Grand Canyon, US
The USA’s Grand Canyon (Arizona) seen from the North Rim’s Bright Angel Point.
Grand Canyon North Rim
The Bugcrew visited only the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. This was probably a mistake for although there were far fewer visitors than on the South Rim it was a hefty drive to get there and we believe the views and activity options were far more limited.
The canyon is certainly grand – the biggest canyon in the world of course – the view is awesome and the silence inspiring, but from the North Rim the initial reaction after the long drive is ‘Jeez, look at the size of that! ‘ followed by a rush to the short path along the (in this case north) rim.
However, after a wander around in the afternoon, followed by another walk early the next morning, when the scene was fundamentally the same even though the sun was pointing a different way, and it was impossible not to feel ‘Is that it then? ‘
Grand Canyon South Rim
Mather Point Sightseeing, South Rim.
The South Rim is easier to reach from Phoenix or Las Vegasand much more crowded, but has far more amenities. It’s also open year-round while the North Rim is inaccessible from mid-October to mid-May.
When you make advance reservations – a must in summer and smart in winter – it’s worth staying inside the National Park (all in-park lodging is within eyeshot of, or within, the canyon). If you try to save a few bucks by staying on the strip just outside the park, you’ll kick yourself when you get there.
Some negative comments from dissatisfied visitors
“Went there from Vegas for a few hours… Nothing special. ”
“Seeing the canyon in person is about as good as seeing pictures of the canyon. It’s possible the pictures might be better since the photographer only releases the most interesting views of the park. ”
“I drove nine hours one-way to see it, but it felt like it was only worth a two-hour drive. So if you happen to be within two hours, it’s worth considering. Also, the trails are polluted with horse and mule faeces. I found myself on the canyon edge dangerously jumping and shifting around to avoid it. ”
“I have been lucky enough to remember the spectacular beauty from 30 years ago when it was not spoiled by tourist centers, souvenir shops and other spots of. . . civilisation. “