All Fifty States Club

Canyons and Casinos

July 26, 2018

Major Cities – Phoenix, Sedona, Las Vegas

Main Attractions – Grand Canyon, Zion National Park

States – AZ, NV, UT

Grand Canyon photo taken by 50 stater Afif Abla

Every list of the “natural wonders of the world” includes the Grand Canyon. And for good reason! Even amazing photography and vivid videography cannot replace the sense of awe and wonder you get from standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon in person. And even though the highlight of this trip is the Canyon, there are even more wonders to visit along the way.


Fly into Phoenix, Arizona and stay for a day or two taking in the desert beauty by hiking at one of many parks such as Camelback Mountain or Hole in the Rock. After your stay in Phoenix drive north on Interstate 17, then change to State Route 179 to drive through beautiful Oak Creek Canyon and through the town of Sedona. Sedona, known for its red rock beauty, is a place to connect with nature. Take an off-road adventure with Pink Jeep tours. Visit some art galleries. See if you feel any supernatural vibes at a Sedona vortex, a supposed intersection of earth energy forces. Continue north and drive through Flagstaff until you reach the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Aim to arrive in the early afternoon to stop at the National Park Visitor Center to get your bearings and watch a video about the formation of the Canyon. Then get your first glance of the canyon by visiting the rim at sunset. Make reservations far in advance close to the park such as at the El Tovar Lodge or Mather campground. The next morning wake up early to view the park again in different light and watch the sunrise at the Canyon before visiting scenic overlooks via a shuttle or hiking between stops.

Your scenic view will continue as you drive Desert View Highway east out of the National Park and north to Page, Arizona, the home of Lake Powell. The stunning beauty of the rocks and water is mesmerizing. Tour Glen Canyon Dam before heading into Utah. Utah is known for its “Mighty 5” national parks and visiting them can be a whole trip in of itself. However, on this trip you will have to limit yourself to Zion National Park, take in the beauty for a day, before heading for Las Vegas. Although you may want to try your hand at blackjack, the sights to see are the elaborate facades and décor of the hotels and casinos. Drive down The Las Vegas Strip and gawk at the hotels and the people. Watch the Fountains in front of the Bellagio and walk through Caesar’s Palace. Las Vegas will be a stark contrast from the initial part of your trip so be sure to reflect on all you have seen on the entire trip – the canyons and the casinos.


More time? Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Valley of Fire


States – AZ, UT, NV