It’s probably common knowledge that the Grand Canyon is magnificent. You see pictures all the time when just Googling “the west”, and many beautifully written articles almost make you feel like you’re standing right on the edge.
But I promise you that none of that compares to actually seeing or being at the Grand Canyon in person. Close your eyes and listen to the wind build at the canyon bottom. Feel the sunlight on your face as you gaze out over an indescribable landscape. Watch the clouds play a game with the sunlight as they glide over the canyon walls. It truly is remarkable. The first time that I saw the Grand Canyon I had spent the night in my cold vehicle with Clinton because there was no availability in the campsites and no openings in the hotels. We actually drove into the Grand Canyon at about 4 in the morning once we decided that we would keep driving instead of stopping. We may have been young and dumb then, but when we walked out over the canyon near the Desert View Watchtower and saw the sun rise over the canyon it was all worth it. The area holds a special place to me because of this experience. I was tired, cold, and hungry but I didn’t care because the canyon was so intensely gorgeous nothing could upset me.
We are fortunate that we live in such a great location for a quick day trip to the Grand Canyon. Since moving to Page we’ve been almost once a month. I have personally been to the Grand Canyon in a variety of situations, from work based training that included hiking with my brother, to quick sunset picture trips with Clinton. The Desert View Watchtower is only an hour and a half from our home! The north rim is equally close but since it is winter the roads are closed. We are so excited to have such a beautiful park so close!
The Grand Canyon was carved out of the Colorado River and has a depth of over a mile. Gazing out on the exposed rok you can see the many layers that make up the ecological story of the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River is powerful but looking at the many cuts in the landscape that we now know were created by the Colorado River it is amazing to think about because of how wide and deep the canyon actually is. The canyon is also part of the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, ahd Havasupai Indian Reservation, and Navajo Nation.
The Desert View Watchtown is a 70 foot high stone building that was designed by American architect Mary Colter. Colter designed many other buildings in Grand Canyon as an employee of the Fred Harvey Company. The tower is much larger than what it was designed to resemble – an ancient Pueblo Peoples watchtower. Today the bottom floor is contains a gift shop and the top floors host an observatory deck. It is a grand view over the canyon that you won’t see elsewhere.
There is so much to explore at the Grand Canyon that it is hard to describe in only one post. We will continue to visit many of the same parks throughout our time living in Page but will focus on different topics of interest each time. Hopefully you’ll learn something new with each post! Stay tuned for our next adventure!