24 Hours in Grand Canyon, AZ

Though widely considered one of the world’s most spectacular canyons, the Grand Canyon is neither the world’s longest or deepest gorge.  Its average depth is about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), though the canyon ranges from 2,400 feet (731 meters) deep below Yavapai Point on the South Rim to 7,800 feet (2,377 m) deep at the North Rim. The canyon wends 277 miles (446 km) along its sinuous path.  In comparison Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in the Himalayas as the world’s longest and deepest canyon. Its depth reaches 17,567 feet (5,382 m) and its length 308 miles (496.3 km).  (I wanna go, I wanna go)

Grand CanyonWhat I really wanted to do was hike from Rim to Floor to Rim.  In a dream world I would start in the middle of the night and do R2R2R, which is going from South Rim to Floor, to North Rim to Floor back to South Rim.  But sadly the boys vetoed all my proposals for hikes.  Usually a people take two days to do Rim to Floor to Rim (maybe 21 miles?) hike.  I think if we started at 5AM, and hustled through, we could have finished in 12 hours but the boys weren’t really feeling the 11+ mile uphill hike on the return.  One day Grand Canyon, One day I’ll be back!
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Instead I settled on a walk along the south rim edge.  Grand Canyon 3

And I focused on improving my squirrel photo skillz.

Grand Canyon 4And found the most naturally colorful rocks on earth, or maybe just the Canyon

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At its narrowest, at Marble Canyon, the Grand Canyon is only 600 yards (548 meters) across. At its widest, the gorge spans 18 miles (29 kilometers).  On average, the canyon is only 10 miles (16 km) wide from rim to rim, but crossing by foot takes 21 miles (33 km), and driving by car is a 251-mile (403 km), five-hour odyssey.

Grand Canyon 8The might Colorado river flows through it all the way down to Mexico.  The Colorado River cuts through schist, a type of metamorphic rock that is 1.75 billion years old. That’s nearly half the age of the Earth (which is 4.5 billion years old).  These relatively unaltered sediments stopped accumulating about 230 million years ago, and are older than the dinosaurs. Though no dinosaur bones have ever been found in the park, geologically recent fossils, including 11,000-year-old sloth bones, have been found in canyon caves. Many marine fossils and animal tracks also appear in the National Park’s rock layers.

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We stayed in Maswik Lodge, an outdated cabin built right in the National Park.  A little gross, but one step up from sleeping on the floor in a tent.  However, we had showers and a bed and heat, so I was happy.  They have a cafeteria but the options are shall we say limited to simple put.  So I got a salad and a bowl of chili for lunch.  Meh, but I guess you can either have nature or fine dining.

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After lunch we continued walking along the rim.Grand Canyon 12

A large portion of the South Rim is paved and very accessible.  The parts that are unpaved can be accessed with a shuttle system that runs every 5-10 minutes during daylight hours.

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In the evening you can see Elk all over the park including the village area where all the tourists congregate.  Yea this photo was taken about 1 second before Mr. Elk and Mrs. Elk showed us how baby elk are made.

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Besides  hiking you can also be carried to the bottom of the canyon on a donkey (or something).  We walked down a little bit but quickly walked up as the sun was setting.

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The sunset in the canyon will never fail to disappoint.  Only advice I can give of where to view, is pick a point where the sun is behind you so you can see the colors of the canyon better under the setting sun.

3 thoughts on “24 Hours in Grand Canyon, AZ”

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