Day 13 started very early with a ninety minute drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. Our hope was that we could spend several hours at the South Rim before the worst of the heat of the day. An extra benefit of our plan was that while there were other people who had the same idea, there weren't the crowds that we had been warned about.
A layer of cloud in the distance made for a hazy view to start.
But it soon cleared to reveal the true majesty of the canyon.
We took a gentle stroll along the South Rim Trail, taking in the stunning vistas.
The rock layers in the canyons have formed over millions of years. A Trail of Time exhibit along the Rim Trail displays samples of the different rocks forms from the various eras. The granite rock is estimated to be 1,713 million years old.
While the Carbon Canyon Limestone is a mere 780 million years old!
|The Hopi House|
|El Tovar Hotel|
From the viewpoints you get a good sense of how deep the canyon is.
|The beginning of the trail down can be clearly seen|
|The trail then meanders through the canyon|
There are shuttle buses which operate alongside the seven mile Rim Trail between Bright Angel Trailhead and Hermits Rest for those who don't want to walk. Originally we planned to walk to Hermits Rest and then take a shuttle bus back, but when we saw the lines for the bus at the first two stops we quickly changed our mind. The buses only run every fifteen-twenty minutes and at both stops there were many more people than could fit on a bus. The bus stops had limited amount of shade which meant a considerable wait in the ferocious sun. Not a pleasant prospect, so we made do with only walking half way to Hermits Rest and then walked back.
Ideally, we would have made the trip in the fall or spring, when the heat is not so much of an issue, but overall it was well worth braving the heat for the stupendous views.
Mel writes contemporary fiction with a twist of mystery and suspense. For more information about her books visit her website, or sign up for her newsletter at http://bit.ly/melparishnews