We left Cottonwood, AZ and headed to Trailer Village RV Park inside the Grand Canyon. This was going to be one of the best RV parks we stayed in this whole year. It the only one inside the park that would take a rig as big as ours. Most state parks and National parks just do not accommodate larger RV. That the reason so many people have a smaller RV. For us, it just was not an option since we are full-time RV- ERS and we wanted to have the storage and also the room to have a washer and dryer. Though small fifth wheelers and motorhomes do have washer and dryers then they lack storage or queen beds, etc.
This would be John and I second trip to the Grand Canyon. The first trip was back in 2013 and we took a tour from Vegas. That trip we walked on the glass walkway that reaches out over the Canyon on the westside with the Colorado River below. …it was amazing….as most of you may know John is ( sorta ) afraid of heights, but he did good on the walkway..
Trailer Village RV Park like I said was inside the Grand Canyon. How cool is that? You have to be on top of reservations to make that happen and of course, that is something else we like to do plan, plan, and plan. Not usually any issues with that way of traveling as they all have cancellation policies and most are very reasonable.
Our first day there we hopped on the bus. It is so cool. You walk up to the end of the road wait for the bus and it takes you anywhere you want to go within the park just like Disney 😏 and the bus is free. Actually, during certain months to some of the spots, they do not allow cars so the bus is the only transportation. The bus is free to everyone that comes into the Park. We were at the south entrance. Our first stop was the visitor center and there you can also walk the brim of the ridge. It was a bit chilly that day but we decided to check it out for a couple of hours. I will have to say my pictures do not show the beauty of this place. It is absolutely amazing and gorgeous and every one of you reading this if you have not been you should most definitely put it on your bucket list, in my opinion. Fun fact- The Grand Canyon is the second most visited National Park. Anyone out there know the first most visited National Park? Well if you said The Great Smoky Mountains you are correct. Which happens to be my favorite Park too. How cool is that?!!
The South Kaibab trail wound down into the canyon and it seemed to be very popular but it was late afternoon and we had really no time to explore it. We headed back to the visitor center to get information for our next day hike. John checked out the map and planned a trail for us and how to take the bus to the trailhead. You basically had to transfer from one bus to the other to get where you wanted to go but honestly, it was no big deal as the buses run about 8-10 minutes apart.
We headed out for a full afternoon of exploring the Canyon. We had decide on the Bright Angel trailhead. This particular trail goes all the way down to the Colorado River. It actually is the trail that you take if you do the mule tour with a guide. John and I actually considered doing that. It a two-day trip on a mule. It 7 hours down to the bottom of the Canyon you spend the night at a ranch and then 6 hours back up. Really be a trip and experience of a lifetime. There were two things not cool about this -one was the price 2k for both of us, and secondly, those trails you follow are narrow and high so taking the mule/tour was off the table quick. With our walking sticks and bottled water in hand off, we went to explore natures beauty at Bright Angels Trailhead. This trail was three miles round trip and it went into the inner part of the grand canyon. Two to four hour hike with bathrooms at the halfway point down in the canyon. Can’t ask for anything better than that! So off we go.
We made it to the first rest area with bathrooms. It took us about an hour and ten minutes. The hike down was just amazing and had lots people hiking down and back up. Some people that had started out early in the morning and went farther down in the canyon. We stopped to take a break and out on the rocks was this pesky little squirrel..someone on the other side of us thought it would be cool to feed them. Course there are signs all over not to do this 🙄
After our short break, we would head back up the trail….to say this was a challenge is really putting it mildly. It was all uphill. We started at 6860 elevation and climbed down to 5720 ft. So now back up to the rim. We climbed and we climbed. Around every turn, John would say this is the steepest one yet, until the next one! 😉
We had a great hike up but it did challenge John and I. This is one of the toughest hikes to date. As I said it was a constant climb up. It never leveled off at any point even though in our minds we knew it was going to at some point ( we hoped.) It took thirty minutes longer to get up then to get down but that wasn’t surprising and actually, we were pretty proud of our selves. We usually don’t do tough hikes. The total miles we hiked was just over five miles and I believe this is our longest hike so far and did I mention the toughest…🤔
The next day we decided to grab the bus that had 8 different stops on it. It’s kind of like the buses you can get in tourist cities ( hop-on-hop-off type) but this bus took you around the rim of the grand canyon and you could see all the amazing views. Did I mention that it FREE? How cool is that? Neither one of us was sore so we’re pretty excited to get this day going. ( Little did we realize the next day would be when the soreness would strike ) Anyhow off we headed to the bus stop it was our last day stay at the RV park.
One of our stops was where there once was a mine. It was one of the richest Uranium mine that dropped 1500 ft below the canyon. The mine actual goes back to 1891 when an orphan Dan Hogan discovered copper. He built a daring trail 1100 ft below ( where this picture is taken ) and in 1936 he gave up mining and built a lodge and trading post on the rim, which in 1947, became Grand Canyon Inn. The beginning of 1951 was when uranium ore would be discovered and it quickly changed the business world.
The next stop would be Hopi Point where we would get a good view of the Colorado River. Just a glimpse of it but a fantastic view of the Canyon as well
On to Mohave Point where the view is amazing and more viewings of the Colorado River below..we also would see elk along the way and then head back to the lodge would we heard food and drinks calling our name..
Our last stop of the day would be lunch & drinks back at The Vavapai Lodge & Tavern. This lodge was part of the Mission 66 project where they would improve and provide better facilities to increase tourism by 1966 which would be the parks 50th anniversary..it was a great lunch and a great way to end our stay at Grand Canyon.
We leave Trailer Village RV Park and head to Williams AZ where our journey will continue….