Summer is upon us and I had plans on enjoying the sun and sand before the summer crowds. My itinerary was set for an eight day slow paced drive through the Florida Keys. My toes were to be deeply imbedded in the Florida sand on May 15th. But, just days before I was to board my flight, I contracted inflamed asthma. My hopes were dashed and the Florida Keys trip had to be canceled.
After about a week, my asthma had gotten better and I was able to travel. With the short notice, I put together an itinerary. I duplicated a trip I had done before through Arizona and Utah. There was a small change to my prior trip’s itinerary which I will cover later. Yes, hiking through the southwest isn’t what normal people think of doing when they have asthma issues. But, then again, I like to push myself. My plans were to only do short hikes and this would be more of a photographic trip through this beautiful country.
My first visit would be the famed Grand Canyon. I arrived late in the afternoon and after I checked in to my hotel, I drove to the South Kaibab Trailhead. I wanted to get a quick hike in before sunset. Unfortunately, Yaki Point Road was closed to the public and only accessible by the park shuttle during the peak summer season. I had to park at a dirt lot which added almost another mile to my hike. I had planned on hiking to Cedar Ridge but sunset was approaching so I turned back after reaching Ooh Aah Point. The total distance from my car to the point was just over three miles but the incline did get to me just a little bit. I wasn’t as whole as I that I was and I bit off more than I could chew. My asthma had slowed my progress back up to the rim. I did make to the rim and just in time as the sun was setting.
The morning would come and I hit the road again heading east on Highway 64 along the canyon rim. I was on my way to Monument Valley and on the way there I explored the east rim area and stopped at multiple viewpoints for some amazing photographs. My first stop was at Shoshone Point which required a one mile hike.
Fortunately, this was a flat trail and it was an easy walk. I was there early enough to be the first person at the point and I had this amazing view all to myself. If you wish to visit Shoshone point, I suggest getting there early since the dirt lot is small. And, use your navigation app and enter the point as your destination before you leave since there are no signs for this trailhead.
I moved on and my next stop was Duck on a Rock viewpoint. A duck shaped rock highlights this view of the canyon.
I continued east to the Grand View Point, overlooking a panoramic view of the colorful canyon.
My next stop would be Moran Point and this was favorite stop along Desert View Drive, Highway 64. This was my favorite view of the canyon and the Colorado River.
I moved on to Desert View Watchtower, the last stop before the Grand Canyon East Entrance. The Watchtower is a 70 foot stone building located along the rim of the canyon. The first floor of the tower was the only area accessible during my visit. I’m not sure if it was due to the Covid pandemic but I had been here before and had already made it up the tower so I didn’t even enter the building. The wind had increased in intensity by the time I reached the tower so I didn’t spend to much time here. I had some snacks before I continued on and used the restroom. This is the cleanest facilities you’ll find along Desert View Drive between here and the south rim.
If you want to get away from the crowds at the south rim and enjoy different views of the canyon, I suggest doing this drive. My first leg of my roadtrip was completed so I exited the park and made my way to Monument Valley.