It's just a big hole in the ground.
Trip Start Nov 17, 2008
42Trip End Feb 16, 2009
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It really is as impressive as it's reputation tells. It's actually difficult to explain just how big it is. It averages 10 miles across, and is a mile deep. For the most part you can't even see the bottom, just little snippets of the Colorado river snaking its way somewhere below. I've been to Colca Canyon in Peru, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, but this is much more impressive. Even standing looking out across the canyon, it's difficult to get some sort of perspective of it's size, so it's impossible to get that from a photograph. Each cliff face blends into another, and only when you look properly you see they're actually miles apart. Some parts of the Canyon are two billion years old- thats half the age of the Earth.
What really sets it apart though is the colours that emminate from it. It changes colour depending on the time, how sunny it is, what the weather is like and where you're viewing it from. It was almost purple when I was there at sunset, shades of red and blue combining to fool the eye. Because it's winter, there's not that many people here, but the fifty or so that were here left within 20 minutes of the sun hitting the horizion. The park is open 24 hours, so I stayed for another hour or so, without another person in sight. The silence was deafening, and the stars were almost bright enough to read a newspaper by. I stood there alone, looking down over one of the Wonders of the World, and it felt like I had the entire thing to myself. Incredible.
I stayed in a motel close by and got up early the next morning to watch the sun rise over the Canyon. Trying to find somewhere to stay the night before took ages, and it was VERY dark, so as I was driving along I didn't realise I was actually driving along the rim of the Canyon! Now in the daylight I could see what I was missing out on. The views were amazing, even better than the South Viewpoint, and now I could really get a sense of the size of this thing. I stopped every mile or so to take photos, and every shot was different, every shot was spectacular.
This really was one of those things I've always wanted to see, and I'm so glad I finally got to do it. Definitely one of the highlights of this amazing trip.