I’ve recently shared photos from northern Arizona showing Oak Creek Canyon on Arizona Route 89A and the town of Sedona. When the Long-Suffering Wife and I were in those places, we were taking the long way home coming from the Grand Canyon.
I can not emphasize this enough — if you never visited the Grand Canyon, it MUST be on a trip somewhere in your future.
The Grand Canyon, even in a two-day visit to just hit the most popular, easily accessible sites on the South Rim, is way, way too big of a subject for just one post. (I take a lot of pictures.) We’ll spread these out a bit.
We made reservations for one of the lodges at the South Rim and rode the train up from Williams, Arizona. (This is a great way to do it, highly recommended.) But you can also just drive up there in your own car and camp or stay at a lodge. (Well, you can’t right now because of the Freakin’ Idiots in Washington, but once all of our “leaders” all get back on their meds you’ll be able to.) Once you get to the village there, you can take a couple of different bus tours that go to different parts of the South Rim, all within a couple dozen miles east or west of the Village.
For the record, there are a ton of other ways to see the Canyon and other things you can do there, depending on your schedule and physical conditioning. You can walk trails down to the bottom of the Canyon – but then you’ve got to walk back up. (This is seriously non-trivial.) You can also just walk down a trail a quarter mile, half mile, a mile or two, whatever, and then walk back up. You can camp out (with permits) at the bottom of the Canyon.
You can go to the North Rim instead of the South Rim – much more out of the way, a much longer drive to get there and get back out, much more isolated, but a truly incredible place to visit in its own right.
The areas around the two rim villages are just a tiny part of the park itself. There are plenty of other camping, hiking, and sightseeing places in the park. But the South Rim Village area is where about 95% of the tourists go. (I can’t even get links to work right now to send you to the appropriate National Park Service web sites because of this idiocy in DC – google it when the sites come back online.)
These pictures are from the first area that our first bus stopped at, Hopi Point.