1893: Forest Preserve
About the SiteWho doesn't know about the Grand Canyon? It's one of the jewels of the National Park Service, a treasure of rich colors and millions of years of history. Canyons carved by the Colorado River as the Kaibab Plateau uplifted during an aeons-long process are on display from many vantage points. Snow in the winter gives a whole new perspective for the visitor. Mule rides down to the bottom and back up again are available; many trails exist for the fit hiker. Even some helicopter rides, and plane rides, offer a unbeatable view of Nature's creations.
What You're Going to SeeWhat you're going to see is an awe-inspiring look at 1.8 billion years of history, and the largest canyon in the world. Over that span the Colorado River has been carving down the canyons and spires you see, putting on view cliffs that drop a mile from Rim to River. Prepare to be astonished, awed, and amazed.
Personal ObservationsAll right, time for one of my pet peeves. Guess what the average viewing time is, per visitor, of the Canyon. No, wait! First consider how far away it from everything. The nearest city to the South Rim is Flagstaff, itself still an hour's drive away. Therefore, most visitors really go out of their way to see the Canyon. So how long do they spend staring at the sights?
Getting ThereFrom Flagstaff, there are two ways, depending on where you want to arrive. Take I-40 west for 32 miles to Williams, then go north on AZ 180. After 57 miles, you'll arrive at the west entrance. Or, from Flagstaff, go north on AZ 89 for 54 miles to Cameron. Turn west onto AZ 64 for 32 miles, and you'll arrive at the east entrance.
Nearby Attractionsdeep breath .... About 80 miles due south is Tuzigoot National Monument, and 10 miles beyond that is Montezuma Castle National Monument. About 40 miles southeast is Wupatki National Monument, and 10 miles beyond that is Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and ten miles beyond that is Walnut Canyon National Monument. About 90 miles to the southeast is Meteor Crater, privately owned. About 90 miles east northeast is Navajo National Monument. About 45 miles north is Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and just beyond that is Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which physically encompasses Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Further north, in Utah, lies Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park. To the northwest is Zion National Park, and closer, back in Arizona is Pipe Spring National Monument. Directly west is Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. gasp