After my one-day “layover” in Gallup, the next and final destination of this segment of my road trip was in Flagstaff, Arizona. As you might have guessed, my main reason for stopping by Flagstaff was to visit the Grand Canyon National Park.
I’ve always heard great things about the Grand Canyon, ranging anywhere from people saying it was one of their favorite vacation destinations, to one person alleging that he had heard from all his friends that it was life-changing. Although I personally disagree about the “life changing” part, I do think that it’s an amazing place to visit, and it has been my favorite hiking destination so far.
I have to make it back to Las Vegas soon for some time-sensitive stuff, so I only scheduled one day at the Grand Canyon. As a secondary point, it is also a bit inconvenient to get to the Grand Canyon, because the closest Marriott-branded hotels are in Flagstaff, and the lodging options closer to the Grand Canyon all seem a bit underwhelming and expensive. Because of that, I opted to stay at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Flagstaff and made the three-hour round trip to the Grand Canyon on my visitation day, an hour and a half there and an hour and a half back.
My hike of choice was the West Rim Trail. I took a shuttle out to Hermit’s Rest and walked the path back to Grand Canyon Village. Along the way, I stopped at Pima Point, Monument Creek Vista, The Abyss, Mohave Point, Hopi Point, Powell Point, Maricopa Point, and Trail View Point.
I took 143 photos throughout my hike, and I’ve picked out my favorite ones to feature here. Although I don’t precisely remember exactly where each of these photos were taken, the progression of the photos follows the order of the scenic overlooks that I just listed.
Funny enough, my main takeaway from my hike at the Grand Canyon is that I should probably get laser eye surgery soon. The Grand Canyon in person was incredible, but after browsing through the photographs I took and zooming in all the way, there is an immense amount of detail that I missed out on due to my poor vision. It left me speechless as to just how massive the scale of the Grand Canyon is, and how intricate the rock formations are.
In a similar vein, there are no photographs that do the Grand Canyon justice. Looking back at the pictures I took is reminding me how big the Grand Canyon is, but that’s only because they are simply acting as a memory trigger for me to immerse myself back into my experience of being there in-person. Prior to this, I’ve obviously looked at plenty of other people’s photos of the Grand Canyon, but that wasn’t enough to prepare myself for how much I was impressed when I first saw the canyon in-person.
The route I took for my hike was fairly easy and straightforward, but there are a plethora of more difficult hikes that I can tackle when I am better prepared. One of the hikes I definitely want to do is to go down into the canyon. The depth of the Grand Canyon is right around 6,000 feet (or 1,829 meters), so I probably will not be fit enough to head all the way down to the bottom anytime soon, but I’m eager to be able to go down part-way during my next visit.