Our Canyon Tour through the American Southwest

Mindy and Ligeia took a little vacation to the American Southwest and on a self-guided tour of various canyons. We flew into Las Vegas where we rented a car and drove to Zion National Park in Utah. After we set up the tent, we got right to the sights. We took the shuttle up the canyon to the “Temple of Sinawava” and took a short hike. Here’s Mindy helping the canyon keep its’ shape:

The trail ended when it met water, which was a lovely emerald color…

On the way back down the canyon, we noticed deer in the woods so we quickly hopped of the shuttle to have a closer look. We counted 10 deer nibbling just before the sun went down. What a sight! If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the antlers just starting to grow:

The next morning we got up at 6am, took down the tent and starting hiking up to the Emerald Upper and Lower pools. We began our journey up the mountain by crossing this bridge:

What gorgeous views this hike afforded us!

And when we got to the top, this is what we saw:

After this hike, we drove to Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah, where it was much colder and with lots of snow. During the drive the terrain was very beautiful. We saw lots of interesting structures and landscapes such as this:

Although the campground was snowed in and we instead got a hotel, the Bryce Canyon did not disappoint. The beautiful hoodoos it is famous for are nice to look at in all seasons.

That evening, we drove to all the “points” and had ourselves a look. Each point offered a beautiful yet unique view of the canyon. The picture below is from Rainbow Point.

This picture was taken at Agua Canyon lookout:

This picture is from a point called “Natural Bridge”. Bet you can’t figure out why huh? 🙂

After waking up very early to watch the sunset, we decided to hike to the bottom of Bryce Canyon. Again, although it was cold and we were wearing many layers, the weather was sunny the whole day and allowed us to take such gorgeous pictures as the one below:

After the hike, we were exhausted and enjoyed relaxing and looking out at the canyon.

Before we left Bryce Canyon, I just had to check and yep…you know you’re in Utah when you see THIS in the hotel bedside stand:

Next we drove to Page, Arizona, where we saw both the sunset and the sunrise over Lake Powell.

We enjoyed looking at the sights the little town of Page had to offer, which were numerous. This is a nice view of the Colorado River just below the Glen Canyon Dam.

The next day we took a photographer’s tour of Upper Antelope Canyon, which is a slot canyon. The tour was scheduled at the perfect time for the best light, which helped to produce gorgeous shots, like the ones below:

Strong beam of sunlight shining down into an orange Antelope CanyonPastel colors of the wind-carved walls in Antelope CanyonAfter having done a puzzle of Horseshoe Bend a few years ago, Ligeia always wanted to visit that place mostly because of the beautiful color of the water. While sitting in the tour office waiting for the photographer tour to begin, she noticed a framed picture of it and asked where it was located. Much to her delight it was only 2 miles away so of course we went. And it did not disappoint.

Horseshoe Bend in Page, ArizonaAfter the short hike to Horseshoe Bend, we drove through Navajo Nation to the Grand Canyon. When we first arrived, we were greeted by this (how lucky were we?):

An elk visiting our campsite at Grand Canyon National ParkIt was very cold and windy at the Grand Canyon, which made tenting a bit of a survival quest. We wore all the layers we could put on including hats and gloves and still were cold much of the night. One morning we awoke to snow and ice on our tent and the zipper was frozen shut. It had gotten down to 17 F (-8C) with 50 mph winds. But as you can see, our tent (and we) survived:

Our campsite at Grand Canyon National ParkThe best part of our time at the Grand Canyon were the sunrises and sunsets. It was just wonderful to greet the sun every morning and say goodnight to it every evening. One of our favorite sunsets was at Mohave point when we watched a snow/hailstorm pass through right before our eyes. Due to the high winds, this…

Rain rolling through the Grand Canyon from Mohave Pointchanged to this in a matter of minutes. It was amazing!!!

Metallic blue sky over the Grand Canyon from Mohave PointDuring the days, we enjoyed the views, some ranger talks on the Hopi and the Californian Condor and did some short hikes. The longest hike we did was down to Ooh/Ahh Point. Hiking in a canyon can be misleading because you hike DOWN first and think you have lots of energy and can keep going and going. But…what goes down…

Hike down to Ooh Aah Point in Grand Canyon National Parkmust come back up.

Hike up from Ooh Aah Point in Grand Canyon National ParkWe watched our last sunset at Hopi Point and I think this was one of the most beautiful in terms of colors:

Sunset at Hopi Point in Grand Canyon National ParkWe drove to Madre’s house (Erick’s family’s house) in Kingman, Arizona and spent a short time with them. We went to Laughlin, where we celebrated Madre’s birthday. Below is Madre, Ligeia, Marissa, Marlene and little Addy:

Visiting the Verdejo Family in ArizonaOn the way home, we stopped in Oatman, where Ligeia bought a cowboy hat. Mindy felt more connected to others in the community:

Mindy posing for a silly photo at Jackass JunctionWe took Historic Route 66 on the way back to Kingman.

Historic Route 66After a wonderful night of delicious home-cooked Mexican food, we awoke very early to drive to Las Vegas to get a ride home. On the way, we crossed over the Hoover Dam. You can see in the background how they’re in the process of building a new bridge over the dam:

Hoover Dam constructionAnd just to leave you with something inspiring:

Gorgeous photo at sunrise in Grand Canyon National ParkHave you been on your own canyon tour in the American Southwest?

8 thoughts on “Our Canyon Tour through the American Southwest

  1. Remy

    Ligeia & Mindy, your trip looks absolutely stunning! I loved the pics you took on the photographer's tour. I hope to see your other pictures soon!

  2. Lauren (Fang)

    WOW~~All the pictures seems too true to be true! Everthing's just beyond words! They are just what they are but not something can be described!!So beautiful are the nature, the people, the life and the harmony between them.
    I wish I could also take such a magnificent trip one day with my loved one~~

  3. Heart

    Gorgeous photos – thx for sharing you two!

    Mindy, I see you're also a weight lifter. Congrats on camping in such cold weather. You're troopers!

  4. Anonymous

    I SO much envy you the photographer's tour of Antelope canyon: that's high on my wish list! Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope to be following in your footsteps soon! 🙂 ~Laurel

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