Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The quote in the title is an excerpt from a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt at the Grand Canyon on May 6, 1903. The Grand Canyon is found on many lists of wonders of the natural world. The canyon averages over a mile (1.6 km) deep and ten miles (16 km) wide.
As you may note in the photo above, the canyon is not one single gorge, but a myriad of gorges etched out of the landscape over the centuries by the Colorado River and her tributaries along the canyon’s 275 mile (442 km) length. On our trip, we visited the South Rim, easily the most popular and easiest to visit portion of the national park. Though the north rim of the park is only ten miles (16 km) as the crow flies, the closest path is a 21 mile (34 km) hike across the canyon along the North and South Kaibib trails. For most people, this is an overnight trek. A foot bridge along the trail crosses the river about 70 feet (21 m) above the water surface.
Over 5 million visitors view the canyon from the south rim. Less than 500,000 make the trip to the north rim as it’s over 220 miles (354 km) by car. No flights are provided unless you are small enough to hitch a ride on an eagle.
The rock climber in the photo above is taking a photo of the eastern portion of the canyon with his cell phone camera. His climber colleague is tucked under the rock that’s directly in front of him. Though it’s not apparent from this photo, they are on top of a tower that is a significant climb from the point where it joins the terrain at the south rim where we are standing.
The two days we spent at the canyon were clear and comfortable in the mid-70s F. (21 C.), though it was probably nearing 100 degrees F. (38 C.) on the canyon floor. More athletic visitors have many options to view the canyon from below. Backpacking, mule riding, and river rafting are all popular venues for viewing the lower canyon. I submit for your visual entertainment a gallery of images at sunset taken in early October at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Click on any of the images below to enlarge and to scroll through the gallery.