Grand Canyon is an overwhelming experience that you’ve been waiting for a life to live it.
Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Grand Canyon has a grateness that can not be described in words. Grand Canyon attracts you, intrigues you and invites you to discover it again and again.
This massive canyon carved in 17 million years by the Colorado River, covers a distance of 446 km, a width ranging between 6 km and 29 km, and the distance to river is about 800 m, but it get up to 1857 m in certain areas.
The rock layers exposed in the canyon, display over two billion years of geological history and describe an amazing landscape.
The exploration of the Grand Canyon in detail would take months. There are, however, solutions for a day or two, but this involves choosing a particular area, requiring one day at least for each area.
The huge canyon includes several distinct areas, the most popular and accessible being Grand Canyon West Rim and Grand Canyon South Rim.
There are a lot of trails that can be done in the canyon, but they require physical training, many of them being very dangerous. In the summer, between June and September, temperatures are very high, reaching over 40 ° C, and water sources does not exist on certain areas.
To visited the Grand Canyon in two days, the first day we visited West Rim and in the second South Rim.
Visiting the Grand Canyon means you have a long way to drive on the highway, if you start in Las Vegas and want to sleep in Page as we did. On the first day, we drived 768 km in 9 hours and we visited Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon West Rim.
We left Las Vegas in the after noon and walked US 93 to Hoover Dam.
Am profitat de peisaj și ne-am oprit din când în când să mai facem poze.
A national historical landmark, the Hoover Dam is the highest dam in the Western Hemisphere, situated at more than 725 meters above the Colorado River. The construction was made in five years.
We arrived at the dam after 45 minutes and we left the car in a parking area. When we descended, a heat wave of about 48 ° C hit us, so we rushed to take pictures quickly and then we returned to the car, to continue our route to West Rim.
Grand Canyon West Rim
We drove 157 km in two hours, from Hoover Dam, to Grand Canyon Skywalk Eagle Point.
Grand Canyon West Rim belongs to Hualapai Tribe, so to get into the park, you have to leave the car in a parking area and from there to take a bus that stops at the main attractions: Hualapai Ranch, Eagle Point, Grand Canyon Skywalk and Guano Point. The entrance ticket to the park is $ 49.92.
Eagle Point Grand Canyon
The most spectacular view is at the Eagle Point, where you can see in the canyon sediments, the shape of an eagle with wide open wings.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
In 2007, a horseshoe-shaped glass platform that extends 70 feet above the canyon edge, was opened in the Eagle Point area. A look down through the glass floor, gives breathtaking views of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Being afraid of heights, it was hard for me to look and especially to walk without trembling my feets.
The entrance ticket to the Grand Canyon Skywalk at Eagle Point is $ 21.65.
There are also other tours that include all sorts of activities, such as: helicopter ride, boat ride on the Colorado River, more information can be found here.
After 3 hours in the park, it is time to go to a place to sleep. There are some lodges where you can sleep in the southern area of the canyon, right in the National Park, but you have to make the reservation a lot of time before ; more details can be found here..
There are also other options for accommodation in the nearby towns such as:
- Valle, Arizona – 50 km south on Highway 64
- Red Lake, Arizona – 69 km south on Highway 64
- Williams, Arizona – 100 km of the southern highway 64
- Flagstaff, Arizona – 80 km (130 km) south-east on motorways 64 and 180
Although we drive more than 557 km in 6 hours, we chose to stay in Page, to visit Antelope Canyon in the next morning, an attraction we really wanted to see.
On the way to Grand Canyon West Rim, just outside the town of Page, we made a 2-hours stop to visit Antelope Canyon, another spectacular canyon, about which you can find more in a dedicated article here..
From Antelope Canyon we drive 10 minutes to reach Horseshoe Bend, a panorama point, just a short distance downstream of Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, about 6 km south of Page.
Accessible from a distance of 1,2 km from the US Highway 89, Horseshoe Bend can be seen from the steep cliffs of the southern part of the Grand Canyon, better known as The South Rim.
The 1.2 km journey to see the Horseshoe Bend is quite difficult, especially because of the heat, but also because of the slopes that have to be lowered and climbed on a sandy road. But the sensational view at the end of the road deserves all the effort, as you can see in the pictures.
Grand Canyon South Rim
From Horseshoe Bend we went 212 km, (2h 30min) to the Grand Canyon South Rim Park through the East, also known as the “Desert View”.
Once we arrived in the park, we paid the ticket for car entrance ($ 30), then we had to decide what kind of visit we want to do. We could either go by car on Desert View Drive or on one of the bus routes made available by the park administration.
There are four bus routes in the South Rim area that cover several points of interest. These free buses circulate all day and can be taken every 30 minutes.
1) Village Trail (Blue): 50 minutes round trip, connects the following points:
- Grand Canyon Visitor Center
- Market Plaza
- Shrine of the Ages / Park Headquarters
- El Tovar / Hopi House / Train Depot
- Village Amphitheater
- Verkamp’s Visitor Center
- Bright Angel and Maswik Chalets
- Lookout Studio
- Kolb Studio
- Bright Angel Trail
- Backcountry Information Center
- Mather Campground / Trailer Village
2) The Kaibab Rim (Orange) route, 50 minutes back, connects the following points
- Mather Point
- Yavapai Geology Museum
- South Kaibab Trailhead
- Yaki Point
- Pipe Creek Vista
3) Hermit Road (Red) – 80 minutes back, connects the following points, and return buses stop at 4 stops: Hermits Rest, Pima, Mohave and Powell.
- Rim Trail
- Greenway Trail
- Trailview Overlook
- Powell Memorial
- Mohave Point
- The Abyss
- Pima Point
- Hermits Rest
- Hermit Trail
4) Tusayan / Parc & Ride: 40 minutes journey back
- IMAX Theater / R.P.’s Stage Stop
- Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn
- The Grand Hotel
- Big E Steakhouse and Saloon
We chose to visit the area by car, on the Desert View Drive from east to west, sprinkled with lots of view points.
We started with the Desert View Visitor Center, where we stayed longer to eat and to buy souvenirs. The Desert View service includes a historic observation tower, a bookstore, a restaurant, a general store, a gas station and a seasonal camp.
Then we continued our visit by stopping at the following points:
Grand View Point
After the Grand View Point, we started our way back to Las Vegas. After four and a half hours of driving, we ended the two days Grand Canyon trip.
Although we tried to see as many attractions as possible in two days, I still have the feeling that I must return to the Grand Canyon. For a really unique experience, I think it is necessary to spend there, at least a week. I would like to add a helicopter ride to the sunset, a rafting race on the Colorado River and a hike to the Havasupai waterfall.
Beyond all the words that can be said about this masterpiece of the nature, the Grand Canyon must be contemplated and listened quietly.