In unassuming Arizona USA, lies one of the most remarkable of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. One of the deepest gorges in Earth, the Grand Canyon formed through millennia of erosion, takes your breath away with its unique combinations of color and geological formations.
Six million years, to be precise, is what it took for the Colorado River to carve its way across 277 miles of the gorge, leaving numerous side canyons and sheer drops for the eye to behold. Because the river uncovered so many layers of rock through its journey, one can see countless shades of brown, yellow, red and gray displayed across the walls of the canyon.
Being this breathtaking has its consequences – the Grand Canyon has least 5 million people visiting it every year. Talk about being popular! It has two rims, the North and the South, with the South Rim being open throughout the year.
As the day progresses and the sun moves across the sky, the vista changes dramatically with every turn of the light. The canyon is a unique sight to behold through sunrise, afternoon, evening and sunset; and for this reason I would suggest planning this around an entire day and maybe even camping within the National Park.
We visited the South Rim, which is about 7000 ft above sea level, and in late November, is bitingly cold and windy. We drove through Desert View, a 25 mile scenic route along the South Rim with multiple vista points to stop and look at the magic of nature in awe.
At the end of the drive, there is an observatory and watchtower filled with Native American relics.
There are multiple ways of exploring the canyon – hiking trails near the edges, multi-day hikes deep into the canyon and down to the river, overnight camping trails, riding on mules, and observatory ramps. There are bus tours scattered throughout and a good thing to remember is that some locations are accessible only by park shuttles.
We took the Bright Angel trail, and scaled about halfway before heading back before it got too dark. The trail has some amazing views – one can see huge cliffs, sheer drops and glimpses of the river that made this all come to life.
Sunset is easily one of my favorite views of the canyon. The various color’s playing across the sky only made this wonder look even more powerful.
Almost too soon, it was time for us to head back. Word of caution – there is almost no network coverage throughout the park and this is fine until you need directions to get out of this massive place. I would highly recommend downloading offline maps, or, you know, go old school and pick up an actual map or something. *Shudders*.
This place was an absolute delight, and the memories are going to stay with me for a very long time. It’s an absolute must visit for anyone wanting to witness the beauty and power of nature and time.
Stay tuned for stories about more wonders to come, and as always, thank you for reading!