The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest places on earth, you have to see it with your own eyes to believe the size and intensity of it.
You feel slightly overwhelmed the first time you set eyes on the canyon, the sheer scale of it makes you feel so tiny and you find yourself just gazing trying to take it all in and appreciate the beauty of it.
I visited the Grand Canyon as part of a Trek America trip I took in the summer and our tour leader gave us the best introduction I could think of. We were blindfolded as she led us all to the edge, not being able to see a thing as you’re shuffling along the footpath holding onto the person in front of you makes it all the more exciting! We lifted our blindfolds all at the same time and our reactions were all pretty similar, speechless.
There’s many ways in which you can see the canyon, only a small percentage of people who visit actually hike into it mainly due to weather conditions as flash flooding and storms are very common. There are a variety of different trails into the canyon ranging in length and difficulty but if hiking isn’t for you there is also the option to hire bikes so you can cycle your way around and at the South Rim there are hop on hop off shuttle buses which take you to different parts of the park so you can see all of the best viewpoints. Once you’re there you understand why it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was a helicopter flight over the canyon, even though it can be quite costly it is definitely worth the money because seeing it from above gives you a totally different view and experience especially if you’ve never been in a chopper before. You have the option of a 30 or 45 minute flight but I would go for the longer one every time as you could never have enough of that view! The beginning of the flight is very dramatic as you’re a couple of miles out so spend the first few minutes flying over the Kaibab National Forest surrounding it, everyone just stared out of the window waiting to go over the edge and see the 6000 foot drop below.
Once you’re in the air and soaring over this natural wonder you can’t help but gasp in amazement, it’s like no other experience. It has to be one of the top things on any traveller’s bucket list!
As you can imagine one of the best times to see the Grand Canyon is at sunset, the viewpoints can get particularly crowded at this time but it’s still easy to find a good spot. Me being me I had to get a spot sitting on the edge and managed to encourage a couple of others to join me after convincing them they weren’t going to fall.
There is nothing better than watching the sunset over the canyon with a pizza and a few good friends.