Back to Travel Back to Grand Canyon Home Back to Home
Things to see, places to stay and ways to get there.
    The park has organized things pretty well, in an attempt to balance the desires of visitors and sight seer's, with the need to preserve the area for the future. Some compromises have been made in both directions, but overall, it seems to be working pretty well.
A pulpit of rock juts out over the canyon. I am amazed that there are not some tourists perched on it. 
The way down looks none too comfortable. No wonder Cortez and his men decided to go around the canyon when they first saw it in the 1600's.

A beggar plies his trade on an unwary tourist. This is common in all of the parks. I have seen it in Yellowstone, and Zion. It is illegal to feed them, but many succumb to the obvious appeal.

Some patches of green can be seen at left, near a dried up watercourse.
The Artists Studio can be made out at the far left of the photo. It sits along the edge of the cliff face, actually sticking out a bit. 
Tourists at the edge of the canyon, in one of the many rest stops, and scenic overlooks. 
The famous Artists Studio, built in the twenties, and donated to the park by the family who lived in it. They were allowed to remain in residence until the last remaining member passed on.
For all of it's undeniable beauty, Grand Canyon is a harsh and unforgiving place to live. Water is scarce, and the heat can be truly lethal. This is not an environment that favors the weak.
Just under the rim of the canyon, ravens and a few condors make their homes in little hollows in the rock. 
More of the banded and sparsely vegetated walls for which the canyon is known. 
The steam train from Williams, Az. Williaims has been around a long time, and was one of the original road towns along Route 66, back in it's glory days. As with most of the road town, Williams fell on hard times, when the old road was bypassed. The Williams section has the distinction of being the last active section of Route 66 to be bypassed. Williams is now remaking itself as a gateway to the canyon.
LP powered busses do not pollute, and go all over the park (well, mostly). They are air conditioned, and the drivers are friendly, knowledgeable, and act as tour guides, of sorts, describing and explaining the terrain through which they take us. Car addict, and motor enthusiast that I am, I never drove throughout my stay in the park. 
The Canyon Cafe, attached to the Yavapai Lodge. The cafe was nice and had reasonable prices (unlike the super market in Canyon Village). The rooms were very comfortable. Ours were not in this building, but were in satellite structures up the road. They were comfortable, and modern, not at all "rustic". We even had cable T.V., though I am happy to say, we made little use of it. 
Some people moan and complain about the development of the park, but I was very relieved to see it. Stores, inns, motels, lodges, parking, and restaurants were concentrated at a few strategic locations, the rest was left alone. I parked my car in this lot, and left it for four days, never needing it until it was time to go. Busses, and trails lead all over the rim of the park, and more trails lead to the bottom (just try getting a car down there). 
A yucca plant. These succulents live for years, gathering and storing up resources, so that they can bloom, sending a stalk up several feet. The stalk can grow up to several inches each day. After sending up the stalk, and blooming, the plant is able to breed, and then die. 
Plants and people seem to gather at the edge to overlook the banded structures inside the canyon. 
Assorted views of the canyon bottomlands show green were water occasionally flows. We visited during a particularly hot and dry time. There were constant warnings out about heat, and visitors were recommended not to travel out into the canyon floor. There were also fire warnings out, camp fires were prohibited, and even smoking was restricted (for fire, rather than health reasons). 
Yet another view of shadowed canyon lands. The haze hints at the heat. Actually, the whole place was very dry, as well as being very hot. At least some of the haze was from several far off, but huge, fires ravaging the area.
This is a California Condor perching on some rocks just below the canyon rim. Conservationism aside, these are not pretty birds. They are carrion eaters, essentially vultures, which cruise the sky looking for carcasses on which to feed. 
An oddly shaped structure begins to separate itself from the canyon wall. Water does strange things to rock out here. 

Back To still more of the Grand Canyon Forward To tourists, trails and views