It's crunch time for my heartmate as the school year is about to end. It's his second year as a middle school principal and it's been a tough one. So, I planned a weekend getaway filled with inspiring discoveries for him. He deserves it. We're thrilled to partner up with Hampton by Hilton again on a series of Seekender posts. We decided to do a fun canyon crawl in Arizona, and to kick off our adventure, we stopped by the Grand Canyon!
We flew into Flagstaff airport Friday night and stayed at Hampton by Hilton. Flagstaff is real quaint and the airport took less than 10 minutes to get into town. We picked up our car rental the next morning. I got us a convertible so we could soak up some desert sun and embrace the sights with arms wide opened. It was my first time in one, too! We felt pretty badass, like Thelma and Louise. We have a fun shot for you at the end of the post.
From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, I was told that Grand Canyon is like Disneyland. It's their peak season. Luckily, I did some research beforehand and found an alternate entrance, which is the east entrance (aka Desert View), that's lesser used via Lonely Planet. We took highway 89 up from Flagstaff which was about 1hr 15mins. I'm so glad I found this tip because it wasn't crowded at all when we went.
Once you're in Grand Canyon, it's a string of amazing vista points where you can easily turn in, park and wander freely. Our first stop was Desert View. There's a watchtower with these beautiful murals inside by Hopi artist, Fred Kabotie. Afterwards, we stopped at every point until we reached Mather Point.
My favorite was Navajo Point pictured above which is the stop after Desert View. It was basically deserted so we sat there for awhile to take in the immensity of this natural wonder. There was a layer of purple haze mixed in with scattering clouds that made it even more magical. We were reminded how teeny tiny we were. It's incredible how the Grand Canyon was formed over 5 million years ago from the Colorado River, and with the help of wind, cutting and carving through it. It stretches 270 miles long and 80 miles deep. Each intricate rock layer and color reveals Earth's history.
Wish we could've brought our pups along!
Driving from one vista point to the next involved passing through all this lush greenery. I wasn't expecting Grand Canyon to be so green!
And...BOOM! We ended our Grand Canyon adventure in classic Thelma and Louise style! OK, minus the driving off the cliff part. Ha! Next up on our canyon crawl is Antelope Canyon! Stay tuned!