- By kevin
- On Jun 6, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
Arrange your Grand Canyon development plans by our travel tips.Or you can book the right Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim tours on the Globerouter.com website.The road to the Grand Canyon from the south crosses a gently rising plateau that gives no hint at what is about to unfold.You wonder if you have made a wrong turn.All at once an immense gorge a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide opens up.The scale is so vast that even from the best vantage point only a fraction of the canyon's 277 miles can be seen.
Nearly five million people travel here each year;90 percent first see the canyon from the South Rim with its dramatic views into the deep inner gorge of the Colorado River.So many feet have stepped cautiously to the edge of major overlooks that in places the rock has been polished smooth.But most of the park's 1,904 square miles are maintained as wilderness.You can avoid crowds by hiking the park's many trails or driving to the cool evergreen forests of the North Rim where people are fewer and viewing is more leisurely.The Grand Canyon boasts some of the nation's cleanest air,with visibility on clear days averaging 90 to 110 miles.
It's hard to look at the canyon and not be curious about geology.Rock that dates back 1.8 billion years lies at the bottom.Exactly how the river formed the canyon is still unclear,but geologists generally agree that most of the cutting occurred within the last five million years.
DID YOU KNOW?
For less than half the cost of tonier(and usually full)places in the park,the cabin rooms at Maswik Lodge are one of the Grand's best kept secrets.You're only a quarter mile from the South Rim,and the hotel is served by the Grand Canyon Railway,a throwback that runs to the park from Williams,Arizona.
Few wilderness trails anywhere elicit as much praise as the Nankoweap Trail.Those who have hiked the North Rim-to-river route speak of crowd-free camping in the heart of Marble Canyon.Then in the same breath,they recall the grueling elevation loss and gain,harrowing traverses,and challenging route-finding.Conclusion:This is an experts-only trail but an absolute must-do.From the West Nankoweap trailhead,the path drops 14 miles and 6,000 feet.Most hikers take two days for the descent,two for the climb back out,and one as a layover.
As you dip below the North Rim,you'll first pass through aspen and ponderosa pine,then start switchbacking and corkscrewing down slopes of Supai sandstone and steeper faces of Redwall limestone.The going is tricky—look for cairns when the trail is less than obvious—but the views of buttes and red-rock temples are superb.Your camp is on a sandy beach near Nankoweap Rapids,overlooked by a set of 900-year-old ancestral Puebloan granaries.On the return trip,overnight at Nankoweap Creek,and be sure to top up your water bottles for the last 10.6 dry miles back to the rim.