Long trip and Short VisitTuesday, April 6th, 2010 – If you ever get to the Grand Canyon, do yourself a favor and skip the train ride from Williams, unless you LOVE train rides. The train rides two hours each way at a speed of 30 mph along a monotonic desert landscape. The last train leaves the Canyon around 4:00pm and you better not miss it, or else… And this pleasure cost you $70
We did that mistake on our first day, and had merely 4 hours to visit the park. It was a good introduction but too long, too limiting and way too expensive.
Back to the beginningWe got here, to Williams, AZ yesterday and stayed at the Grand Canyon Gateway RV Park. It is a Passport America Park, and the location was just off hwy 40. There is nothing spectacular about this park, but the Internet is good, the sites are level and the location is perfect!
Tried to sketch out what we did so far (since last October) and where we are headed for the summer
The visit to the parkWoke up this morning, and drove a short ride to the train depot in downtown Williams, maybe a mile away. Got the tickets, got a shock from the price and ran to catch the train. We left at about 9:45 am and got to the park around noon.
The park has many trails, as it is HUGE (over 200 miles long), but most visitors are staying on the south rim trail , close to the village. The trail is paved and goes around 1-2 miles to each direction – East and West. There are trails that go down to the canyon, but whatever you go down you need to climb back up. It is one mile drop!!! imagine that! The rim is at about 7,000 feet above sea level, and the views to the canyon are _______ can’t find the words. Even the best photos will not do justice to this place – you have to see it for yourself.
But you know me, I am not going to just see it without taking pictures, lots of them.
When we left the train, we climbed some stairs to get to the trail, and at the very first moment I saw the canyon I took 33 photos in panning mode, and stitched them into one panoramic view
A different Point of ViewWednesday, April 7th, 2010 – So as you can imagine, today we did not take the train, and I am so happy we didn’t. One exit East of William hwy 64 starts and goes all the way the Grand Canyon Village just inside the park. Few miles south of the park, we saw the Grand Canyon airport and decided to check it out. If you want to see the Canyon from above, you have several options. Helicopter rides are going for around $200, and an airplane ride (about 20 seats) is about half the price, and twice as long.
Being so impressed from what we saw yesterday, we decided to take the ride. and let me tell you – it is a whole different perspective. You start to understand the size of the park and put things in the right order and dimension. The north rim and south rim, the Colorado River, the depth of the canyon – everything comes together when you see the big picture.
After we landed we continued to the park and drove west to the desert view tower. It is an Indian tower that overlooks the Canyon, and has some religious importance to the Indian tribes, didn’t quite understand the story :). After a short visit we took the eastern part of the south rim trail, and got to a very nice spot to catch a grand sunset on the park. I will not show you all the pictures I took today (hundreds of them), but here is a good sample, hope you will like them. Try to see them from the beginning – if the slide show stops – hit the play button to restart it.
so here it is: