Friday, January 01, 2016

Christmas 2015 trip to Arizona

 Dec. 23rd, drove past Tucson to visit Pima air museum

Dec. 24, visited Phoenix's botanical gardens and the Science museum

We also did a little hike near the botanical gardens to Hole in Rock, Papago park

Christmas Day, Nicolas and I hiked to the top of Camelback mountain

Dec. 26, Montezuma's castle. Cliff dwellings of the Sinagua Indians. 

Dec. 26 also stopped by Montezuma's well 

 Dec. 27. Hiking near our Oak Creek VRBO (vacation rental by owner), Courthouse Rock and Bell Rock. We also did a great hike around the airport Mesa.
View of Sedona from Sedona airport mesa.

Hiking the airport trail

View from airport trail.

Dec. 27. After hiking around Sedona we drove to the Grand Canyon. En route we went on the 'polar express' train ride in Williams

Dec. 28, woke up early to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. It was cold 17 F (~ -8 C) and we unnecessarily race hiked before breakfast to Yapavai lookout from our hotel.

Sun's rays illuminating the canyon in the twilight after sunrise
Desert View tower
Nicolas and I hiked a bit of the Bright Angel trail

Our Bright Angel at Bright Angel Trailhead!

We hiked along the South Rim towards Hermit's Rest, thinking we could take the shuttle back.
The red shuttle does not run in winter, but we figured it out before we went too far and turned around.

  Viewpoint along the south rim. It was busy but we were lucky to be able to stay right in the park at Yapavai Lodge.

The good thing about short days is you can watch the sunrise and sunset without trying very hard! (Sunrise was ~ 7:30 and sunset ~ 5:30).

Dec. 29. we drove to Hermit's Rest and then to Oak Creek (Sedona)

Dec. 30th. I woke up early to go for a trail-run up Cathedral Rock.

Sun coming up behind Bell Rock

Met a couple from California at the end of thr trail who were kind enough to snap a quick photo.
They were going to do a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon the next day

We drove to Phoenix that afternoon and the kids and I took in the aquarium while K. went shopping

Another perfect day!

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