The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona is one of the seven “Natural Wonders of the World.” As you will see from the following photographs, the beauty is astounding. Photos can not do it justice, though. The full scale and grandeur can only be appreciated in person.
The Grand Canyon National Park was established in 1917. The Colorado River runs through the base over a mile below the rim. Most visitors arrive from the South and have views of the South rim. The distance from rim to rim spans up to 18 miles in some places.
The geological and biological diversity of the Grand Canyon can be easily appreciated in person. There are 5 distinct life zones present in the canyon; ranging from Lower Sonoran desert in the base to Canadian and Hudsonian along the North rim at elevations above 8000 feet. This leads to an amazing diversity of rocks, plant life, and wild life.
Many activities are available to park visitors. Obviously, sight seeing is the most important. The Rim Trail is the easiest as it winds along South rim with amazing views and no climbing. The Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail are maintained trails that allow you to descend into the canyon. Both are steep and rather vigorous, but offer water stations. Experienced hikers can try the unmaintained Hermit Trail and Grandview Trail which are very steep and not for the novice.
For those wishing for different perspectives, there are many options. Helicopter rides offer sweeping views. Adventure seekers take rafting expeditions down the Colorado River. Mule tours are another popular activity.
There are restaurants, gift shops, art galleries, the Bright Angel Lodge, and more to visit easily along the South Rim.
If possible, everyone should should visit the Grand Canyon at least once in their life. I hope that our photos have inspired you. You really have to visit in person to fully appreciate its beauty, scale, and majesty.
For more ideas for your Northern Arizona vacation, check out our Flagstaff, Arizona post.