Grand Canyon National Park

If you are anywhere near the southwest US, the Grand Canyon is probably on the top of your must do list.

The Grand Canyon is one of the 7th natural wonders of the world and I don’t think it really needs anymore introduction than that.

Myles and I were super excited to finally make it here so we decided to wake up at 3:45 am to drive from our AirBnb in Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.

We woke up when our alarm went off debating if we should go back to sleep or go watch the sunrise.

Although we were exhausted, the fact that this was going to be a once in a lifetime kind of experience motivated us to get up 😉

We got in the car and headed to the Grand Canyon, an hour and a half drive from Flagstaff.

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The feeling of entering the park before there was even a ranger to greet us and being one of the only cars on the road felt awesome. We got there just as the sun was rising at 5:30 am and it was stunning, I got chills when I first saw it. It seemed like I was watching a screen projector of this beautiful site, my brain couldn’t process the depth and beauty in front of me.

 

Honestly the pictures don’t do it justice. It was such a special experience and I’m glad we woke up so early!

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After taking in the sunrise, we left the park to get necessary coffee and Myles got breakfast from McDonald’s. 1 iced coffee, 1 hot coffee, and 2 burritos for him was 13 dollars. Definitely the most expensive Mcdonald’s we’ve ever had. So just be warned, there are no cheap food options anywhere near this park haha.

After we were feeling more awake, we headed back to the Grand Canyon to do the South Kaibab trail. We hiked down down down into the canyon with the vast canyon as our view. The trail has beautiful views the whole time and even though it also has ton of horse poop, we loved it 😉

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We hiked the 1.5 miles to Cedar Point and although you can obviousy go farther into the canyon, it’s recommended not to during the summer as a day hike and considering it was 100 degrees, we decided to enjoy our lunch at the Cedar Point lookout and then head back. I would love to come back and hike to the bottom when we can spend the night!

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We challenged ourselves to hike back up to the top of the trai without stopping. It was 1.5 miles steep uphill and we felt accomplished when we reached the top.

We were pretty tired at this point due to our early morning so we checked out the visitor center and rode the GC bus to another viewpoint and then decided we were ready to get going.

If we had more energy and time, we would have done another hike but the hikes and viewpoints are actually pretty far from each other so consider  this  when you’re planning your trip! It’s hard to find parking at the viewpoints past the  early morning so the shuttle is necessary to travel from viewpoint to viewpoint.

Oh another thing we loved was how many moose there were. They were EVERYWHERE.

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We loved our time at the Grand Canyon!

After making it back to Flgastaff and resting for a bit, we decided to go to this adorable little park in Flagstaff for sunset. It. was called Buffalo Park and I would go here all the time if  I lived in Flagstaff. The weather was gorgeous and the views were beautiful.

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img_3627After that we went to downtown flagstaff and had drinks and dinner. The vibe is very laid back and it was a fun place to walk around. The perfect ending to another amazing day 🙂

Antelope Canyon

We woke up and immediately headed to our tour of Lower Antelope canyon. Lower

Antelope Canyon is in Page, Arizona and there are two options to explore it. Upper Antelope Canyon or Lower Antelope Canyon. The canyon is on Navajo  land so you can’t enter either without a Navajo tour guide and you can expect crowds with either choice, but Lower Antelope is a lot less crowded so we chose this option. The Upper canyon is known for its light beams, but we got to see a famous light beam in the Lower canyon as well!

Something I learned on this trip is that Navajo land has their own time and they don’t participate in daylight savings. So it’s important to figure out what time your tour is according to Arizona time. Don’t be that guy who shows up an hour late! Oh and you definitely need to reserve your spot on the tour to access these beautiful lands. When a place is this beautiful, you can bet other people will be there to enjoy it’s beauty 😉

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Lower Antelope Canyon was breathtaking! Every picture captured the light in a stunning way and each picture was better than the last. It was so fun to take pictures there. Definitely worth the $20 to see this place! Our tour guide was so friendly and gave us tips for capturing the best pictures.

Now let it be known I have no photography knowledge whatsoever and the only lenses I know anything about is the kind that are in eyeglasses, but in an ideal dream world, my dream job is a travel photographer so I was pretty much in heaven taking pictures of this incredible place.

After our tour we ate another peanut butter sandwich for lunch (how we afford to travel = pb sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner ;)), we headed to Antelope Point Marina to kayak on Lake Powell and through the top of Antelope canyon.

The Antelope Point Marina has jet skis, house boats, and kayaks you can rent for reasonable prices.

It was awesome to see Antelope Canyon from a different perspective! Neither Myles or I had kayaked through a canyon before and it was very cool.

It was also kind of scary because there were boats speeding through the narrow canyon with us and we were were scared a speedboat would come around a big bend without seeing us and crash into us. But we survived so all is well. We kayaked for a while and hung out on a little beach in the middle of the lake. Lake Powell is a beautiful area and I can see why it’s such a big vacation spot. Maybe one day we can go back and rent a house boat!

After Lake Powell, we headed to Flagstaff to check into our Air Bnb. Our Airbnb host was the friendliest out of all of them and he had a cat so safe to say this was my favorite place we stayed.

We passed out shortly after we got there, ready to wake up at 3:45 am to make it to the Grand Canyon for sunrise!

 

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Visiting a Fairytale Land | Bryce Canyon

Myles and I woke up super excited to hike Kannaraville Falls.

I read a lot about it online and a guy we met at Zion even suggested it.

Well apparently Kannaraville Falls is the place to be on a Saturday morning! It was super crowded but it was easy to see why.

After about a mile walk on pavement and sand, you reach the creek. You have the option to walk around it ducking under tree branches and scrambling over rocks or you can simply walk on a straight path through the creek.

At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk in the creek at all because I thought my feet were going to get frost bite from the ice cold water!

Our cheap Walmart water shoes didn’t do a good job of keeping the water out so my feet started going numb from the pain of the cold water. We wished so badly we had the neoprene socks and special water shoes from our hike through the Narrows the day before.

Eventually our feet adapted and it was fun scrambling up rocks and through the creek until we reached a huge and beautiful slot canyon.

 

 

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We trekked through the creek in the slot canyon for a bit until we reached Kanarraville Falls, a gorgeous watefall with a ladder going up it.

The crowds were insane though and it kind of felt like we were waiting in line for a ride at Disney World when we were waiting to go up and down the ladder. The beauty surrounding us made it worth it though.

 

 

We went a little farther past the ladder and scrambled up another falls and enjoyed lunch on a big rock.

We hiked back and then stopped at the Pizza Factory for lunch. Myles and I tried to save as much money on food this trip (mainly by eating peanut butter sandwiches for every meal), so we were excited to find this super inexpensive little salad bar to get some fresh food in us! We also stopped for an ice cream cone at ‘s Mcdonald’s after because nothing goes together quite like ice cream and salad 😉

After lunch, we headed to Bryce Canyon National Park!

Bryce Canyon was so awesome. It was such a unique place that reminded me of a fairytale world. We hiked the Navajo Loop Trail and Hanging Garden trail. Thank God we hiked the recommended direction because it was nearly all downhill into the canyon and our legs were tired by this point in our trip!

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The hoodoos were so interesting, I’be never seen any kind of rock formation like that. We got to hike Bryce Canyon’s own Wall Street which is a series of switchbacks to get up out of the canyon. It really wasn’t as difficult as we anticipated or as steep as it looked!

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After our hike, we went to the visitor center which had a little museum. It was super interesting to learn how the hoodoos were formed, they even had a time lapse of it.

In the museum we also learned that a certain type of deer have white butts and really good vision so the way they alert each other of danger is the hairs on their butts stand up and they can see it up to 4 miles away! Imagine if we could see other peoples butt hairs up to 4 miles away hahah.

We also watched a short documentary about Bryce in the museum because our legs couldn’t handle anymore hiking. I gained an appreciation for this place that I otherwise wouldn’t have after learning how it was formed.

After the documentary it was almost time for sunset so we headed to sunset point to watch it. It was quite crowded with Asian and French tourists. We were some of the only Americans which was surprising.

The sunset was so beautiful and unique over the canyon! It was one of my favorite sunsets of the trip. I know I’ve used the word unique in almost every blog post but I can’t think of another word for all of the places we went! It blows my mind how much beauty there is in the world and how much there is to see.

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After the sunset, we had an hour and a half drive to Kanab, Utah to our next Airbnb. We were on the same one lane road almost the whole way and it was super boring so Myles and I found entertainment by watching this car in front of us try to pass the car in front of him. He was tailgating him the whole time and would try to pass and then chicken out. We made bets on whether he would pas or not and I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or boredom but we were laughing SO hard watching this guy. Then I found a new form of entertainment by looking out the window up at the sky. Bryce Canyon and the surrounding area is known for some of the most amazing night skies in the country due to the lack of light pollution.

At the museum they had an interactive exhibit that showed how the night sky looks ina  big city, small city, and canyon in the middle of nowhere. It was so so cool. We got to see the amazing sky ourselves when we pulled over to a state park on the way to Kanab. It was probably one of my favorite moments of the trip and most memorable experience of the trip.

The sky was FILLED with thousands and thousands of stars, every inch of the sky had stars and we could even see the Milky Way very clearly. It was one of the most amazing things I’ever ever seen and I couldn’t believe this is how beautiful the sky actually is with no humans to pollute it. I never knew. It’s crazy how the sky really looks like this every night, but we normally can’t see it in our city.

 

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We finally got to the Airbnb that seemed more like a camp. It was creepy because it was pretty late when we got there and we heard a girl laughing down the hall. There were probably 20 rooms, kind of like a motel. We couldn’t find the shower which ended up being in the kitchen. I skipped showering because it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months and showered with a washcloth instead.

We passed out shortly after we got there.

I just want to say how lucky I feel to get to travel to these amazing places. Myles and I try not to spend a lot of money on unnecessary things in our day to day lives and we stay at some sketchy places and eat peanut butter sandwiches for a lot of meals when we travel. But I would rather travel to more places than stay in a 5 star hotel. I’m very grateful we are able to see all of these amazing things together 🙂

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The Very Sandy Day (Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Page, Arizona)

This was an eventful day.

We started the day off in Kanab, Utah at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

The lady working at the office when we got there was so sweet and informative, the sun was shining, and we were about to go sledding in July. WE WERE PUMPED.

This might have been the most fun thing we did the whole trip. We rented a sand sled for $20 from the front office and headed to the dunes.

 

 

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We got there early, and we had the whole entire dunes to ourself. Nothing beats having an incredibly beautiful place to yourself to explore.

Running up the sand dunes is quite the work out and shouldn’t be underestimated, but it’s so worth it. And the sand feels amazing on your feet.

 

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Sledding was super fun and Myles and I took turns until we tried to go together. I don’t even know what happened but when we slid down together, we both got COVERED in sand. It was a self inflicted sandstorm. When we finally stopped at the end of the dune, we were both orange and couldn’t stop laughing.

After our legs told us it was time to stop, we left the park and made the drive to Page, Arizona. After stopping at Walmart to grab deli meat for sandwiches, we headed to Horseshoe Bend.

Horseshoe Bend is where the Colorado River bends and it is breathtaking! It’s only about a half mile to the bend so it’s a great little walk for families and kids. Even though there were tons of people there, the actual river was so incredibly still. I wondered what kind of life existed down there. It was awesome. We took a bunch of pictures and sat by the edge.

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We were exhausted and wanted to shower because we were so sandy still from the sand dunes, but we couldn’t check into our Air BnB until 6 and had time to kill. It looked like it was about to thunderstorm so we didn’t want to chance another hike. We went to look at the Glen Canyon dam which was super impressive and spent some time in the visitor center learning about the construction. It’s very impressive what humans can create.

 

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After that we decided to go to Long Rock Beach to enjoy the view of Lake Powell and wash some of the sand off before we got to our Air BnB.

So we were happy that our national parks pass worked for the Glen Canyon National Recreation area and got us into Lone Rock beach without having to pay. We started driving to the beach and the sand quickly changed from hard to soft and our little rental Kia Sole bottomed out. We had no idea what to do. We both tried pushing the car and flooring it but it didn’t work. Luckily a nice man in a truck stopped and asked if we needed help. He was going to tie rope to the front of our car and pull us out but there was no where to attach it to. We decided to try to dig the sand out from under the car and tires and then I floored it while Myles, the man and his daughter pushed the car. It worked and we were so thankful! Crisis averted. Thank God for kind helpful strangers ❤️️
After getting stuck in the sand and digging sand out from under our car on our hands and knees, we were more sandy than we were originally. Remember we had intended to wash the sand off at this beach 😉 Luckily after that unplanned adventure, it was time for us to check into our Air Bnb.

It was a mansion in the middle of nowhere. It wa a huge house and our room was in the basement. There were so many cars in the driveway, yet the family who owned the house still lived there as well. We finally showered and it was beautiful and I felt like a new person. We passed out shortly after we got there exhausted from our perfect sandy day 🙂