Well, since we were stuck in Flagstaff for the three days that we were supposed to be in the Grand Canyon, we only had one and a half days to spend there. We decided that we would go to the visitor’s center and see if we could get a back country pass so we could hike to the bottom of the canyon and stay the night then hike up in the morning and leave. We knew this idea was very far fetched, but we wanted to check just incase.
Getting around Grand Canyon National Park is much harder than it should be. The signs are not very clear as to where to go for different things, and where to park for different buildings or hikes. We found a parking lot that said visitor center at the entrance of it, and then followed the sidewalk up to where we thought the visitor center was. Instead it was a lot of buildings with no directions for where to go. We eventually found the visitor center, but it was the wrong one, so the rangers there “directed” us to a new location.
We went on a wild goose chase to try and find the backcountry visitor center. After going into the center, we found out the next available opening for backcountry camping would be Friday. This meant that we would not be able to hike to the bottom of the canyon, so instead we went to a lookout to see the Grand Canyon for the first time. It was gorgeous, and gigantic! It looked so unreal, like it was just the backdrop to a photo session. We walked around the viewing point and along the Rim Trail, found a table to have lunch at, then decided we would jump on the bus and do part of the South Kaibab Trail.
At Grand Canyon National Park there are three different bus routes. The Orange bus takes you to the South Kaibab Trailhead (east side of the canyon), the red bus takes you to the far west side of the canyon, and the blue bus connects the red bus route and the orange bus route while stopping at all the lodging and food locations. We took the orange bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead and made our way down the canyon. We stopped at Ooh Aah Point and hung out for a bit. I relaxed on the rocks enjoying the view, while Jason climbed through the rocks and found hats that had blown off people’s heads while at Ooh Aah Point.
After reaching the top of the canyon again, we jumped back on the bus to go to the far east lookout of the canyon. Here we sat and took in the beauty of the place together for quite some time before deciding we should head back and get on the red bus line to the far west to watch the sunset.
We enjoyed the sunset and jumped on the very last bus possible to head back to the car and make some dinner. We had burritos for dinner at a nice lit up picnic area and debated on what we should do for the night. We thought about staying just outside the canyon and going back into the Grand Canyon the next day, but decided against this, since we did everything that you could do besides hike to the bottom of the canyon, which we didn’t have time for. We both agreed we should get on the road to head to Joshua Tree National Park so we could spend the whole last day of our road trip completely relaxing without having to drive very far.