The Grandest of Canyons


There isn’t much that anyone can write about the Grand Canyon that hasn’t already been written.  To say that it is an amazing place just seems too weak of a description, although it is amazing.  Of course, there are many canyons in the world, but then there are canyons and there are grand canyons and this place is the latter. 

Some people are in such a hurry to get to the final destination, that they seldom see the destinations along the way.  On our way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon from Page, Arizona we made a rest stop along the way and spotted this roadrunner who allowed us to get very close.  He probably hadn’t seen very many people in his attempts to flee from the Wily Coyote.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that most people make when they visit the Grand Canyon is not giving themselves enough time to take it all in.  But if your time is limited, the best place to go may be the area of the North Rim Visitor Center.  There you can see many spectacular views of the canyon plus there is ample parking, a restaurant, and a lodge.

There are many hiking trails throughout the park but the one that should not be missed is the relatively easy hike to Bright Angel Point.

From the Grand Canyon Lodge, it is an easy quarter-mile hike along the Bright Angel Point Trail to capture some of the most amazing views on Earth.  Depending on the time of day, the sun will be in different locations and the views will also be different depending on where the sunlight hits the canyon walls. 

The colors of the various sandstone layers that make up the canyon change as the day changes and as the shadows and light play off each other.

The canyon is so large that with the proper wide-angle lens on your camera you can actually see the curvature of the Earth.   Sometimes the canyon looks deceptively small when there is nothing to give it perspective.

Above, a panorama photo of just one small sliver of this grand canyon as we hiked to Bright Angel Point.

Above, a brave hiker stops along the Bright Angel Point Trail to ponder the grand scale of this mighty gorge that was formed from millions of years of erosion.

Above, the hat tree is some distance below the trail and has caught a couple of hats that were blown by the strong winds on this section of the trail. They were blown off the heads of unsuspecting hikers and are too far below the trail along a precarious cliff to risk retrieving them.

Above, light and shadows play a visual game of hue and saturation as colors change and dance across the landscape.  A hike during the morning “blue hour” will present a much different visual effect during that same hike in the afternoons “golden hour.”

The Grand Canyon Lodge offers a spectacular view from a rustic, yet very elegant setting.  It is recommended that reservations to stay or dine here be made well in advance. 

Rustic guest cabins are located not very far from the lodge and are in close proximity to many of the park’s features, amenities and sites.

This particular trip to the Grand Canyon was my third visit to this wonder of the world.  Each time I was able to see and experience many new things.  And each time I come here, I cannot help but recall an episode of the Flintstones cartoon from 1961 when Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty visited the Grand Canyon many millions of years ago.

You will enjoy this short clip:

From Season 2: Droop Along Flintstone. Original airdate: 9-22-1961

It is almost a sure thing that you will enjoy a visit to the Grand Canyon, and when you see it, it will be a most humbling experience.  It is a wonder of nature and certainly one of America’s most spectacular national parks.

It will add another drop in the bucket and will create a lasting memory of what our Earth has to offer.

All photographs are the copyright of Jim Jackson Photography. Please contact me with any questions, comments, or for authorization to use photos or for signed, high-resolution prints.

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