In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Canyon a national monument under the Antiquities Act. Congress declared the Canyon a national park in 1919, three years after the National Park Service was formed, and in 1979, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
Image: Mule riders descend the
Once on the brink of extinction due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction, the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) inhabits only the
The quiet observer will see numerous squirrels and kangaroo rats, lizards, a wide variety of birdlife and the delightful mule deer.
Image: A mule deer keeps cautious watch as it grazes near the
An average of twelve thousand people a day visit the
Here’s a typical(?) tour outline:
Enjoy first class Comfort in our luxury Coach or Van while we take you to all the must do’s of the
The good people at Grand Canyon Old West Jeep Tours - from whose site I took the above information - have even created a video outlining the full day tour.
Whew! That’s a pretty action packed day from what I can see, and little time is set aside for deep appreciation of one of the greatest natural phenomena on the planet. Clearly, if you are interested in spending even an hour or two contemplating life, death, nature, the environment and such like, you will not want to join this or similar tours.
Not that I am suggesting all the locations included in the one day tour outlined above are not worth a visit. I’m sure they are. It’s just that personally, I prefer to see them at a much slower pace which allows plenty of time for quiet reflection and deep appreciation – as this quote from John Muir’s* 1902 booklet, The Grand Cañon Of The Colorado attests:
In a dry, hot, monotonous forested plateau, seemingly boundless, you come suddenly and without warning upon the abrupt edge of a gigantic sunken landscape of the wildest, most multitudinous features, and those features, sharp and angular, are made out of flat beds of limestone and sandstone forming a spiry, jagged, gloriously colored mountain-range countersunk in a level gray plain. It is a hard job to sketch it even in scrawniest outline; and try as I may, not in the least sparing myself, I cannot tell the hundredth part of the wonders of its features—the side-cañons, gorges, alcoves, cloisters, and amphitheaters of vast sweep and depth, carved in its magnificent walls; the throng of great architectural rocks it contains resembling castles, cathedrals, temples, and palaces, towered and spired and painted, some of them nearly a mile high, yet beneath one's feet. All this, however, is less difficult than to give any idea of the impression of wild, primeval beauty and power one receives in merely gazing from its brink. The view down the gulf of color and over the rim of its wonderful wall, more than any other view I know, leads us to think of our earth as a star with stars swimming in light, every radiant spire pointing the way to the heavens. ~John Muir, The Grand Cañon Of The
With John Muir’s words ringing in my head, I headed out again into the late afternoon sun to spend another three hours sitting on various boulders overlooking the Canyon, and marveling at the forces of nature that have shaped this world renowned site.
There is much to do during a visit to the
It is almost impossible to pick a favourite moment out of all the great experiences I had during American trip. While
Again, let me reiterate that two nights and a day and a half are nowhere near enough to fully take in the
*John Muir (