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The Air Force Academy

Pikes Peak

The Garden of the Gods

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Four Corners

Antelope Slot Canyon

Monument Valley

Grand Canyon National Park *

Hoover Dam

Death Valley

Sequoia and Kings Canyon

The Set of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

The Labrea Tar Pits

San Clemente State Beach

The Saguaro Desert

Goldfield Ghost Town

Slide Rock State Park, Sedona Arizona

The Meteor Crater

The Petrified Forest National Park

The Pecos River

The Pecos National Historical Park

Sante Fe

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

Carlesbad Caverns National Park

Camping near Carlsbad

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO


Grand Canyon National Park

We saved our Southwest trip until the kids were old enough to do more than just look over the rim of the Grand Canyon. Many people take day trip to the Grand Canyon on a bus when they are in Las Vegas and thats it. You can do better. We looked at taking a raft trip, but that was very pricy for 7 people and it also requires a greater time commitment. We decided to hike to the bottom and spend the night. We hiked down the Kaibab trail to Bright Angel Campround where we spent the night. We hiked out on the Bright Angel trail the next day. This was early May so the temeratures at the bottom were in the 80s and not the deadly hot like it can get in mid-summer. I hired a donkey to carry two seabags full of stuff for us to lighten our load. There are cabins available in the bottom at Phanotom Ranch. You must reserve these over a year in advance. You can get Breakfast or Dinner at the Canteen at Phantom ranch. Its pricy, but good. We opted to get breakfast so we could hike out on a full stomach. You eat family style and it was the best breakfast we ever had. You get your money's worth. As it was, we were able to reserver a campsite at Bright Angel. I faxed in my reservation request on the New Years day which was the first day the window was open for May camping and we got it. The rim is about 6000 feet above sea level and the floor of the Canyon is about 1000 feet. This makes for a temperature differences of 20 degerees or more between the rim and the floor. It was snowing in late May when we arived at the Grand Canyon and we got 2 inches of wet snow the first night we were there.

From the Top
From the Top

The Colorado River in the Bottom of the Canyon
The Colorado River in the Bottom of the Canyon

Hiking Out
Hiking Out