Originally posted at Folinazzo.com – April 3, 2010
We spent only a day and a half at the Grand Canyon but it probably is one of my favorite places on Earth now. We all have seen gorgeous photos of the Canyon, and everyone has heard how magnificent it is, but I still was not prepared for the grandeur and majesty of it upon catching my first glimpse in person.
At this time of year (the end of March), only the South Rim is open and accessible to visitors. Since we were visiting with our one-year-old daughter, I knew we wouldn’t be able to do any heavy duty hiking, that our time would be limited to the paved trails just off the parking areas (which were easily navigable for our umbrella stroller). The views from those trails proved to be sufficient. When we initially arrived at the Park, we walked from the parking lot, past the Visitor’s Center, and over to the viewing area. I was surprised to see so many people there at this time of year. My husband even commented, “I’d hate to see this place in the high season.” But I was more surprised by my reaction when I saw the Canyon for the first time. It was literally breathtaking. When I finally recovered and was able to breathe again, the only word (sound?) I could muster was, “Whoa.” My words here won’t do it any justice, and now I believe that many photographs don’t, either. In fact, I found it very difficult to capture, in photographs, the grandness of that canyon. I tried, though. My photos can be seen here (the set includes photos from our entire Arizona trip).
On our way out of Grand Canyon National Park, we drove east on Highway 64 towards Cameron. We stopped at most of the scenic viewpoints along the way, my favorite being Navajo Point. There, we were offered a view of the Canyon from a different angle, and at a different time of day, and the results were quite stunning. Furthermore, a park ranger happened to be there on duty and was happy to take some time to talk to us about the geology, the Colorado River, and other interesting facts about the Park. We also stopped at Tusayan Ruin and Museum, a spot within Park boundaries that offers visitors a glimpse of what Pueblo Indian life was like 800 years ago. The museum itself is quite small in size but largely interesting, and we thoroughly enjoyed walking around and observing the ruin. Admission to the museum and ruin is free.
Soon thereafter we were on our way out of the Park, but not before we were already planning a return trip. Next time, we want to actually get into the Canyon. Lucia will be older, too, and we’ll be able to do more active stuff with her. That’s what I look forward to the most.