This year was my first ever visit to the Grand Canyon!
Everyone always says how photos can't do some sights (like the Grand Canyon) justice, and they are exactly right. No photo can properly convey the majesty and mystery of that place.
The Grand Canyon is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, not only for it's spectacular view, but because it contains extremely old rocks dating back billions of years. There's a lot of interesting history within the geology of the canyon, but I'm more interested in the wildlife and the views. ^^
The South Rim
Day 1, we arrived to a foggy, foggy rim. Although it obstructed our view, it was actually a really beautiful and different variation on the canyon that you always see in photos.
We were supposed to rent some bikes, but some rain delayed that until later in the week.
I was grateful we stayed for the entire week so that we had enough time to do everything even after postponing some plans due to rain and fog.
Eventually the sun did come out. :)
There's lots of options for hiking if you want to walk along (or down into) the rim. There's everything from a short, 10 minutes jaunt to multiple day hikes.
Since we didn't have a ton of time, we just spent a couple hours walking down the rim and back. I don't think the hike we did was that particularly interesting, but I could definitely see the fun in doing one of the hikes down to the inside of the rim where you camp overnight.
What a treat!! If you can, I highly recommend doing a helicopter tour of the canyon since it offers such a unique view.
Plus riding in a helicopter is pretty dang fun all on it's own. :D
After our thrilling chopper ride, we rented some bicycles to see the rim up close. Again there are multiple routes, some shorter, family friendly route that only takes an hour or two, or some routes that take a few more hours. We decided to take the more difficult route, starting from Grand Canyon Village heading west towards Hermit's Rest.
There were so many great vistas along the way.
The view was incredible, and we passed by some wildlife along the road too!
It was also my chance to practice a few handstands >:)
Sunset Bus Tour
Although big, group tours can be a little bit of a slog, I thoroughly enjoyed the sunset tour we took. The driver gave lots of interesting tidbits, and we were very lucky to have a beautiful sunset that evening.
The bus driver told us about the condors that live in the Grand Canyon, and we even caught glimpses of a few! I didn't know much about condors before, but they are vulture-like birds that almost went extinct, so there's a program going on that has gathered the birds from all over and brought them into the protected area within the Grand Canyon.
The condors are tagged with numbers on their wings. We were able to read the numbers through some photos I took and we ended up seeing the same pair of birds multiple times throughout the day.
The tour did run almost an hour later than scheduled, which for us was great since it meant spending more time on the rim. There were however, some very dissapointed folks in the bus who ran late to their dinner reservations. Oops!
Bearizona Wildlife Park
About an hour south of the Grand Canyon (South Rim) area is a little place called Bearizona.
It's a wildlife park where you see the animals from the comfort and safety of your car.
As you might have guessed, they do have bears!
But there's actually a decently sized traditional style zoo in the park as well.
And that about wraps it up!
Nature, wildlife, landscapes... Cars, bicycles and helicopters... I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Grand Canyon! Would love to come back and spend even more time exploring the rim.
Sophie is a video game developer who has a variety of passions including yoga, traveling, and photography.