Four Corners Monument has a certain appeal, no doubt about it. There is just something about being able to stand in 4 states at one time and check, check, check, check them off the bucket list. My oldest also really wanted see Four Corners, so that gave us the added initiative to add this stop to our road trip. Here are the most important things you need to know about Four Corners.
1) It's in the middle of nowhere. It's way, WAY out there with not much around except, of course, the beautiful scenery and gorgeous view. (We passed the coolest formation called Shiprock) so that's something to consider. Of course we were coming up towards it from Roswell, so you may have a different experience coming through one of the other states.
2) Be prepared for the opportunity to buy lots of things. It's somewhat of a tourist trap, but some of the handmade items there are absolutely gorgeous and we were kinda like, "Here. Take our money."
3) When you get there, you'll head straight for the 4 corners, but there will probably bean awkward line forming there. There is a 3 Picture Limit according to the signs placed around the monument, though I'm not sure how they would know if you took 3 or 50. I think the point is to be respectful of all the people who are there to do just what you are doing.
4) Don't be in such a hurry though. The signs sort of persuaded me to rush things along and I didn't even think to do some of the things I had wanted to do there, like, put each foot and hand in a different state, or kiss my hubby while in different states. We did get a photo of each of our kids in a different state, so I'll still call it a success.
Would we go again? No. I don't think so. But we are glad to have visited there once.
BONUS PRO TIP: Take note of where the sun is, and turn away from it for a picture with fewer squinty eyes and hand shaded faces. (Clearly, we were not yet pros when we took our photos...)
The Hoover Dam is amazing. If you are anywhere even remotely close to it, get there to see it! I actually don't know a whole lot about the construction of the dam, but I did take a dam selfie.
Sadly, we didn't take the dam tour, but we're actually just grateful that we made it there in time to see it at all! We made it in the nick of time, about 15 minutes before the dam closed. It was SO beautiful to look at. The dam is constructed beautifully, and the way the road winds around it makes for a really fun drive. Don't expect it to be cool when you open your car door though! It was blazing hot, even at 8:00 at night!
There were some surprises about visiting the Hoover Dam, based on the assumptions I made from watching the movie Fools Rush In.
1) The Hoover Dam is gated and patrolled. You don't just drive right up to it and hop out.
2) Consequently, the Dam has a closing time. Don't expect to drive right across it during the nighttime hours. I believe it closes somewhere around 8:00 or 9:00 PM
3) It is recommended that you DO NOT sit on the ledge around the dam.
4) You actually DO toss a coin in if you want to. We saw the evidence and added our wishes to the mix.
5) Remember to Enjoy the sight of fresh water... It's the last of it for a long time if you're heading west through the desert!
Rating 5 Stars- Would Definitely Go Again!
The Grand Canyon is one of those places that conjures up mixed emotions. You've got the "It's just a hole in the ground" crowd, and then you've got the "WOW" crowd. We fall directly in the "WOW" crowd. It was 114 degrees when we were there, we walked a ton, climbed a bunch of steps and although we were direly thirsty and half of us were cramping up, I wouldn't trade it. Every once in a while, you get the privilege of being in a natural sanctuary, a place where you feel it's only appropriate to be silent, or possibly whisper a praise and you can stand there in awe for even just a moment. In my experience that's becoming increasingly rare, and I'm grateful for a moment just like that.:
Here are my top tips for enjoying the Grand Canyon:
1) Take water with you. Even when you get out of your car. We made a rookie mistake, and left our water in the car! It's the desert y'all. Take some water.
2) Plan to spend some time there. We only stopped at the first vantage point, even though there were many, We could have spent much longer there, but to be honest, we were wiped out from the heat (and our silly mistake mentioned above)
3) Even if you're going with your family, try to steal just a moment by yourself in this place. Take turns with the spouse holding onto the kid most likely to run towards a canyon, and sneak a moment in a place where peace echoes. And try not to feel like the moment was ruined when someone shouts ECHO (echo, echo...) into said canyon. And by someone, I mean your children. ;)
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