I can successfully check doing a road trip off my holiday bucket list. My boyfriend and I had been planning the trip for months, and it was super rewarding to actually see the places we had been googling and doing research about with our own eyes. I can go on and on about everything we did and saw but I will save you a long winded post. Instead, I will share with you a short recap our trip, and photos because my words can’t give justice to all the beautiful landscapes and experiences we saw.
Here is a breakdown of the overall trip:
Start Date: Dec, 19, 2015
Total Distance traveled: 1600 miles ( 2,574 KM)
Number of hours spent in the car: 21 hours
Favorite Place: Antelope Canyon
End date: Dec 22, 2015
Day 1- Los Angeles, California –>Colorado River Reservation, AZ –> Phoenix , AZ–> Cottonwood, AZ
The first stop on the trip was Colorado River Indian Tribe Reservation. Our main reason for visiting the reservation was to visit their museum to learn about the native American history, however we forgot to account time difference and missed it before it closed.
Instead we drove around the reserve, which looks just like a little town with a Walmart, McDonald’s, Gas stations, and a Casino.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch along the Colorado river and then set off to Phoenix…
Since we didn’t spend as much time as planned at the Indian reservation we made a detour ( the beauty of make changes to you original plan on a road trip) to test out a restaurant my Dad raved about . He is the ultimate ‘foodie’ before it was a thing, and literally knows cities by restaurants. So we took his word and made a trip to Pappadeaux’s for dinner ( New Orleans styled seafood restaurant). The place was packed and for good reason. The food was so good, they are known for their fresh caught seafood dishes ( their lobster mac n cheese was delicious).
With full tummies and a few more hours to our final destination for the day. We hopped back on the road to Cottonwood, AZ, which is a recommended place to stay if you plan to visit Sedona. Its only 25 minutes away and it is half the price of accommodations than staying directly in Sedona.
Day 2- Cottonwood, AZ to Sedona, AZ –> Monument Valley, UT –> Page, AZ
They say, when in Sedona it is a must to see either the sunrise or sunset. We woke up bright and early to drive to Airport Mesa Lookout, which is supposed to be a picture perfect place to watch the sunrise. It happened to snow that morning so we didn’t get to see the sunrise, but on the bright side the snow eventually cleared out for a beautiful hike called the Devil’s bridge which is about a 1 mile, with several parts you have to climb which leads to one of the largest natural rock bridges.
I wish we could have spent more time at Sedona but we were on a tight schedule. We were on a race against the sun to get to Monument Valley before sunset. With only 45 minutes before the sunset, a gas tank pretty much on E, we made it to state number 3 (Utah) to see Monument Valley before the park closed, and the views were worth the trip.
Day 3- Page, AZ –> Grand Canyon, AZ
The previous day after visiting Monument valley we drove to Page, Arizona, to spend the first part of the day at Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend, before heading to the Grand Canyon.
Antelope Canyon, was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Let me just let the pictures speak for themselves for a sec…
Now, are you adding this to your list of places to visit? You really should! If you do, take a tour with Ken’s Tours. Since the park is on Navajo land it can only be accessed by guided tours. There are two sections of the Canyons- Lower and Upper. I visited the Lower Canyon. The main differences between the two are mainly the size, the lower Canyon is a bit bigger, and has more interesting formations. The tour is about an hour and a half and it cost $28. If you are into photography you can also pay for a photo pass which is a bit more expensive, but you have the chance to take better pictures with less people ( the canyons are pretty full of tourist all year round).
After the tour we headed to Horseshoe bend, where we actually spent more time than anticipated taking pictures, and enjoying time outside the car.
Similar to the day before, we were rushing to get to the Grand Canyon before the sunset. But we got distracted on the way to check out some local goods made by women from the nearby Navajo tribe. With only a 20-30 minutes to spare we made it to the Grand Canyon, and we were able to drive to a few look outs and see the colorful sunset.
Day 4 – Grand Canyon, AZ to Las Vegas, NV
When we arrived to the Grand Canyon the night before, the Park ranger warned us they were expecting snow. With optimistic thinking we still thought it would be possible to go for a hike, and if it did snow it would eventually clear like it did in Sedona. We set out for our hike as planned, and sadly it was snowing pretty darn bad. Things never cleared up and there was no visibility of the canyons.
The photo above is supposed to be a look out, and you couldn’t see NOTHING!
We were so disappointed but at least, we got to see a bit the day before. We changed our plans a bit and headed to Vegas earlier to spend some time exploring before flying back to LA. We visited the Hoover dam, and of course the Vegas strip. Since we had already put in a bunch of miles in the previous days we decided it would be best to fly back versus make the drive back from Vegas to LA.
There is the 4 states x 4 days road trip adventures in a nutshell…
Where are you planning your next road trip?
If you have never been to any of these places I would highly recommend checking them out. Check out my post for tips to planning your next road trip.