Sorry, guys. I think I’ve been emotionally avoiding this post because I know it is the last of our epic road trip. But, the time has come, so let us end it on a GRAND note!
Years ago, my family and I drove to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles. It’s a shame that we were so young at the time and could not appreciate the full extent of this natural world wonder. However, one scenic image stands out in my memory. We were standing on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, where the sun was beating down tirelessly. The canyon is so wide that we observed the complete opposite weather on the other side. A huge thunderstorm had brewed with flashing bolts of lightning over the South Rim. I stood in complete awe as I witnessed such contrasting sides of mother nature in one place.
When we returned this time, we didn’t observe a thunderstorm, but still appreciated the beauty of the canyon with almost a fresh pair of eyes. It’s astounding that the Colorado River carved this vast canyon. There are hiking trails available to take you down to the Colorado River from the South Rim. However, you have to be fully equipped with camping gear to stay overnight. There are signs everywhere (I mean, everywhere) warning hikers that attempting to complete the entire length and back in one day is not recommended. Hikers have gotten seriously dehydrated and injured by doing so. I can’t say that I am surprised since the sun beats down relentlessly out here. I actually got my very first sunburn ever at the Grand Canyon when I was a kid. Be prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat and shades.
It is worth noting that there is a North Rim and South Rim. The North Rim has less tourists and less viewpoints. It offers more unique views of the Grand Canyon, especially if you’re tired of seeing the same imagery. The South Rim is much more crowded, but offers many more viewpoints and trails. Most viewpoints are accessible by car, EXCEPT nine canyon overlooks along the scenic 7-mile Hermit Road. These sites are accessible through the shuttle route offered by the national park. I highly recommend visiting these overlooks at sunrise or sunset (golden hours) to catch the Grand Canyon at its most brilliant moments.
The light is just gorgeous at sunset.
The Grand Canyon in itself can be a trip for 3-5 days, depending on what activities you want to do. Unlike the other parks we had been to, I have no doubt that we will be returning to this place a few more times to get the full experience.
Well, that’s all, folks! If you get to see any of these last five sites, let us know what you think!