12.20.2007 - 12.20.2007 0 °C
As part of my month-long holiday vacation in the US with my family, we have arranged a trip to the Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona. Grand Canyon as it is known for its unique landscape which was carved by the Colorado River for millions of years. This has become part of our itinerary.
Our trip to the Grand Canyon is a side-trip from our trip to Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon National Park is about 4.5 hours drive east of Las Vegas. And so with the help of our GPS, we left our hotel in Las Vegas early in the morning.
On our way, about an hour from Las Vegas strip, we came to see this great view of a big reservoir which was Lake Mead. And so we came to know that the highway (US 93) we are on is leading us to one of the most famous dams in the world, the Hoover Dam. This dam is also at the border of the states of Arizona and Nevada. Since we have crossed on this dam, we thought of making a short stop for some pictures.
Then, we continued our long drive to the Grand Canyon. We passed by vast deserted lands of cacti. We also passed by areas where we saw elevation signs from 4000 feet to 6000 feet at the highest. We had to swallow or yawn to make our ears pop from the air pressure. The Grand Canyon is more than 275 miles from Las Vegas and the longest we stayed on an interstate highway is for 116 miles. On our way, we noticed that some mountain tops have turned white and we passed areas that appeared to have snow. Also, upon exiting I-40, we had to look for the nearest gas station to fill up as there are only a few gas stations on the way to the park.
Arriving at the gate of the park, we had pay for an admission fee of $25. This fee is good per car and is valid for a week to any national park in the country. We were provided with maps to lead us to the view areas. From the gates, the actual canyon area is about 5 more miles inwards. Driving inside may be a bit confusing even with a map that we had to ask for directions to the park information.
We were pointed to the Maricopa point past the lodge areas. But we made a stop at the Trail View Point which offered a great view of the wide canyon. The place is very much breathtaking realizing how beautiful this was carved by nature. From afar, the canyon is very colorful from orangish top to the brownish areas. Nearby the cliffsides where evergreens grew is covered by snow. It was picture-perfect!
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