Arizona or is it?

When planning for travel, I am usually pretty on top of things when it comes to doing a bit of research to determine what I should pack, particularly in terms of the weather.

I could not have been more surprised on our recent trip to Arizona!  Although I had contemplated cooler temperatures for this time of year, I was not prepared for a the foot of freshly fallen snow that greeted us as we drove to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Hello & welcome to Arizona!

Hello & welcome to Arizona!

Our we entered the park, we were greeted by a number of Rocky Mountain Elk along the roadside, quietly munching away, almost oblivious to us.

A gorgeous winter wonderland scene lay before us.  Having come from the cold in Canada in hopes of warmer desert temperatures, it was as if Mother Nature was playing a twisted prank on us.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Checking in to our hotel, I asked the gentleman at reception if this was typical of weather for the area this time of year.  He just sort of shrugged & said, “it’s winter”.  I may have seen an eye roll & heard him mutter, “stupid tourists”, under his breath.  Kidding! He could not have been more kind!

Dropping our luggage in our room, we took a few moments to share a bit of laughter as to how uninformed we were, but chose to not feel defeated!  Layering up, we ventured outside. Snow or no snow, we were not missing the opportunity to see the Grand Canyon.

This was the view when we first stepped outside.


Not a canyon to be seen!

One might think at this point we would feel discouraged.  Admittedly we were disappointed but after laughing at our situation, we did what any good Canadian would do. We built a wee snowman!


Deciding to head for a bit of warmth to warm up our toes, we ventured in to a few shops, hoping to drown our disappointment in a little retail therapy.  Although no major purchases were made, Mother Nature had once again been working her magic in the short time we had been inside.

As we came back outside, it was if the skies opened & this was our view.


Can I get a Hallelujah?

Many people chose to visit the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, due to its proximity to Las Vegas.  Always looking for the less travelled option, we developed our itinerary based on some recommendations from tripadvisor & head to the South Rim.  It was also suggested that upon leaving, to take the east rim road out.  The views that met us along the way were stunning!


Taken at the South Rim

A gorgeous viewpoint along the way.

A gorgeous viewpoint along the way.


Desert View Tower

I would love to return some day when I can actually wear shorts & do some hiking!



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23 Responses to Arizona or is it?

  1. joannesisco says:

    I’ve heard about the highly variable weather one can encounter at the Grand Canyon, but I too would have been shocked and even disappointed at the snow and initially zero visibility.
    I visited the Grand Canyon many years ago and it is still one of the highlights of all my travels … breathtaking beyond any description or photo.
    I too would love to go back some day!

  2. Paul says:

    Great shots Lynn. I visited there once and I have to say it is the most impressive sight i have ever seen. It is one of only two or three times in my life that I have actually lost the perspective that I was looking at something and found myself lost in what I saw.

    Excellent photography Lynn.

    • Lynn says:

      It is so hard to capture the magnificence of such a place Paul. The size is beyond comprehension! Thanks of the visit:)

      • Paul says:

        The size is mind boggling isn’t it? I was so struck by the size that I did a little calculation and determined that you could put every human who has ever existed plus everything humans have ever constructed into a small fraction if the length of the Grand Canyon and still have lots of room left over.

      • Lynn says:

        Wow, that’s crazy Paul!

  3. Thanks for sharing the pictures. It looks like you had a great vacation.

    • Lynn says:

      We did Nelson! Hope to write more about our trip in future posts. By the end of the week, we were sitting on a beach in 80 degree weather!

  4. Sue Slaght says:

    Too bad you had the snow but what an amazing contrast against the beautiful rock! Gorgeous photos of the Grand Canyon!

  5. karen says:

    Wow Lynn…its on my list…And the snow, surprisingly not unusual in the desert at highter altitudes…Have encountered it on a few trips to phoenix and hikes!!! K

    • Lynn says:

      I think we anticipated cooler temperatures & maybe a dusting of snow, but we were quite shocked at how much had fallen! It is a state with a very diverse landscape, lots to explore!

  6. Ingrid says:

    At least you managed to get some gorgeous shots once the fog lifted. Most folks don’t realize the extreme diversity of Arizona. We camped at the GC in November a couple of years ago and the overnight temps were below freezing. We knew what we were getting into and were prepared but so many tourists were not. Once we even encountered snow in Tucson 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      We did a little celebratory dance when we came back out & the fog had lifted. It was if suddenly everyone was in party mode!

      We overheard one woman commenting, “Oh thank God, I couldn’t afford to sit in the bar any longer”. We thought that was hysterical!

      I would love to go back in warmer temperatures to do some hiking. An incredible place to visit:)

  7. Wow! What terrific photos. Looks like a great time.

  8. pieterk515 says:

    What a massive contrast to your post on ORANGE!! More great shots girlfriend!!

    • Lynn says:

      Yes, the whole week was a contrast! From a foot of snow at the beginning of the week, to 80 degree weather on a beach by the end of week! Thanks for the compliments!

  9. I ran into snow at the Grand Canyon a couple years ago – it was surprising, but an amazing experience! It looks like you saw a lot more snow there than I did, though!

  10. restlessjo says:

    The first time I’ve ever seen it in snow. Pretty spectacular, Lynn 🙂 If unplanned…

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