Grand Canyon National Park

Sign saying Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon from North Rim
Our first view of Grand Canyon from North Rim

No matter how much you've read or how many pictures or videos you've seen, nothing prepares you for your first look at the Grand Canyon. There is nothing like it in the world. Whether your first view is from the North Rim, as was ours, or from the South Rim, you'll never forget it. Photographs don't capture the fullness and grandeur of the Grand Canyon, but they have to do.

We've seen lots of other canyons, all claiming to be the Grand Canyon of something or other. Most of them are wonderful in their own right, but none of them are the Grand Canyon.

Efforts to create Grand Canyon National Park

It was not easy to establish Grand Canyon as a national Park. As often the case there was considerable opposition to creating the park. The first attempts to create the park were made by Senator Benjamin Harrison in 1882, 1883 and 1886. After he was elected president, Harrison provide the Grand Canyon with its firs protection by establishing the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve 1893. Theodore Roosevelt extended protection by establishing the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation on 28 November 1906. In 1908 Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon National Monument. Bills to create the Grand Canyon National Park were defeated in congress. It was not until 1919 that President Wilson was able to sign the bill that created the Grand Canyon National Park. It took several more years before the Park Service was able to take full control of the park. Mining continued in the park until 1969 and land covered by the mining claims did not return to the public domain until 1987. A good history of the struggle to create the park can be found at Who owns the Grand Canyon.

The two rims of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is divided into two main sections: the North Rim and the South Rim. Although the two rims are separated by 10 miles as the raven or condor flies, driving from North Rim to South Rim by automobile requires a 4.5 hour drive of 220.Or if you're in good shape, you can hike 21 miles with a vertical descent of 1 mile plus a climb of 1 mile to get from one rim to the other. The condors have it made. Since we couldn't fly, we had to drive from one rim to the other.

We spent one night at the North Rim lodge and then drove the 4.5 hours to spend a couple of nights on the El Tovar Hotel at the South Rim

Sunset at North Rim of the Grand Canyon
North Rim Sunset
White flowers
Buck Mule Deer
Mule Deer
View from South Rim
Grand Canyon, South Rim View
Hopi Indian Dancers
Hopi Dancers
Bull Elk
Bull Elk