The fab finale! The piece de resistance! A visit to the South Rim of the Grande Dame Of Canyons. Two hundred and sixty five plus miles of winding beauty etched in rock and stone by a glorious Colorado River beginning in states north.
Our campground was not far from the important viewpoints of the Canyon and we made a point to get to them early to avoid crowds. The afternoon we arrived we drove through the park to get a sense of its size and the places we wanted to visit. There’s a lot to see for a four day visit but it’s important to see the prominent places, the lodges and learn about how the Canyon was discovered and became the huge tourist destination as well as an important geological study in progress.
Explorers like John Wesley Powell and other river riders discovered what native people knew existed for centuries – beauty beyond words created by Mother Nature. It took decades for people to fully appreciate the Canyon’s beauty and valuable contribution to our earth’s history. Many Americans played an important role in the preservation of the Canyon and we as tourists and citizens benefit.
The visitor center and museum is a worthwhile stop – there is an IMAX film for you to enjoy and learn about the Canyon. Do it!
We also took a wonderful two hour ride in a six person helicopter – we paid extra for front seats – we flew over and examined from the air about 93 miles of the Canyon and that was worth every dime! We got some great photographs but we also came to appreciate the vastness and breathe of this beauty. Our pilot a young women who learned to fly in the Air Force was also a great guide and flew us over both rims so we could almost see where we were several weeks ago. This was on my bucket list and it got a big ole check mark!
I took several hundred photographs via iPhone 6+ and with my Sony DSLR A65. It was hard to choose which to use here but as with the North Rim and other fabulous natural beauties – I have included both photos I loved as well as those I felt were important to share.
First the tower near the east entrance – designed and constructed by Mary Colter, a female architect who was the Canyon’s first guardian. Many Park buildings were her design at a time when there were few women doing such work. Below are two views of Lookout Tower – offering an amazing 270 degree view of her Canyon.
Colorado River etching away at the Canyon floor in photo above.
Several long views of north side from the helicopter. We actually dipped low enough to see a herd of buffalo below us grazing.
The view from Bright Angel Lodge is one that looks toward the south east of the Canyon and perhaps one of the most recognizable. Here are two versions one above and after the plaque – one below.
Helicopters offer a different perspective including a look at places you cannot see well from land.
First photo was an attempt to capture the buffalo herd from severial thousand feet. These copters must stay above 1000 feet so a zoom lens is helpful.
My favorite one photo follows the one below – the copter cabin provides a curved look to the landscape giving a fascinating perspective.
These deep edges and crevices give such uniformity to the erosion it looks machine made. Mother Nature is amazing isn’t she!
Two views above as we turned back east and slightly north to return to the airport – I loved the vast perspective and demonstration of just how big this beauty really is!
Lazy river moving yards of sediment as she continues to create a deeper And more Grand Canyon. See the edge of Rick’s iPhone on right – copters are close quarters. But it was a wicked cool ride!
Vast peaks eroded flat by wind over eons can be seen above for miles. Below is the plain at edge of Canyon as we approached from northeast.
An elk and her youngster had the right of way as we drove through the park on our first afternoon. They are quite big and it is their home after all.
This ends our tour of National, state,and Native American parks circling the Grand Canyon. Four states and thirty days of natural beauty, amazing views and breath taking landscapes.
We might add some pics that we missed in another post but this is enough for now.