Day 15 – Grand Canyon to Las Vegas vía Williams and Hoover Dam

Arizona to Nevada

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon

An early start to see the sunrise over the Grand Canyon was a once in a lifetime thing I just had to do. I don’t think the views were as stunning as the sunset the night before, but there was something so peaceful and tranquil to watch the sun come up over this natural wonder.

It was a cloudy morning which meant the sun cast some amazing looking shadows. I along with a handful of other tourists were all busy ‘clicking’ away to try and capture the vision.

After an hour the rain came and provided another amazing vista with mist in parts of the canyon. After getting soaked, it was time to go back to the room, have some breakfast and leave the Canyon.

Route 66 again!

Heading south we soon picked up the old Route 66 again at Williams, the last town to have this iconic road upgraded to Interstate40. The town was full of R66 diners, but today we had a long journey ahead of us so there would be ‘no kicks’ today. It was great to see the ambience again though.

On the I40 we saw the first signs for Los Angeles, but that is to be one of our last stops on this road trip in a couple of weeks time.

We left the high forest land after the Grand Canyon and were back into the miles of flat prairie land. It seemed a long while since we first experienced this coming out of Utah to Idaho and Wyoming.

Eventually, we came to more rocky country as the rain lashed down again, making driving conditions unpleasant, especially when faced with a 300 mile drive. We were noticing that our altitude was dropping, and the temperature increasing.

Entering Nevada, our 14th State

Coming towards the Hoover Dam the weather had brightened up in time to see the great views along the way.

As we got closer we entered the Mojave Desert and were surrounded by another different landscape from those we had seen so far on this trip. We were now at 2,300 ft, the lowest we have been at since Chicago.

Driving through the desert landscape we once again saw our friend the Colorado River, this time looking a lovely blue compared with the mud colour we had seen yesterday in the Canyon.

We had planned to stop and see the Hoover Dam but as we approached, we saw huge queues and a quick Google search told me they were 50 minute queues so we decided to carry on to Vegas and come back to do see the Dam tomorrow.

20 miles out of the City we could see the towering buildings of the Strip and the famous Stratosphere tower. The last time we had seen a skyline like this was at Denver.

As we approached, the temperature showed 82F (28C) and our altitude was about 2,000 feet. We saw palm trees, the first since we arrived in USA.

See the separate Las Vegas blog for our thoughts on Vegas.

Ax