There were so many highlights to this trip and this GTG but the Grand Canyon has got to be of the biggies. We left first thing in the morning and the scenery was spectacular before we even got to the Grand Canyon.
Our route took us through the Coconino National Forest and then the Kaibab National Forest.
There were a number of pull-offs and trailheads along the route.
And the scenery was spectacular!
The aspens were in their full glory and the backdrop of the pine trees made them stand out even more.
A quick stop in the little village right before you enter the park displayed these awesome statues at a gas station.
And then we arrived at the Grand Canyon itself. It is the 15th oldest park and was named a UNESCO site in 1979. It is magnificent. We had a day and we needed a week at least. Words cannot adequately describe it.
Once we were in the park, we found a place to park, got a grab and go lunch, and ate it while we waited for the shuttle bus. The shuttle buses are free and are the best way to get around the park.
We were on the south rim. The north rim was closing in days and offers a different perspective.
You can walk the path along the canyon or ride the shuttle and get on and off where you want to hike. We used the bus to get in as many of the sites as possible. We didn't have time to go to any of the buildings except the Visitor's Center, Hermit's Rest, and the tower. So much still to see on another trip. I finally got my National Park Passport and got it stamped for the Grand Canyonl
The colors of the canyon walls are beautiful.
We took the Blue Route shuttle to the end and then got on the Red Route to Hermits Rest.
Hermits Rest was built in 1914 at the western end of Hermit Road. The Hermit Trail begins about 1/4 mile beyond the shuttle bus stop and extends to the Colorado River. The location was named for Louis Boucher. Around 1891, Boucher who was a Canadian-born prospector staked claims below the current Hermits Rest. He carved the trail into the canyon with some help and lived for many years alone at nearby Dripping Springs. The Hermits Rest Structure was designed by Mary Colter. You may remember me mentioning her in an earlier post about La Posada and in connection with the Fred Harvey Company.
A bear trap hangs from one of the pillars.
Such a beautiful tribute.
This was built by building a mound and then laying the stone before removing the dirt from the mound.
Anywhere you take a picture has a beautiful background.
Once we finished our shuttle tours, we got back in the cars and headed east to the Desert View Watch Tower.
There is another magnificent view from here.
Back in 1956, two planes crashed on the far side of the canyon and 128 people were lost.
This looks more like a painting than a photo.
Looking out the tower window.
Even if you don't climb all the stairs up into the tower, you need to at least go to the second floor so you can look up at the beautiful designs.
Liz was busy gathering some of her spectacular photos.
The light was beginning to fade as we headed back to Flagstaff.
We stopped for some spectacular sunset photos.
It was a perfect day.
One trip here will never be enough.