Grand Canyon National Park

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Index

  • Useful information for the visit
  • North Rim
  • What to see in the North Rim
  • Info on North Rim timetables and fares
  • Where to sleep near the North Rim
  • Grand Canyon South Rim
  • How to get to the South Rim

Located in northern Arizona, it encloses the immense gorge of the Grand Canyon. It is one of the best known parks, considered as one of the seven wonders of the world, its landscapes have been ideal settings for numerous films and documentaries. Yet even today when you are faced with the immensity of the Grand Canyon you can not help but remain completely astonished and speechless.



Looking at some shots of the views and glimpses offered by this beauty of nature, it is not difficult to understand why: unparalleled sunrises and sunsets, rocky expanses and an alternation of breathtaking heights and cliffs, draw a skyline that is difficult to forget.

Useful information for the visit

The Grand Canyon is also rich in wildlife. During the hike, you will be able to hear a howl of a coyote, sighting a particular species of mule deer or a rare large specimen horned owl. Unique and unforgettable moments, which only an experience among the great rocky peaks of the Arizona gorge can offer.
An uncontaminated and magical place, perfect for those who want to switch off and forget the chaos of the city, giving themselves moments of silence and intense reflection.

Like all natural and wild places, the Grand Canyon must also be approached with preparation, and a little attention, studying an itinerary well and respecting some good rules, which will make your stay a fantastic event.


It may seem trivial, but it is always good to remember: the rocky mountains of the Grand Canyon stand out in desert places, therefore, before venturing along the most diverse routes, always remember to bring with you a reasonable amount of water to suffer less from the heat and enjoy the journey without worries.


If you've never explored the Grand Canyon, a great place to start is to start your visit from the famous Bright Angel Trail, one of the most spectacular routes in the area, about 15 km long. Known as an ancient Indian road, created by Native Americans to reach streams more easily, the Bright Angel Trail has the advantage of offering its visitors a significant amount of shade (depending on the time of day) and numerous spots to do supply of water and food.

From the starting point, located south of the Grand Canyon, you can descend until you arrive near the Colorado River, and then conclude the tour near Phantom Ranch, the place where the more adventurous travelers usually spend the night.

For those who want to see, in addition to the rocky mountains, also the beauty of the water in its most authentic and wild form, the Grand Canyon offers not only the spectacle of the Colorado River, but also the wonderful Ribbon waterfalls, north of the Rim's Kaibab Trail and Havasu Falls, 36 meters high and located in the Havasupai Indian Reservation, not only to admire, but where to dive to enjoy a pleasant bath in the natural pool created by the water jet.


But now let's go into detail and see how to visit the Grand Canyon and what to see.

North Rim

Il Grand Canyon North Rim it is the most remote part of the Canyon and is close to the border with it Utah. Less crowded than the South Rim, it has an overall height of 2438 meters and is characterized by a subalpine climate. The North Rim is open to the public from mid-May to October. It can be reached via Route 67.


In this part of the Grand Canyon you live an experience of total immersion in nature.

Services are stripped down to the bare essentials with a tourist office, gift shop, and bookstore.

It is the ideal place for passionate about outdoor activities. They can be done excursions on the rim or inside the Canyon and horseback riding (from mid-May to mid-October) or on the back of a mule, bike rides and guided night excursions.

Those who want to spend a little more can enjoy the experience of see the North Rim from above with air or helicopter tours, or go rafting with motor boats or rowing boats. Then there is an entire program of activities held by the Rangers which include lectures and educational walks.

What to see in the North Rim

There are numerous points of interest. Point Royal. Cape Royal, which can be reached via a scenic route, the North Rim Scenic Route, and offers a view that appears infinite and stretches from east to west; it is a popular destination for seeing sunrises and sunsets. For the same reason it is very popular too Bright Angel Point.


The highest point with 2683 meters is Point Imperial, which overlooks the Painted Desrt and the eastern part of the canyon.

Info on North Rim timetables and fares

The park is open from 16 to 31 October from 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, while from XNUMX November to XNUMX December it is open but with minimal services. In winter it can only be reached by hikers if the weather conditions allow it.

Admission costs $ 25 per vehicle and the camping fee ranges from $ 17 up to $ 25.


Where to sleep near the North Rim

As for the accommodation services inside the park there is the Grand Canyon Lodge.

If your next stop is Bryce Canyon or Zion Canyon, the suggestion is to take a hotel in the beautiful town of Kanab, which is strategically positioned in the center of the three parks.

The 5 recommended hotels in Kanab are:

  • Aikens Lodge
  • Quail Park Lodge
  • Canyons Lodge
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kanab
  • Best Western Red Hills

Outside the park you can find accommodation at Kaibab Lodge, which is 18 miles from the park, or Jacob Lake, Kanab and Page, which are respectively 44, 81 and 154 miles from the North Rim.

Grand Canyon South Rim

There is a daily shuttle that connects the North Rim with the South Rim: departs in the morning from the North Rim and takes about 4 and a half hours to reach its destination. In the afternoon it departs from the South Rim and arrives in the evening.

Charter bus shuttles also depart from Flagstaff and Las Vegas.

The Grand Canyon South Rim is located entirely within the boundaries of Arizona. It is the most popular and visited part of the park.

It is certainly better than the North Rim because it is more easily accessible, is open 24 hours a day, 24 days a year and has a much wider and more articulated range of services. It is the part of the Grand Canyon that is recommended for those who have never visited it before. The ideal time to visit it is summer.

Contrary to popular belief, the South Rim is not structured as an amusement park. Here, too, outdoor activities dominate the scene.

There is a long list of spots ideal for enjoying the magic of sunrise and sunset: from Mather Point or Yaki Point you can watch the sun rise over the East Rim, Pipe Creek Vista, Yaki Point, Grand View and Moran Point are two other ideal places to observe the beginning and the end of the day.

Lovers of guided hikes have a wide range of opportunities: there is the Rim Trail (or Rim to Rim), a path that runs the entire length of the canyon, Bright Angel Loop and South Kaibab, and then Havasupai Falls, Indian Gardens, Horseshoe Mesa. Obviously there is no shortage of excursions on horseback and on the back of a mule and routes that can be practiced by bike. There are also some sites to practice camping both in tents and in motorhomes.

Those who want to visit the site by car can do so via the Desert View Drive, a path that extends for 40 kilometers through the South Rim and ends with the Desert View Watchpoint (reachable from the parking lot via a short walk), where it is located an observation tower painted with the murals of Mary Colter.

In 1989 the Grand Canyon Railway was reactivated which made it possible to carry out train tours.

For those who want to spend more, air and helicopter tours and rafting are also available here.

The Grand Canyon Village is equipped with all the amenities: tourist office, ATM, post office, clinic, refreshment points, chapel, bookstores, gift shop.

Here, too, you can attend conferences and educational courses held by the Rangers.

The Grand Canyon South Rim is home to some historic buildings (Lookout Studio, Hopi House, Train Depot, Desert View Watchover) and two museums, the Yavapai Museum of Geology and Tusayan Ruin and Museum.

The entrance fee is $ 25 per vehicle. To move around the park there is a shuttle bus service that takes visitors from one point of interest to another.

As for accommodation services, inside the park there are 7 hotels, and other hotels and motels can be found in nearby Tusayan.

How to get to the South Rim

The South Rim is located 60 miles north of Williams, Arizona. It can be reached either via Route 64 via Interstate 40, or coming from Flagstaff via Route 180. To get here you can use the numerous bus services or the train, via the nice Grand Canyon Railway, the old railway that was refurbished in the XNUMXs.

The nearest airport is Phoenix Airport.

Whether you are planning a visit to the North Rim or the South Rim, it is advisable to book hotels and tour packages a year in advance.

218 miles from the North Rim and 20,7 miles from the South Rim, in the territories of the Hualapai tribe, is the Grand Canyon West Rim, where a one-of-a-kind attraction is located: the Grand canyon skywalk.

The Skywalk is a spectacular platform entirely made of glass, which extends for 20 meters over the void of the canyon, thus giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a unique view. It is an attraction that is absolutely worth visiting.


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