John Wayne and a Great Big Canyon

As we headed to Monument Valley we drove down a road that we had seen before because the view epitomised the very idea of an American road trip and has appeared in films and posters.

20130925-113848.jpg
We spent 2 nights at Monument Valley, one night at the established campground and one night closer to the valley with great views but no facilities. The scenery was amazing with spectacular buttes, mesas and spires. This was the area the John Wayne films were made and his memorabilia was everywhere. The track around the valley was rough and only suitable for 4wd with RVs not been allowed. Nevertheless we took the truck into the valley. The truck coped well but with all the shaking we were worried about our contents so only drove part of the track.

20130925-114129.jpg

In any event the best views were from the visitor centre.

20130925-114350.jpg

20130925-114524.jpg

20130925-114650.jpg

We were also lucky to be there at full moon which only added to the spectacular vista.

20130925-114849.jpg

20130925-115056.jpg

From Monument Valley we drove to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s true you can not see the Canyon until you are almost on the lip and then it just appears. An amazing vast Canyon with the river over a mile below you.

We did the traditional scenic drive stopping at all the viewpoints. The photos do not do it justice.

20130925-115246.jpg

20130925-115356.jpg

The next day we decided it was time for a good hike and all managed to complete the spectacular 13km crater rim hike. A new walking record for Alisha and Lucy. As the hike is one way we were grateful for the shuttle bus back to the campsite.

20130925-115526.jpg
Whilst it is only 15kms from the South Rim to the North Rim it is 300kms by road. When we arrived at the campground at the North Rim we were disappointed to find it full. However we were told that you could camp for free in the forest just outside the park. In the forest were designated campsites with just a fire ring. We drove 8kms down a gravel road and found a perfect site perched right on the edge of the Canyon. What a view. Canyon on one side and beautiful forest with the quaking aspens turning yellow with the onset of Autumn on the other. This was a really special site and for anyone following in our footsteps drive down forest road 611 and drive along to site 611V.

20130925-115739.jpg
Reluctantly we left the site to do the normal sightseeing on the North Rim. The North Rim is much greener than the South and it is also over 300m higher. Whilst the views are not as spectacular it is still amazing.

20130925-120036.jpg
We left the canyon for another night camped in the Forest outside.

20130925-120243.jpg

One thought on “John Wayne and a Great Big Canyon

  1. Your pictures are stunning. My daughter Sydney and I enjoyed reading your post and she now wants to go see Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *