Grand Canyon National Park

Yavapai Point and Geology Museum 

The South Rim is located 60 miles north of Williams, Arizona (via route 64 from Interstate 40). The Grand Canyon Village is a small town in itself with a variety of scenic views, points of interest, lodges and eats. There is a shuttle system that takes visitors to the various amenities, museums and view points. Or visitors can drive themselves provided parking lots are not full. 

Paleozoic rocks and fossils are a reflection of the landscape of the past. The layers of rock is formed primarily of Kaibab limestones, Coconino sandstone and Hermit shales.  

Desert View Watchtower

The watchtower is meant to mimic the watchtowers of the Anasazi. Most visitors though come for the sunset views here. The Grand Canyon is simply gorgeous!

South Kaibab Trail  

At an elevation of 7,260 feet, the 7.1 mile trail is difficult because of its steep descent and its complete exposure to the sun. Water and restrooms are available at the trailhead only. It takes 4-6 hours to hike the trail downhill and you will encounter mule tours. I recommend starting early and catching the Hiker’s Express to the trailhead. 

It took us around 5.5 hours to go downhill to the floor of the Grand Canyon. Areas of interest are Ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge and Skeleton Point. We crossed the bridge across the Colorado River and took the River Trail to the Phantom Ranch, where we had a bite to eat.

After crossing the bridge, you walk along the River Trail to reach the Phantom Ranch. There is drinking water and restrooms available. Accommodations are always booked months in advance. There is a campground. The cafeteria has good snack options and hiker needs such as electrolytes, bottles, packs, etc.

Bright Angel Trail 

Starting from the top there is a 1.5 mile rest stop, a 3 mile rest stop and the 9.2 mile Indian Garden. The Indian Garden has a campground and ranger station. The entire trail is 8 miles, but if you want to have lunch at the Phantom Ranch, its 9.9 miles via the River Trail because you have to cross the bridge across the Colorado River to get to the ranch.

After lunch at Phantom Ranch, we hiked up to Indian Garden and spent the night there. We woke up super early at 3am and hiked the rest of the way to the top. It was around 7:00am when we reached back at the top of the Grand Canyon.

Bright Angel Overlook

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is only open between the months of May and October. The entrance is far more remote than the South Rim and hence, you will encounter fewer visitors. If you are pressed for time as I was, check out the Bright Angel overlook. It provides majestic views of the canyon and surrounding geography.

The Grand Canyon Lodge

The historic Grand Canyon Lodge is located on the North Rim of the national park. The menu consists of delectable dishes from the region as well as cuisine dating back to the 1930’s. My lunch here was simply marvelous. You could tell they use the freshest and healthiest ingredients.

— Arizona Vegetarian Grilled Vegetable Wrap

Marinated vegetables including zucchini, squash, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Add hummus, sage aioli and a side of potato fries, and I was digging into my wrap like I had never seen food before!

— Bridle Trail Braised Portabello

Oven braised and marinated portabello topped with melted blue cheese, caramelized onions, tomatoes and lettuce. Side of homemade mac and cheese included. Need I explain how amazing this tastes? Did I also mention the amazing views of the national park you have from your seat?