Happy Monday! I'm slowly working my way back home to Nashville this week after 5 jam-packed weeks of travel, and I'm so excited to start sharing these adventures here on the blog! I've already posted about my time in Sedona so today I'm dishing on it's neighboring attraction (not to mention one of the most popular ones in the U.S.) the Grand Canyon.
No matter how much you know about this natural wonder, nothing can adequately prepare you for seeing it yourself. Coming here was actually what inspired this entire road trip I'm currently on. After traveling Europe for 4.5 months, I realized how many incredible places in my own country I hadn't seen (the Grand Canyon being at the top of the list). But as I started to do my research, I realized there are dozens of ways that over 5 million visitors choose to see it each year. So which option do you pick? Driving? Hiking? Mules? Helicopters? The options are overwhelming.
While mules sounded unique and helicopters sounded luxurious, I realized that personally, my main focus of seeing the Grand Canyon this first time was to be able to simply marvel at it with no distractions (although I totally would do both of those things next time I go back!) So once I decided I wouldn't have to stress falling off a donkey or be snapping selfies in a helicopter, I began to narrow my search. I was looking for a (small group) tour with a guide who could educate me and take me to the best viewpoints. And that's exactly what I found.
Pink Jeep Tours is the longest running, and the largest off-road adventure company in the US. Based in Sedona, they also offer tours there, in Las Vegas and obviously, the Grand Canyon. Trademarked by superior customer service, environmental responsibility and a top-tier commitment to guide education and passenger safety, Pink® Adventure Group welcomes more than 300,000 guests annually to experience an adventure they will not soon forget. While they offer several tour options, we did the Grand Finale Deluxe Tour, which is a 3 hour experience that takes you to the best viewpoints along the South Rim, ending while you watch the sunset.
We hopped in our open-air Jeep (don't worry, it has insulated flaps and heat for days when it's cold) and set out to chase the best views of the canyon. It happened to be an extremely cloudy day, and we were all nervous that the could cover would block any chance of a view. Luckily, this wasn't our guide's first rodeo. As he monitored the cloud motion he signaled for us to jump back in the Jeep before zooming off to the next lookout to beat the clouds. While a bright + sunny day is ideal, I was so thankful to be with someone who knew the park so well and could navigate us around to make sure we had the best views possible. Once we escaped the dense fog, I'd argue the clouds made for an even cooler moody + etherial view than you would typically get.
Pink Jeeps was a great way to see the Canyon for the first time and I'd highly recommend it to anyone wanting a care-free experience with the best views available.
I don't think you'll ever really be able to appreciate the magnitude of the Grand Canyon, which makes it easy to justify going back. Now that I've been, here are a few things I'd advise before visiting (and things I'll keep in mind before I return!)
- Factor the weather whilst planning your trip. You should always plan on a variety of climates so if possible, have a flexible itinerary so you can swap days around if the conditions aren't optimal.
- Summer is the most popular season. While it offers the best weather conditions, it also means you should prepare yourself for large crowds if you choose to go then.
- The majority of visitors visit the South Rim (arguably the most beautiful views, more lodging options and visitor services available). The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Park entrance is $25 per private vehicle (this is included in the the price of your Pink Jeeps Tour).
- If you're staying longer than a day, be sure to check out some other ways to see the Canyon, including: helicopter tours, camping, hiking, or mule rides.
Have you had an amazing experience at the Grand Canyon another way that's not mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below!
I'm hopping in the car + heading to another destination now, but stay tuned for more travel guides coming to the blog soon. In the meantime, have a great week friends!