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My wife Judy and I enjoyed a trip to Arizona in October and experienced some amazing adventures in and around Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon.

Panorama of the Grand Canyon taken with my iPhone from the South Rim

We stayed in Sedona and enjoyed exploring the area in and around town. Sedona is a retirement and tourism community known for the stunning red buttes and monoliths in the surrounding Red Rocks region.

Taken from our car window while driving through Sedona

Based on a strong recommendation from Patrick and Kelly Ciriacks, we took a Pink Jeep tour, specifically, the Broken Arrow & Scenic Rim Combo tour. Pat and Kelly were right; it was a fantastic experience. The scenery was breathtaking as our driver masterfully conquered rough terrain, steep inclines and rock faces that appeared impassible.

Arthur & Judy Tymos during Pink Jeep Tour near Sedona

While the photo below doesn’t do it justice, we drove down one of the steepest hills I have been on in any vehicle and this one was rather rough and exhilarating!

Years of tire-marks on hill descended during Pink Jeep tour

After an adrenalin-charged morning bouncing around in the jeep, we got back in our smooth rental car and drove to the Grand Canyon South Rim. The Grand Canyon was every bit as spectacular as I had imagined and we walked for miles along the rim.

For most of our walk, the open-cliff edge of the canyon was only a couple of strides off the path. Some of the visitor lookout points had railings but most of the canyon edge was unobstructed.

The South Rim elevation averages 7,000 feet and was higher than I had anticipated. Up to 18 miles wide and 277 miles long, the Grand Canyon averages about a mile deep.

I took way too many photos of the Grand Canyon, as I had planned to do. It was well worth the visit and also represented another “Bucket List” item achieved.

Grand Canyon and Colorado River

The next morning, after a three hour drive from Sedona to Flag, Arizona, we embarked on a Colorado River Discovery rafting excursion through the Glen Canyon, located just upstream from the Grand Canyon.

Our rafting adventure commenced with a remarkable bus ride down the two-mile long Glen Canyon Dam access tunnel. Descending hundreds of feet in the tunnel on a steep 8% grade, we arrived at the base of the Glen Canyon dam, which soared 700 feet above us, and boarded a motorized pontoon raft for our journey downstream.

Glen Canyon Dam taken from our pontoon raft on the Colorado River

Notice the other two blue rafts on the right-side of the river in the photo above which puts the enormousness of the Glen Canyon Dam and the towering-heights of the canyon walls into perspective.

I rode the outside pontoon of the raft for most of the next three hours. My feet got drenched a couple of times when our guide accelerated without warning but it was a great way to ride the river.

On the Pontoon!

We experienced one of the most dramatic stretches of river found anywhere in the United States.

Our guide shared stories from the river and surrounding area, including readings from the journal and explorations of Major John Wesley Powell. We listened intently and soaked-in the magnificence of the soaring sandstone cliffs and crystal blue-green waters.

Glen Canyon

At lunch time, we stopped along the river’s bank and viewed ancient petroglyphs left by Ancestral Puebloan peoples.

Petroglyphs on Glen Canyon wall

The canyon walls were 1,200 feet high in many places and the Colorado River did a 180 degree turn at Horseshoe Bend.

Glen Canyon and Colorado River

We thoroughly enjoyed our rafting voyage which ended at the historic Lees Ferry.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon or Sedona? If so, what was your experience like? If not, would you like to go sometime?

2 Comments to Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon & Sedona

  1. Basia Charney's Gravatar Basia Charney
    Jan 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much for the beautiful pictures of Arizona. I was never there but my dream is to go there. Seems to me this is a beautiful place to visit. I’m glad you had a good time 🙂 It was very nice to watch the pictures. They are very interesting. I miss you, Arthur, please say hello to Judy. I wish all the best for the New Year.

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