If you’re under the rather false impression that the Grand Canyon is simply a rather large hole in the floor then you’re risking missing out on one of the world’s most stunningly beautiful landscapes.
They don’t call it one of the seven natural wonders of the world for nothing, and there aren’t many other places in the world you will witness something quite so spectacular. Located high up in the desert in North Arizona, if you’re going to visit the Grand Canyon and get the most out of it, then you need to know exactly what you’re doing. This isn’t somewhere you should do in half measures, and there are a few things to think about first.
Firstly, when are you planning on visiting the Grand Canyon? If you’re heading there in summer, you’re going to be looking at hot, hot temperatures, so it may be better to go during the winter months, so you can appreciate what you’re seeing much more. You also need to think about which rim you’re going to visit, and there are a few restrictions here. Basically, the south rim is the most popular, and this is quite easily accessible from Las Vegas and Phoenix. Here you will find more crowds, but more facilities, and it is open all year around. The north rim on the other hand is closed during mid-October to mid-May, and isn’t as easy to get to.
The canyon itself is huge, we know this, and is around 10 miles wide. The Grand Canyon National Park as a whole covers around 1.2 million acres, so there are lots of outdoor activities you can get involved in if you want to stay a little longer than a fleeting visit. You can camp here, and the south rim again has more in the way of camp sites. You can even raft down the Colorado River if the mood takes you, on an organised tour.
Of course, the main attraction is a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, and if you get the chance then this is something that should definitely be on your to-do list. By heading into the skies you will get to see the sheer scale of the canyon and the landscape around it, something you simply can’t get a grasp of from keeping your feet on terra firma.
Basically, any visit to the Grand Canyon is going to blow your mind – there is no more awe-inspiring sight than standing in front of the earth opening up before you, stretching on for miles and miles, right in the heart of one of the most barren landscapes on earth.
Remember your camera for this one people, it’s quite the epic sight.
Photo Credit: Les Haines