I will have many upcoming blog posts and photos from a long trip I took during the month of May with my boyfriend Alexis (fiance now, but more on that later) and other friends as well. The trip included visiting four states (CA, AZ, NV, UT), three national parks (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon), even more canyons (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend), and natural reserves (Torrey Pines), as well as several major cities (Las Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Diego). Here I’m just starting at the beginning — planning the trip and the first official day.

For over a year Alexis and I had been planning a trip focused around visiting Havasu Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the Grand Canyon. Visiting Havasu Falls and the other falls on the Havasupai reservation requires much advanced planning and luck. There is no day hiking allowed, the campground has about 300 reservation spots and is very popular. You have to hike 10 miles in the desert into the canyon. You either carry your gear or hire a horse/mule to carry your things. Knowing all this we began preparing for our trip long before we booked it.

Reservations become available for the year starting on February 1st. That day we, along with many others, began the long process of calling the Native American reservation trying to reserve spots for the dates we wanted. Being flooded with so many calls at once while living in the middle of an isolated canyon you get the dial tone almost every time you call. After several of us spending days calling non-stop , almost giving up and beginning to plan a different trip, we became some of the lucky ones who got through and secured our group spots for the dates we wanted! Excited to actually be able to go on the trip we had dreamed (and already booked flights for!) we began planning in earnest. There is so much to see in that area I packed in as much as I could pretty close together.

Saturday May 13th, half of our group headed out together from LA to drive to the Grand Canyon South Rim. Seeing as Havasuapi is so close to the Grand Canyon I didn’t want to miss it… even if we had limited time. We finally made it to the Grand Canyon late in the afternoon 3-3:30 pm. We started at the visitor center and made a plan with the help of the rangers. We first walked up to the Overlook point just behind the visitor center, Mather Point. We had arrived so we were all eager to actually see the Grand Canyon!

We then took the blue line shuttle bus to the red line shuttle bus. Several points along the red line bus are known for being good for viewing sunset. Since we had arrived so late that seemed an ideal part to visit. We got off at each stop and only ended up doing the first four. We started at Trail View Overlook.

We took some fun group photos (missing a few who wandered off or showed up later) while exclaiming over winding switch backs you can see going into the garden trail down in the Canyon. Given more time we would have enjoyed hiking more of the Grand Canyon. Give our time constraints we made sure to hit both Maricopa Point Overlook and Powell Point Overlook before we ended at Hopi Point for sunset.

The breath of the Grand Canyon is spectacular to see, but we didn’t have much time or a chance to hike. I don’t think we had the full experience but I’m glad we stopped to see it. I would recommend trying to set aside more time to see the Grand Canyon depending on the experience you want.

The lighting on the canyon walls as the sunset created a radiant foggy glow.