If you have my luck (visiting the Grand Canyon under deeply different weather conditions) you will have the chance to feel how strong the natural elements are.
Not only the carving of the canyon evidences the mighty power of water and wind, but the behaviour of nature may provide a live performance of some of its strong power. Dramatic shadows, thunders, bright colours, compose a kaleidoscope hard to forget.
The trip from Flagstaff to GC south entrance is a much-varied landscape. I highly recommend the book Roadside Geography of Arizona. It describes the various geographies you pass through on the major scenic highways in Arizona, including the one from Flagstaff to GC (which has many unexpected characteristics including lava flows and a pygmy forest).
On the way back to Flagstaff, exit the Grand Canyon via the East entrance, completing a loop and seeing other roadside items of geographic interest on the way back.
If you head out on the North route around the Grand Canyon you will head into the Painted desert and the Vermilllion Cliffs. This is a beatiful Drive in fact you can see the entire 40 miles or so before you embark and when you finish the drive heading up to the higher altitudes on the North side of the Canyon.
The first view of Grand Canyon Really took my breath away. For my whole trip, I stayed on the South Rim, but hopefully next time, I will get to the North Rim.
South Rim is already setup as a tourist friendly area, with trams that could take you around the Western area of the park, & clearly marked roads that will take you through most of the South Rim. There is a huge tourist welcome center built near the main entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, with interactive displays & helpful Park Rangers.
Other than walking the trails that are along the top of the Grand Canyon, there are trails that will take you to the bottom of the canyon. I went about 1/3 of the way before coming back up, & I thought the view was marvellous.
Grand Canyon is also a wonderful area to watch sunsets. The information center posts and updates the sunset times bulletin board everyday.
When I drove back to the hotel at night to Flagstaff, I looked up into the sky & was able to see the whole sky twinkling with stars. Few places left in America offer this, & it is truly a testiment to mother nature's power.
Caution! Do not go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon unless you are totally prepared, for if you are not physically fit enough, did not bring enough water & food, or if you do not have enough energy, the National Park Rangers might have to send mules to pick you up. The final cost for the rescue operation could cost you more than a bundle.
When I drove to the Grand Canyon, I was wondering where it was. I expected to see mountains, or at least hills with a very deep valley, which would be the canyon. But nothing appeared, just flat landscape. At the end of the road there was a parking lot, so I stopped there and got out of the car. I walked a few metres and wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, what a deep canyon! It just appeared there out of nothing! That was probably the most amazing part for me. It is so immense deep, but nothing to indicate what is coming when you drive to the canyon.
It is really a GRAND Canyon. So I thought.... 'it's so big let's take more than one picture and stick them together' :-))
And it worked out fine : it looks great in my photoalbum. If placing the picture here was such a good idea, I don't know. Anyway I scanned it in, so here they are; all 4 of them.
Isn't this awesome?
This is a place where the concept of seeing it & the reality of seeing it measures up & in fact it's mind-boggling than anyone could ever described.
I didn't get to hike it to the bottom but I flew over it many more times than majority of the people, except those pilots. BUT, every single time, it still thrills me to discover every different corner of this gigantic & bigger than life marvel of the world.
What can I say?
I even wish that after my death, my ashes would be spread across this place!
What an intoxicating trip of a lifetime!
Another thought just came to mind...
I want to paraglide across the Grand Canyon!
You don't believe me?
Ok, I shall ask for another miracle...
We will wait & see.
The Grand Canyon is an amazing place. At first I didn't believe what I saw! I had seen it so many times on tv and pictures in magazines, but seeing the Canyon with my own eyes, wow, simply unbelievable!
Now this experience was amazing as soon as you walk through this lodge the canyon is there to be seen in all its glory.
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