We’re rounding out our third week in Phoenix and have been loving the sun and warm weather. The nights are cool and the days are hot and sunny and we have the tans to prove it 🙂 – not to rub it in for everyone in the Midwest who is still dealing with snow.
We decided to take advantage of a free weekend and headed north to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Since we are both working remotely, we went up on a Sunday afternoon and worked from the hotel Monday – this is where working Eastern time while on Pacific time comes in handy since we log off at 2pm and can use our entire afternoon for fun. We left a little later in the day, which worked out to our advantage because we got to the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon when crowds were mostly non-existent.
We took a slight detour to Prescott on the drive to grab some lunch and stretch our legs. We stopped at Watson Lake for a quick walk – the scenery was gorgeous! At 5,000 ft. elevation, the scenery was a bit different from the desert we get in the Phoenix valley with lots of scrub bushes, juniper trees, and an absence of cacti. Snickers especially enjoyed chasing birds through the mud.
Since we had the dog with us, we were limited in the hiking we could do at the Grand Canyon (National Parks are notoriously dog-unfriendly). We parked at the Bright Angel trailhead and walked about 3 miles out and back along the Rim Trail. The great thing about this location was that no cars are allowed beyond that point and most people ride the shuttle rather than walking. We had the trail mostly to ourselves, and even though it was paved we had a very enjoyable time. It’s amazing to see all of the striations along the canyon walls and think about how the Colorado River cut it out over millions of years. It’s impossible to capture the grandeur in pictures, but suffice to say we were constantly uttering “wow, this is amazing!” even though we’d both visited before. We definitely recommend a visit at least once in your lifetime.
Sunday night we drove down to Flagstaff to stay for the night. Our time was mostly spend in the hotel since it was a Monday and we had to work, but we did end up grabbing beer at Dark Sky Brewing (highly recommend!), some lunch at Macy’s Coffee House (delicious lattes and healthy food), and walking the trail that runs through town (such a great use of space!).
Once we were finished with work, we headed to Sedona for a hike. The drive down was on mountain roads that cut through the rocks and provided amazing views. The weather was cloudy and cool – 70s – which was actually perfect for the hike since the desert sun can be brutal. We did 6 miles on the Chuckwagon Trail to Devil’s Arch. Very few people were on the Chuckwagon Trail, but the last 0.8 miles up to the arch we ran into quite a few hikers. I can’t blame them because the view was spectacular! The hike itself wasn’t too strenuous and we ended up running about 3 miles of it. Snickers, our resident mountain goat, had a blast running up the rocks at the end and nearly gave Matt a heart attack when she ran to the edge to survey the land. The red rock landscape is something that you just can’t see anywhere and even though they weren’t lit up by the sun we were amazed by their beauty. Matt didn’t brave walking on the bridge, but Snickers and I ran out there to snag a quick photo before our descent.
All-in-all, we had a fantastic weekend!