When I found out that a trip to the Grand Canyon was on the agenda for our girls’ trip in Arizona, I think I actually squealed.
Popularly known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, seeing the Grand Canyon in person has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember!
I know it’s cliché and predictable to say, but really… no photo I could take or words I could share will ever do it justice.
They just can’t.
If you ever get anywhere near an opportunity to see it in person, do yourself a favor and take it.
The Grand Canyon is one of the Earth’s most powerful, inspiring landscapes that completely overwhelms your eyes and senses. Knowing we were only visiting for the day, we had no idea where to start exploring. Every trail and path looked amazing!
The Grand Canyon National Park was crated in 1919, it is the United States’ 15th oldest national park. There are two areas you can visit, the South Rim and the North Rim. The North Rim is a more remote area with less accessibility, so we planned to drive over to the main entrance of the South Rim and park by the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
Here, we decided on a game plan and found a few overlook points we wanted to check out as well as a mild hour long hike along the South Kaibab Trail.
Like I mentioned earlier, we could have spent days there. It’s not uncommon for seasoned hikers to pack a bag full of water and food and sign up for a 12+ hour hike. With the right tour guide and group, I would absolutely love to return with the right hiking gear and complete one in the future.
Knowing our trip to this incredible landmark was only going to last a few hours, we made a plan to hike as much as we could before the predicted afternoon rain showers rolled in. We hopped on the free Shuttle Bus en route to the Kaibab Rim Route near the Visitor Center and only waited a few stops before arriving at ours.
There were breathtaking views at each and every one!
The collection of layers upon layers of rocks is almost unreal. We spent a few minutes admiring the views up top before setting out for the trail, and I couldn’t get over how extraordinary and majestic it felt standing there.
It looked like we were staring at a giant sized post card, and I never wanted to leave.
With dark clouds threatening rain above us, we followed the hiking trail down for about a half an hour before turning around to go back up.
Some parts of the path felt safe and others felt narrow and unsteady. It amazed me that a few mule ride groups passed us without worry.
This is one of the days I regret not having a high resolution DSLR camera to capture my experiences. One could easily spend a week traveling to different parts of the South and North Rims snapping photo after photo.
Hiking down and into the Grand Canyon felt dreamlike. I was so happy to experience this with two of my lifelong friends, and the three of us just kept stopping to admire and awe over what surrounded us.
After our turnaround point, we tried our best to pick up the pace to hike back up. It started to sprinkle, and it was definitely harder to go up than down. I had a fear of the rocks and dirt turning into slippery mud during rainfall, so I hauled as fast as I (safely) could up to the top and was admittedly short of breath for most of it.
We briefly waited for the Shuttle Bus to take us back to the Visitor Center and grabbed a round of chai tea lattes at the cafe while we figured out our next move. We only had about an hour or so before we had to start driving back, so we took the rain clouds as a sign to enjoy the views over lunch at El Tavor.
Based on a suggested made by Brittany’s husband, we shuttled over to an on-site hotel to dine at the El Tovar Dining Room. It was a beautiful cabin-like restaurant with an incredible view!
Still feeling a little chilled, I ordered the chili and a side salad that hit the spot.
It was a delightful spot to kick up your feet and even stay the night upstairs if you’re looking for lodging.
After lunch, we made a quick walk back to one of the overlooks and regretfully had to head back to the car soon after.
With close to 5 million annual visitors, the Grand Canyon National Park draws an impressive crowd from all over the world. Popular activities include hiking, biking, backpacking, whitewater rafting, mule rides, and helicopter tours. While I was only able to spend a short amount of time at this marvel, I was so thankful for hours I had.
I will never forget my experience of visiting the Grand Canyon with two of my favorite people in the world. I’m hoping to return again with my own family, and until then I will treasure some truly unimaginable sights!