I have visited over 20 National Parks over the last few months. The Grand Canyon has been my favourite. Here is my “One Day Guide”
We arrived early after camping in the nearby wood over night (Camping just outside the park is free). A lot of people choose to stay in the park itself but it was full, in reality it didn’t matter too much, we literally set up camp and went straight to sleep after some star gazing. The park is $30 per car, literally the best $30 I have ever spent.
We paid, parked and went to the welcome centre. The guy there was so helpful, he obviously had hundreds of people a day ask him what to do but he spoke to us as if we were his first and last visitors. He suggested a hike that involved a spot called “Ooh Aah Point”, trusting the name we set off. There is a free bus that will take you around the park and it really is worth it as the size of the place will throw you off.
On the bus journey we could just about see the canyon through the trees, it was honestly unspeakable. I’ve seen a fair amount this year including Big Ben, Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum but this was something else, it was like looking at another planet, like it didn’t belong. The bus stopped and we walked towards the trail head, ready to hike down The Grand Canyon a few thousand feet, I mean come on that’s cool! When you look down you can’t see the bottom. I’ve seen pictures of the canyon and people have spoken to me about it but nothing comes close to seeing it.
On the way down things started to get a little tricky for me, I discovered a fear. But it wasn’t of heights, I wanted to throw myself off the side. You look out onto this view and it’s huge, you can’t begin to measure it in your mind, so far down, so wide. When I walked I felt ready to fall off with every step. I have later looked into this and apparently my brain couldn’t figure out what was going on, it felt dizzy and couldn’t work out depth, it came to a conclusion that I was falling. Apparently this is quite common and is the reason why we have an urge to throw ourselves off an edge of a cliff or something. So needless to say I was shit scared walking down, ever step honestly felt like my last.
We hiked for around 3 hours down, maybe reached a third of the way down. Our trail had a lot of cut backs like I imagined most would, passing slow people on the way down and standing aside to let those walking up have the right of way, it seemed fair considering the fact they looked dead on their feet. The views all the way down were indescribable, even through I wanted to throw up through fear every time I raised my head to look up I couldn’t deny the beauty. When we reached “our bottom”, many thousands of feet above the actual bottom, we sat and pondered everything, and I mean everything. Silence was all that anyone needed. (You can go all the way down of course, simply decide when you would like to turn back, or importantly when you need to!) So, then the hike back up.
The way back up was hard and just as terrifying for me, the best thing about it was everyone coming down not only stood aside but offered words of encouragement. We actually got up pretty quickly with much goal setting at the forefront of my mind, to the next bend fast or overtake this couple in front. It wasn’t about a race, it was about feeling safe. I couldn’t help but think “how has this happened?” “How am I now climbing up the side of the Grand Canyon?”.
Now you are up get back on the bus and go to the other side, all the way. From here you can see the Colorado River which is exciting. Once to this side stay and watch the sunset. What better way to watch the sun go down than to watch it go down over this masterpiece.
A lot of my blogs are about getting out there and doing things. A day at the Grand Canyon cost me less than an expensive meal at a restaurant, I mean sure you have to get to Arizona first, but it’s worth anything. This experience was worth more than I have ever spent on any item. Experience over money or objects is a lesson well learnt. Go to the Grand Canyon, you will not regret it, top love from me.