The Natural Wonder of the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of those places that is too majestic to adequately describe. The Canyon is about 277 miles (444 km) long, 10 miles (16 km) wide in some places and more than a mile (1.6 km) deep. Photos rarely do it justice – you just have to experience it for yourself. While the Canyon is a “deep” subject, it’s relatively easy to appreciate at least some of the Canyon from one of the main viewing areas, or for the more adventurous, by mule, rafting, hiking, helicopter, by vintage train (from Williams, Arizona), or you can camp overnight at one of the hundreds of campsites in the park.
On this particular trip, we chose an easy bus tour from Las Vegas to the South Rim. Cost was about $75 each. The trip is four hours each way, plus sightseeing time. It’s a long day, roughly 12 hours or so, but letting someone else do the driving was best for us. The trip takes you close to Hoover Dam, and the driver slowed down on the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge long enough for us to snap a few shots of the landmark.
The trip arrived at Mather Point on the South Rim, which is a very popular way to get an overall impression of the Canyon. First stop is at the visitor’s center for a little orientation. We didn’t wander far, but were content for our first visit to simply take in the views from there.
For those not afraid of heights, you can also travel to Eagle Point on the West Rim. Here you’ll find the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass-bottomed walk suspended 70 feet beyond the rim and 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. From here, you can explore traditional Native American dwellings and the western-style town known as Hualapai Ranch. The cost to view the canyon this way is quite expensive. You can read some of the recent reviews at TripAdvisor.
If approaching the East Rim by car, you will travel along Highway 64, starting in Grand Canyon Village. It provides a very scenic 26 mile (41 km) drive before ending at the east entrance of the park.
Whichever way you decide to see the Grand Canyon, be sure to leave enough time to let its grandeur sink in. It will take more than a short visit to fully appreciate it, but once you’ve seen it, it remains with you forever, and for many, a return visit is essential. Before you go, pick up a good book to help guide your visit.
Flights, Hotels and More
The Grand Canyon is one of the world wonders not to be missed. People spend so much time in Vegas, yet don’t venture out to the other areas. There is a lot to see and experience there. Far too much for us to do it justice in the short time we were there. To help you on your way, here are links to various sites that we are affiliated with that will help make your journey smoother:
Hotels.com carries a wide inventory. We’ve found their prices to be very attractive, but it always pays to look around.
If you would like to check out Airbnb as another option, this link can help you on your way with a $50 coupon for your first stay.
VRBO is another excellent way to go. You can take a look at that option here.
For flights, we have used Expedia in the past to book trips. Sometimes we will book directly with the airlines to ensure our points are recorded.