This year on March 2018, went on one of the most lively road trips ever. I went online did my research on random spots to visit while driving to LA to the Grand Canyon. Below is the list of places that intrigued me the most and had to stop by:
- Calico Ghost Town
- Zzyzx Road
- Las Vegas
- Lake Mead
- Hoover Dam
- Alpacas of the Southwest
- Grand Canyon
First stop Calico Ghost town, off interstate 15 and take exit 191 to Ghost Town Road. This historical spot has been around since 1881 and known for its production of silver. They have small shops and restaurants, along with a train ride displaying the old mines that you must go on. Don’t forget to check out the cemetery and school bridge. Click on link for info on entrance and other fees Calico Ghost Town.
Zzyzx Road was probably one of the most creepiest stops. Main reason, it’s a lonely road to exit off the interstate 15. Drive 4 miles down to find abandoned life formerly known as “Soda Springs”and home of Desert studies Center. Honestly, this place creeped me out because literally nobody was there and when I did see someone, they were alone. Why would someone be alone in an abandoned place also know as Weirdest Town in America? I don’t know and who am I to judge? Lol Nevertheless, you want to come at least once and trip out on this unique place.
There is nothing more I can say about Vegas because Vegas is Vegas. Didn’t really bother mingling on the strip on this road trip solely because the main purpose was getting to the Grand Canyon as soon as possible. One stop that did happen was grabbing some burgers at White Castle (must stop and open 24hrs). Highly satisfying.
Fourth stop was Lake Mead. Got to this National Recreation area early as 6am and got to see the sunrise. Such a beautiful scene even though it was cold, you were able to see the sunlight peeping through the dark skies. Make sure to find the Lake Mead Overlook where most people come to admire views and take pictures. Close to the overlook is the road to the Hoover Dam. You can’t miss it.
Since we got here earlier than opening time, we had the whole dam to ourselves. Before entering the Hoover Dam there will be a checkpoint. Usually they don’t really stop anybody but you never know if you might get unlucky. After the check point trip out on the impressive architecture of the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and gaze at the Colorado River. You can check out tour prices and information on the link Hoover Dam – Bureau of Reclamation. At this point you will still be under the pacific time zone. Once you hit the view to the reservoir you will now be in Arizona, mountian time zone. Hang out at the Memorial Bridge where there are areas to soak up the views and stand over 1,900 ft above the dam.
Sixth spot was to Alpacas of the Southwest, a private home with a farm of Alpacas. Got to this destination before opening time (10:00am) so had to wait to get in. Luckily we were the first ones to enter the premises. We were greeted by the owner, don’t remember his name but he was very friendly and walked us to the barn where the Alpacas were located. Mind you there are loose dogs and alpacas around but they are well trained. It was $9 per car and let me tell you the tour was very informative. The owner gave detailed information on the Alpacas and you are able to feed and pet them. You can take as many photos that you like but be careful not to get to close because they will spit at you. Overall, this was a fun stop before hitting the canyon. From Las Vegas to the Grand canyon, its around a four hour drive, so this stop made things a little more enjoyable.
Finally the big stop, the Grand Canyon one of the seven Wonders of the Natural World. Let me first off by saying that the drive here had amazing views and the traffic was light. The entrance fee is around $25 for the seven day pass. Not to mention we headed to the South rim of the canyon. There are other popular areas to visit such as the north rim which is acutally closer to vegas. Also, if you are looking for Skywalk, that would be on the west side of the canyon. Since it was my first time here, didn’t really have that much knowledge on the go to stops so just relied on the map Grand Canyon South Rim Map and went from there. Wildlife is everywhere and you will defintely be seeing some wild big horn sheep. The main five areas we did make stops to were Yaki Point, Grand View Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point, and Desert View Watch Tower. Have to say that the watch tower was my favorite. It had the most traffic but only because of the gorgeous panoramic views from the tower including the Colorado River. Not only that, you are able to enter the tower and view all the ancient mysteries of the southwest and if you walk to the top of the stairs you can see the views via binoculars.
Hope you get to experience a road trip like this. Driving for hours can be tiring but if you make random stops like these I guarantee you will make some fun memories and never forget these amazing places. If you need more information on any of these areas please comment or send me a message. I will glady respond.
Below are some photos of each stop. Hope you enjoy!
Calico Ghost Town
Alpacas of the Southwest
Grand Canyon – (south rim)