Although the time zone changes are kinda confusing, we got to the south-east entrance of the Grand Canyon fairly early to make a start on the scenic drive starting from Desert View where they have a pretty cool Watchtower built in the 1930’s to provide a good vantage point for early tourists:
It was designed to fit in with it’s surroundings using natural rock, and the inside was painted by a local artist with native images and glyphs:
Carrying on along the scenic drive we came to Lipan Point which gave some impressive views of the Colorado River flowing through the bottom of the canyon:
The Grand Viewpoint was certainly pretty cool, and a little further along past Yaki Point was a little pull-off that wasn’t receiving a great deal of visitors but it should have. Was weird that people in all the National Parks we’ve been to only seem to pull off and signposted view points that are detailed in the brochure rather than simply stopping at various points along the way:
Coming into the Grand Canyon Village it went crazy with scores of people and packed car parks. We managed to slip into Mather Point by chance, but then spun back round and might check it out first thing tomorrow morning.
Around the village section, everyone was crowding round one or two viewpoints meaning it was near impossible to appreciate the views without someone’s head in the way – the amount of times we’d be reading an information board and have someone walk in front of us and at one point stand right in the 5 feet between us and the board was crazy. The shuttle buses which serve the Hermit’s Road and Yaki Point road only run every 15 minutes at peak times during the summer – that’s just ridiculous. At least at Zion National Park where you had to ride the shuttle bus they were every five minutes, but there’s no way we’d stand around for quarter of an hour each time to get on what were likely to absolutely packed buses! Glad we’re done with the Grand Canyon as it although the majority of the North Rim and South Rim scenic drive were pleasant, the crowds of people were too much! We might head back first thing in the morning as it’s only three hours or so drive to Las Vegas and check out parts of the Grand Canyon Village without the crowds, but there’s no way I’d recommend visiting in the middle of summer again 🙂