Grand Canyon National Park

The canyon trying not to be seen...

About the Park/My Experiences:

There really isn't much to say about the Grand Canyon except WOW! If you like big holes in the ground, this is THE place for you. The canyon is the result of millions of years of diligent digging by the Colorado River which runs through the center of the canyon. Two factors played an important role in the canyon's development. First, the steep tilt of the plateau through which the canyon is carved provided the river with a huge amount of power to gouge out a path. Second, the relatively soft rock layers were easy prey for the erosive forces of the river. The final result is nothing short of spectacular.

I've been to the canyon twice - once to the North Rim on my Arizona/Utah '94 trip , and once to the South Rim on my Southern California / Nevada / Arizona '96 trip . The North Rim is a bit more off the beaten path, so if you want to avoid the crowds, this is the better choice. The South Rim, on the other hand, is tourist city. However, I found that crowds were fairly reasonable in early March, so that may be a good option. I personally enjoyed the South Rim much more, but I think weather and trip planning played a significant role in this feeling. The weather at the North Rim varied from partly cloudy to thunderstorms, which significantly reduced visibility and all but eliminated much of the canyon's colorations. In contrast the weather at the South Rim was perfect. I also suspect that the angle of the sun provides better lighting conditions for the South Rim, adding to its beauty. As of now all of the pictures below are from the South Rim trip - maybe I'll add some from the North Rim at a later date.

Sunrise

My artsy picture through the trees

View of the Colorado river

From 1000 ft below the rim

At first stopping point on South Kaibab Trail

More views from the trail

The steep climb back up the South Kaibab Trail

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Last modified: 08 August 1996, Karp@virginia.edu