Nothing prepares you for your first sight of the Grand Canyon, even the last few miles gives nothing away for it is not until you park your car and walk literally to the rim that this awesome sight takes your breath away.
After a four hour drive from a hot 95 degree Phoenix, with snow forecast for the following day we made the most of our first few hours and took advantage of the free shuttle bus that allows you to hop on & off at the many vantage points. The next day dawned bright but by late morning the weather closed in and, as forecast, the snow arrived and the temperature fell to 0 degrees!
Our next stop on our tour of Arizona was Lake Powell, over 180 miles long with a shoreline of 2,000 miles and formed by damming the Colorado River in 1963. This lake took 17 years to fill and is dotted with side canyons and wonderful scenery. A boat trip is a must here as is a visit to the Glen Canyon Dam where guided tours take you inside the dam itself. It is a great place to rent a houseboat, many of which come with water -slides & hot tubs!
We headed east from Lake Powell to Monument Valley in Utah. As you approach this centre of the Navajo Nation the road straightens and you catch your first glimpse of the ‘Mittens’ & ‘Buttes’. One of the USA’s most definitive landscapes and seen in countless Western movies, nothing could beat our sunset horse ride led by Patrick, a native Navajo. With just the three of us we were treated to a truly wonderful experience riding a deserted trail in the valley with sightings of a desert fox and eagles.
The only thing missing was John Wayne riding by, although my husband swears he saw him in the distance!