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A Trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona

A Trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona

Old Aug 19, 2018, 3:08 pm
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A Trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona

Welcome to my latest trip report, this time to the iconic American National Park, the Grand Canyon, along with a stop in Sedona, Arizona. This trip was actually a few months ago, but I've run a bit behind on writing these. I'm slowly catching up though and the Nigeria trip report should follow shortly.



Previous reports:

A Trip to the Azores.

One Week in India: Mumbai, Amritsar, Agra/Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Delhi CX and EY J

A Snowstorm in Tokyo and Volcanoes in the Philippines

New Years in Seoul, South Korea Delta A350 Suite

Keeping it Domestic: Grand Teton National Park

9 Days in Asia: Taipei, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Shanghai

Two Weeks in South Africa and Namibia: Joburg, Cape Town, Sossusvlei and Kruger

Bienvenido a Cuba!


In the United States, there are quite a few notable places that people think of and put on their bucket lists; The Empire State Building, The Golden Gate Bridge, The White House, The Capitol Building and.... The Grand Canyon. It's just one of those places that, as an American, has to be visited. So I seized the opportunity of open flights out to Phoenix, a free hotel certificate expiring in a few days, and some free time, and headed out for a trip to the American Southwest.



Day 1



After getting out of work a few hours early, I headed off to Atlanta in order to make it out to Phoenix. Below is today's routing.



Off to Phoenix.



I used my free IHG certificate at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix, quite a nice property and a great location.





Day 2



I took an Uber to the airport around 6:30 AM to pickup my rental car. I didn't pick the best car for a road trip gas mileage wise, but at least it wasn't your standard boring Corolla.



On the road headed north to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. About a 3 hour drive.



Made a quick pitstop at an aviation museum as I approached the National Park. An old Western Airlines Convair CV-240.



Pacific Airlines Martin 404.



The park was packed full of tourists as the summer is the busiest season for tourism. It was obvious midday wasn't the best time to visit, but it was still enjoyable and wasn't too hot outside.



View from Mather Point, the main viewpoint of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim.



Found this guy posing on a rock.



The railroad running through the park.



It's hard to give a scale to the Canyon but believe me when I say it's massive. Throughout the day, I was scouting out spots I could climb out to in the morning to use myself as a model (lmao) to give some sense of scale.



Tourist.



The super-harsh midday light wasn't ideal for pictures, but I was having fun taking in the views. Some viewpoints provided better views of the river versus others.



The Grand Canyon.



I went for a bit of a hike to Shoshone Point, about a mile from the main road. I had the whole place to myself.



View from Shoshone Point.



The Grand Canyon.



As the sun started coming down, I staked out a spot to setup for pictures.



Tree & Canyon.



The sun going down.



The last slivers of light.



Unfortunately, my hotel was located about an hour south of the Grand Canyon. Though it meant I didn't have to pay $300/night for a hotel near the park, it did mean that I needed to leave my hotel around 4:00 AM the next morning in order to photograph sunrise.

Filling up on the way down to the hotel.



Normally I wouldn't stay at a Motel 6, but these sort of properties are usually perfectly acceptable in more rural parts of the country.




Day 3



After an early morning alarm, I made it back to the South RIm for sunrise. I decided to shoot from the main tourist spot, Mather Point. It was a cold morning and sunrises in the summer are quite early, so there weren't many people there.



I tried to use myself for scale against the Canyon, but smoke from wildfires nearby had rolled in, so visibility wasn't the greatest that morning.



Everyone congregated at the main section of the viewpoint.



Sunrise at the Grand Canyon.



I drove east to some of the other viewpoints, all of which I had to myself.



View from Lipan Point.



The Desert View Watchtower.



I headed back down to Williams (where my hotel was located) for a short nap, to gather all my stuff together and start the drive back down to Phoenix. My flight was at 5:00 PM, so the plan was to visit Sedona for a little bit before making the final drive down to PHX.

After a short nap, I drove around Williams, which is a touristy Route 66 town, but interesting none the less.



Williams, AZ.



Driving into Sedona.



When I arrived in Sedona, I found a quick hike to embark on. I've definitely added Sedona to the list of places to return to. There are plenty of great hikes in the area.



Enjoying the hike.



I only got in about a mile and a half before needing to turn around due to time constraints.



I drove up to the airport mesa, which provides a nice view of Sedona.



Sedona.



I dropped the car off one minute before cutoff, so I'd say I maximized my time this weekend. Time to head back home for work.



Backtracking to Los Angeles first for the redeye to Tampa. Not the most pleasant way to head into a Monday morning, but hey, what's one day of being tired?



Sunset from the SkyClub at LAX before heading east back to Tampa.



I enjoyed my short weekend in Arizona and it's trips like this that make me want to visit more places around the U.S. over the weekends. The Grand Canyon is definitely a sight to see, but honestly, I think Sedona has more to offer overall and I'm looking forward to visiting there again one day. I know I'm missing the typical "Horseshoe Bend" image of the Grand Canyon, but that part is actually quite a bit further from where I was and is almost more easily accessible from Zion National Park. Since Zion is tentatively planned for this fall/winter, I decided to visit Horseshoe Bend then instead of on this trip.

Thanks for tuning in, next up, Nigeria.
Prospero, lb8001, graffiti and 6 others like this.
ChiefNWA is offline  
Old Aug 19, 2018, 8:43 pm
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Awesome photos and views from your trip the Grand Canyon. My parents and I visited in the early 2000's and stayed in Sedona for a few nights. Beautiful scenery - and it brought back memories seeing views from your trip.

What type of camera do you use?
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Old Aug 20, 2018, 8:11 am
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Nice trip! Was there last month (based in Sedona with visits to GC, Meteor Crater and Walnut Canyon) - our trouble was thunderstorms rather than wildfire haze
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Old Aug 20, 2018, 8:19 am
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Nice report. Headed to Phoenix this weekend. Want to devote a longer 3-4 day trip to see Grand Canyon and Sedona as well.
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Old Aug 20, 2018, 11:01 am
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Very nice report of one of my favourite regions^
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Old Aug 20, 2018, 11:41 pm
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Loved your entire report with those great photos. Can't wait to visit and do backpacking at Grand canyon next month
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Old Aug 21, 2018, 5:43 pm
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I was in Sedona on Aug 9th and Grand Canyon on the 10th! The visibility was horrible on the Saturday afternoon, you couldn't see the other side of the Canyon from the South Rim.
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Old Aug 24, 2018, 2:48 am
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Thank you for this TR. Amazing photos that really make me regret not taking more advantage of my trips to the USA over the years.

Look forward to your Nigeria trip.
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Old Aug 24, 2018, 6:11 am
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Originally Posted by 757
Awesome photos and views from your trip the Grand Canyon. My parents and I visited in the early 2000's and stayed in Sedona for a few nights. Beautiful scenery - and it brought back memories seeing views from your trip.

What type of camera do you use?
Thanks. This trip I used my new Canon 6D Mk II w/24-105 f/4L. I used the same in Nigeria (the next report). The one after that will be with my newest addition to the family, a 16-35 f4L.

Originally Posted by Tocsin
Nice trip! Was there last month (based in Sedona with visits to GC, Meteor Crater and Walnut Canyon) - our trouble was thunderstorms rather than wildfire haze
Thanks.

I hear ya, looks like the west is blanketed in smoke. I recently returned from the Portland area. 75% of the trails to the waterfalls in the Gorge were still closed from last September's fire.

Originally Posted by tennislover9
Nice report. Headed to Phoenix this weekend. Want to devote a longer 3-4 day trip to see Grand Canyon and Sedona as well.
Sedona is definitely worth the extra time. If I had the choice, I'd do one day at the Grand Canyon and two or three in Sedona.

Originally Posted by offerendum
Very nice report of one of my favourite regions^
Thanks!

Originally Posted by jakejohnson
Loved your entire report with those great photos. Can't wait to visit and do backpacking at Grand canyon next month
Thanks and have fun!

Originally Posted by hauteboy
I was in Sedona on Aug 9th and Grand Canyon on the 10th! The visibility was horrible on the Saturday afternoon, you couldn't see the other side of the Canyon from the South Rim.
That's unfortunate, I guess I got lucky (outside of sunrise) with visibility. This trip was actually back in mid-June (I'm running a bit behind on these reports).

Originally Posted by roadwarrier
Thank you for this TR. Amazing photos that really make me regret not taking more advantage of my trips to the USA over the years.

Look forward to your Nigeria trip.
There's always the future. Honestly, doing JUST the Grand Canyon isn't the best use of time. You could easily combine it with the Utah parks as well (Bryce, Zion and Arches).
Nigeria should be coming this weekend if I stop being lazy and finish it up.
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Old Aug 24, 2018, 11:47 am
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On your return trip reach out to me, I know some incredible places to visit in Sedona.
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Old Aug 27, 2018, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse
On your return trip reach out to me, I know some incredible places to visit in Sedona.
Sure will, would love to return!
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Old Aug 30, 2018, 9:39 pm
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I flew on a Pacific Airlines Martin 404 in 1966; a trip I will never forget. My aunt had invited me to California. We were supposed to fly on TWA from San Francisco to Las Vegas but they went on strike and we were transferred to Pacific Airlines. The route was San Francisco to San Jose; to Fresno to Bakersfield to Las Vegas; 3 stops. The air hostess was a riot and when she found out I lived in England she gave my aunt and I VIP treatment. To get back to New York we had to fly Bonanza to Phoenix and then American instead of non stop on TWA.

We visited the Grand Canyon by bus. Would love to go to Sedona. thanks for posting the nice pictures.
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Old Sep 2, 2018, 9:42 am
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Thanks for the TR. I loved the trip down memory lane.
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Old Sep 3, 2018, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Bretteee
I flew on a Pacific Airlines Martin 404 in 1966; a trip I will never forget. My aunt had invited me to California. We were supposed to fly on TWA from San Francisco to Las Vegas but they went on strike and we were transferred to Pacific Airlines. The route was San Francisco to San Jose; to Fresno to Bakersfield to Las Vegas; 3 stops. The air hostess was a riot and when she found out I lived in England she gave my aunt and I VIP treatment. To get back to New York we had to fly Bonanza to Phoenix and then American instead of non stop on TWA.

We visited the Grand Canyon by bus. Would love to go to Sedona. thanks for posting the nice pictures.
Nice, would be awesome to fly on one of those these days.

Originally Posted by nequine
Thanks for the TR. I loved the trip down memory lane.
Thanks!
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Old Sep 9, 2018, 9:21 pm
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Great TR - we stayed in Sedona for a few days in January 2010. It's so lovely there.
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