Grand Canyon is at the TOP of our favorites list in Arizona! The angles of the sun on the various elevations and colors of the rock are breathtaking and make for some beautiful photos.
As the name implies, our stop at the Grand Canyon was grand, with a capital GRAND! We visited nearly every stop on the south rim and stayed at El Tovar Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, right on the canyon rim. It was fabulous waking up to such an awesome view both mornings. I would highly recommend reserving a room at one of the lodges in the canyon, both to save time driving back in the next day, and to feel a little more of the history of this beautiful place. Our room was on the small side and we didn’t spring for a view room (although we did have a partial view), but it was very clean and cozy and of course, it was right on the rim of the Grand Canyon!
A free, environmentally-friendly shuttle system replaces possibly hundreds of cars fighting for parking. This is great – not only because you don’t have to worry about crazy drivers running you down, but the buses drop-off and pick-up every five to ten minutes at whichever stop your heart desires.
The farthest west the shuttle travels is called Hermits Rest. Staying at El Tovar, we were able to cover the central lookouts on foot and we opted to drive some of the eastern route on our way out of the park traveling back to Phoenix, to check out the Desert View Watchtower – a definite must-see.
The different angles of the sun, the variations in elevation and clouds – all make for some fabulous pictures from any of the lookout points. We caught glimpses of the Colorado River making its way through the canyon at most of the lookouts and with binoculars were able to see rafters enjoying a float down. Of course, there were lots of folks who thought it was a good idea to teeter on the edge of the canyon for a picture. We got plenty of great pictures from behind the railing that was put there for a reason. There’s that safe and sound grandma talking again!
There is a really nice visitor’s center where they frown on your plastic water bottles and encourage you to refill using the bubblers in the park. The movie that was offered had some maintenance issues, so we weren’t able to see that, but just looking out on the canyon was fine by us. We were in awe for two solid days.
Be sure and read on about the Desert View Watchtower, another top stop on our favorites list. We caught an IMAX movie right at the entrance to the park, which was very interesting as well. For a trailer for the movie and for more information, click here.
Grand Canyon. Simply Amazing.
Next Stop: Desert View Watchtower