Grand Canyon NP -- South Rim Driving Tour (4-16-17)
“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”
--President Theodore Roosevelt
Encompassing over 1.2 million acres, Grand Canyon National Park isn't a place you'll want to rush through when you visit. We intended to spend just two short days in the park and we were hard-pressed to fit in all we wanted to see in that brief period of time. This was our big 'arrival day'. We planned to get out on a couple of the park trails but, first, we thought it a good idea to see the canyon from the car and get acquainted a bit with this wonder of geology before we jumped right down into it (which is never a good idea, haha). This particular album, thus isn't one of my typical hiking photo-blogs but rather, as the title implies, a driving tour along the eastern half of the South Rim with stops at each of the major viewpoints. The album follows our journey eastward from Grand Canyon Village and ends up twenty miles away at the parks eastern edge at Desert View Point. This was our introduction to a place that still, after experiencing it, befuddles the mind in its enormity. One's mind simply cannot process the magnitude of the vistas the eyes are seeing. As such my photo's are woefully inadequate in conveying the true grandeur of the Grand Canyon. I have talked to many people who believe that the Grand Canyon should be on the short list of places every American should see in their lifetime. I'm now a firm believer in this. Let my photos provide a taste of this wondrous place but, please, someday make the journey yourself...I 100% guarantee you won't regret it.
So now a bit about the canyon and the park itself. The Grand Canyon has been formed over the span of 10+ million years by the slow and steady erosion of its ever-deepening floor by the waters of the mighty Colorado River. Its dimensions are enormous. It stretches a distance of some 277-miles, at its widest it is over 18-miles across, and its greatest depth reaches an astonishing 6,093 feet from rim to river. It has been called one of the 'Seven Natural Wonders of the World'. Even standing on its rim and seeing it with your own eyes its massiveness is hard to mentally absorb. Federal protection of the canyon was a result of a visit by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 who immediately decided it must be preserved. In 1906 Roosevelt initially had it protected as a Game Preserve but, with the passage of the 1906 Antiquities Act, had it upgraded to a National Monument in 1908. It took 11 more years to get the Grand Canyon to National Park status, which it did on February 26, 1919. Today this national natural treasure is visited by over six million people annually. It is a wonder to me that the number isn't ten times that...its a place just that wondrous.
So, come along with us as we tour the eastern half of the Grand Canyons South Rim and get a taste for what this amazing National Park has to offer. Once again, I apologize that my pictures fail to do the canyon justice but I hope you still enjoy and perhaps decide to visit one day yourself! As always, ENJOY!!