Humbled by The Grand Canyon & The Colorado River
Traveling the world you often experience some wonderful things. Occasionally that experience is so overwhelming it makes you take account of who you are and leaves you in awe. The Grand Canyon and the Colorado River is one of those places and makes you realize how small we really are as an individual in comparison to the universe.
Seeing it in photos doesn’t compare to experiencing it first hand. The Grand Canyon is much wider and deeper than I ever imagined. I’ll spare you the metrics of the canyon, actual length and depth, and concentrate on the beauty of it all. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is an impressive display of millions of years of natural erosion. The canyon is framed by majestic rock walls with amazing geological formations made up of vibrant reds browns, and tans.
The South Rim is the most visited area of the park and is full of camp grounds and hotels along with multiple activities such as hiking, horseback riding and rafting. This part of the rim is widely spoken of so I would like to introduce you to another part of the park.
The Desert View at the east entrance is still considered part of the South Rim but provides a different view and unique portion of the canyon unseen from the center of the South Rim. This is also home to the Watchtower, a man-made structure made to mimic an Anasazi watchtower.
The building sits on a promontory overlooking the Grand Canyon and the ground floor is a large observatory room and directly above this is an outdoor observation deck with views that well take your breath away. The Watchtower is now home to a gift shop and a visitor center.
As part of our Southwest National Parks Road Trip, we also visited Horseshoe Bend. One of the most circulated views of the Colorado River but least visited portions of the river. The depth of the canyon is well appreciated as there are no barriers to keep you from the edge of the rim.
You can peek over the side to see the bottom of the gorge. It’s a spectacular view with the emerald Colorado River meandering through the orange sandstone gorge before it enters the canyon. This bend in the river is only five miles from Grand Canyon National Park and less than 10 minutes from Page, Arizona, off highway 89 and requires a short hike.
The day before, we experienced this part of the Colorado River through a river rafting expedition. The day started with a bus ride through the two-mile long Glen Canyon Dam access tunnel. At the bottom, we were met by our guides as we boarded a motorized pontoon.
This portion of the river is calm and pristine which affords you the time to admire the surroundings and the cliffs soaring 700 feet high. The excursion also includes a short hike to cliff side petroglyphs hundreds of years old. The occasional fisherman is passed as this area of the river is popular with trout fisherman as we head toward the bend in the river.
These crystal blue-green waters and bend in the river is the same Horseshoe Bend mentioned earlier giving us a different perspective of this one of a kind landscape.
Again, I’m respectful of my experience and humbled by it all.