Arizona, Where We've Been

Grand Canyon National Park

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Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon… a.k.a. rocks with stripes.

The Grand Canyon is known across the world for its beautiful carved landscaping. Sculpted by the flow of the Colorado River many years ago, the canyon is a treasure to all who look upon it. 

Everything at the North Rim was either closing down or had just closed, so we decided to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This late in the season we were expecting the temperature to be slightly cool, but the week we visited it was in the 40’s for a high and 20’s at night. We had brought our cold weather gear with us from Colorado, but we weren’t expecting such cold temperatures, especially with the weather in Utah being in the 60’s and 70’s. I guess we hit it just right. The first night we were there the wind was gusting up to 55mph. The next morning we had a nice surprise. Snow! It didn’t stick around very long though, but long enough for the kids to spend their morning playing in it.

After unhitching the fifth wheel, we hopped into the car in order to make it in time to see the sunset. We went to Hopi Point (only accessible by shuttle) and caught a breathtaking view of the sunset.

The canyon below became dark and eerie looking, filled with shades of blue peeking out between the red and grayish-brown layers in the rock. 

The next few days were spent hiking and learning about the geology of the Grand Canyon at the Yavapai Geology Museum. 

We took the trail from the South Kaibab Trailhead (accessible only by shuttle). This is one of the trails that will lead you down to the floor of the Grand Canyon, nearly an 8 mile hike with almost a mile descent. We didn’t go that far though. We only hiked for about a mile to reach Ooh Aah Point. The view along the trail and at the point was phenomenal!

Then we came across this guy! This big horn sheep was standing just above us on the trail protecting the females on our other side. One angry blow from his horns and we would have wished we were wearing parachutes to keep from plunging to the canyon floor. Keep on walking!

The Yavapai Geology Museum was really fun for both myself and the kids. It laid out the history of the Grand Canyon and how it formed. Theories abound with the most widely accepted being that the Colorado River carved out the canyon as we see it today. There were large charts showing the names of the layers and displays of the rocks that can be found at each layer. A huge metal map is in the center of the room with labels of each of the points and if you look out the windows, there’s a spectacular view of the canyon below.  

The Grand Canyon Village area is mostly accessible by foot along the Rim Trail. The blue shuttle will also take you where you want to go in the area. However, if you want to go out to further points like Hopi Point or Yaki Point, those are only accessible by shuttle, either the red or yellow shuttles.


Boondocking in Tusayan, AZ

To the south of the Grand Canyon is a small town called Tusayan. Just before leaving town, there is a turnoff that leads back to a few boondocking sites. There are established campfire rings and level ground, plenty of room for a few rigs. The entrance to the Grand Canyon is only about a 5-10 minute drive.

Starlink was fast at 100mbps down. Verizon was also good in this location. 

We filled with water (and dumped) at Mather Campground, in the Grand Canyon. The dump station is a favorite location for elk to come and get a drink of water. We were pleasantly surprised with a visit from a couple of them when we were dumping.