There are two entrances to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Most people take the south entrance, heading north from Flagstaff. The east entrance is a longer drive north past Flagstaff and is less popular. The best thing to do is to take one route in and the other route out.
When entering the park from the east, Desert View is the first stop along the road heading west to Grand Canyon village. Nearby is the Desert view watchtower, the highest point at the south rim at 7,522 feet and which provides views of the Colorado river and the Painted Desert.
I'd always wanted to see the Colorado River. During my first Grand Canyon trip, I only spent a few hours at the South Rim and didn't have enough time to hike down far enough to see it. Nearly two years after that first trip to the Grand Canyon, I caught the first glimpse of this mighty river of creation with my own eyes. It amazing how peaceful the river looks, almost as if its lazily winding its way through the Canyon instead of being the violent force of nature which caused the upheaval we know as the Grand Canyon. The river's turquise waters look pretty inviting too. Its easy to see how this force of nature could lure in would be swimmers on a sweltering 100 plus degree day, unsuspecting of its powerful currents.
Jim spoke of the violence which created the Grand Canyon. The powerful surging Colorado River which forced its way across and carved the rugged landscape. As Jim put it, nature can be formidable and ruthless. Nature also shows us who's really in control. Man only thinks that he is powerful. But, Jim went on to say, having an opposable thumb is not what makes one powerful. Having the force to create a deep gorge in the earth? Now, that's powerful.
The Colorado 's waters after being released by the Glen Canyon Dam. An engineering marvel, but many criticize the destruction of what had been a pristine canyon full of life and wonder. The resulting Lake Powell is only suitable for the fishes and houseboats.