Back in 2011 I had met a great friend from South Korea, Si-Tae, whilst studying at university. I had invited him to my home town, Minneapolis, for the weekend. He had brought with him a book on US travels, and although I couldn’t read a damn thing in this book, I still decided to thumb through it.
I came across pictures of the Grand Canyon and asked him to translate; he had told me it was the number recommended thing to do in the US. Of course, New York and LA are the top tourist densities, but as far as the top “thing” to see, it was the Grand Canyon.
I went to Brazil in 2014 and was bored outside an information site and saw that they had a book on US travel, and behold; they too had listed the Grand Canyon as the must-see a thing in America. Off to Montreal, I went in 2015, the same thing, then down under to both New Zealand and Australia, and again, the Grand Canyon.
After getting back home from my trip down under in July 2016, I told my friend Holt we have to go to the Grand Canyon. So I booked a trip in late November for a weekend.
The plan was simple, fly to Vegas (cheapest) get on a tour bus and see the Grand Canyon. I found a few options, but the cheapest and most convenient was to stay slightly outside of Vegas and then go with SweetTours, I wrote a review of my experience on Trip Advisor.
Because at the time round trip flights to Vegas were expensive, to save money, did a one-way flight to Vegas, then a one-way flight to Denver (stayed to watch a Colorado Rapids playoff match), then a one-way flight back to Minneapolis.
We arrived at 1 AM in Vegas and then rented a car and drove out near the Hoover Dam, this gained us a few extra hours of sleep for the Sweet Tours bus in the morning and saved us a good amount of money to stay out that far.
Next morning we got up, messed up on time and showed up one minute before the bus was going to leave us for dust. The trip to the Grand Canyon, resulting in a long travel day, but an experience of a lifetime, all in all, I spent under $650 everything included over four days. A total of three hours was spent at the Canyon, and we had to run back to the bus because we lost track of time being struck by the natural wonder.
The next day we walked the strip and spent the rest of our time in Vegas waiting for our flight out to Denver; I sat at digital roulette table playing $1 games, receiving $10 drinks for free, best gambling I’ve done in my life.
Once I arrived in Denver we had one day planned; I met up with my friend whom I met in New Zealand during my canyoning trip in Piha. I have no idea what happened, but I had the wrong time for the match down in my calendar and arrive 35 minutes late to the match, thankfully it went to OT, and we saw Tim Howard stop all four penalty shots in the shootout.
I finished the night, meeting up with another friend I met in Australia during the same trip I took to New Zealand. Odd that two people I met were both from Denver. Concluding my trip to the Grand Canyon, well worth it and highly recommended.
This was the last trip I took before I really started to work on building points and miles.
I plan to go back someday and camp. I want to go to Havasu falls, if anyone has been there sending me a DM on Instagram. I’d love to hear about your experience and go over some of the planning you did for the trip.