Perhaps the world’s most breathtaking natural wonder – the Grand Canyon is a geological masterpiece. The Grand Canyon is a gorge carved out in the Arizona landscape which is 277 miles long and between 4 to 18 miles wide. Viewing this mighty landscape is an unforgettable experience especially at sun rise. In the early light the area looks dull and plain but as the sun reaches higher in the sky it is then that you see the canyon’s natural beauty. First you get a view of the farthest ridge near the horizon and then the tallest peaks of rock deep within the canyon’s barren landscape. More details become apparent as the sun rises higher. Rock formations suddenly become obvious and the many perilous cliffs within the canyon cast long dark shadows over the canyons surface .
It is when you notice more familiar sightings such as the geese flying overhead that the shear scale of the canyon becomes clear. The far away ridge is further than first thought 15km away to be precise and that seemingly tiny stream you are peering down upon is the great Colorado river over 1500 meters below your feet. The Grand Canyon is so massive it is impossible to take it all in at once. Therefore it is best to take in the views from the numerous look out posts which are scattered along the rim of the canyon and see the how the evolving daylight can alter the colour of the entire view. Hopi point is the best of these posts, here you can see both ways along the canyon taking in the extravagant landscape as it changes colour throughout the day IAD Car Service Dulles Airport.
For the more adventurous and energetic among you there are numerous trails down into the canyon. Many of the trails involve camping as they can take a couple of days but there are shorter trails such as the Bright Angel Trail wherein you can hike down and back up again in a day provided you begin your hike early in the day. Be warned though even for this shorter trail park authorities recommend you break your journey at Indian Garden campsite and spread your hike over two days. It can take twice as long to hike back up the canyon and it is an arduous journey. If it is too much for you, you can hire a mule to aid you but it is a rather rough ride. This hike gives you a real idea of the shear size of the canyon; you soon realize that landmarks which looked relatively close from above take literally hours to reach as the walls of canyon reach unimaginable heights as you descend downwards.
Over a million people a year come to look at this natural phenomenon and its no wonder why. I would advise you to visit in autumn or spring to avoid the worst of the crowds. However the weather will be very cold at night and in the mornings but on the plus side the air is clearer and the views are arguably even better at these times of year. The weather behaves rather oddly in this place due to the exposed landlocked nature of the area with sudden and rapid changes in the weather from day to day. Today could be hot and dry but tomorrow could bring about a freezing blizzard. There is also huge variations in temperature throughout the course of the day if you choose to hike, for instance you could easily walk through snow at the top and hot sunshine at the bottom during the same day due to the shear depth of the canyon.
Flaggstaff is the nearest airport to the Grand Canyon just a few hours drive from the south rim. Get Cheap Flights to Las Vegas provides direct flight services to the canyon to the Grand Canyon airport at Tusayan if you fancy having some fun at the city of sin beforehand. Handily there is a free bus service around the park but I would recommend hiring your own car as it gives you more freedom to explore. There is a full range of accommodation at Grand Canyon village but as the same company owns all the accommodation there is no competition and prices can be steep. The most preferred accommodation is at El Tovar Lodge which is located conveniently beside the rim but book early as it is very popular with other tourists.