We woke up early (5am) to experience the sunrise over Monument valley and pack up camp. It hadn’t been a great nights sleep as a thunder storm raged directly overhead from 10pm till 2am with lashing rain and wind. Remarkably the tent survived and we we dry, just tired.
The sun crept up silhouetting the Right and Left Mittens and another bute. The sky was purple, which turned to pink and finally the sun came up making the monuments glow a beautiful orange. Mike flew the drone briefly and got some overhead shots.
After breakfast we were on the road to the Grand Canyon. First we stopped at a trading post to look around for souvenirs, which were pretty overpriced and we made our lunch for later on from the vast selection our tour guide provided.
We drove into Grand Canyon National Park and had a 20 minute drive until we reached Mather Point. Here we parked, topped up water and then walked to the edge. Breathtaking. The scale of the canon is epic; 28km across, 400km long and between 1200 to 1600m deep. But that doesn’t do it justice. Your eyes can’t quite take in what they are seeing, the depth to canyon and scale makes it look like a beautiful oil painting. The canyon is 6 million years old but has exposed rock at the bottom that is 2.5 billion years old; half the age of the planet.
Beginning our walk we trekked 5km along the rim on the south side. The walk tracks the edge of the canon often with no barrier and you can stand and sit and enjoy the view or pose for pictures with the worlds best backdrop. Along the way we saw elk (a deer the size of a horse) and various bird life and squirrels. We flew LARS briefly to get a birds eye view and carried on walking.
After 5km we reached the ‘village’ and ate our lunch with a stunning view, legs dangling over the edge. We wandered around the village and walked to the start of the Bright Angel Trail. Here we descended into the canyon. It’s not recommended to hike to river and back in one day due to the heat, distance, elevation change and physical exhaustion. It would of taken 6-8hours to reach the bottom anyway and was way beyond our fitness level. Instead we walked for half an hour to see the views and experience being ‘in’ the canyon and then turned around and headed back up.
Lastly we looked around the gift shops and got ourselves one of the best and massive ice creams we had ever had. We met the rest of the group and began our journey back to Vegas.
On the way we drove down a portion of the famous Route 66. Now a historic national restored road we stopped at the town of Sligman. Once a hub for 60s travellers on the famous road now just a tourist tat stop. We had milkshakes at ‘Snow Cap’ (which were very delicious) and took pictures of the retro cars on show in the town. Back in the van we had 3 hours till Vegas.