Travels: USA Roadtrip 2019 – Episode 2

USA Roadtrip 2019 – Episode 2:

Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon

We headed off to Bryce National Park – wrapped in our winter clothes. After a 1.5 hour drive we arrived at around 11:00 and indeed the temperature was below 0°C. We were walking on snow, freezing our butts off, while being stunned by the beautiful views. 

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Unfortunately the other lookout (The Arches) we wanted to see was closed because of the bad weather conditions. So we had a lunch break at Subway. I was surprised that 2 of us got away with asking the shop lady to heat up the food we brought in the microwave. In Europe I wouldn’t have dared to ask, despite the fact that 4 of us bought food. 

A “small” coffee that is as big as a “medium” European one
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Our second destination was Zion National Park, where we arrived also after a 1.5 hour drive. We chose to go there after Bryce as we hoped for good light at Bryce (which we unfortunately didn’t get through). Also, the guys expected Bryce to be more beautiful and Zion to look like some places in France (where they came from). Zion was absolutely worth it though. Not only could we finally hike a little bit, instead of just slowly walking along a flat plane (and stopping every 5 meters to take pictures), but the scenery was so beautiful. New differently shaped red stones popped up every few meters and it was so much fun to climb them!

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In a way we were lucky about the ongoing government shutdown in the US, as we didn’t have to pay the 35$ per car entrance fees for the national parks.

We came home (the same nice Airbnb with the Hot Tub for one more night) at around 18:30, which gave us some relaxing time in the evening. I realized I need that as the days are quite exhausting with all the driving, exploring (in cold temperatures) and seeing new things. In the evening I am exhausted, so if I can’t reload my energy, I can’t enjoy the tour on the next day as much. 

In the morning of 15th January (3rd Day) we discussed whether it’s worth it at all to go to the Grand Canyon as the weather forecast predicted 100% probability of rain. We actually had planned to go to Antelope Canyon – one of the most famous places in Arizona. However, given the relatively high entrance fee (50$ per person) and the bad weather conditions, we decided not to go. Thankfully, as it turned out, we did take the risk to go to Great Canyon. And so we headed off to yet another US state: Arizona.

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Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend – a breathtaking experience!! And, we were immensely lucky, because as soon as we were done with taking our photos the canyon was completely filled up with fog. It had already started snowing while we were enjoying the view, which made the breathtaking view seem even more surreal.

The stunning Horseshoe Bend & its surroundings
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Snowing @ Horseshoe Bend
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Our next stop was Little Colorado – another lookout at the Grand Canyon.

The Little Colorado Lookout
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At our third destination, actually really called Grand Canyon, we didn’t have any luck anymore. The view was terrible, we couldn’t see any of the Canyon and it was snowing. The whole area looked more like a winter wonderland than anything I would have expected from the area around Grand Canyon. Again we were allowed to heat up our food at a lunch place (!!) and had some hot chocolate to heat up.

Some mouse traps at our lunch place at the snowy and foggy Grand Canyon Lookout
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The snow and the fog made us joke about the ridiculousness of the situation: “I would have never thought it will be snowing when I first visit the Grand Canyon” and “I would have never thought, the first time I go to Grand Canyon, I would not see the Grand Canyon.”

We arrived in Las Vegas for just a one night stopover. Some of us went to the casinos, but I didn’t. I was exhausted and wanted to save the whole experience for when we come back at the end of our journey.

Click here to read the next episode of this USA Roadtrip 2019 or navigate through the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

  1. Prologue & Epilogue
  2. Arrival & 1st Day
  3. Bryce, Zion and The Grand Canyon
  4. Cabin in the Woods 
  5. Yosemite
  6. The Golden Gate Bridge
  7. Huge trees & Hollywood
  8. Universal Studios Hollywood
  9. The LA experience
  10. A paradise of stones
  11. Finally, Las Vegas!

Written by Julia Heuritsch | Last edited: 24th June 2022

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