Situated to the right side of Las Vegas in the Nevada Desert, The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most beautiful attractions along the west coast where the breath-taking views make it hard to believe how this even exists. The deep gorge, created by the Colorado River that runs through the middle, is over a mile deep and stretches across 277 miles which of course means their are multiple places to stay and explore.
When visiting at the end of May, I stayed along the South Rim of the Canyon, which from my own research seemed to be the most popular. Arriving at the South Rim gates you pay a national park fee of $30 for your car and all it’s passengers, which isn’t too bad considering the incredible experience that begins as soon as you enter.
Directed by their friendly staff we headed towards the Grand Canyon Village where we found our home for our two-night stay at Yavapai Lodge. The friendly culture of this adorable village setting makes you feel at home in a heartbeat which was settling for me considering I was a bit apprehensive about the Canyon on our way over – being honest, all I wanted to do was get to Vegas. Never be put off by the phrase National Park is all I can say.
The village has all the local amenities you can think of which become homey in seconds. As soon as my eyes locked with coffee shop, I knew I would love it here. Along with the beautiful coffee shop, the General Store is perfect for any food or things you might have forgotten along the way and with everyone wandering around in the sunshine, the whole experience already seems quite surreal.
Once acquainted we headed for the Canyon. The easiest way to get around is to use the South Rim shuttle bus that has regular routes and times and takes you all the way from the village to the Canyon itself. There are of course many ways you can head into the Canyon. Some opt for the scenic (and some what pricey) helicopter ride, while others take a donkey ride down the steep paths to the bottom. With neither of these appealing to me or my purse, we headed on down by foot.
i’m letting you know now that this trail is not for the faint-hearted, those who are scared of heights or those who have a fear of falling off of things from great heights – and yet I found out shortly into our trail that I was one of those people. For any of you who haven’t descended into the abyss that is the Canyon – there are no fences, railings, nets – nothing to stop you falling right down to the very bottom and dying.
This in mind, it’s safe to say I was tad wary and followed in the exact footsteps of my boyfriend so not to put a single foot wrong and fall. The strange thing was – there were actual children walking beside me, without a care in the world, unknowing of fear just yet and simply amazed by the incredible views that were beyond us.
I think this is what got to me the most. As we gradually got deeper and deeper down, I began to feel the panic rise inside of me and realised that I was indeed extremely afraid of this particular height. I sat on the closest rock to me and began to cry into my sunglasses. My boyfriend stopped, sheer panic on his face at my sudden change of emotion and asked me what was wrong. I couldn’t speak I was that afraid. All i wanted to do was to get back to the top and go back to the comfort of our room where I wasn’t faced with the thought that I could potentially fall off a very large cliff at any moment. He was incredible – despite wanted to get right to the bottom and tick this wonder of the world off of his bucket list, he took my hand and led me back up the trail to the top. It was only when I stopped and realised the extreme beauty of this magnificent landmark that I thought ‘Ahh man i have given up on this so easily’. But looking out at the view I also realised that it wasn’t worth putting myself through anxiety and fear just to see the bottom – and if i am lucky enough to go again, i will know what to expect and will make it down there! Well hopefully…
Some tips for The Grand Canyon:
Where to Stay, Eat and Drink:
Stay at Yavapai Lodge, on the South Rim and after your humungous track, drink your bodyweight in Rum at the Yavapai Tavern, or better yet go there before so you have a bit of dutch courage to get down to the bottom! Have breakfast in the Coffee shop where there are bagels and snacks galore and have dinner in the cute little food court where there a meal deals full of pizza and chilli con carne and more importantly BEER!
Visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/index.htm for any information on visiting this wonder!