Tempe, Arizona – Sedona & Grand Canyon

June 2012 – Business & Pleasure (all pics are clickable for HiRez size)

June 15th – June 18th Leslie was taking a course about Hospital Development and Organ Donation.  Cheryl flew down on the 15th for some R & R while I was in my course.  Great course sponsored by NATCO and was useful to attend even though we do things much differently in Canada.

While we were away Cheryl’s cousin Taylor and boyfriend Dave took care of our “kids” and house…they have a little Chihuahua, Olive which made 4 dogs and an elderly cat for them to care for over a week. They always help out these “kids” and that also meant they were here for 44 days last summer while we were up north. We trust them immensely.

Sometimes we have to go away without our bikes.  To be honest this was a trip that while riding around Arizona would have been great we are glad to have had a car with A/C.  Average temperature was over 100F and we both have never felt heat like this in our lives. 

Even at night you felt like you were walking in an oven but at the same time it was tolerable.  Our home base for this trip was the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and we would highly recommend this place.  Clean, friendly, nice pool and great location to Phoenix, Scottsdale and if you rent a car like we did not far from the Grand Canyon and Sedona.

Room was really nice too

We are fortunate to be able to travel as much as we do!

With the heat being so HOT we had a lot of this.  Leslie does not even drink that much but between large quantities of water and beer it sure helped keep us hydrated. 😉

We got to fit in a Diamondback game and to our surprise the Chase Stadium was closed that night with tons of air conditioning.  It was 108 F game time. The light rail system to Phoenix was quick, cheap and easy.

Tempe at night

The best ice cream sandwich ever!

Room with a view
Rabbit Fountain

After the course was over on Tuesday, June 19th we rented this

To take us on a very quick 1000 mile whirlwind tour of only part of Arizona.  We wanted to see Sedona and the Grand Canyon.  About 4 hours away from Tempe we drove pretty much straight through Sedona, took a quick look and moved on to the Grand Canyon to catch a sunset.

Leslie was at the Grand Canyon when she was around 12 but this was Cheryl’s first visit and it was great to see it together.

This is a little we saw on the way to the Canyon….

Red Rocks, Sedona. Beautiful!

Cheryl in her glory with the sun and heat
Leslie struggling a bit with the heat but managing

Entrance to the Grand Canyon Park. Elevation of the South Rim is 7000 ft above sea level.  It was hot when we got there but cooled down after sunset.

$25 gets you a 7 day pass

Here is some history of the park for those who do not know and may want to learn a thing or two.

The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa; Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is contained within and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery. It is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.[1]

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet / 1,800 metres)[2] Nearly two billion years of the Earth‘s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.[3] While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists,[4] recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago.[5][6] Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to its present-day configuration.[7]

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon (“Ongtupqa” in Hopi language) a holy site and made pilgrimages to it.[8] The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.[9]

This is what we got to see Tuesday night when we arrived!  BEAUTIFUL and the Canyon is really GRAND!

Quite a bit of wildlife around the park like Elk, Ravens, Condors, squirrels, amphibians, Peregrine Falcons, Goshawks and owls.  Too many to mention but at night the bats fly around like crazy and you find yourself ducking from them.

There was not a cloud in the sky so the sunset was not dramatic but was awesome to be there at the moment when the sun sunk behind the horizon.

The cliffs in the east at the same time lit up

What’s great about being at the South Rim before, during and after sunset you can look at the same area and the colours keep changing with the time of day.

After the sunset and there were hundreds of people there with us we went back to our just OK hotel outside the park and returned in the morning.  We found out, which we should have researched more that we could actually stay almost on the rim in the park for about the same price…like here

Beautiful hotel with a really good restaurant which we had breakfast in…


Once again the morning the canyon colours were much different than the say before.  We ended up spending all day in the park just hiking, walking, and driving!  Taking tons of pics as well.  Cheryl got a hold of the camera this time and she did indeed take some pretty gorgeous pictures!

You can see part of the trail in the next picture…this will take you all the way down to the Colorado River and you can also hike to the north rim if you have 4 days.

I remember when I was a kid, Leslie….I saw the mules heading down with tourists in their backs.  I felt badly for the mule but I know that is all they know.  But having said that I still felt badly seeing them packing up all the gear when they past us in the trail.

Here they come 2 groups and yield to MULES

Yes we both had a camera but Cheryl had to good one, the Panasonic GF3 😉

I know just a squirrel but they are so cute in the canyon basking in the sun, rolling in the dust and hiding in the trees


The trail is very well maintained.

We then drove around to the Desert View and then we were off…great day at the Canyon and well worth surviving the heat.

Old watch tower and every stone was hand picked and placed

The amazing Colorado River that created this entire Canyon.

Inside the Watch Tower

We left and headed to HOT Prescott for the night.  Cheryl wondered around the property and here are some of her shots!


We also made a trip to the Out Of Africa Park in Camp Verde and I will post that for another day.  All in all…great business trip and psyched Cheryl and I got to get 4 days of some real vacationing in.  It’s been a long 6 months without a real holiday and now in 2 weeks we head out on our bikes for a ADV trip!  Stay tuned!  Hope you liked out visit to the Canyon!

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

4 thoughts on “Tempe, Arizona – Sedona & Grand Canyon”

  1. Did you hike up the butte just north of the hotel? Some beautiful views of the area from the top. I was there for a meeting a couple of years ago (in February!).

    Beautiful photos of the Grand Canyon. And the last sunset photo is especially nice.

      1. Oh, it took me a while but I was thinking of a trail north of the hotel in Tempe. I thought it looked familiar in your pictures.

      2. There is the A hill behind the Tempe Mission Palms hotel. We did not walk up that trail. Every time we thought about it, it was in the middle of the heat!

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