It’s true!! It’s true!!
The idea for this trip started when me and my husband saw one of those travel shows where is host is decked on a boat ride against magical brown sandy rocks. It was nothing like anything we had ever seen before. The Internet is a boon and so many travelers had blogged about their journeys to the Rainbow Bridge that helped me and my husband inch our travel map with enough information. I do all the deals scouting and he does all the road mapping. We were all set for our 4 day trip!
Weather: Utah, Arizona and Las Vegas can get realllly hot and you do not want yourself sweating your vacation off. You got to watch for the extreme heat in Utah and Arizona and avoid when temperature is anywhere above 70 F. As most of the places are outdoors, it’s really not fun and tires you out pretty quick.
Day 1: Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon
We flew down to Vegas the night before and drove off to the Grand Canyon via a halt at the Hoover Dam. Most tourists take the route via Hoover Dam constructed on the mighty Colorado river. The magnanimity of the this construction is something else when you stand on the edge and see it in person. From here we made our way to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. While there is also the North Rim, with the limited time we had South Rim was an obvious choice merely for the spectacular views along that way. We drove around covering a lot of the points and getting our pictures clicked 😀 We saw a lot of tourists hiking down trails at the Canyon of various difficulty levels. Ideally you plan to stay at the lodges/cabins at Grand Canyon National Park itself but these places are sold out way ahead of time. But staying just outside the National Park is not a bad plan either, so that way you get to see the star lit sky till as late as you want! We had to race to Page however but soaked in the sky as we drove through the National Park at night.
Day 2 : Rainbow Bridge, Horseshoe Bend, Lower Antelopes Canyon
Page was a far stretch drive in the night but worth the distance we covered in our journey to cover the places we were planning to. We were going for the Rainbow Bridge tour with the Lake Powell Resort boat tour. This natural wonder of the world had remote access and we chose the 4 hour boat ride vs several hours of hiking :D. The boat was a good open top boat, sitting us right in the midst of the wonderment that we had seen on the TV! The lake is lined with the arches that form a dramatic scenery as you pass through them. You will notice a lot of Marinas and fancy boats for rent that people lease out and swarm the lake with. I would highly recommend staying at the Lake Powell Resort if you plan to stay in Page. The boat ride leads to a short hike to reach the Rainbow Bridge. A natural arched bridge, the biggest in the world! Nature can surprise in so many ways and this monument really reminds you of that. Yes we spent a good 7 to 8 hours of our day for this trip but this what we came here for. Then we headed to the Horseshoe Bend, where the Colorado river bends around the rock structure in it’s way. A short 1 mile hike gets to the edge of the rock overlooking the bend 1000 ft below! And then with the time we have left we rush to see the Lower Antelope Canyon. This was the highlight of the trip! We walked through the sandstone canyon, formed from erosion like all canyons. The difference being that these close in and narrow in on you as you walk along on the sandy bed. Every spot and every turns opens up to a better view..giving you opportunities to click some amazing shots. The Navajo locals are guides who walk you through these canyons, they are pretty casual and help you with some good spots to shoot pictures from too :). We left Page with some crimson in the sky..reminiscing and soaking in all beauty we had seen that day. We reached Kanab in about 2 hours, en route to Zion National Park on the following day.
Day 3 : Zion National Park, Valley of Fire State Park
Kanab is a fairly small town and we chose it so it would cut down on our drive time from Page to Zion the next day. We had some great Mexican dinner a charming little restaurant and wrapped our day. So we drove through the pink, red, cream colored Sandstone cliffs and if you looked closer you can see a lot of people climbing up on most of the cliffs. Particularly remember the weeping rocks…where the water keeps dripping of a round rock you stand under and a lot of people take on the adventurous hike through the water at the Narrows. The shuttle system works smoothly connecting all the dots of the park so you can park your ride at the Visitors Center and then hop on one of the shuttles. A little more time, the right gear…this is a great place for hikes, cycling, backpacking, rock climbing and so much more. We had our lunch at the Red Rock Grill Restaurant which is located inside the National Park with the sandstone cliffs making for perfect backdrops :D. On our way to glitz and glam of Vegas we decided to see the Valley of Fire State Park. On a hot sunny day the red rocks shone and glistened to look almost goth! There are hardly any people and you can drive all around this park. With a little more time on our hands and had the weather been a little better we could have braved out for a hike but No! This place was so serene and scarlet striking beauty, it’s a must visit if you are anywhere near Vegas. It’s just a 40 minute drive each way from Vegas. We started for Vegas to catch up on all the fun!
Day 4 : Vegas Baby!
After a lot of Casino hopping, I can definitely recommend a few on my top hit list! You have to see the Venetian Pallazo(dine by the river recreation), Stratosphere(go for the rides in the night), MGM Grand(Glimpse of the lion), Mandalay Bay(check out the shark tank) and wrap it up with the Bellagio buffet and the dancing fountain. This is as much we could do in one day along with the betting and losing;). You might also want to check the Cirque Du Soleil shows for some world class acrobatic performance. The larger than life Casinos with all the buzz, noise and the tourist shouts out FUN!! We flew back home later that day.
This trip was so much about exploring the landscapes and natural beauty of Utah and Arizona. Although from a distance, hopefully we will plan to hike through Canyons or swim in the Lake Powell. The crimson and orange hues of the sky and the stones all through the Canyon, Utah and Arizona were a treat to see and nothing like anything we had seen before.