After Death Valley we wanted to go on to Utah. But like so many, we also wanted to make a short detour to Las Vegas. We had actually planned to spend a night there, but finally decided against it in the city and drove on later. The reason was that Las Vegas is quite a party town and our lives now no longer allow such parties after we had that in the end decades excessively behind us.
This was one of the last days of our 2022 trip to the western U.S. I wanted to end the day with a little tour of the neighborhood, so I grabbed my camera and went exploring around the hotel.
In the USA there is really probably the worst price/performance ratio for hotel rooms. Even in 2015, you could get a hotel room for $40, which could be quite unpleasant. On this trip, that could be over $100. I can only recommend everyone to be prepared for terrible hotel rooms for prices below 200$. I would say under 200$ you get as good as no European conditions for the quality. This video gives an example of a ~70$ room in Phoenix where you had to worry about the neighborhood.
This tour was supposed to go to the Grand Canyon. We decided for the southern part and made there a small hike down into the valley. In the end, it was not much, but somehow the air was out due to the American lifestyle. There was just no performance left. For comparison, in the Alps we ran later in one day 1200-1500 m up and! down again. Partially over 2000 m down. The Grand Canyon is only 1000 m deep. In the Alps, some run that in 45 minutes. However, of course, you should not underestimate the solar radiation and the heat.
We had found this time near Mesa Verde times with 70$ a quite cheap hotel that had not completely disgusting dirty rooms. The furnishings were from the 70s, but at least clean. Our destination today was Flagstaff in Arizona. First, however, we drove to four corners, which, by the way, cost $5 admission per person and then through the desert past Tom Hanks Point, through Monument Valley and then to Flagstaff.
Due to the fact that we could not enter Arches National Park because of overcrowding, we finally drove on to our next destination. On the list was Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. On the journey to Colorado it unfortunately became colder and colder. We had snow and sleet again. We first wanted to spend the night in the park, but then didn’t because of the astronomical prices. Besides, it would have been even colder there. In the park itself it was again partly stormy and partly so cold that we could not stay outside. In the park itself were also again many sights closed but fortunately there were quite few visitors.
After our night in Green River, where by the way exactly opposite of our hotel in campground was, which had quite a lot of campers, we wanted to visit Arches first. What we did not know was that you have to register here online in advance, because so many people want to go to the park and otherwise the park becomes too crowded. Once again, the park was full and we could not enter at all this time. This was now the third or fourth park we could not enjoy. I anticipate that this will rule out trips to the western US for me in the future. We tried to get a ticket online, but it was impossible. So we drove to Canyonlands National Park which is right next door. I already suspected bad, but strangely enough the park was not so much visited. The park is one of my favorite parks in the US at all. Much better than the Grand Canyon and so many other national parks. So we did some hiking over the day there.
It was hard to believe, but once again there was a cold snap in April in the USA. As on the previous day, we drove again through Zion National Park and then the highway towards Green River in the direction of Moab. I knew that in Moab the hotels are very expensive and in Green River reasonably affordable. In the end, we got a Motel 6 for $120, which is quite outrageous by German standards. The last time I was there in 2015 I paid just $40 in any of the motels there. The landscape on the way to Green River was quite nice, but different than expected. In the end, it went from Zion National Park to a fairly high plateau, which also caused the temperatures to drop sharply. From there we finally had snowstorms all the way to Green River and I was a bit worried about the road conditions.