Grand is an understatement.

Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
Trip End Sep 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lake Mead To Grand Canyon (South and North rims) To Zion National Park

Feeling better and ready to see the Grand Canyon.  Start out heading southeast which takes me over Hoover Dam so I’m able to grab some shots from the top.  The security is impressive as well as the structure and at 6am I’m surprised at the amount of traffic.  Originally I had planned to visit the north rim and then head to Utah but changing the itinerary a bit and going toward the south rim first.  An old TV friend and her husband work for the park services so it will be good to see them and see the view from both sides.

Arrive at the south rim around 10 am and pull up to the Yavapai observation point.  My friend Cheryl is waiting at the lodge to greet me and escort me to the viewing area.  The sun is at a good angle which allows the color on the canyon walls to really pop.  Cheryl points out that the north rim is only 10 miles across, as the crow flies (plenty of ‘em here) but over 200 via the road.  She points out the formation of the canyon is a mixture of volcanic activity, rising plateaus and water (Colorado river).  You can hike the trails and camp in the canyon or take the mule train down and up if you have the time, which just sounds uncomfortable.  If you’re short on time, just travel around the rim and see a different viewpoint every half-mile.  I say goodbye to my friend and start the trip towards the north rim.

Highway 89 is the major route between the south and north rim crossing through the west side of the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Known primarily for the stunning Painted Desert it also has the Echo Cliffs, which are quite impressive.  Closer to the north rim is Lee’s Ferry, a fishing campground located beside the Colorado River but it’s the trip to the campground that shows some stunning sandstone.

Oh my God, could there be more trucks?  It’s a slow go because the main road is on the way to Utah so I have to be patient or choosy when I pass them.  The sun is about 45 minutes from setting as I pull up to the entrance to the park.  The Grand Canyon lodge is a great location to watch the sun go down.  Sit back have a drink and let the tension melt away into the giant hole in front of you. 

Time to head to Zion, but first a little more melting.

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Where I stayed
Watchman, Zion National park
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Chritsino on

Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. Climate here in summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant. North Rim temperatures are a few degrees cooler due to the higher elevation. Inner canyon temperatures are extreme. It has been site of adventures due to unique geographical features.

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