Visiting the Grand Canyon in January

When I was in Las Vegas in January 2018 for work, I visited the Grand Canyon in a daytrip. It was the highlight of the trip for me.

Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon was a hefty four hour ride from Las Vegas. You can choose to visit the West Rim or the South Rim; I opted for the South Rim, which is further from Las Vegas but is supposedly better as it offers more panoramic views.

Join a Tour

Perks of a solo traveller: it’s easier to sit shotgun! 

Like most who do the daytrip from Las Vegas, I joined a tour group. You can go with the bus tour which would be cheaper – but I like a more personalised tour experience. It costs a bit more but I’m not a big fan of the disembodied voice of a guide. I also love to be able to ask questions, and a smaller group would allow me more liberty to do just that.

I thought it was of more value too, since you get picked up and dropped off at your hotel on the strip, and the smaller group meant you don’t waste a lot of time waiting for a bus load of people. Being on the smaller tour meant that we were able to go to more lookout points and take in as much of the canyon views as possible.

And perhaps most importantly… I went home with a camera full of photos with me actually in it. Our tour guide, Ben, was so trigger happy with all our cameras – I loved him! The tour company I went with is GC Tours, which I highly recommend.

Hoover Dam

The tour included another attraction, the gigantic Hoover Dam. It was here that we crossed state lines between Nevada and Arizona. This historic dam is located at the Colorado River and was built during the Great Depression. We spent about half an hour here, which was just enough.

Route 66

Along the way we drove on the famous Route 66! It’s really just a super long highway. We stopped at a kitschy part where I got my first touch of the snow.

Less Crowded

Visiting in January meant that the Grand Canyon was still experiencing winter. There wasn’t as many people at this popular US attraction. Although not entirely empty, you definitely get a lot freer room to roam.

Winter Wonderland

It had just snowed a couple of days of our visit, so the Grand Canyon took on a different feel from what I expected. And I loved it! The Grand Canyon itself remains physically the same with its signature red rock layers. The higher parts of the canyon where we’re actually at, were blanketed with white snow. I thought it added a surreal dimension to the trip.

It was also much colder than expected, so dress appropriately! The temperature was about -1 to 0 degrees celcius. That plus the winds… suit up. Gloves would be a good idea. My nether digits were so numb that I had to buy gloves and an extra pair of socks on our pitstop.

The Grand Canyon

The great dame Grand Canyon itself.  The UNESCO World Heritage site is a colossal natural canyon. It is most known for its gorgeous layers of red rocks that are millions of years old. It was truly breathtaking.

Pictures does not do this natural wonder justice… but I will try.

 

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