reinforcements along the way and headed for Sedona. The journey was quite enjoyable as a long part of this road, which was about 2.5 hours, was accompanied by very beautiful views. The part of the route, which begins as it approaches Sedona and extends to Flagstaff, is known as the 'scenic byway'. The rocky area, made up of red-ringing sandstones near Sedona, is called Red Rocks. This area is believed to have a special energy, and people come here to find peace, take walks and spend some time. So we took our car into town after a short walk.
Sedona is a small town but very cute, there are various kinds of shops in town from fortune tellers, reikis, crystal and semi-worthstone sellers, indian handicraft sellers… You can take a lunch break in town, have tea, coffee or have ice cream. If you pass The Sedona and head for Oak Creek, you'll see a parking entrance on your left side where you can land on the side of the creek. You can enter a small parking entrance fee and park your car and walk to the side of the creek. Surrounded by forests and cliffs, the creek's edge is a peaceful place where you can take small walks or just put your feet in cold water and rest for a while. If you haven't eaten, you can also have a picnic here with the snacks you'll take with you. After spending some time here, as we continued towards Tusayan via Flagstaff, the Double Eagle trading company, which we saw by chance near Valle, caught our attention with its Indian tents in front of it. It's worth a short break, especially with the kids.
After the short break, we continued to the Red Feather lodge, where we stayed at Tusayan for 2 nights. In fact, we'd rather stay in one of the hotels in the national park, but we had to stay in Tusayan because we were late to arrange a hotel. Although the distance from Tusayan into the park is only 15 minutes, I'm sure it'll be much more enjoyable to be right in the park right next door when the day comes and goes down. When we arrived at The Red Feather lodge, we almost went down the day and we were very tired, so we settled in and went to dinner at Plaza Bonita, right next to the hotel. Although it's a small Mexican restaurant and the comments he's made at Yelp aren't very bright, maybe it didn't feel bad for us because we're so hungry. We woke up early the next morning. Even though the icy light outside and the rainy weather upset us a little bit, we set off and first went to the small market that was very close to our hotel. Since we planned to take walks throughout the day, we took food and drink to give us a lot of energy and set off. We didn't think the weather could be so cold, even though we've already checked the weather, the weather in the Grand Canyon can change very abruptly, especially when there's a significant heat difference between night and night. It is always worth taking clothes to thick and floor-to-floor, regardless of the season.
The Grand Canyon can be visited in many different ways. We decided to make the western route first, you can only navigate this route, known as the red line, with free buses in the park. There are many stops and you can get down at any stop and watch the view and continue the next bus tour. Some stops include very comfortable walking routes that can be walk with children. We parked our car near the red line and took the bus (we didn't have a parking problem because it was too early in the morning, but it was hard to find a place at noon). We walked from Maricopa Point to Hopi Point, about a mile away. The landscapes were terrific, but because the weather was cloudy and intermittently oiled, the gorus wasn't too hungry. We decided to freeze back in the rain at Hopi Point. We went back to the starting point of the red line and took our car and went to the historic El Tovar hotel in Grand Canyon Village and sat in his restaurant for lunch.
We took a long lunch break and warmed up and rested. After dinner, the clouds opened and the weather warmed up a bit, and we decided to walk the 'Trail of time' which started in front of the hotel and ended at Yavapai Point, about 3km round 3km round 6km long but a very pleasant walk along the canyon Was. When we got back, we deserved a nice ice cream 🙂 Bright Angel Lodge has a beautiful ice cream parlor, as can be seen from the crowd that has increased in front of you in the afternoon. We sat down against the view like everyone else and ate our ice cream. With the energy we received, we drove the sun to Mather Point, which is 5-10 min away. With the horizontalization of the sunlight, the colors and depth of the canyon became even more pronounced. Although we took a lot of pictures, it was not possible to pass on the landscape we saw with our eyes to the photos. Many landscape points are crowded towards the sun's sunset clock. So you can go a little early and avoid the parking problem. We were very tired after sunbathing, so we decided to spend dinner at the hotel with light snacks and rest as soon as possible. We toured the Grand Canyon using buses and walking around. Another method is to go down to the valley using the trails that descend into the canyon. It's not possible with the kids to do that because the trails are narrow and steep. We saw people descending on the valley in the early hours of the morning with mules and on foot. If you plan to cross the entire valley from south to north, you need to camp in the valley for 1 night.
The next morning we woke up early again and decided to have breakfast in the café in the grocery store just near the park's Maswik Lodge. After eating and sipping our coffee, we set off after eating bagels that were both practical and delicious. Today, the plan was to reach Page at noon, looking at the view. There are a few break points to take on Desert View Drive. Desert View Point, one of which is located in Grand View Point and Watchtower. At both points, the view is great. After taking a break at these points, we moved on. We didn't see much settlement along the way because the rest of our way was mostly the Indian Reservation (i.e. living areas reserved for Indians). As far as possible, vast lands, canyons, mountains, stones and only cars. As we approached the town of Page, we went for about an hour and a half to horse shoe bend, which must be seen on the left side of the road. Horse Shoe Bend is the point where the Colorado river curls like a horseshoe. If you're brave enough to look at the view from the edge of the cliff, of course, 🙂 To see this point, you need to park your car and walk a road for about 15-20 minutes, covered in red sands like a Martian surface. We walked back to our car after watching the view and taking pictures, it was pretty hot because it was noon, so we didn't linger too long.
The main reason we were going to page town was to visit Antelope Canyon, and we had to be at the meeting point of the tour at 2:00 p.m. for our tour, which we previously bought online and will start at 2:30 p.m. And since this area is also the Indian Reservation, you can't get in and out of the canyon in your own car. You have to buy one of the tours organized by 3 tour companies and you have to do it in advance to find a place. The canyon is a very changed formation, like a narrow tunnel shaped by wind and rain. We visited the Upper Canyon. The tour takes a total of an hour and a half, i don't even understand how this time went. Because the atmosphere is really fascinating. There are also 2.5-3 hours of tours for photographers.
Our first plan was to spend the night at Page after this tour. But it was only 4:00 p.m. after the tour, Page is a tiny town, close to Lake Powell, so time can be spent by the lake, but we just decided to eat something and move on. We sat in big john's texas bbq's yard and ate our ice cream on burgers and set off. We booked best western, very close to the eastern entrance to Zion National park, where we planned to cancel our hotel in Page and go the next day. Shortly after Page left, it's possible to see the westernmost tip of Lake Powell on the right side. You can go in the road and watch the view. The view is very nice during the evening hours. After a short break at the scene, we reached our hotel before the sun goes down with a 1.5 hour journey. After eating something in the hotel's restaurant, we rested and gathered energy for the next day.
4. We were expecting a bright sunny weather on today's morning. We had breakfast at the hotel's restaurant and set off. Starting here and continuing inside Zion, mt.carmel scenic byway is known. At the end of a half-hour drive, we went through the tunnel carved into the mountain and found ourselves among the majestic rocks. You can't drive zion national park in your own car, you need to leave your car and use the bus that runs in the park. We parked in front of the Zion human history museum and took the bus on to our backs and all the necessary things. First we landed at the Zion Lodge stop and walked the Emerald Pools route. It's a route that can be easily walk with children. On the return of the route, we took a break by the creek, put our feet in the creek and had a little picnic by the creek.
Then we took the bus again and went to other viewpoints. A longer walk is possible at the temple of sinawava, the last stop. We decided to lay down for about 45 minutes and freeze back. Again, we came in front of the bus and Zion Lodge, laid on the grass, as many people do, and drank and rested 🙂 The next part of the road required a two-and-a-half hour drive to our last stop, Las Vegas. We accompanied us with desert views on the road. First the big cacti and then the Joshua trees. We arrived in Las Vegas in the afternoon. We didn't do much research on this part of the trip, but after four days of being associated with the doga, we had a sudden panic attack in Las Vegas. We didn't know what to do 🙂 First of all, we didn't know if we should drive from place to place. But then we realized that all the hotels have free valet service, so we decided to buy our car, so we only had one night, so we didn't want to waste time parking the car in giant hotels and trying to find the exit.
We first went to venetian hotel, a Venetian hotel with a Concept of Venice. We walked along the canal a little bit and watched the gondolas. We went to the Circus Circus hotel, where we thought the kids would be interested, but we didn't like it and we played a few tokens and left. After watching the pool show in front of the Hotel and eating something in his café, we went to our hotel. We haven't had any casino adventures because we don't have access to casinos with kids and we're not really interested in gambling. Many shows can be seen in Las Vegas. We had limited time on this trip, so we didn't put on any shows. Another activity that would interest the children could be the Ferris wheel, the giant Ferris wheel was spinning so slowly that we thought it wasn't coming back, and we didn't get on it because we were getting tight:)
On the morning of our last day, we had breakfast at mon Ami Gabi, the famous cage of the Paris Vegas hotel. It's a bit of a thing of the paris anund, 🙂 And it was time to get home, we completed our five-day busy but enjoyable trip by flying from Las Vegas to Dallas.
The most benefiting of this trip:
– Jogging stroller accompanied us to the mountain, hill, desert in all our walks with large wheels and 2 children carrying capacity.
– Yelp (unless there is internet, most of the journey did not have internet only in hotels and in some towns)
– USA Scenic Byways book
You can see our route on the map below (click to see great):
Photos and writing: Laurel