Friday, January 11, 2013

Grand Canyon West, Arizona

Our main (although not last) stop on our recent canyon country road trip was the world famous Grand Canyon. We had really wanted to visit the south rim so we could do the scenic drives and get in some hiking, but due to unpredictable weather (the two drives were closed at the time we made our bookings) and a real lack of time we instead chose to visit Grand Canyon West. The west rim is actually Indian reservation land, so not part of the national park and is only 2.5 hours from Las Vegas.

It's also where the Skywalk is located - so very, very touristy. Very busy, even in the middle of winter. You have to park your car and take shuttle buses between the viewpoints. We were so thankful we had pre-booked our tickets because the lines looked to be headache inducing and the main entry point felt like an airport. 

However, tourists and crazy Skywalk aside, you cannot beat the WOW factor of the Grand Canyon. It's breathtakingly huge. There are birds soaring. A river far below. Crevices. Nooks. Crannies. Gradients of red. A seemingly never ending line of canyon. There is nothing else that quite compares...

We did do the Skywalk. My first impression - it was small. I had seen a documentary on it after it opened and it honestly looks a whole lot bigger on TV. It was also super scratched up, despite the fact that you have to wear protective gear over your shoes and you can't take your camera (or anything) on there. It was a long wait in the cold wind to get in but I'm glad we did it anyway. It was kinda cool to look down and see the bottom of the canyon far below...

The biggest struggle we had here was (1) trying to keep Mr Oliver happy (he wanted to walk; we were at a mighty big canyon with NO guard rails so walking wasn't really practical) and (2) trying to get a decent family photo... We had our legs chopped, a little boy who refused to smile and then I'm convinced he looks giant in the last photo!

Because we turned up later in the day, we had decided in advance that we would stay at the onsite ranch. I didn't have high hopes for the place but it didn't even meet my already low expectations. The facilities were basic but clean, but the service was pretty awful. However - we had a pretty amazing view from our cabin for sunset...


  1. Wow so beautiful. I have always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. I don't know if I would have been brave enough for the skywalk lol

  2. I'd like to see The Grand Canyon. I'm glad you got to go. Thanks for sharing the honest review and the pictures.

  3. So very beautiful! I hope I can go see it one day! Although I can say that I would not have been able to make myself go out on the Skywalk! I am terrified of heights.

  4. Gosh those pictures are just absolutely stunning!!!

  5. Wow the grand canyon looks beautiful! Must have been a fun and amazing adventure for your child. :)

  6. Oliver: you call this a hole? So not impressed. Ha ha. Love that pic!

  7. Wow, incredibly beautiful!!! I would love to visit one day! Those last pictures are breathtaking! xo

  8. Such great pictures :) That's a shame that the Skywalk is all scratched up already and I'm shocked you can't take your camera! I've been to the grand canyon a few times since I live in AZ, but I haven't actually been on the Skywalk.

  9. Whoa, what stunning pictures! Will have to add this to my list of travel destinations.


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  10. As a kid, we took a vacation to the Grand Canyon. Absolutely breathtaking. My husband has not been yet, and this is on our family trip bucket list. Actually because of your trips, our bucket list is getting longer and longer.
    Thank you so much for posting such beautiful pictures, and honest reviews!


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