Grand Canyon Desert View

Continuing on the topic of the Grand Canyon (see last two posts!), I thought I’d share a few photographs from Easter Sunday after the sunrise service and amazing breakfast at El Tovar.  After fueling up with the tasty breakfast and finally getting some coffee, we decided we were adventurous enough to do a bit of hiking down one of the more frequented trails, the Bright Angel Trail.  The trail itself was not difficult or strenuous, but it was certainly a bit scary how close we were to a several thousand foot drop!  We only hiked a little over an hour, which provided great views inside the canyon as opposed to looking down into it.  There were a few times I saw small children with parents that made me a bit nervous, but everyone seemed to do just fine.  With a bit more time, it might be fun to hike down further for the day.  It’s just important to remember that while hiking down seems easy, hiking up is a bit more difficult, especially at 6000 feet above sea level!

After our hike, we decided we’d like to start driving down toward the Desert View Watchtower and visitor center area, which is also the east entrance to the South Rim.  It’s roughly a 25 mile drive and there are several scenic stops along the way, all of which we took advantage of.  We met some fun hikers that were preparing to start their group outing.  I snapped a few photos on their behalf in the harsh sunlight and they went on their way.  The different views provided various looks at different rock formations and the Colorado River.  At one point, we overheard a guide stating that the rapids in the river are so rough at some points that they’re Class 10 rapids – yikes!  From a mile away at the top, it didn’t look so bad.  😉

The last stop was mid afternoon (mind you, we were up at 4:00am and there by 6am for sunrise) at Desert View and the Watchtower.  It’s incredible how the view to the east of the desert landscape is so different from the rest of the canyon.  There are also gorgeous views of the colorful canyon walls and the Colorado River from the overlook point.  The Desert View stop also has a visitors center and a small market with gifts, food and camping supplies.  Kara and I took that opportunity to grab an adult beverage (yes, they sold them there!)  and relax with a view of the canyon.  We also ventured into the historic Watchtower and walked to the top.  It was originally designed and built by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1932.  As you can see from the photos it’s very unique inside with Native American art from the Hopi tribe.  The very last image shows a child peeking through the window of the tower, looking down.

I hope you enjoy this images as much as I enjoyed creating them.  It was a wonderful Easter Sunday from the early wake-up to the hike and Desert View drive to the fun drive back to Flagstaff and dinner downtown.  I can’t say enough about the Grand Canyon, except that you simply have to experience it.  I hope you have an opportunity to!

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