Grand Canyon - giant and masterpiece of all canyons
During our road trip in the US Southwest we could not skip Grand Canyon. Everyone speaks about it and who have already been there also raves about it. Therefore we decided to make another dream come true within our trip around the world and from Canyonlands, Arches & Monument Valley we rushed towards Grand Canyon. On the way we stopped at another amazing place called Marble Canyon. I tis a small and very charming place! All you need to do is to walk on the Navajo bridge and the whole canyon with Colorado river floating there opens for you. It is very photogenic spot and right next to the main road. From here it is a 2-hour drive through diverse landscape of Arizona to reach North Rim. The journey does not go only through canyons and parched scenery, there is a long drive through the Kaibab National Forest but about it we write below.
North Rim – the real atmosphere of the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon is the most known and famous canyon in the world. If you really want to enjoy it the same way like us we recommend you to go to the North Rim. Yes, it is a bit in the middle of nowhere and quite far from the civilization but this is exactly what will make your experience from this great place so extraordinary. North Rim is certainly visited by tourists too but it is not so over crowded. Thanks to it you may appear alone on many lookout points and enjoy the whole day there. Park entrance fee costs 30 USD/7 days/car including all persons inside (with National Park Pass it is free of charge) and the fee is valid for both sides of the Grand Canyon. Our first stop was the Lodge where we saw Grand Canyon for the very first time. Right from the first sight we were so mesmerized by its magnitude which was neverending. After a short walk around the Lodge we sat in the car and decided to visit all lookout points step by step until we reach Cape Royal. We liked rangers presentation everywhere and also their willingness to answer question or say interesting stories about the spots seen from the vista points. But what truly enrapturated us was Grand Canyon landscape. Canyon itself looks very inhospitable and in summer months it is supposedly a real hell to go hiking down there. But when we were visiting particular lookout points we passed by beautiful mixed forests where we felt so comfortable. It is such a nice natural paradox.
Kaibab National Forest – free sleeping with a view at Grand Canyon
Don’t you believe it? But yes it is possible….well if you don’t mind camping. Camping in Grand Canyon is hard thing to organize because you must make reservation in advance and it costs you nerves and also your money. And it is necessary to point out that in the summer it is too hot in there to sleep outside. Why to stay there over night then? Because you want to be as close as possible to the canyon in the morning to see the sunrise? Ok..And what if we told you can have it all and for free, only for yourself and still stay very cool at night? Sounds like sci-fi? Not at all. All you need to do is to go back from the North Rim to Kaibab National Forest and find free campsite with the view at the Grand Canyon where we slept. From the moment we arrived there till the moment we left, Grand Canyon was only ours. We were in the very wilderness, about 30 km from civilization and alone. We truly recommend that! And after an amazing sleep in the nature it was so easy to continue travelling in the USA. And of course we did not miss South Rim too because we were very curious what Grand Canyon is like from the other site.
South Rim – a place to meet half the world or commercial Grand Canyon
We don’t mean to be rude or bad but South Rim is simply a dead loss. And all the magic of Grand Canyon falls somewhere far behind this place. We are not kidding at all. If you are masochists and love crowds of people and do not mind places where half of the world meets all at once, visit South Rim. If you have terrible goose bumps, forget about it, take your time even if you needed more than 1 day, even if going from Las Vegas and go to North Rim of the Grand Canyon. You won’t regret! And even if you still wanted to go to South Rim just make sure you are prepared for a never ending car line at the park entrance. National Park Pass holders may enter the park in preference to the others and drive another way. Just let your park pass hang on the back mirror so rangers can see it with binoculars and direct you the right way. We have seen everything we wanted and also did not want but even though we happily se out to new adventures this time towards Route 66 and Meteor Crater.
Tento příspěvek je také k dispozici v jazyce: Czech
Nice that you got to see the Grand Canyon and it is sweet that you got a free camping spot on the North Rim. We haven’t been to the North Rim yet but we will. We were at the canyon back in January of 2005 and there were no big crowds then but like you said I wouldn’t want to be there in the summer, it would be like a zoo on the South Rim. We almost went there again this spring in early March but a big storm went through and there was lots of snow so we will try again another year and we want to do the North Rim. Did you hike down to the bottom of the canyon? We did and it was beautiful. Did you rent a car to get to these sights while you in that area? If not how did you travel around to get to them, hitch hiking?
Well January must have been a good month to go there. Lower temperatures, no school holiday so it was less crowded. We did not go hiking down the canyon because it was too hot for us to do so. We were also suggested to it by our friends but maybe next time. And if you have the opportunity to visit North Rim, do so, it is really beautiful! 🙂 We rented a car for the entire trip in the US Southwest. It is difficult to hitch hike in the USA and people told us that in many states it is also against the law so we never tried that. Have you?
Martina and Pavel 🙂