Grand Canyon National Park

One of the "Natural World Wonders" of the world. A UNESCO world heritage site.  The majestic Grand Canyon National Park.

The canyon was created by the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries. The primary public areas of the park are the North and South Rims while rest of the Grand Canyon is vast and remote. It's so huge that it can be observed from the space.

The park is divided into the North, South and West Rim. If you want to visit North Rim we suggest planning your visit during the Summer months as it opens late in May. However, South Rim is open year around.

Activity: Tour the canyon, Ranger-led programs, observe sunrise and sunset, hiking
Accommodation: There are accommodations (lodge and campsite) available inside the park and if not then Williams is the closest town/city around 45 minutes drive from the park which offers a wide range of accommodation.
Modes of transport: You can drive in your own car inside the park, however during a certain period, the only mode of transport to a certain point is riding the free shuttle bus. Finding parking inside the park will get tricky during peak season.

We did one hiking expedition in the Grand Canyon ( Havasupai Falls / Havasu falls). We strongly believe the only way to get an essence of the geographical feature in the park is by going on a hike spending time amidst nature. Even a helicopter tour will not do any justice to it.

We sent one and half days at the park covering the highlights and observing sunrise and sunset. This is a must do activity in the park. The color of the canyon turns bright and beautiful when the sun rays touch the walls of the canyon. Very unique and enjoyable moments of wonder by the mother nature. 

Our experience:

We visited early summer and the North rim of the park, so we covered only the South rim.

The south rim of the National Park 9.1 miles towards hermit road from the visitor center and 22 miles towards desert view from the visitor center.

On the first day we covered the viewpoint towards hermit road and the next day we covered desert view part towards the desert.

We reached the park about 2.00 PM in the noon. We stopped by the visitor center to check the points of interest that are open and to get an idea about the day's ranger-led activities. At the visitor center, there is a 15 minutes movie that is played. We strongly recommend watching the video.

We covered the attractions as below:  

Yavapai Point and Geology Museum: This is a very interesting museum inside the park as it covers details about the National Park, how the canyon was formed, how the wildlife and humans who made the majestic canyon their home.
Verkamp’s Visitor Center: This visitor center will give you an idea about the early human settlers in the grand canyon
Hopi House: An American Indian craft store with handmade tribal stuff for sale. If you want to purchase any of them go early, it closes by 5.30 in the evening.
Kolb Studio: They have photographs of the view of park and exhibits.

You can stroll through the village, which still has the old train depot that used to visit the Grand Canyon making the canyon much more accessible than before, Also houses of the native American Indian's in which they used to live are preserved.

After visiting the village we headed to the famous Hermit road viewpoint to observe the sunset. Again,  During peak season driving the hermit road is prohibited (March 1 to November 30 ). We will have to use the free shuttle bus service to the park. Allow some extra time for your turn to get into the bus. The Hopi point is the most desirable point in the Grand Canyon for sunset.

Sunset at Hopi Point

After observing the sunset, we returned to the campsite. Next day morning we woke up early around 3.30 and reached Mather point to observe the sunrise. Sunrise varies based on the month you visit, I strongly suggest you visit the link here.

                                                                      Sunrise at Mather Point

Both Sunrise and sunset are "must do once in the lifetime". The colors which the canyon reflects is beyond words to explain. It proves nature is the best artist on earth. The canyon reflects maroon, magenta, golden, yellow colors when the sun rays touched the walls of the canyon. At the visitor center, our park ranger said that we can even witness purple, but however we couldn't.

To find out other recommended Sunrise and Sunset point please visit here.

After observing the sunrise we started driving towards the desert view. There are various viewpoints along the road like Yaki Point, Grandview Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point, Navajo Point and the desert view watch tower. All view points along the road will give you a great view of the canyon.

The Navajo point will give you a panoramic and the entire view of the canyon. If you choose to climb up the desert view watch tower you can get an eagle eye view of the canyon.

We exited the park and headed towards horseshoe bend viewpoint in the Grand Canyon. 

Before doing our initial research we were under the impression that the horseshoe bend is inside the Grand Canyon National Park, but however its near Page, Arizona, a two-hour drive from the park.


Horseshoe bed in the Grand Canyon

This is the most photographed location in the grand canyon. Here Colorado river turns as it cuts through the canyon and formed a horseshoe bend. It is the most ideal location to witness the depth of the canyon and to intake the majestic view of the river.

At Just fifteen-minute drive from the Horseshoe bend is the other scenic and the most photographed canyon in the United States. A canyon cut due to "flash flood". Yes, Antelope Canyon so called "photographers paradise"

If you want to visit the canyon, we cannot take a self-guided tour but only guided tour by the "Navajo Indian Tribe tour agency" is allowed.
      When you choose Antelope canyon in google maps it redirects us to the Indian reservation tour agency. There are around four to five tour agency that is owned by the Indian reservation.

I have blogged my experience here, please follow the link.

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