It was our 7th wedding anniversary and a surprise was waiting for me . A trip to one of the 7 natural wonders of the world .
We took an early flight and reached flagstaff where we rented a car .Grand Canyon National Park is one hour 30 mins drive further. we were staying at Canyon plaza resort hotel just outside the Grand canyon national park in Tusayan . This hotel had reasonable pricing, but no complimentary breakfast.Hotel was neat.
After the hectic day of long travel we had no energy to start exploring the park for the day . Also park’s visitor center was closed by 5pm . We decided to rest for the day . Soon we realized there are not many options for good food in Tusayan. It is also expensive given that area is a tourist attraction
26th Oct 2016.
Grand Canyon National park has north rim and south rim.North rim closes by Oct 15th ,while the south rim is open throughout the year for travelers . Hence we could do only the south rim .
We started our day with McDonalds breakfast at 7.30am . After breakfast we headed straight to visitor center to plan rest of our stay here at national park . Entrance to the national park is $30 for 1-7 days. The lady at visitor center guided us as to what we could do the next 3 days . We were all set to explore Grand Canyon National park – South rim.
Five mins walk from visitor center is Mather point – where you get a first view of grand canyon . GC is just so vast with its huge walls ,layered and colored patterns that you could just stand and stare and keep wondering as to how this has happened . Just breath taking wow!. This point is also good for sunrise and sunset.
From Mather point there is Rim trail that goes all the way to the Grand Canyon Village .
You can view the Canyon from different points here on on this trail . Either take the trail or choose to take shuttle buses that start from visitor center. There are 3 different routes represented by 3 colors of shuttle buses .
Red- scenic route of the national park
Blue – village transfer route .
Orange – route to Kaibab trail and Yaki point.
Red shuttle buses start only from bright angel trailhead .
We started on rim trail from Mather point capturing the beauty of grand canyon in the morning sun . We stopped by here and there analysing and comparing the heights and colors of the canyon . En-route there are many information boards about how, what and why’s of the Canyon . Everything about canyon is in terms of millions of years !
After taking small stops along the trail, the next main stop was Yavapai Point & Geology museum . Here again lots of information to know about the Canyon . The museum has glass windows from where you get to see complete 180 degree view of the Canyon .
Continue on this trail next stop is Verkamp’s visitor center and Hopi house .Verkamp’s visitor center has the historical information about the Grand canyon railway and how the community developed over years. Back in the days Hopi house was Mary Colters idea to sell the products made by native Americans. Now it has products made in USA . Just next to hopi house is the El tovar restaurant . Lunch seemed expensive and we decided to move on to next stop .
Kolb studio is the free exhibition of Grand Canyon paintings by various artists . Amazing paintings to admire or buy if you are interested .
Just before Kolb studio is the Bright angel lodge and restaurant . The restaurant here had very good food at reasonable prices and service was good too. Highly recommended place to eat .
After kolb studio is where the Bright angel trail begins. This is one of the moderate hiking trails.
From Bright angel trailhead we took the red route shuttle to Hermits rest . There are 8 points on this route from where you can see the Canyon . Sunrise , sunset , different colors of canyon in layers , view of the Colorado River and standing at the cliff to feel the depth are the different things you can do at these different points . Final destination of this route is Hermits rest . Here you can relax and have some coffee and snacks before you head back to village transfer shuttle stop .
After refreshing coffee stop at hermits rest, we came back to bright angel trailhead to board a blue route shuttle also called village transfer shuttle . This shuttle took us back to visitor center where the car was parked .
We exited the park and came back to Tusayan where we were staying . ‘We cook pizza pasta’ is the place we decided have dinner . Their pizza was undercooked and expensive and we could do nothing about it since it was carry out. Probably the worst pizza I have eaten so far. Would never recommend this place .
We are just so tiny in front of this huge divine creation.
More about Grand Canyon in the next post.
Good night !