Grand Canyon National Park – Day 1

On our 2013 road trip, we were supposed to visit Grand Canyon National Park.  I, being an OC traveler, had our hotel vouchers prepared. And then the US Government had a shutdown. So even if it broke my heart, we had to cancel the trip. And proceeded somewhere else. Read my Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado entries for said stories.

Fast forward to April 2016, from Las Vegas, the hubby and I traveled to Grand Canyon again. This time, the said trip was successful! 🙂

We left Treasure Island Hotel along Las Vegas Strip after breakfast. Travel time via Highway 93 and I-40 to Tusayan was about 4 hours.

Let me share with you then my photo essay of the said trip.

Lake Mead looks beautiful from a distance.

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Highway 93.

The roads in America have always captivated me. They are presented like an art. Even in the desert, they look beautiful. They are also very smooth. Hence, road tripping there isn’t tiring at all.

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The view of Kaibab National Forest.

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Williams, Arizona. img_6719

On our way to Grand Canyon. img_6729

Finally , at the Tusayan entrance of Grand Canyon National Park.

If you are visiting several National Parks, I suggest that you buy the “America The Beautiful” Annual Pass  for $80.00 . It will prove to be a very good investment, considering that you can use it in all the US National Parks and US National Wildlife Refuge,  for one whole year.

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This young elk greeted us near the entrance! 🙂

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As we continued , we found the Visitor Center and the Grand Canyon Store.

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To those who love to shop, here’s the Park Store.  I found a nice ref magnet for my mama, who loves them. 🙂

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I found this signage inside too.

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Grand Canyon National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Why? To borrow the words from the UNESCO website – The Grand Canyon is among the earth’s greatest on-going geological spectacles. Its vastness is stunning, and the evidence it reveals about the earth’s history is invaluable. The 1.5-kilometer (0.9 mile) deep gorge ranges in width from 500 m to 30 km (0.3 mile to 18.6 miles). It twists and turns 445 km (276.5 miles) and was formed during 6 million years of geologic activity and erosion by the Colorado River on the upraised earth’s crust. The buttes, spires, mesas and temples in the canyon are in fact mountains looked down upon from the rims. Horizontal strata exposed in the canyon retrace geological history over 2 billion years and represent the four major geologic eras.

To read further, please check this site – http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/75

Words can actually never express how awesome the place is. Yes, to put it bluntly, it is just a hole in the ground. But its history and geological activities for at least 6 million years is mind blowing.

Another thing that astonished me are the different colors brought about by the sunrise, sunset, angles and shadows. Beautiful is an understatement.

I remember sitting down beside the rim and just felt its powerful presence. Made me realize again how little and young human beings are compared to this regal show of nature. I was amazed and in awe.

Moving on,  we proceeded to check Mather Point.

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See what I mean?

Shades of red here. img_6769

Then, there’s light yellow and gray here.

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And then orange here.

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Tiny people from a distance. Really, I am just a speck on earth.

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Amazing right? img_6793

Had some souvenir photos. 🙂

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And waited for the sunset…

Spring isn’t that cold at the Canyon. But whoa, the moment the sun sets, it gets really chilly. So don’t forget to bring layers.

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Sunset at Grand Canyon is indeed very pretty. I am glad that I was able to enjoy it with the hubby. Much as we would have wanted to stay, the wind got stronger and chillier. So we left and went to the restaurant for dinner before proceeding to the lodge, where we will be staying for several days.

For more details on where to stay at Grand Canyon National Park, please check this website –  http://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/yavapai-lodge 

We wanted to stay at the hotels beside the rim for the view. But GCNP gets fully booked months ahead of time. Hence, our Yavapai Lodge booking. This is still inside the park but about a kilometer or so away from the rim.  I’m just glad that I was able to get a cabin. Or our other option are hotels outside the park, which is at least 15 to 20 minutes away.

If you are planning to visit Grand Canyon, read this link for all the details – https://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

Thank you for reading my blog everyone. Come back for the next installment of our Grand Canyon escapade. 🙂

 

 

Lea C. Walker

 

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