We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trip report- 6/2-6/4

Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
98 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Trip report- 6/2-6/4

First of all, I should start this report with a big mea culpa. I committed the cardinal sin of modern-day traveling by NOT doing my research on TA before my wife and I went to the Grand Canyon. Had I done that, I probably would have made some different choices, and I think that my review will probably reveal that lack of planning.

So, that being said, my wife and I just came back from visiting GCNP. After two days with her grandmother in Phoenix (that's redundant- it's like saying "grandfather in Florida"...but I digress) we headed up to GCNP for our first visit ever. The drive up from PHX was great, there was no waiting at the ranger station to get in and little to no traffic on the way to the Village. We parked near Mather Point (I think that's where it was) because we just HAD to see if the Grand Canyon was there before checking into our lodge. Oh, it was there alright. It was everything I'd imagined, only bigger. There were plenty of tourists, but everyone was, for the most part, courteous and quiet. We enjoyed the setting sun for a bit before checking into Yavapai East. The wooded setting is perfect and the location right next to the General Store and bus line is really ideal. And that's about where the positives end. Granted, we weren't in our room except to sleep, but that was a bit of a problem. The beds were not exactly soft and the pillows were rather flat. The walls were extremely thin and the water pressure was just so-so. El Tovar clearly looked like the place to be, but we booked this trip rather last minute, so we get what we planned for, you know?

After a less than restful night's sleep, we had a big breakfast and then hiked the Bright Angel Trail (but not before snapping some pics of two mule deer munching away not ten steps from the bus stop). This is the superhighway of the GC. Lots of people, lots of mules (occasionally indistinguishable from one another in attitude) and lots of what mules leave behind. But just absolutely breathtaking scenery and, for the most part, friendly and respectful hikers. Saw about 5-6 condors flying around and perched on rocks and took tons of pictures. The squirrels and ravens are plentiful and not bashful and they seem to know JUST when you've finished your sandwich to come check and see if you've left them a little something. We obeyed the signs and cleaned up after ourselves. We hiked down to the 1.5 mile rest house, chatted with some other folks, then headed back up. Going back up was, imho, much easier than going down. Perhaps it was also because we had two mule trips behind us and we didn't want to get behind them lest we be stuck behind their...behinds.

We unwound with a drink at the El Tovar Lounge (here's a tip after a long hike: take your shoes and socks off and walk around in the grass in front of the patio. THAT'S the way to relax!) before heading back to Yavapai, cancelling our second night there and driving to Flagstaff for a night at the Marriott Fairfield right off the highway. That was another adventure in sleeplessness (the AC didn't run all night but the toilet did!). But we did eat at Oregano's (upon the advice of the front desk clerk) and that was a true highlight of the trip!

As someone said in an earlier post, we "saw" the Grand Canyon. Perhaps next time, we will "experience" it. But my wife and I are better people for having gone. I'll say this: if you're a person of faith, as my wife and I are, the Grand Canyon is truly God's canvas. If you don't swing that way, it's a really, really impressive hole in the Earth!

Aubrey, Texas
Level Contributor
10,527 posts
168 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

Thanks for the report. I got a chuckle about the mules and the people. On my way back up Bright Angel, a mule trip passed by headed down the trail. The folks hadn't been in the saddle half an hour and I could tell some of them were ready to climb off. I'll bet your next trip goes a lot better.

Mesa, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tempe
Level Contributor
2,040 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

Don't feel bad. The first trip to a big park is really just to learn what you want to do the next time! IMO, if you hiked down to the first rest house, you did experience the canyon because you have to hike down at least that far to really experience it.

Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,796 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

I love the first paragraph! And the trip report. Now you have to come back armed with more info.

New Boston, New...
Level Contributor
1,022 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

Medium Tex - thanks for your review - I haven't been on my trip yet so I will benefit from your tips. We are booked for a night a the Yavapai Lodge but I am just thrilled to be staying in the park.

Can't wait to see God's Canvas as you put it.

Hope you get to return soon.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
60,732 posts
244 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

Research and planning do make a difference. But nothing can take the place of experience. Now you have some. Let us know when you're coming back again. And make some time for Sedona. It's another one of God's masterpieces.

Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
98 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

Red, we did stop in Sedona for a look-see on the way up. A little ice cream, a little shopping, a lot of tourists! We'll have to schedule more time there when we come back. We also detoured to Oak Creek Canyon to ease ourselves into the whole canyon viewing experience. You know what? The fact that there was a ton of road construction only meant we had more time to enjoy the scenery. I can honestly say that's the first time I didn't mind the delay!

mission, texas
Level Contributor
78 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

I enjoyed your report. I'm a fellow Texan down here in the Rio Grande Valley. I remember visiting GCNP for the first time. We stopped at Mather Point first too just like you did. Sunset was incredible. Not only the sun but all the different languages being spoken: Chinese, japanese, german, etc. I didn't understand the languages but the excited looks on all their faces was understood. We hiked down to Indian gardens and climbing back up was very painful and exhausting! There was even one man (not a young guy) who passed us going up and he said he was just going up to the rim to get ice cream. Jeepers! Our trip was in Oct. 02. and we visited both rims, staying in Jacob's Lake. This was a dream come true as I had wanted to go since 25 years before that. (I'm trying not to reveal my age! LOL )

Delma

8. Re: Trip report- 6/2-6/4

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 30 September 2009, 13:19