This must have been my 25th trip to Arizona in my lifetime and I discovered some new corners of The Grand Canyon State. Being a swamp girl, I’ve always been highly skeptical of the desert life; however, Arizona successfully convinced me of its beauty and charm on this trip. This must be what my parents have been trying to show me this whole time…
We got up early and had a smorgasbord of tacos and eggs for breakfast – explained in previous post – and headed to Page, Arizona to check out Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. The drive was about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Duck Creek Village in Utah. Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo reservation and visitors are required to book a tour to enter the canyons. We took Ken’s Tours in the Lower Antelope Canyon and had an excellent tour guide by the name of Cody. To get into the canyon, you climb down about five flights of stairs and wind through narrow passages. Cody helped us take cool pictures like the ones above and told us some of the history of the canyon. He also showed us distinct features of the canyon and they were formed. The tour was only about an hour but so interesting and beautiful. I would go again in a heartbeat!
After checking out the majestic Antelope Canyon, we took the quick ten-minute drive to Horseshoe Bend. From the parking lot, we walked about three-quarters of a mile to get to the lookout at Horseshoe Bend. It was an amazing canyon with blue-green water at the bottom and people were even camping down there. It was quite a sight. Such a sight that I got my Beyoncé on and starting posing. A lot. I had a blast! Not sure how my friend/photographer felt 15 poses later (hehe <3).
We left Horseshoe Bend and drove about two hours to Munds Park where we stayed for the remainder of our time in Arizona. We had a sweet cabin fully stocked with food thanks to some overambitious grocery shoppers in our group.
We got up at a somewhat decent time to take the hour-long drive to the Grand Canyon. It was packed. We had to park near the market at Parking Lot B and take a shuttle down to Bright Angel Trail. This was a really nice trail that took us down into the canyon. Two of us split from the group and did the only appropriate thing to do in the Grand Canyon: have a photo shoot. There are soooo many more pictures floating in my cloud from this trip. But those shall be reserved for scrapbooks and family parties. Us two photogenic hikers made it about 1.75 miles down the trail before we found the spot pictured above and sat for a while to take it all in. The rest of the group headed down almost three miles before making the trek back up. OMG going up was HARD. For every five minutes you spent going down, it took nearly ten minutes to go back up. Definitely something to consider when deciding how far down into the canyon you want to go. Make sure you can get out!
On our steep incline out of the Bright Angel Trail, we were treated with a California Condor sighting. California Condors can get up to 26 pounds and boast a wingspan 9-10 feet, the largest of all North American birds. A kind couple shared that there are only 200 of these birds left in the world and we were blessed enough to see one on this trip. Just another sign this was the right place to be at the right time. We headed back to our glampsite and had delicious fish tacos for dinner, in honor of the condor of course…
One of our breakfast aficionados finally figured out how to make a delicious breakfast for everyone by this day – we were so proud! We headed out to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona, which is only nine miles away but took an hour to reach because there is no direct route between Munds Park and Sedona. After that exciting discovery, we hiked only about an hour to the Bridge – about 1.8 miles roundtrip. The Bridge trail starts at 4,600 feet elevation and you climb another 400 feet up to get to the Bridge. The heat combined with my general out-of-shapeness made this a bit uncomfortable for me but definitely worth the hike for the views. The picture above is from the peak.
After our hike we dropped off one of our comrades at a nearby hotel to take the shuttle back to Phoenix. We then headed back to our cabin for a very intense game of Jenga and even more intense Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale. I think it’s fair to say we are still recovering from that episode.
What a doozy you were, Day 19. We got up nice and early to wash dishes, lock up the house and drive about two hours to Phoenix from where all our flights left. The Costco enthusiasts of the group had to stop by the Phoenix Costco and somehow found a slab of bone-in lamb. With the temperature being around 115 degrees that day, we probably could have cooked it on the sidewalk. Instead we opted for Chik-fil-a and drove to the airport to drop off the car and sadly, part ways. My flight was a full 9 hours later than everyone else’s so I had a lovely time hanging out in the airport by myself. Alone. No one there. Not even workers. But it was worth it to make it to Ohio by 10:30 am the next day!