Observation Points, Grand Canyon National Park
There are many places along the canyon rim to stop and go out on an observation point. It is tempting to keep snapping away , but it is hard for a photograph to give a sense of how enormous the Canyon.
You CAN capture some of the color. The contrast is better and gives a better idea of the depth if the light is not directly overhead, like at noon.
The people on the point give some scale to this picture which helps a little. If you can include something in the foreground, or some detail in a photograph it will do a better job of conveying at least part of the scene.
As I was advised, I would advise you to "do' the North rim first, and then the South rim.
The North rim is higher than the South rim, which gives you a better view, at amongst others ofcourse, the South Rim.
Above all, there're fewer tourists, as most people prefer to see the South rim. I guess it's closer to the other national parks, like Zion: most people come from the South...
Fondest memory: Walking, walking, walking (see my still to come "tips for trails")
My favorite thing is the scenery. Surprise, surprise! What can I say that has not already been said about this place? Here are some observations:
(1) Most people approach it from the South Rim. The North Rim is more remote, however either location will yield a wonderful experience.
(2) During the last visit, the admission fee was 20$ for the vehicle for a multi-day visit.
(3) There are several lookout points. If one appears too crowded, just drive down the road a little bit. Mather Point near the entrance could get crowded because it is one of the first places you reach after entering the park. Also, it is hard to view the Colorado River from a lot of the overlooks. To see the river that dug this canyon, make the stop at Desert View where the watchtower is located.
(4) Watch for wildlife along the road. Many people do not realize that there is a forest at the top of canyon. There is always a good chance of seeing wildlife in the morning and evening.
(5) For lodging, there are accomodations in the park if you can get them. We stayed in Tusayan just outside the park. Here, there is a choice of hotels and restaurants.
Fondest memory: We came in the fall when it was not really crowded at all. The weather was very nice, and the sun really brought some color to the canyon walls. It is interesting watching the colors change depending on what time of day it is here as well as the cloud cover. You will enjoy bringing a camera here to capture the mood. Of course, pictures could never match the actual experience of being there.
Favorite thing: Nothing compares with the views here at the Grand Canyon, but my favourite view would have to be here at Desert View where you can see how the flat Arizona landscape plunges suddenly over 2000 feet down the Canyon walls. From this vantage point you have a good view of the Vermillion Cliffs and the Colorado River below.
Favorite thing: The second observation station along the south entrance route. Yavapai Point provides views of the Bright Angel Trail, Phantom Ranch, Indian Gardens and the suspension bridge used to cross the Colorado river into the Bright Angel campground.
Favorite thing: I don't remember the first time I saw the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. I was 3 or 4. But it sure felt like the first time when we drove up to the North Rim lodge. I never knew what "breathtaking" really meant until that moment.
Favorite thing: Drove up from Flagstaff via highway 180. That road deposits the traveler at the South Rim visitor center and the Grand Canyon Village. This viewpoint is just to the east of the village. Crowded of course, but a tremendous introductory view of the spectacle that is the Grand Canyon.
Favorite thing: A small museum with exhibits depicting the canyon's history and providing views which extend for miles.
Favorite thing: Mather Point is the first observation station on the south entrance road. There is a short paved trail leading to the Canyon information plaza.