"Grand Means Big and Deep Canyon" Grand Canyon National Park by BruceDunning

Grand Canyon National Park Travel Guide: 648 reviews and 1,676 photos

Topography is rugged and rough

The canyon carved by Colorado River has left a footprint that most people cannot comprehend until they come to see it with their own eyes. It is enormous in size at 670,000 acres. GC can hold all earth water and be only 1/2 full.??!! I heard on TV.
The south rim is different in views and landscape/geology than in the north. This distinct variance between the two is primarily the elevation change of 1,000 feet. The north is 1,000 higher than the south. That created a different ecosystem for growth of foliage, and the north is 10 degrees cooler than the south. The south rim is 212 miles away from the north rim because of the road network, even though the average distance over the canyon is 10 miles. The Colorado Plateau that covers hundreds of miles in the area raised up gradually over time, while the river kept its path and carved out the the sheer canyon walls beginning 5.5 million years ago. A huge lake backed up the river until it started the erosion of the rock and taking rock/sediment down river. It flows 800 million gallons of water each hour, and carries 500,000 tons of sediment daily (per experts on TV). That pronounced impact is to have around 6,000 feet elevation change to the canyon river bed. The river drops 10 feet each mile. The different names layers of sandstone and limestone can be readily seen in the rock faces. Each layer was formed by sediment that settled on the flat plateaus. The river was estimated to be flowing 10 times more water just 12,000 years ago. The canyon is 277 miles long in the parks region. extending form Page to Lake Meade. The park is now 90 years as a national park There are estimated 4.5 million visitors a year

South Rim is the More visited

This is the place where most tourists come for the views, and to enjoy the lodges and gifts shops. There are not as many hiking trails from the south end. The south rim has the well known lodges and old structures that date back to the 1920-30's. There are 6 visitor centers and general information points to learn of the building you are in, or the canyon itself. The main attraction is the 9 different observation points of this rim. They all are great views. The distance along the rim road is about 7 miles from Yaki Point to Hermits Rest, and another 15 miles to Desert View by the entrance off the east Hwy 64.
The black rock is the earth crust and mud deposits, while red layers are iron oxide, white limestone from being a submerged sea bed 8 times; the last 80 million years ago.

North Rim is Green and Peaceful

The north rim is better known for less people, and more trails to hike. There are 13 trails to take that range form 1/2 mile to nearly 10 miles to the canyon floor. The North Kaibab trail has the elevation decline of 5,800 descent, and then you have to come back up again; right? Because the north rim gets more snow and harsher weather in the winter, it is normally open mid-May the mid October. Weather can change rapidly in the north, and unexpectedly. They do not maintain the roads for snow plowing very often. The Grand Canyon Lodge is by the visitor center and been in operation 80 years. There are 34 miles of roads in the north.
Only about 600,000 visitors come to this north rim. The views are actually better, and lesser people a positive in my opinion. You just feel in more wide open space and closer to nature. The north end closes October-May because of the snow. Only cross coutnry sking is allowed.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Absolutely fabulous color and scenes of wonder
  • Cons:Long distance between each rim-too many people south
  • In a nutshell:Once in your life this monument treasure needs to be seen
  • Last visit to Grand Canyon National Park: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (30)

Comments (10)

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    I hope to get here one of these days. Great tips!

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    Hi Bruce, Wonderful page, and you said it "you have to be fit". I think this applies to all tourist activities.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    Just a wonderful group of tips. Thorough, informative, and quite interesting. Some great photographs to match.

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    This is surely one of the most beautiful page. The train is still running? That's really great news.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    When I was in college I used to lead hiking groups in New Mexico, and even then we had problems of people going on hikes who weren't anywhere near in shape for them. Now the problem has gotten much worse, I'm sure.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Some great hiking here but I agree about keeping in shape

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Great tips and outstanding photos!

  • bandit76's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Very awe-some! I am impressed and would love to have seen in person. Glad you had a great time!

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2009 at 5:54 AM

    Great page here, Bruce! All the years in CA & never saw Grand Canyon! Will only see now through your pages so - Grazie, Carol

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Your Desert View Overlook photo is stunning and would look great as your main pic on your "Grand Canyon" Main page. Hans & I also recently did this trip - Utah & Arizona are amazing states to visit.


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