Having been visiting United States over last 15 years on many occasions, I feel there are only few places in USA that lives up to the hype. America has great marketing engines that can sell to the world the idea of visiting even a spot in a road (Spot where John F Kennedy was spot in Dallas as example). After you have seen few of these hyped places you start admiring their geniuses and excellence in selling a concept. For example I was not impressed with Mystery Spot (7 mile drive) near Bay Area or Hollywood Boulevard.
The natural wonder in America is something that leaves me in Awe all the time, especially Niagra Falls or the oceanic drive in Pacific coast. One item long pending in my wish list to visit in USA was Grand Canyon. Today I came here to South rim after staying overnight from Williams (AZ). On the way here you see Grand Canyon Airport which is nothing more than a landing strip, I got down to take few photos – where else you can stop near an Airport?
As you get into the parking lot you encounter huge crowd which leaves you a bit disappointed, but as you walk to the viewing area and start seeing the landscape below it is amazing.
There are many viewing spots placed at vantage points. The park administration has done a good job by arranging complimentary shuttle service (Red,Orange & Blue), taking visitors between the spots, this greatly helps and avoids parking rush everywhere.
I spotted in few places drinking water refilling stations, the water is said to be from Colorado River deep down in the Canyon. It certainly tasted good.
I didn’t trek all the way down to the canyon, at two places I walked down for about 30 minutes each to get an idea of the topography till that height and came up. This was not difficult, but my friend who came with me said going down all the way to the river and coming up nearly takes up 8 to 10 hours, as you need to rest a lot. If you are doing the trip in summer it tends to get very hot as you go down and park rangers recommend you to stay till evening for nearing to sunset before you climb up.
The views were stunning wherever you looked.
Also published on Medium.