Grand Canyon National Park

We arrived at the Grand Canyon(GC) on our first day at about 4:30pm, about 30 minutes before sunset.  I’ve always seen pictures of the GC before, but I never realized what an incredible sight it was.  We parked the rental car and walked right out onto Mather Point.  Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time literally took my breath way.  I just had to stand there and look for a few minutes to take it all in. 


The next morning we wanted to see what is was like to see the sunrise at the GC.  We had to do some quick recon the night before to see where the best places are for viewing.  The short answer is, there are no bad places for viewing.  No matter where you look, you can see forever.  The nice thing about this National Park is that there is a trail along the entire South Rim.  Most of it has no guard rails, so your view isn’t obstructed. 


Near Yavapai Point

I would guess that the entire length of the trail is about 30 miles.  We were there for 2.5 days so we were planning on walking most of it.  After about 7 miles the first morning I realized how depleted I was from 2 days ago, and the difference a change in elevation makes.  We walked from the Bright Angel Lodge all the way down, almost to Hermits Rest.  From then on, we stuck to the shuttle bus, which follows the same trail along the South Rim.


Near Yavapai Point

So, after that first morning I realized that the best times for photos are sunrise and sunset.  It’s hard to describe the changes that take place in such a small window.  The colors are changing right before your eyes.  During the middle of the day, the views are still incredible, but the camera(or at least mine), doesn’t pick up the amount of colors that you see during sunrise/sunset.


Yaki Point Eastward

After walking and hiking for most of the day, we decided to hang out at Yaki Point for our second sunset.  We chose this location because it looked like the point that reached the farthest out into the canyon.  So when you are out on the tip of the point, you can look East and West all along the South Rim.


Yaki Point Westward

Initially, I thought(because I’m a newb) that once the final shadows reach the top of the canyon, the changing colors would be over and it would be time to go.  This was actually the best time, as everything started to take on these purple colors and this nice bluish glow came up just over the horizon. 


Near Yavapai Point

The next day we set out East to see points beyond Yaki Point.  Personally, I liked this end of the Canyon better, because there were better views of the Colorado River winding through below.IMG_2371p

The color of the rock changes the farther East you go.  I think this is near Moran Point, which is a nice overlook off of Desert View Drive.


Vishnu Temple

Honestly, you could sit at a single spot all day long and just keep looking and looking, and continuously see new things.  The canyon is so big though, that you want to keep moving to make sure you don’t miss anything.


Near Lipan and Navajo Point

Visually, the GC plays tricks on your mind.  Most of the time we were there, I was thinking it was maybe 2-3 miles across, some places maybe 5.  Nope, some of the views are 40 miles across from the South Rim to the North Rim.  40 miles!


Near Lipan and Navajo Point

My favorite spot was at the Indian Watchtower at Desert View.  It just so happens that this is the last place that we saw before we had to leave.  If I had to do it all over again, this is the spot I would want to check out at either sunrise or sunset.  You’ve got the river going North/South here and a great view East/West for the sunlight as it changes all of the colors on the rock.  I bet it’s nice.


Indian Watchtower at Desert View

Better yet, if I had to do it all over again, we would be on a raft, on the river, and just meandering along, taking in all the views from the bottom of the canyon looking up.  Camping out at night on the riverbank under the stars.  Who knows, maybe some other time.


Indian Watchtower at Desert View

Thanks for Reading!

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