Day Trip From Las Vegas to Grand Canyon – Sauk Prairie Photographer

After an exciting yet exhausting week at WPPI convention, my friend Patrycja and I decided to use our last day before going home for a day trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park. We knew it would be another very long day, but we were also pretty sure that we had what it takes to drive there and back. First we researched different tour companies (and there are plenty!) which provide organized trips from Vegas to the canyon either on a coach bus or in mini-vans. After considering a lot of options, we chose to rent a car instead and drive to the national park on our own.  This last option gave us at least 3 or 4 more hours in the canyon and it was also cheaper than just one minivan tour ticket.

It was still dark when we woke up. The Las Vegas strip was just starting to be illuminated by the rising sun and it looked magical…

It takes about 5 hours to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon. But since there were four of us in the car, the long drive went quite fast.  On the way, we stopped at a tourist information center in Williams, AZ – one of many cute small towns on historic Route 66. With maps and brochures in-hand we managed to fit in a coffee break. This gave me just enough time to read all the info and decide what to do and where to go in Grand Canyon.

We arrived at the park’s South Rim entrance a little before noon. From the entrance you can go either east or west to admire the views. Most people – and all huge tour buses – go west, so we decided to skip the crowds and instead drive along the 25-mile Desert View Drive and enjoy amazing views of the Colorado River as we were heading east. There are many vista points on the way. The very first stop on the south rim already took our breaths away. Grand Canyon is a magnificent place and it was like being in a photographers’ heaven to be able to see (and do your best to capture) those amazing vistas wherever you turned your head. Here are some of them…

We finished our east side explorations at about 4PM at the Desert View Watchtower and then headed back west to the Grand Canyon Village. Our plan was to explore the vistas along Hermit Road and admire the sunset from there. I’ve heard that watching a sunset over Grand Canyon is something you should do at least once in your lifetime. 🙂

At this time, most of the tour buses already left. We had to park the car and take free shuttle buses to different lookouts. The sun was already setting and the canyon looked even more splendid in the evening light. A park ranger told me that either Hopi or Mohave Point are the best places to watch the sunset. We decided to stop at Hopi Point on Hermit Road. The light was amazing but honestly I’ve seen better sunsets in my life. The air was quite hazy, there were some clouds on the horizon and the rocks to the west were completely dark so you couldn’t really see everything well . Still it was an experience I will never forget. Instead of the sunset I captured Patrycja trying to document it. 🙂

As soon as the sun went down, we hopped on a shuttle back to the parking lot, and from there drove straight back to Vegas. We arrived at midnight, exhausted, but it was sooo worth the effort. If you ever are in that corner of the world, consider a day trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, you won’t regret it. 🙂

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  1. […] of the crowds, noise, lights and chaos of the Vegas Strip. Last year we loved our experience in Grand Canyon, this year we were ready for more adventure. Our first day trip was to Nevada’s oldest and […]

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