Antelope, Bear and Grand. Canyon, That Is. Our Vacation In The Southwest

a red canyon with light coming through

This is a tale of three canyons.  Chances are you haven’t heard of at least one and maybe two.  Oddly, it’s possible the Grand Canyon finishes in third place on this lost. As with most things, I’m running way behind on recapping our family trip.  I debated skipping it and getting caught up, then decided against it.  I had two main reasons.

First, I really want this blog to be a resource for my kids when they get older.  I hope they read through some of these stories and look through the pictures and enjoy the memories.  My parents didn’t have the same resources we do now.  Second, I like telling stories.  Some of the information might be a bit outdated.  However, where pricing, etc is concerned I double-checked facts as good as I could.

Final note.  If you’re looking for business class flight reviews to faraway places with pictures of champagne and caviar, this won’t be the review series for you.  This is a series of hotels and experience with my family.  The kids are calling it a great trip.  I agree.

Here’s what I plan to cover, mostly in order:

  • Planning The Trip
  • Hyatt Pinon Pointe
  • Dining in Sedona
  • Grand Canyon Railway
  • A Brief Stop At The Grand Canyon, How To Spend 3 Hours
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Glen Canyon Dam
  • Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort And Spa
  • Bear Canyon Ranch

How do you plan a trip like this?  Simple.  Leave it to me, since I can’t do anything the simple way.  The original goal was to get to Bear Canyon Ranch in Southern Colorado.  Our friends have been inviting us to visit with the family for the past few years.  We had tried to work it out a time or two and it just never quite fit.

My wife suggested last year that we stay put for the summer and explore the US as opposed to a European trip.  That seemed like the perfect opportunity to build a trip that involved Bear Canyon Ranch.  But, what to include?

As usual, I crammed in too much.  That meant we got a bit of time at a couple of outstanding places though not enough in any one place.  I’ll cover that more specifically in each post.  Suffice it to say that we could have taken 3 or 4 weeks instead of the 10 or so days.  Here’s a quick map of where we went:

a map with a route

While I used plenty of good old Google to help plan our trip, I also had help from a few friends.  When the idea of the Grand Canyon came up, it was a post by Mommy Points (well, her dad really) that turned us on to Grand Canyon Railway.  Charlie really loves trains.  This required a bit more scheduling and a bit less time at the Grand Canyon than we would have preferred  But, it’s a very unique way to visit.  More on that later, but we enjoyed it.

I’d almost guarantee you’ve seen a picture of Antelope Canyon, even if you don’t know the name.

a close-up of a canyon

While I’ve seen pictures myself, it was a set of posts by Seth at Wandering Aramean that got my wheels turning.  He visited both upper and lower Antelope.  We only visited lower and it was spectacular.  Again, more on that soon.

I’ve been wanting to tackle Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa ever since I got a chance to stay there overnight a year ago.  That was a great midpoint between the Grand Canyon and Bear Canyon Ranch.  We had a few days there, which was probably enough just for the resort.  I would have like an extra day or three for Santa Fe, some balloon time and another day roaming around Albuquerque.

The Final Two Pennies

Stay tuned for more posts on our family trip through the Southwest.  I’m also working to finish up my post series on my humanitarian flight to Africa.  Lots of good stuff there as well.  While I’m struggling to keep up with writing, work and spending time with the family, feel free to ask me questions to plan your own vacations.

The post Antelope, Bear and Grand. Canyon, That Is. Our Vacation In The Southwest was published first on Pizza in Motion.


  1. I’m planning a trip to the area in mid April for 3 weeks doing a loop from Las Vegas to Zion NP, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon and then onward to Vegas with stops somewhere in the Phoenix/Tucson area and Joshua Tree NP. I’ve noticed that points accommodation is mostly Holiday Inn Express which will have to do but is not very uplifting 🙁
    I’ll be following your series very closely for any suggestions as I’ve never been to this part of the world despite having lived in the US for 7-8 years.
    Glad there are those who blog about real travel. I don’t need pictures of first class seats, champagne and caviar 😉

    1. theawardtraveler, thanks for the kind words. For the Grand Canyon area, we stayed at Hyatt Pinon Pointe. We stayed at an “okay” Courtyard Marriott in the Lake Powell area for Antelope. Definitely slim pickings up that way. Happy to answer any questions you have ahead of your trip!

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