We said goodbye to beautiful Sedona with a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon before hopping on the road to the Grand Canyon. This time it was all tree lined roads winding around the sunny canyon with amazing views. The complete opposite experience of our nighttime drive down the canyon and into Sedona a couple days before. Did I tell you that story, about how on our drive in we found ourselves at the bottom of Oak Creek Canyon at 11pm, with flashing signs warning us of flash floods and falling rocks? Well, that happened. My heart was pounding as I drove along the bottom of that pitch black road with no idea what direction was heading for higher ground. I think this must have been the longest 12 mile drive of my life! But we made it out ok, and pulled into our hotel at midnight, where we heard that the guy who drove through the canyon the night before was not so lucky. His car totaled by by falling rocks! But the daytime drive back out was easy, relaxing, and fun. And we were all looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon Railway.
For this trip we decided to leave our rental car at the train station in historic Williams, Arizona, and take a 2 hour ride on the beautiful scenic Grand Canyon Railway. The vintage 70’s looking train turned out to be a nice relaxing change to the daily car drive, and offered amazing scenic views from our window seats. Plus endless entertainment, but I will tell you more on that a little later in our story. At the end of the ride we found ourselves at the Train Depot in the center of the Grand Canyon Village. Here is where our Grand Canyon adventure began.
Hello Grand Canyon!
The breathtaking Grand Canyon!! After the beauty of Sedona it was hard to imagine anything getting any better. But it did, and in a big way. Visiting Grand Canyon National Park was a lot like our trip to Yosemite 5 years ago. Upon arriving at the top of the canyon we found a village full of lodges and dining with continuous bus service running visitors between all the great things to see and do. Don’t be afraid to ride the train, for it is easy to get around without your car here. Even after dark. The park offers a full schedule of ranger led activities to supply endless entertainment for visitors of every level and age. One of our most favorite experiences was a late night star gazing program right on the edge of the Grand Canyon. We could actually see the band of the Milky Way. Unfortunately iPhones can not capture stars, so I have nothing to show from this amazing night.
SB and GB hike on the Bright Angel Trail.
The historic Lookout House built in 1914 on the canyon edge. Now a gift shop and gallery.
The Historic El Tovar Hotel and dining room.
Our simple lodging and dining at the Maswik Lodge.
The Hopi House. A gallery and gift shop built in 1905 to sell Native American crafts. You can still buy unique handmade souvenirs here.
Native American dancers perform in front of the Hopi house.
Next Stop: A train back to Williams, AZ!