The Grand Canyon in One Day

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In the early part of the year, we realized that our planned four day visit to the Grand Canyon was going to coincide with our friends Katherine’s and Erik’s arrival in the canyon. They live in Atlanta, and every year they travel to the Grand Canyon to join a group of their friends and backpack into the canyon for a week.

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Williams is home to the Grand Canyon railway

GC Conspiracy-3Our plan was to drive to the Grand Canyon immediately after we left Tucson and meet them the night before they began their hike into the canyon. Hector was especially eager to see them, as he was not able to make their daughter’s wedding in Puerto Rico, which I attended.

As time went by our schedules shifted a bit, but it still looked as though we would have a chance to meet. Then we realized that we needed to make a slight detour after Tucson.GC Conspiracy-7

Our detour was to Congress, Arizona, where Vern, of Penner’s Mobile RV Repair resides in the winter. We needed to replace an intake valve on Island Girl. Vern worked on Island Girl in February and we were happy with his work so we decided to have him handle the install.

GC Conspiracy-2GC Conspiracy-5Although we lost two of our four planned nights in the canyon we still had a chance to catch up with Katherine and Erik. We left Congress and met them in Williams, Arizona where we had a nice leisurely Mexican lunch with them and their friend, Nath, one of the group that was backpacking that week.GC Conspiracy-6GC Conspiracy-4

Then we all continued to the Grand Canyon, they took off to join the rest of their group at their campsite, and we went in search of some National Forest land that we could boondock on.

fs 302-3We found a spot in Forest Service Road 302 just outside the park entrance. Check out my review of this boondocking spot here.

Later that evening we joined them at their group campsite. The group was having an early dinner and preparing for the morning. We enjoyed some wine together.GC Conspiracy-14

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They call themselves “The Grand Canyon Conspiracy”

Then Hector took some group shots. We got quite caught up in the excitement of the group and made a plan to meet them in the morning at their trailhead to see them off and for more photo opportunities.GC Conspiracy-25

GC Conspiracy-33GC Conspiracy-32But of course, Hector wanted to catch the sunrise on the canyon. And since we had Angel with us, we chose Yavapai Point for the sunrise. Fortunately, the rim trail that goes along from there to other points allows dogs.

GC Conspiracy-27GC Conspiracy-26GC Conspiracy-35GC Conspiracy-43It was a beautiful sunrise, the Grand Canyon is one of those places that takes my breath away no matter how many times I have seen it. We walked along the rim trail for a bit and checked out various views.

Then we drove to the Bright Angel trailhead to meet the gang. While there, we watched as a group of tourists prepared to head down the trail on mules.

GC Conspiracy-41This is a very popular tour – one day they head to the bottom on the mules, have dinner and overnight at the Phantom Ranch, and head up the next day.

I have to confess that I would freak out if I had to ride a mule down the Grand Canyon, but lots of people seem to enjoy it.

We also watched the hikers and backpackers hiking down the trail, I must admit I was a little jealous.GC Conspiracy-38GC Conspiracy-44

GC Conspiracy-45GC Conspiracy-49Finally our friends arrived, they were running a bit late, but Hector had scoped out a couple of places for photos already. He was able to take some quick group shots before we parted ways. GC Conspiracy-42
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GC Conspiracy-40GC Conspiracy-39We watched the group hiking down the trail for awhile, a bunch of happy campers off on a big adventure.

Then we took a short drive around the canyon, made a quick stop at the Visitor Center and went home to Island Girl.

GC Conspiracy-8GC Conspiracy-9Of course, we drove back out prior to sunset for more photography. Apparently, there is a vigorous debate as to whether sunrise or sunset is best for photography in the Grand Canyon. And we have the answer – both are spectacular!

GC Conspiracy-56GC Conspiracy-57GC Conspiracy-55We spent the afternoon and evening stopping along the overlooks on the east rim drive.  One view as amazing as the next.  We enjoyed the beautiful sunset at Lipan Point.GC Conspiracy-60GC Conspiracy-58GC Conspiracy-37GC Conspiracy-59

GC Conspiracy-62GC Conspiracy-63It was a great day in the Grand Canyon but we had to leave the next morning. Why did we cut our stay so short? Hector had a very specific photography goal in mind and we had to get to that destination before the new moon. All will be revealed in the next post.

~ BrendaGC Conspiracy-61




22 thoughts on “The Grand Canyon in One Day

    • We were so lucky to have just one day and for the weather to be so great. It must be beautiful there after a snow, although you don’t want to be in the midst of the storm.

  1. Your photos are just spectacular! How lucky your friends were to have you there to so creatively document the beginning of their adventure. I’ve hiked the Bright Angel trail down to the river and back — but next time, I’m staying overnight before starting back up the trail. :-))

    • Wow, up and back sounds like a tough hike. Hector hiked down and stayed overnight once. I hope to do that one day as well.

  2. Even though your visit was short, you got some beautiful pictures! Our first visit to the Grand Canyon was also just a quick one. We drove there and back from Phoenix in one day. I hope to spend more time in the future.

  3. How neat to get to see your friends off with the group! Love all the group photos as they were beginning their descent…happy hikers for sure:) They probably don’t have such memory keeper photos.

    Beautiful and spectacular photos as the canyon begins and ends of the day!!

    • Welcome! I imagine a helicopter ride would be an amazing view of the canyon. It is such a beautiful place.

  4. I would probs freak out if I had to ride a mule ANYwhere, Brenda!!! 🙂 We’ve never been to the Canyon and it is on our post-retirement list. Stunning sunrise shots!! Godspeed. xo

    • Funny. I cannot believe you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, but glad it’s on your list. See you this summer.

  5. I’m with you Brenda, no matter how many times I have been to the Grand Canyon, I never tire of the beauty. And Hector’s photos speak to the grandeur of the canyon. How wonderful to be able to see your friends off on their grand adventure!

    • Hector has photographed the Grand Canyon on a couple of different trips, and it has many different “looks”. I have seen some beautiful photos of National Parks in the snow, one day we will visit, but not in the motorhome.

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