USA Honeymoon 2010 – 2. Vegas to Page, Arizona

This next part of the holiday diary includes the end of our Vegas stay, then on to the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Page Arizona.

Day 4 – Vegas to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon - Photos

We checked out and collected our car from the valet parking before driving to Paris, handing our car to another valet, and going in for breakfast.

Breakfast was in their village buffet, and it was ok, but not that special. The freshly made crepe was very filling.

We then drove out of Vegasto to Hoover dam which is on the way to the Grand Canyon (South Rim).

It is my view that people should visit the proper Grand Cayon National Park ($25 entry for a car of people forĀ  7 days) rather than Grand Canyon West, a privately run enterprise which is far more expensive and has the sky walk (where you can’t take your own photos). Guidebooks and Tripadvisor members agree with my views on this.

We paid to park near the visitors centre. If you are planning to do a tour of the dam, remember to leave your backpack in the car.

The tour was great. Down into the dam, over the pipes for incoming water, into the turbine hall, then through lots of tunnels and stairs, looking out of a grille in the centre of the dam, and then coming back out of a door at the top.

Hoover Dam

 

New bypass bridge in background - nearly complete

 

Turbine

Nevada side turbine hall

 

Tunnel inside dam, curving with dam profile

We spent quite a few hours at the dam, so the drive to the Grand Canyon National Park went on a bit later than we intended, and we had to find theYavapai Lodge in the dark. The room was fine, but not exciting. We then drove to the Maswick Lodge for dinner, since the Yavapai Cafeteria had closed (it was quite late).

Day 5 – Grand Canyon to Page, Arizona - Photos

We were up before down to drive to Shoshone Point for sunrise, a canyon overlook which is about a 1 mile walk from a remote parking spot, and hence not something many tourists find.

The walk through the woods was interesting, and on arriving at the point we had it to ourselves for a couple of hours before the next tourist arrived.

A panoramic video from Shoshone point is here.

The start of sunrise

On the edge

 

Illuminated Canyon wall

Us, and a scenic backdrop

Panoramic photo, click for larger versions

After a few hours, we returned to the Yavapai lodge for breakfast, then checked out and drove to the main canyon village. We went to the visitor centre, and then walked the rim trail to Hermits Rest (8 miles) and caught the shuttle bus back. This was a great walk, and is highly recommended. If you get tired, there are plenty of shuttle bus stops where you can hop on and off.

Rim trail view

A rare glimpse of the Colorado river

When we returned to the main Canyon village, we drove out of the east entrance to the park, and on to Page, Arizona.

Here we had a nice room at the Days Inn on the edge of town, and went for dinner at ‘Bonkers’ Italian restaurant.

Day 6 – Page, Arizona - Photos

Following a sugary breakfast at the hotel, we headed over to Colorado River Discovery for a 1/2 day float trip.

This was excellent fun and most relaxing. Transport takes you from their base, through a big tunnel to the base of Glen Canyon Dam where you board a big raft / boat and have a float / motorised trip down the Colorado and a pleasant stop for lunch where you can view some petroglyphs and paddle in the Colorado – which is very very very cold. Our guide was very friendly, informative, entertaining, and answered any questions.

Loading one of the rafts

 

Glen Canyon Dam

Floating

Bag of free cans of lemonade / OJ staying cold

Towards the end of the trip

A video of one of the more rapid parts of the trip is here. Much of it was floating while learning about the history of the canyon, but there were a few motorised sections to make sure we reached the end on time.

The trip ended at Lees Ferry, where a bus took us back to the base and our cars.

We headed out to the top of Horseshoe bend where we failed to catch sunset, so took some photos when it was quite dark.

Horseshoe bend - where we had been on the river a few hours earlier

Dinner was some unispiring burgers from one of the fast food restaurants near the hotel, but we were quite happy to have an uneventful evening in and get some rest.

 

Next Page