After spending time in the Sunshine State, it was time to head back East and spend a little more time in the Southwest. Unfortunately, timing was not on our side and we ended up getting to Arizona during a freak cold front and right after a huge snow storm. Huge piles of snow piled up along the roads! Did you even know it snowed in Arizona?
We knew we needed to spend more time in the warmth or we would become attached to our diesel heater. So we went to some areas further South before heading to the cold! This past weekend we went to some of the most beautiful rock formations in the world: Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon. Despite the cold, we had a magical week!
You Might Also Like These Posts:
- Things You Need to Know About Antelope Canyon
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Table of Contents
Where We Went This Past Week
Lake Havasu City
We went to one of the hottest RV and van spots around: Lake Havasu City. This spot is on the West side of Arizona and boasts having the original London Bridge. If you have ever heard the story, then you know that the man who bought it thought he was getting the Tower Bridge and then he was duped!
The city itself is located on Lake Havasu, which is beautiful and is a warm destination for the winter. Unfortunately, you have to pay a fee to enter the State park so we just stared at it from afar. Dylan and I spent the days parked outside of Safeway working from the van and spent the nights using Planet Fitness and camping out with hundreds of other rigs. We felt like this city was a great stop through, but not an iconic destination.
On Thursday night, we drove further North to Williams, Arizona. This town is an hour outside of the Grand Canyon and right off of Route 66. People go there to take the historic Grand Canyon Railway to the park. When we got to this town, we were shocked to see piles of snow all over. We tried camping on free land, but the roads were all covered in snow, so we ended up at Love’s Truck Stop for the night.
That next day, we drove to one of the most famous spots in the US: The Grand Canyon (NP #20). First things first, we went directly to the Mather Campground to get a spot to sleep for the night. The campsite cost $15 and is in the center of the park. We chose a spot that was near a bathroom and relatively secluded from others.
Once we secured our spot, it was time to check out the canyon and watch the sunset. If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon before it’s hard to describe the vastness of the spot. It almost overwhelms the senses. Watching a sunset over the canyon is nothing short of magical. Light reflects and plays around the canyon walls, while the colors of the rock transform before your eyes. Watching a sunset or sunrise is a must do in the park.
However, it was also freezing cold and by the time we were done watching sunset, Dylan and my fingers were completely numb. We went into the Pizza Pub so we could warm up and get a hot meal before relying on our diesel heater for the night. We ate our fill and went back to our campsite.
The next morning, I woke up to use the bathroom and walked outside. To my surprise, there was an elk immediately next to our van. I freaked out and ran back into the van as fast as possible. Once the elk moved a little further from the van, Dylan and I watched it in awe. There’s something so exciting about seeing animals in the wild. It’s one of the best nature shows around.
Finally, we got moving and went on the Bright Angel Trail. The worst part about the Grand Canyon is that the trails start downhill and then you have to make your way up a steep incline to get back. The trail was icy, so we wore our microspikes. It was lovely to see the canyon covered in snow, but we were cold and tired. I huffed and puffed the entire way up the trail.
We were going to do more hiking, but decided to just drive to some of the lookout spots and call it a day. Overall, the cold made it hard to enjoy ourselves and Dylan and I both like other parks better than the Grand Canyon. I still think everyone has to go at least once in their lives.
Page, AZ: Horseshoe Bend & Antelope Canyon
Dylan and I took to the road and drove an hour north of the Grand Canyon to get to Page, Arizona. Now, Page used to be a destination for people to see Lake Powell, but with social media it has now blown up. People saw pictures of Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend and flocked to the small town of Page. Most of the land is Navajo Land, which means tourists are expected to be respectful and follow the rules of the tribe.
Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend, we walked three quarters of a mile to the rim. There were tons of people around, but Dylan and I were able to get a spot where we felt safe and could watch the sunset in peace. There were no clouds in the sky and the rocks changed from orange, to golden red, and then to brown as the sun set. It’s still one of my favorite spots in the Southwest.
That evening we were lucky enough to have an instagram friend staying in an Airbnb nearby. She graciously offered us warm showers and a bed to sleep in. Usually, we prefer sleeping in our own bed, but it’s nice to escape the cold and save some fuel from running the diesel heater. We loved making a new friend and getting so many suggestions on places to visit during our stay.
The next morning we got up and went to one of my favorite places: Antelope Canyon. Despite the fact that it is super touristy, it is still so spectacular! We took a tour into the Upper Canyon and we had plenty of time to take in the various wall formations and shapes in the canyon.
Our guide was so knowledgeable and he knew the very best spots for photos. Dylan and I were just taking it all in, our mouths agape for the entire tour. It’s so amazing to see spots that mother nature created that truly look like art. I would go back to Antelope Canyon many times, because I feel like each time is unique and overwhelming.
Once we were shepherded out of the canyon, we made our way back to Vinny. It was time to hit the road again and get to yet another new state in the van. Comment what state you think we are going to next! We really enjoyed our weekend seeing the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon and can’t wait to go back!
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