As one of the great Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon has been photographed and described and videoed and written about endlessly. It is still quite breathtaking when seen from the South Rim the first time.
The drive into the Grand Canyon National Park really gives no ‘preview’ of the canyon itself. Anxious to get our first glimpse, we immediately went to the Grand Canyon Visitors’ Center at Mather Point. After watching an informative video at the center, we walked the short distance to the South Rim and saw exactly what all the excitement is about.
The Grand Canyon spans as much as a mile in some places and is a mile deep. From some of the viewpoints the visitor can catch glimpses of the Colorado River below, and a few trails can be seen below the rim. For those hardier than I, there are backpacking trips, mule rides to Phantom Ranch, or river rafting trips on the Colorado. Actually, when we returned to Oklahoma, we found out a friend is getting ready to take the six-day rafting trip. His view will certainly be different than ours!
We stayed at Maswik Lodge within the national park. There are also two historic hotels, El Tovar and Bright Angel. Reservations for these must be secured well in advance.
It is easy to get a variety of perspectives of the canyon by boarding one of the park’s free shuttle buses. These buses run a regular schedule daily that includes half a dozen or so stops along the South Rim. The shifts in light from sunrise to sunset emphasize the depth of the canyon and the geologic variations of the rocks. We made it a point to be there one morning for sunrise, to take the shuttle during the day, and to return for sunset. Each event was equally impressive.
While the Grand Canyon may be marked off my bucket list, I took advantage of many photo opportunities, and the pictures will be wonderful reminders.