The Grand Canyon – Where Awesome Means “Awesome!”

In recent years, “Awesome’ has become one of the most overused words in the English language. It is often used to describe something that is distinctly average, such as a cup of coffee or something else equally mundane.

However, when you are first greeted with the sight of the sun going down over the Grand Canyon you can be forgiven for using the word “awesome” as this natural wonder is indeed, awe-inspiring.

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The Grand Canyon National Park

A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Grand Canyon is big, very big. It stretches for over 270 miles and at its deepest point, there is a rocky drop of over a mile down to the wild Colorado River below. It is also over 18 miles across at its widest point.

The Grand Canyon River Bend

Getting To The Grand Canyon

Unlike many other natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is not that difficult to get to and that ease of access in no way detracts from the majesty of the landscape. Whether you want to spend just a couple of hours there or to immerse yourself doing the full ‘Bear Grylls’ hiking from rim to rim there is a suitable option for you.

From Las Vegas

Helicopter over Grand Canyon
Taking a day trip from Las Vegas is one of the most popular ways to visit the Grand Canyon, although it’s still a 280-mile drive.

Many opt for one of the helicopter rides (which we did the first time we visited). You get a  few people claiming these are a bit touristy and don’t show the Grand Canyon at its best as they land on the Western Rim. We totally disagree with this and especially the ‘touristy’ tag, it’s popular because its good and you get amazing views. Also if you have a limited time in Las Vegas the helicopter ride cuts out the long drive.

What is striking as you fly over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam is the water level and the ‘bathtub’ rings around the edge.

The Hoover Dam

If you don’t want to fly or drive yourself there are quite a few coach tours from Las Vegas. Don’t worry, they are not big buses but smaller, more comfortable minibuses with guides and smaller parties. So no waiting around for the stragglers.

From Flagstaff

Flagstaff has the nearest commercial airport to the Grand Canyon National Park. Actually, there is a Grand Canyon airport but it’s only available to private aircraft. It’s just under a 90-minute drive from Flagstaff to the South Rim of the canyon. The drive along Highway 180 to Highway 64 is easy and very pretty especially as you pass through the beautiful Kaibab National Forest. the only thing to watch out for is snow during the winter months.

Also, Flagstaff is on the iconic Route 66 so you can drive a section of one of the most famous roads in the world.

Visiting The Grand Canyon

If you want to avoid driving altogether and just sit back and enjoy the scenery then why not try the Grand Canyon Railway. All aboard the historic locomotive which transports you from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the canyon. We haven’t tried it ourselves but apparently, they have a ‘singing cowboy’ onboard so it is definitely on our list for next time.

The Gran Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon Railway

When To Visit

If you do have the choice of when to visit the Grand Canyon, the best times can be Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). During these periods the temperatures are comfortable, not too hot and the crowds are smaller.

Grand Canyon In Winter

Snow on the Grand Canyon in winter

Summertime can be hot, so take plenty of water and it can get crowded so make sure you book in advance. During the winter months, it does get cold and there can be some heavy snowfalls. The North Rim is actually closed during the winter months but the South Rim does remain open.

So if you haven’t visited the Grand Canyon, you should definitely try and go. You won’t be disappointed by this spectacular natural wonder, whatever the time of year.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA - Where Awesome actually means Awesome!!

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  • Eric Gamble
    December 8, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Of all the major backpacking and Hiking I have done in America, I still cant believe I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon yet and it is definitely on my bucket list! I would love to do one of those Rim to River hikes through the grand canyon! I think Darcee though would absolutely love to ride the Grand Canyon Railway…she loves trains!

  • Danik
    December 8, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Love the title of this post, awesome means awesome. And after reading this and seeing the awesome photos, this is is something I really want to do when I reach this part of the US. Think top of the list would be to take a copter ride through the canyon, that has always been on my bucket list. Not sure about the train ride.

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman
    December 9, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Coming on route 66 from Flagstaff you get to stand on a corner in Winslow Arizona… I actually did the rim-rim-rim day hike. Does that make me tougher than Bear Grylls? I love the Grand Canyon and it’s definitely a bucket list item.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 9, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      It worth going just to get to be “standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona”

  • Kacie
    December 10, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I would love to see the Grand Canyon for myself. Bet the views are breathtaking!

  • Rosemary
    December 10, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Such breathtaking shots (or should I say “awesome”) views of this spectacular natural wonder. We were in Las Vegas a few months ago and didn’t have the time to visit the Grand Canyon. We considered taking a helicopter tour but were afraid it might be too touristy. Good to know that it really isn’t. Your first shot is really incredible…makes me regret our decision not to go. Any one of the rim to river hikes sound amazing!!

  • Janine Thomas
    December 11, 2018 at 6:15 am

    What stunning scenery. Hopefully, I will have a chance to visit one day. I wouldn’t even mind visiting in winter. It looks gorgeous covered in snow. I would definitely do the helicopter flip. Enev though it might be touristy it gives you such great views and perspective of the canyon.

  • Lisa
    December 11, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Aah, that helicopter ride must have been spectacular! The views from up there I would love to visit during Winter, although not ideal right? So Spring or Autumn it will have to be

  • sherianne
    December 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon in a few years and it seems like Flagstaff would be a good base for exploring the area. On the other hand riding the train with the singing cowboy sounds fun

  • Indrani
    December 11, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    I am dreaming of getting there since my childhood days. I hope it happens this life time! A helicopter ride there must be AWESOME! 🙂

  • Claire
    December 12, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    You’re right, I do find myself saying awesome a lot, which takes away from when something really is awesome!! I would love to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, some friends of mine did it a couple of years ago and loved it – it was where they got engaged too so a worthy location I think!

  • Mansoureh
    December 12, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I would like to visit the Grand Canyon. This year Bruno had a chance to go to Vegas but I couldn’t because of US visa. He kindly avoided going to the Grand Canyon only because he wants to go with me. Hopefully, I will go soon and will take the 66 route 🙂