I will never forget my first strenuous hike as it also happened to be our first big trip. It was the beginning of my love/hate relationship with hiking. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’d rather stay in bed and watch TV than do anything outdoors let alone hiking. Soon enough I discovered the beauty that awaits after a climb– or in this case, descent to the Grand Canyon. THAT’S WHEN I BECAME AN ADDICT (if hiking is an addiction).
Day 1: We arrived at LAS around 9 P.M., picked up a rental car, and drove to my friend’s apartment. It was my friend’s birthday so we celebrated as much as we can with whatever time we had left. No LAS trip is ever complete without getting a few Fat Tuesdays and walking down The Strip. I don’t know what we were thinking but we thought it was a good idea to go to AYCE sushi at midnight. The rest of the night was history.
Day 2: #TeamNoSleep left Las Vegas around 9 A.M. It was a 3-hour drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. On the way we stopped by Zion National Park. We didn’t really plan any activities here so most of the time we just stopped on the side of the road and took pictures. We checked in at Bryce View Lodge. The location of the hotel is 5 minutes away from the park entrance.
Day 3: We woke up early to catch the sunrise at Bryce Canyon. Like our other trips, some things just don’t go our way. We waited for about 30 minutes only for it to start snowing. We got in the car and got back on the road again. Three hours later we arrived in Arizona to explore the Lower Antelope, Horshoe Bend, and Desert View Watch Tower. The Lower Antelope Tour is a 1-hour guided tour. The trail to the canyon is easy and you only have to walk for a few minutes. I think we spent half the time waiting in line to get into the canyon because there was just too many people.
The trail to the Horshoe Bend is a little more challenging and not for the faint-hearted. Although it’s just a little over a mile, it might be hard for someone not in good physical condition considering the hot weather and the slight incline at the beginning of the trail. Thanks to viral posts, a lot of people are pushing themselves physically to get that money shot. This trail is heavily trafficked out and back.
NEXT STOP– Desert View Watch Tower, located about 2 hours away from the Horshoe Bend. This is where I had a chance to see the Grand Canyon for the very first time. People are allowed to go in the tower for viewing purposes. After exploring Grand Canyon Village we checked in at Red Feather Lodge and called it a day.
Day 4: None of us knew what we were in for. We heard several times from the shuttle bus driver that it may seem easy going down that you might not realize how hard it would be to come back up. So we took the shuttle and got off at the South Kaibab Trail starting point. We started bright and early so we’d have enough time to rest and enjoy the trail. The driver was right. I kept telling myself how I was having the best time of my life. But that didn’t last very long. The trail kept getting narrower and steeper and my legs were starting to kill me. Long story short, we decided to turn around when we reached the Tip Off, which is roughly 5 miles from the starting point. We hiked a total of 10 miles out and back for 8 hours with an elevation gain of 3,297 feet. Mind you, we DID NOT train for this. We should have.
Day 5: Have you seen the way penguins walk? That’s how I walked for the rest of the day. We left the Grand Canyon early to beat the traffic going back to LAS. We stopped by Hoover Dam and Shake Shack before heading back to the airport. This trip is one for the books!