Leaving Las Vegas – For the Grand Canyon
The Road to Grand Canyon National Park
I was jolted awake from my deep slumber when the bus hit the unpaved road. The bus driver explained that the last leg to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas was a 10 mile stretch of raw rough terrain. The bus continued to bounce along like an old covered wagon in a classic Western movie. The other adventurers on the bus laughed and smiled as they looked out upon the desert floor, which was inhabited with hundred year old cacti. These ancient plants looked like gnarled hands reaching out to the white sun in the pale azure sky. Among the cacti I spotted a family of bighorn sheep wandering the red, dusty landscape. According to the bus driver, spotting bighorn sheep was a sign of good luck.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk
The first stop was the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This structure was built directly into the side of a sheer cliff wall. Its star attraction was a reinforced all glass walkway that hung directly 4000 feet above the Canyon floor. Looking directly down through the transparent panels, one could see the Colorado River.
Since it was early in the day, I decided explore the rest of the surrounding canyon grounds. I ventured as far as I could to a cliff’s edge and admired Mother Nature’s artwork. One rock took the shape of a sleeping dog. This was appropriate since the sun gave this immense stone canine a bright copper color. Another rock took the form of a noble eagle. Its wings spanned several hundred feet. As the other travelers took their time with the various vistas, I decided to leave for a spot named Guano Point, which was renowned for offering even more monolithic views.
360 View at Guano Point
As I exited the bus, I beheld a peak in the distance, which resembled a giant ant hill. I knew right away that from that spot I would find the best lookout point. Because there were a few other explorers already milling about, I briskly strode down the wide gravel path so that I could be the first to reach the top of the hill’s peak. At the bottom of the rocky hill I proceeded to climb. As I scaled the moderate incline, I was glad to have worn solid and yet comfortable hiking shoes. They made mounting the lesser sized boulders a surmountable feat. My lightweight jacket and cargo pants kept me cool in the bright sunlight and yet protected me from the invigorating wind.
Grand Canyon Location – A Day Trip From Vegas
After a 15-minute heart pumping trek, I finally reached the top. Upon the pinnacle, I was treated to a 360 view that put the previous vistas at the Grand Canyon Skywalk to shame. To my right I could see far off canyon walls. These glittered in the sun and changed colors from pinkish to reddish to purplish hues, as the distant clouds danced across the sky and cast playful shadows upon them. To my left I spied the Colorado River winding across the canyon floor like a giant green snake. Behind me laid the carved path, which I traversed to get to that lookout point. Beyond the path I could see the neighboring mountain range. Out of breath and quite enraptured, I took my tiny canteen out from my mini backup and enjoyed a mouthful of cool water. Later, on the bus ride back to the City of Sin, I was glad to realize that such a tried and true landmark could still culminate in a fresh adventure. All within a brief day’s trip from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip.
Written By Ryan Sangalang
Growing up in the bustling city of Los Angeles, Ryan always dreamed of exploring distant lands. After college, Ryan was bitten by the travel bug! A few years later, he was bitten by something different – the photography bug! He’s now combined these two passions and chronicles some of his adventures through his humble blog at www.ryansangalang.com . When not going on adventures abroad, Ryan is a foodie at heart and enjoys exploring local attractions and restaurants, in places like the Grand Canyon.