Grand Canyon Francisco Vázquez de Coronado exploration

Grand Canyon5
This marvel of nature measures over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep.  The land is special to many people and has several names including:
Paiute Indian tribe: Kaibab, which means “mountain lying down” or “mountain turned upside down.”
Hopi: Ongtupqa
Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la
Come for a day or explore for a week the canyon has adventure for everyone.    We parked and connected with the buses:

gand canyon selfies grand canyon

This option makes for easy travels and scenic viewing of the park. We never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus. The drivers will give you additional information and tips along the way.  We ate lunch at El Tovar which was reasonable and the view was stunning.

Address: 1 El Tovar Road, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023

El Tovar lodge

We finished the day with a drive to the Grand View. There are remains of the buildings that once were the focal point of the canyon.

grand view grand canyonGrand view grand canyon remains

Marble Canyon lodge is a bit of a drive from the Grand Canyon but we needed to head north on our journey. There is a dam which is a bit of an engineering feat.  We all agreed the highlight of the first few days was playing in river at Glen Canyon.  The Vermilion Cliffs are spectacular in the evening.

Our hotel had the perfect view of the sunset. The Marble Canyon Lodge does not offer much in the way of amenities but your porch view is the reason for the stay.  The address is Hwy 89 Marble Canyon and is located next to a little store and restaurant.

Marble Canyon Lodge view Marble Canyon Lodge


Kanab, Utah

Kanab is a charming town. This area was first settled in 1864 and the town was founded in 1870 by 10 Mormon families. The town is known for its Hollywood filming connection including The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Daniel Boone, El Dorado and Planet of the Apes. Kanab easily could be another 3 or 4 day weekend. The city is proud of their history and outdoor adventures.
Scenery Scenery Utah

scenery 2 Visitor Center

Our first stop was the Little Hollywood Museum at 297 W Center St, Kanab.
This little gem offer generous hours 9-9 so take 30 minutes to step back in time.

We took a trail ride guided by Allen’s Trail Rides.  They met us just beyond the BLM building so it was easy to find them. We went through a canyon and it was the perfect family activity.  Give them a call at 435-689-1660 as they were flexible with our schedule and booked a private session for us.
horseback riding Kanab hiking trails

We took a short break from the rain and went to Moqui Cave.  The cave does not go back too far so if you are claustrophobic this still can work.  The rocks he had collected was impressive.  This stop does not take very long as we were back in the car on to our next destination in less than 30 minutes.
Moqi Cave Moqi Cave outside

Best Friends Sanctuary is a few miles outside of Kanab. This is the location where the tv show is filmed.  They have tours only at specific times during the day so plan ahead as they are not every hour.  You can drive through the center but you are not to get out and disturb those who are working.  One of the guides mentioned this barn was in a Disney film.
Disney barn

Best Friends Best Friends horse

The original set for Gunsmoke is a 20ish minute drive out of town. The set is on private property but is visible from the road. The location is not marked so be on the lookout.  This gem will be on your right if you are coming from Kanab.
Gunsmoke 1 Gunsmoke 2 Gunsmoke

We opted to stay outside of Kanab to and this hotel did not disappoint.
Parkway Motel
74 East Street Hwy 89
Orderville, UT 84758

Parkway Motel

Parkway Motel Falling in Love living room Parkway Motel Falling in Love

Each of the rooms have a theme. We chose Falling in Love. This room is a suite with a private bedroom and yes a mirror on the ceiling. Bring your favorite movie as there is no cable. The hotel is located across the street from a local grocery store which is uber handy.

We ate a local favorite Rocking V Cafe.  The seating area is quaint just know that one must order food if you want to have a libation.  Those silly Utah liquor laws.

Kanab beer

San Carlos Hotel, AZ

In 1879 a larger two story brick structure was built with four rooms and a bell tower. This was Phoenix’ fourth brick building and there were no other structures North of the school on what was then Center Street. The school was expanded in 1893 to sixteen rooms and served the school children of Phoenix for close to a quarter century.

1916 The schoolhouse had again been outgrown and was condemned. In 1919 the entire block was purchased by the Babbitts (relatives of former Secretary of the Interior and Governor Bruce Babbitt) to make way for a major hotel, but those plans languished.

1927 The Hotel San Carlos finally became the hotel project the growing city yearned for when Charles Harris, financed by Dwight B. Heard, purchased the hotel site and began construction.

The design was done by nationally known architects, G. Witecross Ritchie of Los Angeles, in the Italian renaissance style.

The San Carlos had its share of celebrities such as Mae WestClark GableCarole LombardMarilyn Monroe and Gene Autry.  Marilyn’s room is closest to the roof top pool.

Legend has it the hotel is haunted by the spirits of distraught hotel guests.  Some say Leona Jensen, who in May 1928 leaped to her death off the top after checking into room 720.  Hotel guests and workers are also said to have heard children. People hear voices of 3 young boys.  The story says they had been playing ball when it accidentally went into the well and ultimately drowned when they went into the well to retrieve their ball.