Road trip to Grand Canyon

On our third day of Vegas, we planned a road trip to Grand Canyon. Nevada’s wild child city was awesome beyond description. We were so caught up in the excitement that staying awake all night seemed so normal to us.
Leaving behind the glimmering lights of Las Vegas, the geological wonders of rugged land, deserts and mountains  has left me mesmerized. One can smell the adventure from every corner of the roads that lead to Grand Canyon. The ethereal landscape of the Canyon with its dramatic sunset is enough to captivate a person. I was so enthralled by it’s beauty that I hardly noticed the December cold with the snowfall chills.  Residing in the gorgeous weather Houston(at present) and in the tropical climate of India, I have never really experienced extreme cold.
The road trip, no doubt was a great experience. Starting from Las Vegas, We were ready by 6:30 AM and started our journey for Grand Canyon at 7AM. I know it’s a bit early, but I would say that’s the best time to start a road trip. The drive itself can be a bit hectic if you plan to return Vegas the same day and also you might be missing a lot of sights along the way. We actually had to return the same day as ours was a short trip.
From  Vegas, we followed Route US-95 till Boulder City, which becomes US-93 there.  The Hoover Dam is an hour  from Vegas.  From Hoover Dam, its US-93 till Kingman,then following I-40 we headed towards Grand Canyon.The road trip took us approximately 6 hours, since we stopped at a few places in between.




Leaving Vegas
Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge on our way to Hoover Dam

Believed to be one of the construction achievements and marvelous engineering in US, Hoover Dam is an impressive tourist attraction which links Nevada and Arizona. It was an easy 45 min road trip from Vegas.
The road trip was all about passing through and around deserts, mountains and cacti-forests. This highest concrete Dam provides one of the country’s hydroelectric power facilities. It’s probably better to take a guided tour who can help to discover deeper history on it, cause it is heard building the Dam proved to be an immense challenge for the workers. We missed the artwork of Oskar Hansen as we were running out of time.

 

 

Another small break at US-93S

US-93 meets I-40
We continued on I-40E until Williams where we turned north and took the AZ-64N/Historic Rte 66
The beautiful city of Tusayan

We had our lunch at Plaza Bonita in Tusayan before entering Grand Canyon. That was an amazing Mexican Restaurant. 

    Elks crossing (probably hungry seeing the pizza delivery guy ;)) 

seems like he was without food for days 😉
From Tusayan we continued on US-180N to Grand Canyon South Rim. People generally stick to the South Rim as it’s more touristy.
Entrance to Grand Canyon National Park
We’ve visited the Grand Canyon from the South Rim, the North Rim,1000 ft high can be seen on the horizon.
Grand Canyon South Rim
View from Mather point
Grand Canyon South Rim
Grand Canyon South Rim

 

Grand Canyon South Rim
It amazes me to feel how the Colorado River carved such a magnificent steep sided canyon, in the state of Arizona. The result of erosions of the Colorado river for thousands of years is today’s Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon South Rim Colorado River

 

Grand Canyon South Rim Colorado River

 

Grand Canyon South Rim
Yavapai Point

The sunset was spectacular and seemed more than earthly. Grand Canyon offers one of the best sunsets I would say!! We started our way back around 6pm and reached Vegas at around 11:30pm

Grand Canyon South Rim Sunset
Grand Canyon South Rim December
While driving back, we spotted some mule deers..
The grand Elk at Tusayan
And back to Vegas!!