For Spring Break, we headed to Mesa, Arizona and then drove to the Grand Canyon. From Mesa, this National Park is about a 4 hour drive. We loved driving north on Interstate 17 since we climbed through the mountains and saw so many different landscapes. Since we had to drive so far, we ended up hitting peak entrance time to the park and sat in traffic from Tusayan to the entrance gate for about 2 hours! 😬 But we were committed to seeing the Grand Canyon after all! At this time the entrance fee was $35 and I obtained a pass from recreation.gov which allowed us to quickly go through the entrance gate.
Due to the crowds, we first headed east along Desert View Drive. We got our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon and it was magnificent!!! I really could not believe what I was seeing. It looked like a painting! I highly recommend driving along Desert View Drive as the crowds thin out a bit.
This gorge was created by the Colorado River and is about 277 miles long! The average distance from the North Rim to the South Rim is 10 miles! We visited the South Rim.
We stopped a few times along this road at pull offs to check out the views with our last stop being Grandview Point.
We then headed back to the Visitors Center which was closed due to COVID, but we then went to the most famous overlook in the park, Mather Point. This view was the best one we saw, but it was the most crowded.
We were supposed to stay the night at the Yavapuri Lodge, but there was an approaching snow storm which was expected to bring several inches of snow to the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff which was the route we needed to take home so we had to change our plans (Planned Spontaneity at its best!) and decided to drive home the same night. Just the previous day, Interstate 40 was shut down due to snow and people were trapped in their cars for over 8 hours so we didn’t want that to happen to us! The temperature started dropping quickly so we said bye to the Grand Canyon!! It was a spectacular sight!
On average, 6 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. Remember to leave no trace 😉