Grand Canyon Splendor

View of Grand Canyon with morning light

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. With its impressive scale-like dimensions as well as the various colors it displays, this captivating land of the Americas is indeed a once in a lifetime experience.

The Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, is home to many massive canyons, having its highly layered bands of sandstone revealing millions of years of natural geologic history.

Out of the several sites in the National Park, the most visited by tourists is the Hoover Dam, which serves as an essential water reservoir for Phoenix. Tourists can also visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon; where they will have the opportunity to view some of the most beautiful scenery and spectacular sunsets in the region.

Other popular stops in the region include the south rim of the Colorado River, which is one of the most important sources of irrigation for Arizona; and Maricopa, a town within the south rim area which features charming hotels, excellent dining, and other amenities that allow travelers to enjoy their time in the Grand Canyon. View points include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station, and architecturally exquisite Mary Colter’s Lookout station and her desert view tower.

The National Park contains two interconnected regions: the South Rim and the North Rim.

Grand Canyon North Rim

The Grand Canyon North Rim, which is considered the most accessible part of the Park, consists of only steep grades. However, those who prefer a little more rugged hiking can explore the South Rim from the lower elevation by following trails through grasslands and dense forests. The most prominent feature of the South Rim is the Hualapai Native Americans tribes’ main settlement, Ke’e Beach, which is located at the western edge of the Grand Canyon. While exploring this area, be sure to check out some of the beautiful waterfalls on the surrounding cliffs.

Grand Canyon South Rim

The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is home to a diverse range of geological features. Some are considered “valley of the Gods,” while others are thought to have stemmed from an oceanic world. A walk along the shore will reveal geologic evidence that mankind has been here since ancient times. Man may have built a cave here to keep warm in the winter and perhaps dig a hole to have a campfire during the summer. The presence of fossils in various layers suggest the possibility of life existing on the surface of the Grand Canyon prior to the formation of the land bridges. Another interesting site to investigate is Pahana Pool, which is the most prevalent water supply for the wildlife and plant species within the Grand Canyon.

Hiking

One of the best ways to experience the Colorado River’s riches is to hike the Colorado Trail. The trail follows the rim over the volcanic peaks of the Grand Canyon, meandering through thick forest, over grasslands, and through canyons. The longest trail of the Colorado Trail covers yawning canyon walls that washes into deep valleys. It meanders through three massive canyon basins, where dramatic drop-offs occur in the rapids. The longest route also takes you past a remarkable geological formation called Castle Rock, considered to be one of the largest pieces of rock on earth.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon National Park is a must for any visitor. Hikers can enjoy a variety of scenic views along the trail. When nearing the park’s boundaries, be sure to stay on marked trails and be aware of your location.