Here we are about to catch up with some new posts about our Christmas desert trip!
Our Christmas trip was largely unplanned because of my foot, but it was actually one of the best trips we’ve ever had! Momma thinks that because I was finally outside again and not riding everywhere in a buggy I got some mental health days that helped my foot heal up even while we were walking for miles and miles a day! Spoiler alert: it’s still not healed all the way. But, it’s still getting closer.
One thing we did on our trip – that we are going to write about ALL out of order (not that it matters to anyone but us) – was go to the Grand Canyon. None of us had ever been and it seems like most people we know have gone to see this giant hole, so we went to see what all the fuss was about.
We would have never really considered going since National Parks kind of aren’t the best places to enjoy with pups, but we were so close after visiting my uncle and cousins in Scottsdale, and it turns out that the Grand Canyon National Park has MILES of trails that us four-legged puppers are allowed on.
In fact, dogs are allowed on all the South Rim trails that are above the rim! (National Park Service website on pets in the Grand Canyon.)
And that is a lot of trail to walk on! Because we kind of decided to go to the Grand Canyon at the last minute, and the parks were unattended with the rangers that give GREAT advice, we didn’t realize that the path we planned to walk we could have in fact driven, which would have given us more time to see more things.
But that’s probably OK because look at all of these pictures – can you tell if they are from lots of different areas that are spread far apart or are near each other?
During peak tourist season there is a bus-only section of Hermit Road that stops by several of these grandiose overlooks, and that was the primary section of trail we planned to walk. To begin, we parked in Lot C and walked to the rim and just started heading to the west on the paved trail inside the road.
We spent about 4 hours walking out and back and taking a million pictures (as you can see).
We started walking probably around 9 a.m. since we had come up from Flagstaff, and the trails were pretty empty until we turned around at 11 a.m.-ish or so. Even though we could have driven, it’s always better to walk when you can because you get to see SO much more that way.
It took a while before we were able to see the Colorado River. Crazy that all of this came from billions of years of that water flowing through here.
Lolo was a little uncertain about taking pictures here at the Grand Canyon, momma thinks he felt a little nervous with the updrafts of wind coming up near the edge.
I, on the other hand, have no fear of living life on the edge and am always happy to pose for pictures.
When we finished our walking tour we started heading to the east, because we were going to spend the night up in Page. The only map we could pull up of the Grand Canyon indicated there were quite a few more scenic pull-off spots along the way. What we did not realize was that the scale of the map showing these pull-offs to the east of the visitor’s center was nothing like the scale of the map of pull-offs along Hermit Road where we’d been walking.
This misunderstanding had momma directing us to parking in a picnic area and walking down a road to get back along the rim. Surely it was just ahead!
And from there we could walk to so many more overlooks! But we just kept walking and walking through the woods and didn’t see it. I mean, how far can we be from this gigantic hole??
All of a sudden Lolo and I got super jacked because there was a HUGE coyote standing 30 feet from us in the woods, and he was not at all concerned with our presence. Momma hustled us off before we disturbed him, but then she started paying attention to the tracks in the snow. And low and behold we found some HUGE cat tracks!
That was probably the most exciting part of the Grand Canyon for Lolo and I. We were just desperate to sniff and follow the big cat tracks. We spoke to someone on the trail as we were heading back to the car and they mentioned that there are often big cats in the area. So exciting!
The only other weird thing we saw was a very old man in a wheel chair peeing over the edge of the grand canyon. Momma is a magnet for seeing people pee in weird places, I swear.
Look how nice Lolo’s highlights match the reds of the Grand Canyon 😂
As we left the Grand Canyon, we entered Kaibab National Forest. Hooray! National forests out west are the best for us because we (as in those of us with four legs) can actually USE them! So momma and daddy happily stopped for an hour of exploration in the woods where we FINALLY got to run and stretch it out off leash!
We made it up to Page just after sunset, but momma was too soft to camp so we stayed in a hotel, which was a good thing because we woke up to a lot of SNOW in the morning!