Grand Canyon National Park 1/27 by Tripoto
Samia Ahmed
Apart from the obvious Grand Canyon tour which is a must do (try the ultimate Grand Canyon 4 in 1 helicopter tour) other famous places to visit in Arizona include, El Tavor, a beautiful architectural marvel at the Grand Canyon National Park. The three trinities in Greater Phoenix, The Heard Museum, Desert Botanical Garden and the Musical Instrument Museum. Other major spots include, The Saguaro National Park in Tucson and the marvellous Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Also, do not miss the Pink Jeep Tour, The Desert Botanical Garden and the Navajo National Monument. Another important note, Las Vegas, is not that far away (if you know what I mean).Top 10 Things to do in Arizona 1. A visit to the Presidio Historic District  2. Road Trip to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. 3. Chiricahua National Park 4. Petrified Forest National Park 5. Old Town Scottsdale 6. Lake Mead and Hoover Dam 7. Grand Canyon 8. Arizona Raft Adventure 9. Canyon De Chelly National Park 10. Old Tucson Studios When to visit ArizonaBecause Arizona is a desert state it is very important to plan the trip according to the weather, here are some suggestion: Jan–Mar Visit spas and dude ranches in southern Arizona. Cross-country ski in Kaibab National Forest. Jun–Aug High season for the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Sedona. Sep & Oct Hike down to Phantom Ranch from the Grand Canyon's South Rim.I hope this extensive list of places was good enough to plan an informed trip to a state as big as the hearts of the people there. Arizona is the home of western films and cowboys. Cactuses and deserts are a regular sight in this part of the American Continent. You will be exposed to so much Red Indian culture throughout your stay that you would marvel at the qualities of this hidden gem.Hope you enjoy it!P.S. Remember 127 hours? That reddish and rocky default background picture for Microsoft? And for my fellow Indians Ranbir-Priyanka’s Anjana Anjani road trip? Yes you can do that!
Priyakanth Manda
This is my least favorite of all national parks I've visited so far. I would sincerely suggest skipping this if you've visited Death Valley and Grand Canyon. It’s like a mediocre mixture of them both. But if you wanna check it off of your to-do list then don’t waste a lot of time here. Filled with disappointment, I piped down my hopes on Mt. Rushmore but to my surprise the sculpture mildly blew me away. It’s so crisp and nicely done, made me wonder why a lot of people don’t really care about it. May be because it’s not natural or too far away from the civilization we prefer? The place was so peaceful and surroundings were so serene and green. I would highly recommend this place. If this was somewhere near Yosemite or Yellowstone, it would've been a much popular site than it is now.
Hayley
Although I was only in Las Vegas for three nights, I really wanted to spend one of those days at the Grand Canyon, as I didn’t know when I would get the opportunity again. I will speak in more detail about my tour there later, but it was a long day – about 15 hours from pick up to drop off – and I absolutely loved it. I visited the National Park through Grand Canyon Tour Company, which had the best prices on the internet. At about $88 for the South Rim Tour, with an amazing free buffet lunch and movies to make the journey to and fro go quicker, it was a steal.I also wanted to see Vegas at night but I was a little worried about wandering alone on the streets. Kudos goes to my mum who discovered Big Bus does a night tour, which takes you all along the strip and then down to Fremont Street where you actually spend an hour walking around. Think half-naked people on the stages and not; Bon Jovi serenading me from the screens on the roof (seriously) and others using the new zipline.This was perfect for me as I got to see the bright lights and the buzz for myself from the comfort of a double-decker bus. Please note though that I was there at Halloween and it was cold on the top of the bus, so bring a warm layer! The guide, who was cute AND funny may I add, was also super informative, telling us visitors lots of inside secrets about the different casinos and hotels. I would recommend doing this tour on your first night so you can make use of the goodness he passes on.Go Big and BuffetSo this was definitely one of the best decisions of my life - doing a buffet in Las Vegas. I had kind of gotten used to eating alone by this point in my trip, so that didn’t worry me. I visited the Stratosphere, which at $23 for a champagne brunch on the weekend that went until 4 pm, was the best place for me. I didn’t arrive until after 1 pm and I had noticed from an earlier web search that a lot of other buffets seemed to close at 2 pm, which didn’t work for me and my grumbling stomach.This meal was basically my breakfast, lunch and dinner, which I was totally a-okay with. There was so much choice I didn’t know where to begin, but did my devouring in stages: fish first, then a trip to Mexico with nachos, a hop over to Asia for pad thai and noodles before a stop at fresh fruit and the perfect chocolate ending. Seeing as it was a champagne brunch I just had to enjoy a mimosa too. When in Vegas!Daytime Stroll After my rampage at Stratosphere, I got on the local Deuce bus and headed to the Strip. For $8 you get a 24 hour pass on the bus, which is value for money if you are staying off the strip in Downtown Las Vegas like myself. I got off the bus at the Fashion Show Mall, having a peek inside before walking across the overhead walkway to Wynn’s. Oh, how I enjoyed wandering through those lavish lobbies and shopping areas, luckily not looking too out of place as there were other travellers dressed as casual as me. Note to self: check out the schmancy toilets #justsaying.My next stop was seeing the Grand Canal inside The Venetian, which was amazing – I didn’t know the inside was so ornately painted! I even lucked out and seemed to get there when the gondola rowers were performing a sing along. From the outside it was a flashback to my visit to Venice a few years ago, except for the traffic noise.I continue down the strip, stopping to look in stores and take in the chaos surrounding me. There were so many people and it was a Sunday afternoon. It is times like that when you get drifted down the street with the crowd that you don’t feel alone, because you have just visited some of the most beautiful buildings in Nevada and taken too many selfies with those hotels you have seen splashed across the TV too many times.Beer makes everything betterOkay, this may or may not be true, but a little bit of beer does help sometimes. I loved being able to grab a $3 beer on the street. I also enjoyed taking said beer on my night tour, because VEGAS. Also remember that when you do visit one of the many casinos in Las Vegas drinks are free whilst you are gambling – just remember to tip the servers or they may not come back to serve you. A dollar bill makes everyone happy.Stay in a Hostel I know that you can get amazing last minute hotel deals, but I was on a budget, so when you are cheap and doing Las Vegas alone, you go to a hostel. Hostel Cat had the best reviews online and seemed to be in a prime position just off the strip, so I booked into a 6-bed female dorm – with own bathroom!The staff here were very friendly and the room was comfortable. They also host a different social activity every night (from clubs to karaoke to Fremont Street and more) and do cheap dinners ($6) some evenings too. Because I was out a lot of the time I didn’t really partake in any activities, but it was nice to know they were an option. There is also a bus stop very close by for those solo late nights out.The verdict on doing Las Vegas aloneI am glad I visited Las Vegas even though I was on a solo holiday. Yes, it would probably be more fun and totally different if you were there with a significant other or a bunch of girls/boys for the weekend. But I still enjoyed Las Vegas alone. I stuffed my face, wandered the streets, bought souvenirs, visited the Grand Canyon AND took some awesome night photos. Don’t let the fear of solo travel stop you from going to amazing place and seeing amazing things.Have you done Las Vegas alone too?
Nishita
Colorado Grand CanyonOne of the most magnificent spots in the world, found in the United States, the Colorado River has cut one of the steepest canyons on the planet. 18 miles wide, more than 1 mile deep and more than 275 miles in length, this canyon is humongous. It developed over more than 6 million years. The Grand Canyon is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. It's definitely one of my most treasured memories.
Most people who visit Vegas do visit the Grand canyon but there are many other canyons around this region which are easily accessible and not to be missed. So, next time you are in Las Vegas or Flag staff, Arizona do consider Antelope canyons and also the Horseshoe bend in Glen canyon.Travel tips:I did take my tripod for long exposure shots but going with the regular crowd did not work well. There are separate trips for photography enthusiasts so inquire before hand.Keep a check on flash floods, you don't want to be down in the canyons during a flash flood.--------------------------------------------------More of these amazing pictures on flickr - Nature's work of art
Arlo Hemphill
Sure-footed, graceful and family-oriented, the bighorn mountain sheep (Ovis canadensisis) is an iconic image of the American west. Associated with durability and ruggedness, the sheep are nonetheless not always easy to observe in the wild. Regular residents of the Grand Canyon, the sheep are only infrequently seen by park staff and seldom so by visitors. So, when I walked out of the Kachina Lodge on the Canyon’s South Rim Sunday morning and saw a large sheep, I was elated. The animal was not just in plain sight, but was actually standing on the Rim Trail’s stone wall, basking in the morning sunlight.Boca and I had stayed at this rim lodge the night before and were thus able to spend a good deal of time with the sheep and her family that morning. A herd of roughly a dozen or more made there way from east to west just below the Rim Trail. They would stop to sun, feed, rest and socialize along the way, always precariously balanced between solid rock and a harrowing drop to the Canyon floor. One large ram led the herd and showed nearly constant interest in the hind quarters of a particular, but seemingly unintrested ewe. The other females led the young, consisting of four or five mid-sized juveniles and one small kid that seemed newborn, exhausted and bewildered with life on the edge of the Canyon. It was a beautiful fall morning well spent in the company of the Canyon wall’s wild masters.Oct 18th
Pooja Chaudhary
Grand Canyon was my first ever visit to a world wonder (well I have been to Agra but have seen the Taj only from a distance). Excitement was all over, when we started the day with an early morning walk to board our bus. This was the first road trip of the vacation and that added to the excitement. We were offered a complimentary breakfast of croissants and coffee and off we started. Its a 5-6 hours drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Trip to the Grand Canyon is quoted as one of the great American road trips. It takes one through Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada past red rocks, blue skies and the wide spread desert. We crossed the Colorado river and the hoover dam (and managed to click some postcard shots of sky high dam and the beauty surrounding it). We took the historic route 66 which added to the fun. Words fail me when it comes to describing the beauty of driving on route 66. It was one of the best road trips I had been to. Desert and no habitation for kms altogether, this route takes one miles away from civilization.It was a relaxed ride with our bus driver cum tour operator narrating the history of the route and the popular tourist spots we crossed on our way.First stop of the trip was Kingman. Kignman is at the heart of route 66 and is a popular spot for hikers. We could only get a 15 minute window to appreciate the beauty of the landscape (and that is the only problem with guided tours with a fixed schedule). After a short walk on the scenic roads, we were back on the road. It was a windy day and we were absolutely loving the ride.We stopped at Williams for a buffet lunch on our way and managed to catch a glimpse of the world famous grand canyon coach. After a fairly smooth ride, we reached the Grand Canyon national park. A detailed set of instructions from our bus driver cum tour guide on the number of hours we had to roam around the park and the assembly point etc, and there we were, on our own, roaming around this huge world wonder. The girls were joined by a solo traveler from Canada, who volunteered to be our official photographer for the day and vice versa :)Well, coming back to the grand canyon, the immensity of this two billion old wonder leaves one smitten. A two and half hour walk around the park was spent reading about the rocks instrumental in the current state of the GC, formed over a period of 2 billion years. We were quite amazed to see 100 million years old rocks named after Indian gods (Brahma, Rama Vishnu). Vishnu rocks form the basement of the canyon. Clicking pictures, singing old Bollywood numbers, the trek inside the park was an absolute delight. The trek was followed by a stop over at the grand entrance of the grand canyon (well, everyone needed photographs around the sign as a proof of their visit :P), we started our back journey to Vegas. Rain, sun, multiple hues of sunrise and sunset, we saw it all in a day. We caught a glimpse of the beautifully lit up hoover dam on our way backBy the time we reached back, it was already 10 pm, but the resolve to party (especially after the goof up last night) grew even stronger. After an hour of quick showering, dressing up and with high heels on, we were all set to explore the much talked about nightlife of Vegas. And all i can say is, it deserves the attention it gets. On our walk back to the hotel , we got an invitation to 'Marquee nightclub' at the cosmopolitan, and that was our party place for the night. Whatever we had heard about night life in Vegas, and seen in the movies, all of it was live in front of us. We explored the crowded inside area for a while and chose to spend some time in the open bar dancing with people from across the world. We were quite surprised to meet a lot of them who had come to attend business conferences, and few others who were in the city for weeks and months and didn't want to go back. Well, we didn't have that luxury with us but coming back to what I said - the city has something to offer to everybody, we got to see that happening. After the day long sojourn and the partying, it was time to call it a night. So we decided to walk back to our hotel. At 2.30 am, the city looked even more vibrant. Vegas gives you that feeling to stay awake 24*7 and just live life. Given our body clocks, we just couldn't afford to do that. Well, after exchanging pleasantries with visitors from across the world on our way back, we retired to our respective dream world. Quite a day it was!For me, the next morning started with a walk around the city as I haven't had a chance to explore the pace of the city during morning hours (and i love doing that). So, while others were still in their dream world, I ventured out all by myself. It looked like a normal city with people jogging on the strip and grabbing their favorite cup of coffee. Just that there were many others who were walking in and out of the casinos. Some sad because of losing, while few others happy because of their lady luck. After spending around two hours observing the pace of the city, i came back to the hotel. We were to shift to the Flemingo for the night (one of the oldest properties in Vegas, it promises to offer that classic Vegas feel). After a quick breakfast of snack bars, we were all packed and ready to check out. Another hour in the check-in queue at the Flemingo (there is no such time during the day when the check-in counter is NOT brimming with people), there we were, in our room for the night. It was our last day in Vegas and we had to utilize it to the maximum possible. So the girls got ready and the first agenda on the list was FOOD. We chose a European style outdoor fine-dine and ate at leisure. It was a sunny day and walking in the sun didn't look very tempting. We had to take a city tour, so we got bus passes for ourselves and decided to try our hands at playing casino while waiting for the sun to set to start the tour.The casino part didn't last for too long, given our limited risk appetite and the resolve to 'not lose'. So we ended up winning 1.5 dollars :P (well that's better than losing any). After exploring multiple shopping outlets inside the hotel we were done with our sovenier shopping. Donning our' I love Vegas' tee-shirts , we set out to see the much talked about 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign. It was a good 2 km walk from the strip. As soon as the strip ends, one gets to see the real landscape of the city. This dry land houses a huge Harley-Davidson showroom and a number of wedding chapels (some of these have featured prominently in Bollywood and Hollywood blockbusters including the much talked about 'What happens in Vegas'). After grabbing some snacks at subway, we boarded a bus to the other part of the city- downtown Las Vegas!! Sitting on the front seat on the 1st floor of a double Decker bus, observing the pace of the city in the fading twilight was a good way to spend the evening. I never wanted that bus ride to end. With tired feet (because of all the walking), a view to die for and an awesome company, this pace of life seemed too good to look for an alternate. By the time we reached downtown, the city lights had started creating that magical ambience. With a dancing DJ under the world's largest screen (and an option to do zip lining under the screen), downtown seemed like a perfect place to spend the night at. Downtown seemed more laid back as compared to the strip (which is generally very crowded) and we were happy to have ample space for dancing to the tunes of the awesome music. the girls chose to try the world famous Slotzilla zip-lining, i decided to stick around the stage and enjoy the live performance while the crowd went crazy.Once the girls were back, we danced our heart out till the time we could manage to. On the expense of overusing the word FUN, i will still say that it was one of those few nights when I danced without any inhibition, right there in front of the stage with the crowd cheering, hooting and joining us. that experience shall never be forgotten. while the night was still young (it never gets old in that part of the world), our tired feet were begging us to stop. After a quick round of the area, we decided to board the next bus to the strip. And there we were back, craving for a dessert at 2 .00 am (well it wasn't a tough deal to find one in Vegas)All satisfied, we retired back to our room with a heavy heart as this was our last night in Vegas and we were not done with the city yet.Nevertheless, the day ended with a promise to take us to another city with another set of experiences.
Maria A
Our visit to Grand Canyon was in early March 2016. The weather was getting warmer already and it was a perfect day for a nature walk. It was a dream to see the beauty of this nature phenomenon, so we planned whole day for this visit.We drove from Las Vegas and stayed in Flagstaff overnight. The motel was called Aspen. It’s a nice property, but a bit cold for winter months – night temperatures went as low as 0 C. There was still snow at mountain peaks. Wish I had a heated blanket with me! On the positive side – it felt like a true nature hike – something completely different from Vegas style hotels. Location of the motel is very convenient, it was clean and fairly good price. There is a supermarket next door and few nice restaurants. I recommend Satchmo’s – amazing BBQ ribs at great price. Their address is 2320 N 4th St, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, United States.We woke up early in the morning and after a quick breakfast filled our gas tank with fuel and started our trip. The distance is around 86 miles, took us 1,5 hours to get there. The roads are wide and it’s an easy drive. It was fun to ride while streaming our favorite music to car stereo and singing along to favorite songs. At the gates of the park there is a fee to be paid – 30$ per car. The ticket is valid for 7 days. Once you enter the park, there is another 2-3 miles to reach the parking lot. It’s really well organized and easy to understand. Once you park your car, there is an option to check the map, visit a store/cafe or take the shuttle bus to one of the viewing points. Make sure to have a map!Of course, you can drive to the view points as well, but the parking is limited there so I recommend using the shuttle. It’s totally free!Our first view point was Kaibab trail head. We decided to hike down the trail as long as we feel like and then turn back. It’s an easy hike for beginners, but might be crowded in peak seasons. Once we started off, the temperatures started to increase a lot. It’s a good idea to have enough water and snacks with you. By the way – you can refill your water bottle for free. Also beware of donkey poo.The views are amazing, as you walk down the trail, you discover the whole beauty of the canyon! It’s not possible to see it from above, so make sure to hike at least one trail (I recommend Kaibab, as it’s one of the easiest). You can decide, how long you’d like to hike, but make sure not to overestimate yourself. Hiking up is very hard! Good shoes are a must!After climbing up again, we took the shuttle to the next view point – Yaki point, and then took the shuttle back. At that point we were hungry and wished to see the other side. We walked to Grand Canyon Village and visited their huge gift store for some souvenirs. Afterwards we took our car and drove to Grand view point. It was an amazing view, we loved it so much! The pictures speak for themselves!Next were Lipan Point, Navajo Point and lastly Desert View watchtower. The last stop was really nice place – we stayed longer and enjoyed the view. The weather was getting colder and windier, so we decided to end our tour at that point. It was an amazing trip and so much to see! The nature is breathtaking!On our way back to Flagstaff we stopped at Tusayan Village (right outside the gates to the park) for a dinner – the place was called Yippee-Ei-O! Steakhouse. Really good cocoa (loved their mugs), the meal was OK too.How to reach Grand Canyon?If you are looking to visit Grand Canyon, I recommend doing it by car. There are many advantages over tour buses or helicopter tours.First, you get to decide where you go and how much time you spend there. The nature is so amazing, you don’t want to rush through. We spent there whole day and it didn’t feel like enough. So think twice and consider renting a car and taking the trip on your own.Second, coming by car gives you the freedom to move around and have your own pace. You can always stop at souvenir shops that you like and not the ones that tour guides have chosen for you. There are much cheaper GC souvenirs at gas stations!Third, it will be cheaper in the end, especially if you are traveling with a group of friends! You will have better memories of the trip.This post was originally published on 'Tigrest Travel Blog'
Jatin Jindal
Today was a day to visit one of the great wonders of the world . Waking up at around 7 in the morning in the Las Vegas city we headed towards the north rim of the great Grand Canyon . Spreading across a massive area of 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters) , Grand Canyon is formed over billions of years of continuous erosion and cutting of the rocks by the Colorado river .
Shweta Roy
On our third day of Vegas, we planned a road trip to Grand Canyon. Nevada's wild child city was awesome beyond description. We were so caught up in the excitement that staying awake all night seemed so normal to us.Leaving behind the glimmering lights of Las Vegas, the geological wonders of rugged land, deserts and mountains has left me mesmerized. One can smell the adventure from every corner of the roads that lead to Grand Canyon. The ethereal landscape of the Canyon with its dramatic sunset is enough to captivate a person. I was so enthralled by it's beauty that I hardly noticed the December cold with the snowfall chills. Residing in the gorgeous weather Houston(at present) and in the tropical climate of India, I have never really experienced extreme cold.The road trip, no doubt was a great experience. Starting from Las Vegas, We were ready by 6:30 AM and started our journey for Grand Canyon at 7AM. I know it's a bit early, but I would say that's the best time to start a road trip. The drive itself can be a bit hectic if you plan to return Vegas the same day and also you might be missing a lot of sights along the way. We actually had to return the same day as ours was a short trip.From Vegas, we followed Route US-95 till Boulder City, which becomes US-93 there. The Hoover Dam is an hour from Vegas. From Hoover Dam, its US-93 till Kingman,then following I-40 we headed towards Grand Canyon.The road trip took us approximately 6 hours, since we stopped at a few places in between. Believed to be one of the construction achievements and marvelous engineering in US, Hoover Dam is an impressive tourist attraction which links Nevada and Arizona. It was an easy 45 min road trip from Vegas. The road trip was all about passing through and around deserts, mountains and cacti-forests. This highest concrete Dam provides one of the country's hydroelectric power facilities. It's probably better to take a guided tour who can help to discover deeper history on it, cause it is heard building the Dam proved to be an immense challenge for the workers. We missed the artwork of Oskar Hansen as we were running out of time.This post was originally published on 'The Roy journal..'.
Amal
Grand canyon is truly a wonder of nature. Its a five hour drive from Phoenix and after the vast expanse of Arizona deserts, the first view of the canyons is truly breathtaking. We visited the south rim from which you can see the best views from the top. There are several trails for trekking and camping options also available, which requires special permission. Formed by the process of erosion caused by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyons is a must visit and this experience can never be put into words. We also visited Flagstaff and Sedonna both of which are close by. Flagstaff is the most famous place for skiing in Arizona. Sedonna on the other hand is a small and beautiful town with a lot of sightseeing options for the cultural buffs out there. I would always suggest staying here when you're visiting the canyons.
Shraddha Nair
After watching the movie "Eat Pray Love" I always wondered how can one experience the feeling of "Dolce far Niente". There is a scene in a barber shop in Italy when the characters are not doing much of anything and Liz (Julia Roberts) feels a little guilty because all she has done for three weeks is “learn a few Italian words and eat.” Her European, mostly Italian friends explain the lovely concept of Dolce far Niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. Now this got stuck in my head and gave me a very strong impulse of experiencing the same. Being a person who JUST CANNOT SIT IDLE, I wondered how does one do nothing at all and feel happy about it at the same time?Soon after, my visit to Grand Canyon made me realize how it exactly feels. Not that I needed a place to make me realize this, but the moments I spent here surely did so.To sit and do nothing, just admire the beauty around, the myriad colors of nature, the vast valley to literally shout your heart out and hear echos, to capture as many colors as possible in your eyes and store it in the memory card of your brain, listen to the sound of the wind, sit idly under the sun and trace the shadows it casts onto the contours, and breathe in the cold, fresh air which goes inside your body like a magic potion, imaginatively cleaning up your entire system and transforming you to a state of Nirvana where all you feel is BLISS !Whatever I had read about this place in the reviews, or heard from people who had been there, all seemed so meagre to me, as the best possible way to experience it was to be there and feel it. Words falter and seem incomparable to the feeling this place gives you, so inexpressible in words. God has definitely created this place with all the time, space and intricacies it had in its mind. Away from civilization, is a place on Earth- so pure, untouched, and natural. I got to experience my Dolce far Niente moment here. And trust me, it felt mind blowing. Whatever time I spent at this place, got deeply imbibed in my mind, and'll stay with me till eternity.Just a passing thought (found on the internet):" If you are ever thinking 'Oh, but I am a waste of space and I am a burden', remember: that also describes the Grand Canyon." - Maria Bamford.
Abhishek Kumar
Grand Canyon has a very powerful and inspiring landscape. There are three main features of the Grand Canyon: 1) South Rim; 2) North Rim; and 3) Inner Canyon/Backcountry.Generally speaking, March-April or October-November are most suitable for visits due to best weather and fewer crowds. December to February is too cold (North Rim is likely to be closed in this season). June-August is too hot (and crowded). September is alright. The best time to visit this place also depends on what you want to see and what you want to do. I visited Grand Canyon South Rim for couple of days in the winters of 2008.Things to Do in Grand Canyon South Rim: I stationed at several viewpoints to see Grand Canyon and Colorado River. Viewpoints: The Abyss, Desert View and Watchtower, Hermits Rest, Hopi Point, Lipon Point, Maricopa Point, Mather Point, Pima Point, Yaki Point and Yavapai Point. Yavapai point is one of the best points on South Rim to watch. Scenic Drives: Desert View Drive and Hermit Drive. Galleries: Tusayan Ruin and MuseumTusayanIf you, like the majority of visitors, approach the canyon from the south on Highway 180 via the nearby towns of Flagstaff or Williams, you will most likely stop at Tusayan, a commercial area consisting mainly of gas stations, motels, fast food restaurants and the Grand Canyon Airport. The main attraction here, however, is the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater , which is highly recommended. The theater features one of the best films in the nature genre, drawing you right into the chasm and taking you on a vertiginous flight between the canyon's walls. A few miles further north, at the park gate, you will be requested to pay your $20 entrance fee per vehicle.Grand Canyon VillageYour first stop inside the park should be the Park Headquarters and Visitor Center , where an abundance of books, films and slides will help you to get better acquainted with the park, and rangers will be available to answer any Grand Canyon question you might have.Precautions:The temperature can vary greatly in the Grand Canyon and you will find the night temperature is very low and during month of December it can go even below minus 15 degree Celsius. The night stay is mainly required if you have a plan to go to the bottom of the canyon, and for that you must prepare yourself well. You must take ample amount of food and other equipment that can keep you safe and sound. In the inner rim of the canyon also you should take precaution as the temperature is quite low over there.If you are camping in park there are some precaution you must observe. One of the prime precautions to douse the fire; the condition here is very arid and any kind of mishap can happen so you must be cautious about.Please feel free to contact me through Tripoto if you are planning a Grand Canyon trip. Happy to help.
Pix
In 2012, we did a driving trip to three US National Parks, Grand Canyon in Arizona and Bryce and Zion in Utah. The first park we visited was Grand Canyon. We drove there from Vegas, the drive was about 5 hours and my first experience with the desert landscape of South West US. It's an enchanting drive, the view on both side of the road looks just out of a painting. As you drive through this region, the landscape is mostly bare but still changes constantly.You drive through vastlands with small bushy vegetation and then high mountains with high cliffs and rocks and then canyons with rivers meandering through them. The colours, the features, the contours of land changes constantly. Its tough to put it in words, the many shapes and colours you see on the drive.On the way, you pass by many casinos too as gambling is legal in Nevada. You also get to see a glimpse of the other side of US, the mid-west and the southerners, who are quite different from the Americans in the north-east US definitely. The roads here are all well maintained, you can drive at good speeds (and cruise too!) and there are many patches in between where there are no cars and no people for miles at a go.On the way to the Grand Canyon from Vegas is the Powell Dam and Lake Mead area. The lake looks like an emerald blue drop against the yellow and brown hungry looking land all around. I think there are a couple of activities to do here, but since we did not stop there, am not sure.Anyways once in Grand Canyon, we stayed in one of the lodges on the south rim of the canyon, Yuvapai Lodge. There are 4 more lodges inside the park, and the other four overlook the canyon; so if you ever plan to go there, do book a room at one of those lodges. Its definitely worth it, staying right on top of the canyon, though it does require you to book way in advance.The first evening we reached the park, we walked along the rim on the canyon, called the rim trail. It passes by all the lodges and is just a flat trail moving along the rim of the canyon giving views of the depths beneath. The first view of the canyon is mesmerizing, its like nothing else I had ever seen before.The vastness and size of the canyon really amazes you. And its a photographers delight! The canyon from different angle looks even more view-worthy (though later on you can't distinguish between these views anymore!). The Canyon looks ever more amazing during the sunset, with light falling on some of the peaks on the North rim bringing out many more bright colours as the sun sets.We also saw some elk while in the park, eating away to glory unaware of all the crowds around them clicking pictures furiously!The next morning we did a trail in the canyon, the Bright Angels trail. There are multiple points on the trail where you can stop and come back depending on how much time and energy you have. One negative point about the trails at the Canyon is that you go down first! So the first part is easy and then comes the tough part, coming back up!Since we did not have much time, we trekked till after the 1.5 mile restplace (upto 2 miles). It was a good trek, slightly strenuous but we did descend a lot into the canyon. It looks a little different looking up, than looking down. It was quite hot though, so is advisable to carry lots of water.On the way back up, we also saw some cave paintings, apparently pre-historic men used to stay here!If you have time, you should definitely go down into the canyon till you can see the river up close. Also if you have a couple of days, you can definitely do a trek to the Phantom Ranch which is just next to the river and is 9 hours one way. And if you have even more time than that, you can even trek from the North Rim to the South Rim, crossing the canyon. We met a group of people who had done just that, they had been trekking for 5 days. Surely something to look to do someday!!After the trek, we just took the shuttle bus to look at the viewpoints while on the way to Hermits rest. We stopped at Powell, Hopi, Abyss, Pima viewpoints, each providing a different view of the canyon. The best of course was Hopi point, which provides a very expansive view of the Canyon, from east to west showing how the Colorado meanders through the Canyon. The Colorado water was brown currently but I guess when its blue, it must look divine; sapphire blue flowing water in the middle of the red and brown stone all around.The colours in the canyon are truly amazing; the different layers of stone in the canyon are all from different periods of the earth's history, they all have a different structure and different colour. The Canyon is huge, the distance between the two opposite ends of the canyon being almost 10 miles! And the depth is about 1.6 miles! Its truly scary to look down, you don't even know how down it goes.The Park has a couple of good eating places too. The Canyon Cafe at Yuvapai opens at 6, which is helpful for trekkers starting early to avoid the heat while trekking. The El Tovar restaurant has a rustic feel about it, made of wood, with a native American theme and giving a complete panoramic view of the Canyon outside the window. The Arizona Room at Bright Angels Lodge also offers decent South-west American food and a good view.There is lot of stuff to do in the Park other than the treks. On the East side of the park, you can drive on the Desert Drive to see the other end of the canyon. There are activities conducted across the park to keep people busy. The amphitheater plays movies of the Canyon; there are native american programmes held at the Lodges; there is white water rafting conducted on the Colorado river; you can even take a helicopter tour of the Canyon. Basically, enough to keep you engaged while in the Park.I loved my experience at the Grand Canyon, because its so different than anything else I have seen. It makes me wonder how something so amazing could have been molded by nature. There are loads of explanations given but I still find it unimaginable.I also wonder how the first person to stumble on it would have felt? The Canyon comes about so suddenly, you are passing through normal green forests and suddenly there is this fall before you. Not a small one, but one extending to 10 miles and 1.6 miles deep, with various shades of colours visible across the mountains. What a bewitching sight that would have been, what a feeling!For people planning to visit it, just one point. I don't think there is that much to 'see' here, as after a point the canyon starts looking the same. The best way to enjoy the park is to trek there, go down and see the canyon from below. That is when you will feel a part of the park, rather than just visiting and clicking pictures!This post was originally published on Travelfreak.
Blog of the Things
Visiting the Grand Canyon has been a dream of mine and I'm so glad to have been able to check that off my bucket list. The magnificent Canyon is rightfully called a wonder of the natural world and is one of the most interesting erosions in the world. The serene Colorado River carves through the depths of the Grand Canyon and is a breathtaking sight to witness.
tapan chaddarwala
For the Memorial Day long weekend in 2014 we three friends decided to visit one of the most popular and widely visited national parks in US which is the Grand Canyon National park in the state of Arizona.We three met up at the airport after our day at work and took the late evening flight to reach Phoenix and as expected due to it being a long weekend our flight was delayed by an hour.Our hotel for the night was booked at Flagstaff which was a good 2.5 hour drive from Phoenix.Considering the flight was delayed; we reached the hotel pretty late after our rental car pick up. (It was almost 2am!)The next morning's plan was to tour the lower and upper Antelope Canyons which was located at a place called Page further 2.5 hour drive from our hotel location in Flagstaff. So after sleeping for about 3-4 hours we again got ready and left.These slot canyons are truly unique and one of a kind destination. These canyons are naturally formed marvels consisting entirely of Navajo sandstone and formed mostly from flash flooding and erosion.The canyons offer visitors spectacular vibrant colors when the sun shines overhead; producing deep contrasting textures and layers of sandstone.The Upper Antelope canyons are the more popular canyons and the tours so offered are more rushed and crowded.Since it was better to visit the Antelope canyons around midday to view the strong beams of sunlight so produced we had pre booked our tour for the Lower Canyon for around 10am. ~ Had taken the Ken's Lower Antelope Canyon tour. ((928) 606-2168)Both the slot canyons can be visited only via an Navajo authorized guided tour.The lower canyon tour leave every 20 minutes and the canyon by itself is half a mile in length and takes about 1.5 hours to complete based on photographs individuals take. (There are specific Photo tours also available)Thereafter we reached the Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours to visit the Upper Antelope Canyons.The Upper Antelope Canyons are located pretty away from the US 98; so once you park your car in the Navajo parking lot the tour operator/ guide takes the individuals who are part of the tour along a dirt road.As mentioned above; the Upper Antelope canyons were a lot more crowded due to the sun beams and also it being flat in nature unlike the lower canyons where individuals are required to descend down. ~ Hwy 98, Between Mile posts 299 and 300. There is no specific GPS location but it's easy to locate the tour operator location.One of my friend is an avid photographer and he had a great time snapping pictures of the canyons and color formations due to the sin light falling on the Navajo sandstone. I was just happy posing and getting my pictures clicked. The slot canyons are formed due ti flash floods and tour operators generally cancel the tours when there is possibility of raining. So make sure to check the weather for the day before you head out.You can then visit the Carl Hayden Visitor Center to view the Glen Canyon Dam over Lake Powell; though it's not as enormous as the Hoover Dam but it is still is an impressive structure.We then proceeded to view the Horseshoe Bend.Horseshoe Bend is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near Page, Arizona. It is located five miles (8.5 km) downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, about four miles or six km southwest of Page. Horseshoe Bend can be viewed from the steep cliff above. The overlook is 4,200 feet above sea level and the Colorado River is at 3,200 feet above sea level making it a breathtaking 1,000 foot drop. It is a short ¾ of a mile hike from US Route 89.The overlook has a lot of hills which people tend to climb in order to get a better view of the bend (I did that too) and the 1,000 foot drop is definitely not for the faint hearted or a person who is scared of heights.Since it was the last spot of the day we spent some good time overlooking the river and enjoying the good weather. It was truly a peaceful experience looking at how the mighty Colorado river has shaped the canyon. It is one of the most widely photographed spots in the US.After visiting the Horseshoe Bend we drove to Maswik Lodge (Grand Canyon Village) ~202 Village Loop Dr, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023 for our night stay.The next morning we woke up around 3.30 am in order to view the sunrise from Hopi Point.Unfortunately it was a little cloudy that time and we didnt have an extremely amazing sunrise as we had hoped for.However once it lighted up and we saw the GRAND canyon for the first time it was just amazing. You feel you are so small compared to natural beauty and how it has been shaped over thousands of years by the wind, the water (Colorado river). ~ we had taken the Red bus from the Grand Canyon village.After the sunrise we returned back to our lodge to freshen up and checked out.The next destination was hiking which was the most exciting part of the trip. (for me at least)We had decided to undertake the Bright Angel Trail-head right behind our lodge which continues down till the river bed ~ 10 miles one way but the trail is decently paved (dirt paved) in the first 5 miles up till the Indian Garden area. Thereafter there is no proper steps/ dirt road and with the sun at the top it is really a good strain on your body. We could hardly find people on the way and with the strong sun we were always thinking when will we reach the river!Generally it is advised that if you are hiking down till the river then you should camp for the night at the river bed and then hike the next day but we didn't have that option considering we had to catch a flight back the early morning and had to return to Phoenix for the same.With such a big hike you need to ensure you carry plenty of water, energy bars to ensure that the body doesn't get dehydrated and has sufficient nutrients.Once we reached the river bed we relaxed a bit along the river and started heading back towards the starting point of the trail-head way at the top.We then visited Yaki point for sunset and we were not disappointed during sunset and were able to view the sun setting behind the Grand Canyon.The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is very convenient to visit and travel due to the bus services offered by the National Park Service which take you to the different points within the park and if you are someone who enjoys viewing the magnanimity of nature it is certainly worth the trip.You can walk along the Rim trail or even visit the different spots by drive along the Desert Drive.Thereafter we drove back towards Phoenix which was almost 4 hours away and after returning the car we spent time (slept) at the airport as we waited for our early morning flight back to Chicago to conclude one of the best trips I have had with my friends.
Sumedha Bharpilania
The Grand Canyon Region is easily the most iconic, the most sublime natural wonder of the world. You must have seen thousands of breath-taking photographs of this two billion old geographical treasure in the United States, yet the real landscape is infinitely prettier in ways impossible to describe. The Colorado River continues to carve this mighty exposed rock formation and travellers continue to be enticed by its majesty. With three incredible rims - The North, South and the West, internet connection in the canyon is sporadic and you should therefore not pack your laptop for a change.
Blog of the Things
Trip first published on Blog of the Things
Shraddha Nair
Pix
tapan chaddarwala
Pooja Chaudhary
Located at some 290 miles from Vegas, the immense Grand Canyon is the most famous natural attraction in United States. The fact that it has been created naturally over a period of billions of years leaves one stunned and in a state of wonder about the magnanimity of this natural wonder. Spending a night here exploring the GC is an ideal deal. Trekking, camping, cycling in the villages nearby can be explored by the adventure lovers
Chelle Nicole
Monumental. Simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, we got here too late to enjoy the view. However, my DSLR was amazing at capturing photographs at low light. Drive at night through the park was nerve-wrecking.
Arlo Hemphill
Moving on to Arizona, we stopped in Kingman, yet another former Route 66 town that has seen better days. The people there are into their muscle cars, their military and their American flags. We walked through the old town amidst classic cars and their aging enthusiasts. We stopped in for dinner at the Redneck BBQ, where a live country musician serenaded us to a basket of brisket and the only place I’ve ever witnessed to actually replace “french fries” with “freedom fries” on their menu. It was dark when we arrived at the Grand Canyon, but that did not inhibit the joy and giddiness of winding down along the rim of such a magnificent hole in the Earth.