Getting up before sunrise is always a great idea the evening before – but when the time comes it becomes nearly impossible! Our plans of seeing the Grand Canyon at sunrise were quickly destroyed, as we rose after 7…and we still had an over an hour drive to get to the Canyon!
On first glance of the Canyon it does take your breath away – just the sheer size of the area, and the quietness really struck us! Being out of peak season, at times we found ourselves alone at the viewing points along the Canyon – which made us feel very small in comparison to the walls of the Canyon. Being December, parts of the Canyon were also scattered with dustings of snow making our visit unique compared to the numerous postcards and photos we had previously viewed.
We started our journey by catching the FREE canyon bus to the east side of the canyon and back to Mather’s Point, directly behind the Visitors centre. One of the disadvantages of visiting the Canyon out of season is that the FREE buses only ran to the Canyon Village and to east of the Canyon – not touching the Hermits Rest or Hopi points– which some consider to be the best viewing points. Once again we were glad with the decision we had made to hire a car – and we were able to cruise the edge of the canyon stopping at our own leisure get numerous views of the amazing natural landscape.
Before long we found ourselves back on the highway – heading east and leaving the Canyon after a great day exploring. Time was against us, as we raced into Utah, hoping to catch a view of the famous Monument Valley. We crossed the border at 6pm – missing out on the first glance by half an hour. We checked into Gouldings Lodge, unknown what view would greet us in the morning. All we knew was that tomorrow morning all we needed to do to catch sunrise over Monument Valley was open the curtains….