I flew into Las Vegas (normally the cheapest place to fly to in the area) and arrived around noon. I drove east to an area near the south rim of the Grand Canyon (where I was staying in an Airbnb), but along the way stopped at the Hoover Dam. I didn’t spend too much time there but it is worth checking out. The place I was staying was a micro cabin about 30 minutes south of the entrance to the south rim. By the time I arrived it was almost dark, so I waited until the next morning to see the Grand Canyon.
It is around $30 to enter Grand Canyon National Park, but the pass is good for a week. I walked west along the south rim the first day to Grand Canyon Village. It was relatively crowded but I was glad to see so many people enjoying it. The Grand Canyon is really incredible. The second day I walked east and made it to the east rim (Desert View) which offers a different experience. Overall it was great, but in order to descend into the Canyon you will need special shoes or attachments for shoes (so you will have to prepare ahead of time).
That night I drove south to Flagstaff where I stayed in an Airbnb in town. The town is great and has lots of places to eat, drink and explore. The next morning I went slightly further south to Sedona to explore the town and hike. The town of Sedona itself is really nice, but the hiking is even better. The only issue is that it is so popular that parking can be an issue. Be sure to plan for this. I found a less known hiking area but found it so amazing that I went back to the same trail the following day. I was able to modify the hike I did the first day so that I could see an entirely different view of the area and the rock formations. I highly recommend Sedona.
Finally, I went to Phoenix for a few days at the end of the trip. Phoenix is nice (as are the surrounding towns of Scottsdale and Mesa--I didn’t care for Glendale). There is not as much hiking as in the northern part of the state, but still a fun area. I got a tattoo also in Phoenix at Golden Rule Tattoo--a parlor I recommend if that interests you.
I considered extending the trip to Tuscon, but didn’t have the time. If you go that route, you can swing west to San Diego or, do what I ended up doing anyway, driving back to Las Vegas for my flight home.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I wouldn't have going to Glendale
Anything go wrong during the trip?
What tips would you give a friend?
Be sure to go camping and hiking as part of the trip
At night it can get cold in the desert, so bring warm clothes. However, Phoenix can get super hot, so bring cooler clothes as well.