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A steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona.

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Magificient, except for the tourists

  • Aug 20, 2009
  • by
I'd been planning to hit up the Grand Canyon for ages and finally had the excuse a couple of years back when I drove our car from Texas to California. While I was only able to justify an overnight stay (try explaining $200/night hotels to your spouse for a roadtrip they're not on), it was a great primer for some future visit where I'll stretch the experience into a few days. Needless the say, the Grand Canyon isn't "just a canyon", contrary to an overhead review from a iPod-ready teenager, and  it's also not the sort of place when you can stand in one area, take a picture and be done with the whole thing in 5 minutes.

On the negative side of things:
  • Don't get too excited about Flagstaff.
  • Get ready to be absolutely reamed on the park entrance charges.
  • Be prepared to fight for a hotel room and watch your credit card limit vanish before your eyes.
Also, if you're part of the "24 hour visit-and-a-photo club" like I was, definitely expect that your 4-am Zen-like experience of a golden sun rising over the distant edge of the canyon, pouring light over the trees over a mile beneath you, will get trashed by loud and/or ignorant tourists complaining how early it is and having farting competitions. Yes, really. Even the wild deer look kind of pissed at the people who show up - and a lot of people show up.

On that note, it would be nice if people controlled their brattish kids sometimes - just sometimes, please. It's one thing having to watch their offspring having food fights in Cheesecake Factory, and I fully expect to be forced to listen to their droning stories that consist of a soup of "like, totally, like, whatever" while I'm wading throught the gallon of wonton at P F Chang's. But if there was a way to press a temporary mute button and control the A.D.D. during the ten minute splendor of dawn at the Grand Canyon, I'd really be appreciative. I'll even offer to reload your plates for the next food fight.

Anyway, back to the canyon. It's, like, grand, you know.

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August 20, 2009
Our experience more than 20 years with kids (not too brattish, as I remember) was also mixed. Too many people, even then. If you'd like a real desert experience, try Arches or Canyonlands--not too far away, absolutely wonderful and far fewer people. One of the high points of my life is the desert camping we did on the road from Escalante to Bull Frog. Mary
August 20, 2009
If you hike all the way to the bottom you'll be able to avoid the kids :) My friends and I spontaneously hiked down to the base of the canyon a few years ago on a visit there. We headed down at sunset and and found our way by the moonlight, chowed down on some freeze dried food when we arrived, slept for an hour and ventured back up. It was one of the most amazing and awful experiences all at the same time. The photos I took were unbelievable but hiking up and down in under 24 hours with upwards of 115 degrees temps is highly unrecommended and pretty unheard of around those parts :) I totally recommend the journey one day, just make sure you have time to rest at the bottom!
August 20, 2009
I think you have the right idea. In my physical condition, I'm thinking 3 days would be more comfortable. :-) And that helicopter ride is tempting...
August 20, 2009
We were close to needing a helicopter rescue 2 hours from the top :) You can also ride a horse down!
More The Grand Canyon reviews
Quick Tip by . April 20, 2011
The Grand Canyon is one of those places that should be on everyone's "must-see" list. Why? Because unlike buildings and monuments, the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder.
review by . February 15, 2010
Journey of Life
Oh My God, what more can I say about this wonder of the world? Yes, one of the 7 Wonders of Nature, if not the most wonderful of all!       Accolades throughout the ages; its size, its beauty, its magnificence, its eternity & it's to me a miracle! A miracle because only in this age, time & technology that we are able to experience it fully. Think of the airplane, the photographic equipment & the internet... only now can we all share in this miracle in a way no …
Quick Tip by . March 24, 2010
It's been claimed as the place where one sees God. It's also where I hope my resting place shall one day be!
Quick Tip by . January 11, 2010
This is the place where one sees God & where I hope my final resting place would be. GC is eternal & most beautiful place on planet Earth!
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James Beswick ()
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The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

Longstanding scientific consensus has been that the canyon was created by the Colorado River over a six million year period. The canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet). Nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. The "canyon began in the west, followed by another that formed in the east. Eventually, the two broke through and met as a single majestic rent in the earth some six million years ago. [...] The merger apparently occurred where the river today bends to the west, in the area known as the Kaibab Arch."

Before European immigration, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon ("Ongtupqa" in Hopi language) a holy site and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the ...

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