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.
Win A Trip – Before we go any further, Exodus Travels are offering you the chance to win seven trips to your personal ‘Seven World Wonders‘ offered by Exodus Travels, but hurry as the competition closes ‘midnight on 15th December 2018.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – Where Awesome Means “Awesome!” – Pin For Later