Thursday, August 25, 2016

Grand Canyon

With the 100th year celebration of the National Parks set for this weekend, it seemed fitting that I continue our adventures at another National Park.  Often we find ourselves visiting attractions that we later decide is overrated and just another tourist trap.  The Grand Canyon is definitely not one of those.  I went for the first time about 12 years ago and returned this year with my dad as part of his 80th birthday gift since he always wanted to see the Grand Canyon in person and not just on the Brady Bunch. 
Entrance fee at this time is $30 per car and is good for 7 days but since my dad had previously purchased the Senior Pass, it was free for all National Parks.  The glass Skywalk Bridge is on the West side coming from Vegas but honestly the scenery is more impressive on the East or South side.  We decided to enter in via the less busy East side of the canyon as you get treated to an already impressive teaser at Navajo Point overlook before you even enter the park.  

Almost immediately after the entrance into the park, our first viewpoint was the Watchtower.  This one requires a small walk to get to but upon first glimpse of the canyon, you will undoubtedly be at awe at the vastness of the Grand Canyon, making you forget how hot or cold you may be and reminding us how small we really are in the grand scheme of things. 


Traveling along Desert View with lots of picturesque overlooks and picture taking opportunities along the way without having to hike into the canyon was the perfect day trip for us.   Making 4 stops along the way, allowing a leisurely 20-30 minutes at each to take pictures, it took us about 3 hours to make it to the South Rim entrance area. 


Since our next day’s activities were in Southern AZ, we made Phoenix our home base which is less than 4 hrs each way to the Grand Canyon.  However, if you want more of a halfway point without having to stay in Tusayan or Flagstaff, you may want to consider Sedona which is about 2 hours away with a chance to also explore the Red Rocks. 
Happy Centennial National Parks!  I cannot think of a more impressive place to celebrate and feel like giddy little kids again coming upon a beautiful new discovery.  What a fitting place for a double milestone birthday! 


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