The GRAND, Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Travel Blog

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5.5 long hours after departing Vegas, we rolled up to the gate of Grand Canyon National Park, paid our $25 bucks, and started craning our necks to catch a glimpse of the canyon. We pulled into the information center and got out of the car only to be blasted by 60 kph winds. Woah! And we were going to walk around the rim with this going on? Yeah, of course. And off we went. And then… wow. Wow. Ah, wow. I started snapping pics before I even got to a lookout. The sky was blue, the clouds were fluffy, and the canyon stretched on in an endless array of colors, layers, and bottomless trenches. The word ‘grand’ seems quite insufficient in the face of the enormity of the awesomeness that is this work of nature.

 

After clambering around some cliff faces a bit off the rim where all of the ‘smart tourists’ refused to go for fear of falling and the ensuing painful death, we headed to one of the mainstays of the Grand Canyon park lodges, the Bright Angel lodge, located at the foot of the Bright Angel Trail, the most popular trail leading into the canyon (excuse the longest sentence ever).

I had looked at lodging in the town outside the park but couldn’t find anything under $150. I’d never even thought about trying ‘in’ the park as I thought it’d be too expensive. I gave it a shot, though, and found ONE room available in the month of April and at the steal of a price of $79, And it happened to be when we would be there. Score!

 

The lodge was a pretty cool place and the room was nice. Looking out our window we could see a part of the Grand Canyon. Doesn’t get much better than that! We decided to hike down into the canyon a bit for more photo ops as the sun began to wane and the colors of the sky and canyon took on more vivid hues of red and blue. We hiked down for about 30 minutes, from time to time encountering the intrepid souls who did a top to bottom hike in one day (despite the myriad of warning signs preaching certain death to any that tried! (Seriously)).. One guy had done it in ten hours and two ladies had done it in 12. They all looked like they were about to keel over but their smiles of elation were evident even through the physical suffering. A few looks at them sealed our decision to take it easy that day and only go about a kilometer down. We planned to do a 10km roundtrip hike the next morning and were thinking our route would give us a view of the mighty Colorado river.

With that plan set, we hiked back out to watch the sunset from the rim. An incredible day and one we were sure we could duplicate again the next day.

 

But that didn’t happen.

 

We awoke at the crack of dawn to freezing temperatures and a blustery wind pushing 50 kph. We walked/shuffled/huddled about a kilometer along the rim to get a view of the Eastern sky and sat for an hour or so as the sky became awash with pink and orange and blue. Thinking we needed to dethaw and sleep a bit more, we headed back to bed.

 

I got up at 8am ready for the hike and took a look outside. There was a blizzard. Seriously.

 

I walked outside and ducked through the snowflakes to take a look at the canyon, or rather, where it was supposed to be. All I saw was a massive white fog/cloud. Where’d it go!?! We decided the hike was probably off but we still hoped to catch a Native American dance at 1:00 so decided to just piddle around until then. But then it started hailing. And then we called it a day.

 

We were a bit sad our GC trip was cut short, but still elated about the wonderful time we had the day before.

In all seriousness, the Grand Canyon is surely the most impressive natural wonder I’ve ever encountered. Aside from Petra (which I don’t think will ever be eclipsed), this is one of the most amazing sites I’ve seen on a list of truly mind-blowing sites. Ji and I both want to return to do a proper bottom hike sometime in the near future. I’m already looking forward to it!

 

So without further ado, we hopped back in the car for the 5.5 hour trip to Vegas. Through the blizzard. And the blizzard was going full bore. The salt ice plow truck things were out on the roads in force so we had no mishaps and eventually descended back into the arid plains of western Arizona and out of crazy late April snow storms. It was… odd.

 

Back to Vegas by 5 pm and into our new hotel, the Imperial Palace. One and half more days until our Vegas trip was all wrapped up. We’d have to make it count.

Vikram says:
Nice blog!!
Posted on: Sep 16, 2012
williamsworld says:
Awesome blog and photos!!!!
Posted on: May 07, 2010
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