The Grand Canyon – One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
As people continue to venture out of their homes, they will feel more and more comfortable spending time in nature and visiting natural sights, like those in America’s National Parks. One very large, internationally famous hole in the ground is the number-one natural sight in the United States: The Grand Canyon. It is also of a Biblical nature…
As always, keep in mind the varying reopening dates, operating hours, and availability of attractions and accommodations and consult sources like Arizona’s Department of Health Services and the U.S. State Department before booking.
The Grand Canyon, the great gorge of Arizona’s Colorado River, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. There are deeper canyons in the world (though not by much), but no other wonder can compare with the Grand Canyon’s magnificence: its breadth, its ever-changing color, vantage points and vistas, the river 5,000 to 6,000 feet below, and the soaring walls of grandeur that extend for more than 250 miles.
At the South Rim Visitors’ Center, two scenic drives begin: West Rim Drive and East Rim Drive. In the busy summer season, the West Rim Drive is closed to private cars and is toured by park buses from the visitors’ center. The drives have vista points, each providing views of the canyon. The hours near dawn and dusk are optimal both for seeing the ever-changing hues of the canyon walls and for the clarity and depth of colors often washed out under a bright noonday sun.
The South Rim is open all year and is more accessible to Phoenix and the interstate highway. The North Rim, 1,000 feet higher in altitude than the South Rim, is closed from the first major snowfall to May. Although most visitors approach the canyon from the south, for those driving between May and October, the North Rim is closer to Las Vegas. Compared with the South Rim, the North Rim gets less than one-tenth the number of visitors.
Visitors can explore the depths of the canyon in three ways: hikes on one of the many trails; mule trips, which leave daily; and river-raft trips on the Colorado. The latter two must be reserved months in advance. River-raft trips start from points far upriver and not from the visitors’ centers. The mule trips leave from the South Rim.
Many hiking trails start from various points along the rims. The most popular and least difficult is Bright Angel Trail, which leaves from the South Rim’s main concession area. Those who wish to hike to the canyon’s bottom need to prepare. Hikers should allow a full day in one direction. Camping and lodging with cabins and dorm rooms are available at the bottom of the canyon (be sure to reserve in advance). Visitors also can take scenic flights above the canyon. These depart from just outside the park entrance or from Las Vegas.
A third approach to the canyon is about 100 miles (by road) west of the South Rim. The road to the rim contains no facilities. An eight-mile trail leads into the canyon through two Indian Reservations. At the bottom of the canyon is the Supai Indian Village, the only postal station in the country that receives its mail by mule. Lodging and camping are available in the village but must be pre-reserved. There are beautiful hikes in the canyon to numerous waterfalls. Horse and mule trips also are available.
For a room with a view at the Grand Canyon, your clients might enjoy a stay at El Tovar Hotel, just 20 feet from the South Rim. The rustic lodge, founded in 1905 and listed as a National Historic Landmark, is a destination all its own.
TravelKatz will welcome your call to book a trip to the Grand Canyon. Call 352-277-7300 NOW!