When David and I were in Vegas recently, we knew that we wanted to take a day-trip somewhere. We aren’t particularly the relaxing type while on vacation. If we don’t get home from our trips feeling like we need a vacation, it feels like we haven’t gotten our money’s worth. We just really like to go, see, and explore as much as physically possible — and we knew that the Grand Canyon was only a four hour drive from Sin City. So we started to make our day trip plans. And even though our plan involved over eight hours of driving in one day, we were excited. I had never seen the Canyon, and David had only seen it once when he was a kid, so we knew it would be memorable. We wanted to see as much as possible with our limited time, without actually hiking, for multiple reasons. For starters, we had a few hours. Secondly, I’m not exactly a hiker — nature and I can co-exist from a distance at best. We finally settled on having our traditional view of the South Rim of the Canyon near the visitors center. We then took the Desert View Drive, which in our household, is also known as please-drive-ten-miles-under-the-speed-limit-and-drive-us-out of-our-minds road.
With the exception of all the incredibly slow drivers, Desert View Drive was a great way for us to day-trip the Grand Canyon. It’s a 25 mile road, with stops you can pull off every mile or so — but we recommend only pulling off for the places with parking lots. That’s how you know you’re getting the best views, and the drive won’t take you 10 hours.
We stopped at all the major points, and watched the sunset from Lipan point, which is the second to last stop on the drive. We got there about thirty minutes before sunset, which we recommend doing, as it got crowded as the sun started to go down. The crowds cleared out quickly after the suns last rays faded, but David and I stayed. The best show of the day was starting with hundreds of stars lighting up. Lipan point was the greatest seat in the house to a spectacular view of the Milky Way. This was my favorite part of the day, and I’m surprised that we were the only people out there, watching the stars over the canyon. Seriously, if you’re doing this day trip, don’t leave before the stars come out.
We finished our day with hot chocolate in town, as temperatures had dropped to the low 40’s, and started our drive back to Vegas. We were at our hotel before midnight. This is a very do-able day trip from the Grand Canyon, and one we highly encourage; it was one of our favorite days of the trip.