The Grand Canyon is a place of utmost beauty. This immense national park is filled with a variety of vistas that would leave even the most cynical visitor breathless. As the Colorado River meanders, dominating the landscape, the surroundings consist of impressive stone cliffs, the vast, seemingly barren desert, and wildlife refuges.
But panoramic views aren’t the only delight that awaits millions of visitors that come here every year. There are also pieces of history and opportunities for adventure in the Grand Canyon.
Following the Trails
The national park abounds in hiking trails, paths, and scenic roads. You’re bound to find a perfect viewpoint as the incredible natural landscape reveals all its glory.
Probably the most renowned is the Rim Trail that goes all the way along the canyon. The walk is 13 miles long but far from demanding. When it comes to sightseeing, not many trails can match it, which makes the hiking trip down the Rim Trail an absolute must.
The best thing about it is the access points. Plenty of scenic stops are scattered along the trail, meaning visitors who aren’t up for a particularly long walk can make their excursion to the Rim Trail as short as they like.
Of course, the Grand Canyon offers some greater challenges for the determined hiker. In terms of length, there’s the 19-mile-long, mesmerizing Bright Angel Trail. However, the most hardcore hiking experience comes from taking the round trip in the Indian Garden Campground.
This trip is considerably shorter than the other mentioned trails, yet it might take about nine hours to complete. Without a doubt, it’s among the most challenging hikes the Grand Canyon has to offer.
Taking a journey along the national park’s trails is one of the main activities in the area. The natural beauty is astonishing, with plenty of hidden gems for those with an eye for detail. Additionally, these trails are worth revisiting since the park’s South Rim is open year-round, offering a different experience during each season.
Those setting out for intensive hiking should come prepared and dressed appropriately for the weather, depending on the time of year. Hikers should bring ample water and some snacks in case they need some extra energy along the way. And, of course, the choice of footwear is essential.
Proper shoes can mean the difference between a hiking trip that becomes a cherished memory and one that turns into a disaster. Besides the sheer distance that requires sturdy and comfortable shoes, the one thing that could become an obstacle is – water.
Even with the most resilient shoes that make the wearer feel like they’re walking on clouds, the hike is as good as finished once water infiltrates them. Continuing the journey with wet socks would only lead to more discomfort, pain, and frustration.
While having issues such as these might seem unlikely in the canyon’s desert areas, hiking enthusiasts should remember that the Colorado River is the foundation of the park. And even besides the main water flow, the Grand Canyon abounds with smaller rivers, creeks, and springs. The area also famously features many waterfalls.
When it comes to finding reliable and sturdy shoes, the choice is wide, but some manufacturers provide better protection than others. Loom Footwear is a notable brand, with shoes that are 100% waterproof, comfortable, and suitable for hiking.
Making the right decision in terms of footwear is vital preparation for the more challenging trails. Those who come to the Grand Canyon ready for longer walks will experience the best of what the area has to offer.
Scenic Rides for Days
People who prefer viewing the canyon’s natural wonders from the comfort of their vehicle have many options, too. The roads traversing the Grand Canyon are, in some cases, only a bit longer than the hiking trails, and some are significantly shorter. Ideal for slower rides that allow travellers to admire the landscape in full, these routes are among the most renowned in the national park.
Hermit Road is a famous route with eye-catching scenery. Stopping at Pima, the aptly named Abyss, Mohave, and Maricopa points provide sights that compare to no others. It’s worth noting that the road isn’t open for private vehicles during spring and summer. However, shuttle buses frequent the route in that period.
The much longer Desert View Drive doesn’t have as many scenic stops, but this road is lighter on traffic than Hermit Road. The views are just as impressive, however. The glorious Colorado River is visible from several points on the route and perfectly contrasted by desert vistas that lend this road its name.
Cars and buses aren’t the only means of transport through the Grand Canyon. Train excursions are available as a more luxurious way of seeing the wonders of the area. The journey by railroad starts at the Williams station in the nearby town of Sedona and goes to the canyon’s South Rim.
The scenery visible during the ride is as captivating as always, and the unparalleled comfort of the train only elevates the impression.
Finally, there’s a particular sightseeing option for those looking for adventure and fun – mule rides. These rides go down to the Bright Angel Trail and are among the most memorable experiences when it comes to touring the Grand Canyon. The muleback journey isn’t brief, either. The ride itself will last for hours, and when the included ranch sleepover is added to it, the entire trip will take two days.
Historical and Cultural Attractions
While the natural landscapes are undoubtedly the main attractions of the national park, the area has plenty of history worth exploring.
The Kolb Gallery is a Victorian home built by the Kolb brothers, pioneers of Grand Canyon exploration. These adventures from the early 20th century dared to discover the wonders of this area long before tourists started frequenting it.
Today, the wooden house serves as a book store and art gallery. On the outside, it stands out from the background cliffs, evoking a bygone era. Inside, the Kolb Gallery always has some excellent art pieces and books for the curious traveller.
The Lookout Studio is another intriguing building. The structure is the work of Mary Jane Colter, one of the few famous female architects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Colter designed the building in the style of ancient Native American stone structures and gave it the feeling of a derelict ruin.
The Lookout Studio is renowned for its viewing decks from which visitors can witness the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Besides these lookout points, the structure houses a gift shop.
Finally, for a more modern touch, Eagle Point on the West Rim represents a true attraction. This is the location of the Skywalk – a glass-floored walkway that spreads beyond the canyon cliffs. While it offers unmatched sights, the Skywalk might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily, the Sky View restaurant is on site, where visitors can enjoy some delicious dishes and take in the views without dizziness.
A Truly Remarkable Location
The Grand Canyon National Park can easily justify its position on the list of natural world wonders. This is a destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Even though we’ve seen it in movies countless times, getting there and seeing the captivating landscape for yourself is indeed an experience of a lifetime.
Remember, if you need a good pair of shoes to take with you at the Grand Canyon, check out the Loom website: https://loomfootwear.com
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