Imagine standing at the tip of the earth, looking down into what could very well be its singed bowels, with nothing but pin drop silence all around you! Yes, the Grand Canyon National Park does have that sort of effect on you. It makes poets and philosophers of us all. And why not? The stark nakedness of red rock surfaces is a haunting testament to the destructive rage of the earth and the rich beauty all around points to the tenacity of life. In the colorful landscape painted by the chunky sequence of ancient rocks, time stands still. Visitors are transported back millions of years to an unknown and mysterious era.
The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited parks of America. Each year, it hosts more than 4.5 million visitors. Area wise, it is huge with more than a million acres of land. The cavernous mouth is so big that it would take travelers two full days to get to the bottom of the canyon and back, if they were traveling on foot. By raft, you can easily spend weeks exploring the Grand Canyon and still have areas left over for next year’s trip!
The Grand Canyon is not the deepest canyon in the world. But people love it because of the unmatched vistas it has to offer visitors to the rim. It is well known all over the world for its overwhelming size, intricate shapes and patterns and sheer beauty.
Visitors can reach the Grand Canyon national Park through the South or North Rim. The south is more accessible with public bus transportation and a limited airline service. You can get to the North Rim only through a shuttle service from the South. Besides, the North is shut off for a good part of the year due to the heavy snowfall that closes off the road that leads to it.
The best time to visit the Canyon is during early spring or late fall. At all other times of the year, the Park tends to get really crowded. More than 78% of visitors who come here view the Grand Canyon from the South, sitting in their cars. Smaller groups of people get to see it from the North, which is approximately a 1,000 feet higher than the south and lies diametrically opposite. Only an exclusive number of ardent adventurists have seen the inner canyon because it is open only to hikers, mule riders and river runners.
Conditions at the Grand Canyon are harsh and if you’re into adventurous backpacking, you had better be in top physical condition. Extreme heat, scarcity of water, lack of physical comforts and isolation are to be expected. Trails become excruciating in summer. Yet, the beauty of the Grand Canyon is such that even small children, people with disabilities and senior citizens have hiked it easily!
The Grand Canyon has spectacular views and amazing adventure activities to suit every traveler’s appetite. That’s why millions of people who have visited the Grand Canyon remark that there is simply no other place in the world that looks and feels quite like it!