On day four of our trip, it was time to make the 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where you can view the canyon from the overlooks in the national park. We got up early in an effort to be sure we got there in enough time to catch the awesome views before sunset. Kara prepared and packed up snacks, we had bottled water , and some additional beverages just in case!
Kevin was sweet enough to drive on the way out, so the rest of us were able to nap, take pictures and play on the computer. It was definitely a long ride, and I don’t think it helped that we stopped a lot, but it’s worth it to see the canyon in person!
As we arrived to the entrance of the park, snow started falling. The forecast had a 30% chance of precipitation, so we weren’t surprised. We found our way to the new visitor center (another amenity that wasn’t there the last time Kara had been), and were able to watch a video about the Canyon and how it came to be. It’s really an amazing thing to watch and learn about. Following the video, we walked the path to the overlook, and with all the snow, it was ironically very difficult to see the canyon in it’s entirety. We got a lot of pictures and although there wasn’t full visibility, it was still and amazing sight!
We hadn’t eaten for a while and the snow was still coming down, so we decided to check out one of the lodges in the park. Looking at the map and driving around, I was so surprised at how many people live and work there and what all they actually have accessible within the park! There is a grocery store, various restaurants and eateries, a bank and a post office. There is also a school and lots of housing for employees. It was kind of like visiting a small town in the middle of nowhere. Our friends Elaine and John talked to one of the staff members, and he said there isn’t really anything within less than an hour and a half to two-hour of the park as far as activities and entertainment go. Seems crazy coming from suburbia and the city!
We went to Maswik Lodge where they had a food court with various food options. You could even buy beer there, nice huh?! The Lodge had a gift shop and there was also a front desk reservation area if you are a guest. Lunch was tasty… better than fast food, but no fine dining. They have some restaurants that are more fine dining, but we were keeping it simple.
The snow seemed to be coming down even harder after we ate! We were kind of hoping it would slow down, but as we were checking out the gift shop, we noticed it getting worse! Our initial instinct was to get in the car and hit the road, but it started to slow down and we had driven so far to get there, we decided to get out another overlook. We stopped by where they have canyon side cabins (they were so cool) with an awesome view of the canyon. Kara said she had looked into them just in case we wanted to stay in the park for a night, but they were all booked! But as we were walking along the path, we were able to catch some blue sky and were actually able to see the fog lift out of the canyon. Seeing all the way down and across the canyon was absolutely amazing and it seemed like it was fate cause we weren’t going to stop, but we were absolutely glad we did!
Paul actually convinced us that we should stop back by the original overlook (by the visitor center) because as the fog started to lift, he was sure he could get some breathtaking shots of the canyon. It was getting dark, but he had his tripod and we walked back out through the trail to the original spot, he set up and you would not believe what he got! Check these beautiful photos out!
I couldn’t be happier with the outcome because not only did I get to see the Grand Canyon, I got to see it in a way that many people don’t! In BLUE…. When we had first gotten there, Kara and Kevin actually overheard another couple talking and one of them had said he had been to the canyon many times and it was the first time he had ever seen it in these colors. Now see them in HDR!
I know one day Paul and I will go back there… we may even go back with Kara and Kevin who were talking about doing a two-week camping/rafting adventure through the canyon, but I have a feeling that I will never again see it in that light! Absolutely amazing…Photography by Paul Perdue