The Grand Canyon Road Trip

This is the most remarkable, outstanding road trip that I have ever made so far. The Grand Canyon Road trip, is the adventure of a lifetime. During such a journey, you will catch some of the most beautiful breathtaking sceneries on the whole planet.

The nature speaks for herself! You can’t possibly go on a road trip like this one without surrendering yourself for the beauty out there. I can tell you this Arizona state, and here Grand Canyon Wonder, will leave a great mark in you.

Why is the Grand Canyon a Wonder?

Because simply the nature is different out there! We are not talking about large green areas, but about a deserted nature, that stood out of the box due to its iconic rock formations and majestic Canyon. The Grand Canyon is the pride of Arizona and gave it proudly its Nickname.

My excitement!

This trip was all about excitement and new discoveries. I love road trips and what if this road trip was in the states? Surrounded by all this magical nature? You can guess how much happy and fulfilled I was. And what I hope by writing this post is to bring you some of this excitement and a glimpse of this adventure to your doorstep.

In this article I will be sharing with you my road trip experience in the Grand Canyon. The trip included both the West & South sides.

General Knowledge

Before hitting the road I want to give you some important general Knowledge about the Grand Canyon:

  • The Grand Canyon is divided into three unique areas. Each one has its own experience and offers some breathtaking views from a different angle. The 3 major places being the South, North & West Rims of the Canyon.
  • The West Rim is the closest to Vegas and the one Known for its Sky Walk & Helicopter flight tour.
  • This rim is around 130 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. So it’s about 2hrs 30min drive, you can go there for a day trip from Vegas.
  • The South Rim is the most popular one and the one that includes the Grand Canyon village.
  • This rim is about approximately 270 miles from Las Vegas and the drive is about 4hours 30min. So yes its a long drive, I suggest that you sleep there.

TIPS!

  • Something very important: In order to enter the West Rim, which is owned by the Hualapai tribe, you must pay an entrance fee. And upgrade the package to walk on the Skywalk. The full package ticket is about 90 USD. Make sure to buy it ONLINE!
  • If you want the FULL EXPERIENCE, spend the Night in Grand canyon Village or in any other town of your choice. We spent it in Page, to be closer to the other wonders of the Grand Canyon. ( I will be telling you all about those in another article.😀)

So now, that we are all set, lets fly together to Arizona state. And Enjoy: The Grand Canyon Road Trip!
  1. The road trip to Arizona
  2. Hulapai Ranch Indian Village
  3. Eagle & Guano Point
  4. The Grand Canyon sky walk
  5. The Grand Canyon Village

1- The road trip to Arizona

This is an experience by itself! And I can’t possibly be telling you all about the Grand Canyon and missing out on this part. The drive from Nevada to Arizona includes incredible natural wonders and different sceneries.

So yes its true what they say: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! But When you visit Vegas, don’t think about simply staying there while you are a drive away from one of the most impressive nature in the world.

Our Itinerary!

We actually chose to go through the Grand Canyon on two separate road trips:

  • Day trip 1: It was a day trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim and back to Vegas. The total drive was about 5hrs.
  • Day trip 2: This was a 2days road trip, We drove from Vegas to the Grand Canyon village that took us about 4hrs 30min drive. We then continued our way to page to spend the night there and experience the other wonders of the Canyon nearby. (I will be telling you about those in a different article)

Important Notice! Every year Nevada goes to Daylight Savings time, but Arizona does not. Remember this one-hour difference as you travel between the two states. We actually didn’t know about that and this confused us😅 But well now you know it!

The drive

We rented a car from Las Vegas for 3 days to go on this road trip. All you need is a valid credit card, and your ID. Make sure to have your international driving license on you and to book a Car with a GPS! The car rental might charge a deposit on your card. But don’t worry they return the full amount once you bring back the car.

It was time for us to hit the road! The drive was super cool and pleasant all along the way. We didn’t stop at any point before reaching the Grand Canyon west. We took the Highway 93 and followed the GPS routing. We reached the Hualapai Reservation in Arizona in no time and without any difficulty.

Did it feel like a long ride?

If you think that you might get bored from the scenery, trust me you won’t! Even the 4hrs drive to the Grand Canyon village felt like a piece of cake. At some point, we weren’t talking to each other, everyone of us was holding her own camera and taking the maximum of those beautiful memories in photos. Trust me I have taken the same scenery a hundred times.🙊

Tip! You can take the Historic Route 66 toward the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Check your GPS for help.

The sceneries

In case you are wondering, it’s not the same scenery all over the road. Once you leave Vegas you will be surrounded by the deserted nature and its unique flora. But the moment you start moving more towards the Grand Canyon, You start seeing those rock formation and drive along their path. The drive through the Canyon is really something incredible. It will definitely leave you with an euphoric feeling.

2- Hulapai Ranch Indian Village

So in our first day trip from Vegas, we went straight to the Grand Canyon west Rim and our first stop was at the Hulapai Ranch Indian Village. An Indian Village for real? That’s what I was wondering about during the drive there, until I reached destination and I saw it right in front of me.

It took us about 2h30min from Vegas to reach the Indian Village. And yes Unfortunately the only way to go there is by driving!

A bit of History!

The Hualapai Village consists of natives that span many generations. It was officially established in the year of 1883. Historically, a friendly tribe of hunters lived there and often traded with other tribes in the area. Today the tribe of less than 2500 members still exist🤩 and still own this village!

So if you want to witness the Indian American life what are you waiting for? Be part of the Experience and check out the Village’s Ranch.

What to do in the Hulapai Ranch?

This is where the tribe offers some of the best area’s experiences. You will wander in the typical Indian Ranch, enjoy some cowboy shows, cookouts, and wagon rides. You will also get the chance to check out the vintage prison of the Western Life.

Admission fee: The admission to the ranch is actually for free😉

My experience

I felt like being in one of those Western movies. The village although its a small one, it is well preserved and gives you the opportunity to really enjoy the Wild West American life. I remember attending a magic show and a cow boy show! Both were very entertaining. And what marked me most was the fact that I actually visited an authentic Arizona Prison!

Tip: Grand Canyon West is the only place in the entire Grand Canyon where you can take a helicopter flight! So if you are looking for such an adventure make sure to head to the West Rim! The ride is about 10-minute. You will go up past the Grand Canyon’s colorful walls to reach a landing pad near the edge of the Canyon. 

3- Eagle & Guano points

The Hualapai Village is an exceptionally large region that features a fascinating culture and breathtaking nature. By heading there you will embark on a unique trip over impressive lands that are rough and amazingly rugged. So the Village is not only about a Ranch?

Definitely not! The village includes those iconic view points from where you can get those awesome views of the Canyon. Make sure to have your Camera ready and head to those one of a kind spots.

Eagle Point🦅

At 10min drive away from the Indian Ranch is Eagle Point. Why is it famous? Because well its a sacred formation for the Hualapai tribe.

Why is it called Eagle point?

You can see it! It’s there and it’s real. This rock created by nature looks like an eagle with its wings spread. It can be viewed from many angles in the surrounding area. It extends almost 70 feet out over the Grand Canyon. 

My Impression

I was speechless!🤩 The view is simply breathtaking. You can feel the grandeur of nature. I couldn’t stop repeating the word “WOW” I was so happy to witness such a wonder! We stayed there for about 30min and trust me you can spend even more time. Gazing at nature, taking those stunning pictures and listening to some local stories.

Here is a little story for you!😊

Our tour guide told us about this small myth. Back in time, his tribe lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and an eagle flew down to warn them of a huge flood. Since then it stayed near the top of the canyon to watch over the people. Then it turned to stone, and that is the stone that we see today.

Some things you should know about
  • At this area of the Canyon, there are a lot of birds. Am not talking about small birds but Ravens. A lot of them! And I didn’t know that before going there, but my friend actually has a fear of birds and this was super unpleasant for her. So if its your case, I don’t recommend this spot for you.
  • There are no fences. Nothing at all! So make sure to be careful and respect what the authorities recommend. Don’t get too crazy for those Instagram pictures.

Guano point

Unfortunately you can’t get to Guano point on your own. The drive or even walk there on your own is not possible. What to do then? Well you should buy a ticket that gets you access to the on site shuttle buses.

So what makes Guano Point special?

Guano Point is another iconic point that features panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. It also allows you to see a glimpse of the Colorado River. Why is it name like that? It was actually named after the bat cave mine, which is down the canyon. This one being closed in 1960, you can still see some remaining parts of the cable tramway.

Recommendation! If you are spending the day in the West Rim, consider heading to Guano point around Sunset. The views are beyond imagination. You can keep on staring at this wonder of rock formation for hours.

Address: Peach Springs, AZ 86434, United States

Tip: If you wish to have the full experience and sleep in the Village. The Cabins at Grand Canyon West are the perfect place to spend the night. Especially if you are up to many experiences in the West Rim and need to sleepover.

4- The Grand Canyon sky walk

Now do you want to walk the path of the eagle, and be surrounded by the Grand Canyon? Do you want to fly and feel free by only standing at the edge of a Glass Bridge?

The Grand Canyon sky walk is the answer to those questions!

This is the most Impressive thing to do in Grand Canyon west and that costs much less than the Helicopter Tour. The Grand Canyon sky walk is a magnificent horseshoe-shaped glass walkway that was built back in 2007 and has made it to the top experiences since then. This is a one-of-a-kind experience and the country’s most famous natural wonder.

Important info! As I already mentioned, Visiting the Grand Canyon west requires the purchase of a tour package. You can get it online from any website that suits you. But make sure to include the Sky walk for an additional fee. You can order tickets online at http://www.grandcanyonwest.com

How to get there?

At 10min from the Indian ranch and nearby Eagle point, The Skywalk is about 120 miles east of Las Vegas. Tip: If you are not coming from Las vegas and you only wish to visit the Indian Village and more precisely this landmark, you can access it via the Grand Canyon West Airport.

A bit of description

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a $30 million construction funded by the Hualapai Indian tribe in partnership with Chinese-American businessman David. It was built to withstand 100 mph winds, and constructed with 100 million pounds of steel. All this majestic structure to have the best Views of the Canyon.

The sky walk bridge has a horseshoe shape and extends 70 feet out over the rim while standing majestically over 4,000 feet from the Grand Canyon. Oh and did I mention that its floor is made of glass? So yes you will be actually walking on glass with the Canyon underneath your feet.

So is it Scary?

Before telling you if its scary, its totally worth it! The views of the Canyon from up there are breathtaking! The magnificent sceneries will surround you from all angles, leaving you with the only feeling of freedom and peace. Those natural beautiful colors of the rock formation will impact your memory forever.

Is it scary? It’s not something usual, you will be floating in the wind with only a 10 foot wide bridge underneath you. In fact, you’ll see some tourists anxiously grab the handrails with their eyes shut. So it is really up to you but yes it can be a bit challenging.

Do I recommend it?

I would say try to overcome your fears of height and do it! Don’t get that close to such an amazing experience and bail on it. Trust me you will regret it. It is one of the most experiences that will mark you in your life. The feeling that you will have is inexplicable. BUT, if you seriously are afraid and might become sick or dizzy of heights don’t do it.

Here are some Important General information
  • Don’t miss the exhibits on Hualapai history inside the Skywalk building. 
  • Be prepared to wait in line for your turn especially if you are visiting during summer.
  • CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE SKYWALK! So yes unfortunately you can’t get any photos. But you can be photographed by a crew member on the skywalk for additional fees.
  • The opening hours During Summer (May 1 to mid-October) is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One last tip! For a perfect meal with a spectacular view of the canyon, try the Sky view restaurant.

5- The Grand Canyon Village

Before getting to the Grand Canyon village, I was thinking well I already saw the west Rim and it was amazing! Will be as impressed by the South Rim? Isn’t it enough to just Visit the West Rim? My answer to you is NO! No the West Rim is not enough because the main experience of the grand canyon remains here in the South Rim.

The south Rim holds some of the best sceneries over the park and the Grand Canyon Village features many activities that made it the number one choice for tourists.

The drive

So this was actually my second road trip from Vegas. We left early morning because we knew we had a long way ahead of us. The drive to the Grand Canyon village takes about 4h30min.

Recommendations
  • Make sure to stop by the Grand canyon visitor center: for all the information that you need and in case you need to rent a bike.
  • If you are not up for a hike into the canyon, don’t worry about that, there is a shuttle that will take you to all the breathtaking spots along the rim of the Canyon.
  • Keep in mind this Restaurant’s name: Bright Angel Lodge

The Grand Canyon Village Highlights

Although you have access to the Grand canyon village for free, you can chose to take a tour that includes all the highlights out there.

So what are those highlights?

If you chose to hop on to each landmark on your own, the way I did, make sure to include those ones in your itinerary for your full experience at the Village.

  • Check out the rustic Grand Canyon Railway and if you wish hop on that train for a ride in the Canyon’s south Rim
  • Make sure to stop by the Hopi house for some souvenirs and the discovery of native arts & crafts.
  • You also have a popular rubble-stone studio that was turned into a historic landmark with a gift shop. Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio Photography this is what its called.

Tip: The Grand Canyon village offers many activities like helicopter tours, horseback rides, and a scenic train ride. All you need to do is ask about that!

The breathtaking Spots

Its all about this isn’t it? After all we are all up to this adventure for its mesmerizing views. The South Rim is the place to be for those outstanding sceneries and pictures over the Canyon. But what are the most breathtaking spots? There are many reachable stops either by hiking or by shuttle, those are the close ones to keep in mind!

  • Mather Point: This one is the closest to the Information center and offers some scenic views over the canyon.
  • Havapai Point: This is maybe the best point on this part of the south Rim and the closest to the Colorado River
  • Hopi Point: The first point where you can have a glimpse of the western Grand Canyon
My experience!

So we actually took the shuttle from a stop to another. And don’t worry about taking your time at each spot to savor the views and take as many pictures as you want, shuttles are here to pick you up each 15 to 20min. The spots, well as my title says: Breathtaking! The views are out of this world and trust me you are never fed up with that view. Each spot has a nice different angle and offers a variety of the Canyon’s colors.

And if you are wondering which spot was my favorite: It’s the Havapai Point😎

The Grand Canyon Hikes

With miles of caves to explore, many species and flora to discover, magnificent surrounding view to cherish and contemplate, hiking in the Canyon remains one of the most incredible experience there is out there.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to go for any hike, it wasn’t on our schedule and we weren’t planning to spend the night in the village. So I cannot really give you my recommendations and tell you about my personnel experience. But I made some research about it and I can tell you which were the best. Try to schedule one of those I am sure you wont be disappointed and Hey maybe you will tell me about it!😊

So some of those best hikes are: Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail, and Hermit Trail.

The Bright angel Trail which is the most popular one, actually starts at the Grand Canyon Village. BUT, its a 19 Miles Roundtrip trail. So it is not recommend hiking in and out of the canyon in one day. If you are choosing this trail you should probably consider spending the night there.

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