Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road

sud-ouest grand canyon

Perfect Boondocking Spot in the Grand Canyon

As soon as we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we met a fabulous local who shared with us her must-see places in the park. She also shared THE SPOT for us to camp at, for free, directly in the park, completely legally! In fact, the Grand Canyon is bordered by a national forest and can be reached by a road in the park. For those interested, look out for the “Grand view look out tower” in the Kaibab National Forest. Since we wanted to spend a few days in the Grand Canyon, this news was the perfect way to start our stay, as we had just learned that we wouldn’t have to “get out of the park” for the night! (To learn more about free camping read our article on the subject!)

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
The perfect spot to drink your coffee, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

After this fabulous meeting, we went to enjoy the sight of the “Desert View Watchtower” while quietly sipping our coffee. We got the same feeling as we did the very first time… Wow, Grand Canyon is awesome.

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Enjoying the view in comfort, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

If you plan to visit the Grand Canyon, we recommend that you spend a few days there, or at least be there in the morning when there are few visitors to the park. You will be able to better appreciate the immensity and the silence that reigns in the canyon!

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Making some yummy lunch!

We spent a few days there and were able to combine hiking, bird watching, our remote work and even a little artistic expression!

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Short creative session in front of the Grand Canyon, Arizona.

It was so nice to take our time through the park.

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Boondocking in the Kaibab Forest in the Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Although the temperature was quite cool, (around 12 ֯ C during the day and -4 ֯ C at night) we really enjoyed our time and always slept comfortably (check out our blog for tips for cool nights)!

Direction: heat and the mythical road of the South-West

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Itinerary for the 2nd week, a legendary road in Arizona.

After the Grand Canyon, we knew we wanted to return to Sedona, and we used the legendary itinerary featured in Lonely Planet as inspiration to define the must-sees on our way.

Prescott: A forest of giant rocks

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Sunset at Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona

It only took 2 hours to drive south and descend to altitude to find warm temperatures during the day and discover an enchanting landscape!

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Mountain biking in Prescott, Arizona.

We were able to explore the area and ride among the giant rocks!

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Bird watching at Prescott, Arizona.

Prescott is definitely a city to put on your itinerary. Don’t miss Watson Lake, an important nesting site for several species of birds! Go there at the end of the day, the light of the setting sun is so beautiful on the rocks!

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Breakfast in front of Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona.

We liked the location so much that we went back the next morning for lunch before hitting the road again.

Scenic route: 89A and Jerome, the ghost town

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
On route 89A, Arizona.

As usual, we decided to take the ’scenic route’ to get to Sedona. The landscapes are generally more beautiful than on the highways so it is always worth the detour. The road was beautiful and winding, crossing several mountains.

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Jerome, Arizona.

On the way, we made a stop in Jerome, the ghost town. A former mining town, Jerome was once the second most populated city in Arizona before it was almost completely abandoned when the mine closed. Now artists have settled there and it is a small tourist town. Restaurants, pop-up shops and art galleries make up the city. We especially liked the kaleidoscope store where you could find one retailing for over $20,000. Imagine the visual! We also discovered the workshop of a glassblower who demonstrated for us how to make a piece of blown glass. We loved the glimpse into his magical world!

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
The remains of the ghost town of Jerome, Arizona.

Perched in the mountains, the city has a western flair that is definitely worth a stop for the day! Walking through the streets, one can discover the remains of the city as well as its famous “sliding jail”, a still-intact prison having suffered a 500-foot landslide!

On the road: Cottonwood

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
Cottonwood, Arizona.

Located between Jerome and Sedona, we stopped at Cottonwood to explore its ruins. We also took the opportunity to shower at the city’s Recreation Center before heading to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) near Sedona for the night (read our blog post for places to shower on the road). 

Next destination : Sedona

Southwestern US: Grand Canyon and Mythical Arizona Road
The road to Sedona, Arizona.

We were REALLY looking forward to going back to Sedona for mountain biking. We tell you all about our week of discovering Red rocks from top to bottom in the next article!

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