The United States of America has many spectacular natural and wondrous sites to visit. Sometimes people travel outside the United States without ever exploring what America has to offer. When I visited Las Vegas, my husband and I decided to visit one of the wonders of the world the illustrious Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and the Colorado River and its tributaries run through layers of its rock. Although the subject of debate by many the Grand Canyon is believed to be formed by a combination of wind, flooding, possible quakes and of course the most obvious the Colorado river eroding the Canyon. No one is a hundred percent sure how the Grand Canyon was formed, but as I stared at it from the looking point I found myself undeniably thanking God and praising him for His handy work.
My husband and I stayed at the Harrah hotel in Las Vegas, but we decided we wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam located in Arizona within driving distance. We decided to book a tour with Papillion Tour Company. This tour company offered a bus ride from our hotel to the Hoover Dam and unto to the Grand Canyon. The bus driver was fantastic and time seemed to pass rather quickly on this long bus ride. We passed through the little Boulder town settlement and drove through the Hoover Dam where we received several opportunities to take photos from various vantage points, use the restroom and or purchase souvenirs. Then we continued to the Grand Canyon where we were dropped off at the helicopter site as others in the tour bus who did not elect to take the helicopter ride continued on to the IMAX theatre to watch a movie.
The Grand Canyon is as beautiful as it is rich in history. We were quickly processed at the Helicopter site where we watched a quick safety video. Then in less than 10 minutes we were on the helicopter. I was so very impressed especially because I had the privilege of sitting up front with the pilot where I received the best unobstructed view great for taking pictures of this amazing vista. Your state-of-the-art helicopter is equipped with specially designed windows that offer wonderful views. Expert narration offers commentary on the helicopter tour highlights you will visit during the 30-minute flight.
Our pilot was so cool and narrated what we were seeing and also played cool and calming Reggae & Jazz music when he was not speaking. From the air, the South and North rims of the Grand Canyon are absolute perfection, too numerous to mention are the many imaginable colors in every imaginable shade. You can experience this magnificent panorama when you book a Grand Canyon helicopter tour hosted by Papillon Helicopters, rated one of America’s award-winning sightseeing experts. I encourage anyone seeing the Grand Canyon to make the extra investment, splurge and see this amazing wonder of the world from the air.
After we finished the helicopter tour we had a chance to purchase a photo that we had taken in front of the helicopter prior to boarding the helicopter. Then we were taken away in a small bus and reunited with our original tour bus where we drove to several picturesque vantage points to have a closer view of this majestic Grand Canyon. We drove to the Grand Canyon Village located on the South Rim, 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. Entrance fees to the Park vary according to the type of pass visitors require, however, our tour took care of the fees in the price we paid them to book the tour. The South Rim of the Park is open 24 hours, 365 days a year, while the North Rim is closed from late October to mid-May due to snow. Our last stop on the tour was to the Angel Lodge. This lodge is extraordinary because of the fact the cabins are built overlooking the Grand Canyon. The cabins have amazing unobstructed views of the Grand Canyon, cute little shops and restaurants in which to eat. My husband and I asked about staying at the Angel Lodge and was told that if we were interested in staying at the lodge we should book one year in advance as they are usually booked months in advance and if we waited we would not be able to receive accommodations. At the Angel Lodge there was a trail that you could walk around the canyon to see different views and formations of the rock. When the Sun moved the shadows cast on the Canyon caused its colors to change into different hues not previously seen before. I bought several souvenirs here and also at the Souvenir Shoppes by the IMAX theatre which had the best deals!
While in the bus our driver played an educational DVD about the Grand Canyon that explained its wonderful history. We learned a great deal about the Canyon. The Grand Canyon is managed by the Grand Canyon National Park. President Theodore Roosevelt was given the distinct credit to be a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
Native American Indians such as the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe just to name a few inhabited the Grand Canyon for thousands of years and built settlements within the Canyon and its numerous caves. The first Europeans were from Spain and arrived in 1540, but did not appreciate the Grand Canyon for its History and beauty as they sought to find wealth and the Grand Canyon to the Spaniards was just a nuisance in trying to cross the mountainous terrain. The native Indians were smart enough not to reveal their secret paths to the Europeans and very soon the Europeans got discouraged, weary and left the area.
Although the Grand Canyon is not the deepest canyon in the world compared to the Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal which is far deeper,, nor is it the widest Grand Canyon as the Capertee Valley Australia is about 1km wider and longer than Grand Canyon, however, the Grand Canyon is known for its visually overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape vistas. Geologically the Grand Canyon is most significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that is beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon.
Temperatures on the North Rim are generally lower than the South Rim because of the greater elevation. Heavy rains are common on both rims during the summer months. Access to the North Rim by the primary route leading to the canyon is limited during the winter season due to road closures as we were told it was a dirt road.
Temperatures vary wildly throughout the year, with summer highs within the Inner Gorge commonly exceeding 100 °F and winter minimum temperatures sometimes falling below zero degrees Fahrenheit along the canyon’s rims.
Weather conditions can greatly affect hiking and canyon exploration, and visitors should obtain accurate forecasts because of hazards posed by exposure to extreme temperatures, winter storms and late summer monsoons. We had the pleasure of visiting in Mid-October so we experienced very pleasant weather as long as we remembered to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.
There is no doubt the Grand Canyon has earned its reputation as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon has grown to be one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Averaging close to five million tourists each year, the Canyon gives sightseers the chance to roam around the Rim, some elect to hike or ride a mule to the bottom or a Grand Canyon Rafting Tour down the Powerful Colorado River although we did not, we highly recommend taking to the air with a Grand Canyon helicopter tour! The only other thing I have enjoyed as much as I did the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon was playing and swimming with Dolphins with Dolphin World!
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