Your eyes are filled with the canyon around you, pictures never having done it justice, as your mule meanders his way down the trail to the bottom where a boat waits at the edge of the Colorado River. You snake around and into Redwall Cavern and you disembark to touch the walls and walk along the bank. Back in the boat, white water rushes around you and you begin to understand the power of the river. As dusk descends you make camp and listen to the world echo through high, red walls drowning out the noise of the life you left behind.
Above the Rim
From the north rim to the south rim of the Grand Canyon find countless historical and visual treasures. Rim trails lead to historical houses, train depots and lodges of both Indians and early settlers. There are countless vista points along the trails with one stunning view followed by another. See Zoroaster Temple from Hopi Pointe, a prominent and unique rock formation named for a Persian prophet, Hermit’s Rest, the stone depot built by the railroad but designed by famous frontier-woman, Mary Colter, that indicates the end of Hermit Road, or simply take in the overwhelming view at Bright Angel Point.
Below the Rim
Getting below the rim can be as easy or hard as a hiker chooses and the ways down are varied. Don’t like to walk? Take a mule! Don’t like a mule? Take a helicopter! But the most popular way to get down is to hike. The Grand Canyon has a number of hiking trails but not all reach the bottom. Choose carefully and don’t over estimate your ability as many are labeled strenuous and are not for the novice hiker. Although most provide moments of rest and easier climbing, no one should attempt a one-day hike in and out of the canyon. But hiking down even part way gives you a chance to see the world change drastically around you and maybe feel the same sense of awe and maybe even the claustrophobia early explorers spoke of.
High rollers can reward a good day at the table with a flight or a ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Phoenix too is an easy place to make camp and still see the sites. From these locations, day-trippers easily reach the canyon, take in the views and head back to city life in just a few hours. But if it’s proximity you want, the closest you can get to the Grand Canyon without actually staying inside is Tusayan, a tiny town just outside the South entrance. Tusayan caters to Canyon visitors hoping to have the Grand Canyon experience with a few extras not included at the lodges in the park like swimming pools, spas and tennis courts.
Places to Visit in the Canyon and Nearby
This is a place out of time and of unimaginable beauty, a virtual paradise aqua blue water lies beneath a waterfall and Native Americans preserving their heritage and language still inhabit and cultivate the land.
An ancient Puebloean village excavated by canyon archeologists, the Tusayan Ruin offers a look at the life of some of the earliest people to inhabit the Grand Canyon.
Designed by the architect of much of the Grand Canyon’s famous buildings, Mary Colter, Phantom Ranch sits at the bottom of the canyon where remnants of early Indians sites dating back to the year 1050 have been found.
Santa Fe Train Depot
One of the only log train depots left standing in the United States, the Santa Fe Train Depot marks the northern end of the Grand Canyon Railway.