The Glorious Grand Canyon

Trees frame the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The sky is blue, and there are white, fluffy clouds overhead.

What special hours we spent walking around the south rim of the Grand Canyon earlier this week!

I shall always remember the sight of the birds regally soaring a mile above the canyon’s floor and the thrill on visitors’ faces as they glimpsed the canyon for the first time. It’s hard to believe that there is so much life to be found among this rugged, yet peaceful, landscape.

We reluctantly left the Grand Canyon after having only casually strolled there, but the next time we visit, we are determined to hike all the way to the canyon’s floor.

Grand Canyon as seen through the silhouette of an evergreen branch
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon, Arizona

“For each man sees himself in the Grand Canyon – each one makes his own Canyon before he comes, each one brings and carries away his own Canyon.”

Carl Sandburg
Visitors on the Edge - The Grand Canyon, Arizona

“How the striking of the great clock, whose hours are millions of years, reverberates out of the abyss of the past!”

John Burroughs
Bird Soaring at the Grand Canyon

“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in the old land, feel the exultation of high plateaus, the strength of moving waters, the simplicity of sand and grass, the silence of growth.”

August Frugé
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon, Arizona

“It’s like trying to describe what you feel when you’re standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it’s like.”

Jack Schmitt
 Evergreen at The Grand Canyon, Arizona

“Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.”

Theodore Roosevelt
Tourists at The Grand Canyon

“The Grand Canyon is a land of song.”

JW Powell
Clouds at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

Have you visited or hiked the Grand Canyon? If so, what were your favorite vantage points? Did you muster up the courage to go on the Skywalk?

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

67 thoughts on “The Glorious Grand Canyon

  1. Beautiful breathtaking images, Tricia. No, I’ve never been, but I will be sure to bring my hiking boots when I go. I love Carl Sandburg’s words about our preconceptions and how we leave with something else. ( I have visited his house in Flatrock, NC., called Conamara.)

    1. Lynne, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make it here! I really enjoyed the quotes (which were featured in the visitor’s center theater) and seeing artists’ renditions of the canyon. It inspired me on so many levels.

  2. Wow! You two are all over the place. I just got back from there yesterday with our German cousin from Freiburg who is leaving today! Your pictures speak of what we didn’t see for 2/3 of trip! It rained and was cloudy!

    1. Renee, oh, sorry to hear your weather was rather gloomy. I suppose it made for a slightly cooler visit though? The day we walked the rim, it was sizzling. It’s too bad we were not there on the same day as it would have been fun to have met up! Hope your cousin enjoys the rest of her travels before she returns to Germany.

  3. Wonderful. This brings back many happy memories. As you know, we have been a couple of times. Favourite viewpoints are Shoshone Point, which we had to ourselves for a while, and the Watchtower. Super post with some stunning shots.
    PS I like the hat!

    1. Rachael, I thought of you and your wonderful Grand Canyon images during our visit. Have you and your family ever hiked there? Before arriving, I thought it would be a bit treacherous, but then we saw hikers of all ages making the descent. This made me realize that even with my fear of heights, I could do it too!

      PS – A compliment coming from a citizen of the land of sophisticated hats – thank you! :) My poor hat has really had a rough go of it. It was purchased in Bangkok, and scrunched flat into my suitcase as we’ve hopped and traversed continents. It’s still doing a swell job of blocking out the sun though.

      1. Traveling is not a race, it’s a journey. :)
        I’ll definitely be consulting your site in the coming months, should we get to make it to the Greek Islands! I was just reading an article yesterday about wine and Crete. I can almost hear the bouzouki music now…

    1. Hi Lucy! Will you do any special programs there? If we’d had more time, we would have hiked it. I’m not sure if you need to reserve such excursions far in advance, but the National Parks Service website should be of help.

      There is so much natural beauty to explore in the American Southwest! We went from the Midwest, to eastern Canada, then westward. Santa Fe is also special.

      1. Hi Tricia, I’m not sure yet – I have a spare week while my boyfriend is at a conference in Las Vegas so will have to do some research as to what I want to see, there are some beautiful landscapes in that part of the world it’s going to be hard to narrow my choices down.

      2. The National Parks Services site should be helpful for your planning, Lucy:

        We did the trip from Flagstaff to Vegas in one day. It was about 5 hours. We used Flagstaff as a launching point for the Grand Canyon, since it’s about an hour and 45 minutes away.

        Best of luck choosing what to see – I was thrilled we got to visit so much, but was still tempted by the other sites we had to pass up along the way. :)

    1. Dave, many thanks. Many of those quotes adorned the walls of the visitor’s center. The depth of the comments reinforced how spiritual a visit to the Grand Canyon can be. I can see how people are inspired in many different ways as a result of the visit!

  4. Gorgeous views of the Grand Canyon. Walking the rim trail is certainly an excellent way to enjoy the canyon, but on your next visit I highly recommend a hike into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. Something truly amazing to be inside the canyon even if you don’t go all the way down. Cheers.

    1. Bespoke Traveler, thank you so much for the Bright Angel Trail recommendation! Unfortunately, this visit had to be pretty short, since we were on a whirlwind jaunt westward. Nevertheless, I still yearned to strap on some hiking gear and explore. It looks to be such a magical experience. I’ll have to explore your site further to see if you’ve shared any Grand Canyon hiking tales there.

    1. It was breathtaking, Antoinette; its beauty is hard to put into words! We had to laugh when we saw one traveler’s expression when he glimpsed the Canyon for the first time. He ran to the overlook’s edge, one hand on the rail, another pumping with excitement. “And they just said it’s a hole in the ground… Wow!” His enthusiasm was childlike indeed.

  5. Gorgeous views of the Grand Canyon and the quotes make it more enriching. Theodore Roosevelt is so right. Thanks for sharing this fascinating experience!

    1. Dilip, greetings, thanks, and happy to hear from you again! Roosevelt would be happy to hear of the conservation efforts at the park – from the planting of native flora, to efforts to up numbers of the endangered California Condor, the park system seems to be doing a great job. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to make it there someday too! :)

  6. Wow, lovely photos!!! I can’t wait to travel there and see it all again soon with my partner. I haven’t yet been to the North Rim and we reserved camping there! Very excited. Your photos aren’t helping calm my excitement to begin this trip!!! Thanks! ;)

  7. Great photos Tricia. I made the trek down to the bottom of the canyon last summer on the Bright Angel Trail, past Indian Garden and all of the way out to Plateau Point and back up. 9.5 hour hike, and probably one of the most physically exhausting experiences I’ve ever had – but such a great achievement. All I have to say is…..good luck – but don’t do the hike in August! Of course, I wrote a post about my Grand Canyon experience too!

    1. Tracilee, that sounds like such a memorable experience for you and your family! Thanks for sharing your post, which I enjoyed, by the way.

      My husband and I have been on the road for the past month, and just started cardio workouts today. Guess that will have us fit for such a Grand Canyon trek in no time! :)

  8. What an amazing view ! And I must say, you are a gorgeous couple.. beautiful people. I am looking forward to my Grand Canyon trip this August all the way from the Philippines. Thanks for sharing these photos, it made me more excited :-)

    1. Lee, what flattering comments – thank you. Our aim is to be beautiful people on the inside. :)

      What a long trip you’ll be making to the Grand Canyon all the way from the Philippines, but how exciting! Do be sure to check out the National Park Service link, included on my posting, for information about special programs. If we’d had more time there, we definitely would have participated in some, or hiked.

      On a side note, we’ve just recently visited the Philippines, having a wonderful time hiking the Batad Rice Terraces, and snorkeling near Balicasag. Of course, we also saw the Chocolate Hills and some tarsiers at a tarsier refuge. Such incredible natural beauty in the Philippines!

  9. Breathtaking photos! Love how you have paired them with the beautiful quotes. Reminds me a bit of Wadi Rum, but just a bit. This is on a much grander scale! Thanks Tricia.

    1. Madhu, thank you! I was in Jordan in 2009, and wanted very much to see Wadi Rum. I bet it was fantastic! We had only a few days to explore Jordan, so spent time in Amman and of course, Petra. Jordan is a spot to which I’d definitely like to return. Were there any other spots that you went there that you recommend?

      1. Madaba of course for the mosaics., the crusader castles of Kerak and Alloun. And the ancient Roman city of Jerash. They were all wonderful. We meant to do Syria on the same trip but ran short of time. We so regret it now.

      2. Thank you for the pointers, Madhu. Our trip to Jordan was definitely one of our most memorable attempts at celebrating the American Thanksgiving holiday!

        Here’s hoping that Syria will soon see more peaceful days. Those I’ve met who’ve been there say Damascus is a fascinating place, with very kind people.

  10. You have captured some of my favorite shots of the canyon. Next time, be sure to include the North Rim in your journey!

  11. Your photos are stunning! The Grand Canyon is such a hard place to grasp and take in when you are there in person, it feels almost like a giant painting instead of reality. You’ve done a beautiful job capturing the vastness of the place! Thanks so much for your like on my post! I hope you have a wonderful day!

    1. Jessica, it is really a pleasure to connect with you, and thank you for your kind comment about my Grand Canyon images. I agree with you about it being difficult to grasp the enormity of the Grand Canyon. That also translated into challenges in attempting to capture it on film. I found that the tiny people and bordering flora helped to put its magnificent size into perspective. Did you hike the canyon during your visit?

      Hope your week is off to a swell start and until next time!

      1. Hi Tricia :o) No, I wasn’t able to hike the Canyon when I was there. I have heard that Havasupai Falls is gorgeous and I am dying to see it! Maybe next year :o)Thanks so much for following my blog also!

        Have a great week love!

  12. What a wonderful and beautiful collection of photos! We missed the canyon when we were in Vegas as it was little bit over our budget, but now after checking these photos, we regret! Great job :)

    1. Something travel has taught me is that you’ll be surprised to find that you often end up somewhere you thought you’d never make it back to.

      Next time we visit the Grand Canyon, I hope we’ll have the chance to hike to the canyon floor. Walking the rim was the perfect appetizer. :)

  13. The Grand Canyon is amazing. I felt really small when I was there and it made me completely speechless.
    Great post and pictures too!

    1. Hilde, thank you for your thoughful comment and kind words! I can relate to a sort of feeling of relative insignificance at the Grand Canyon, because it represents such an immense scale and passing of time. When you were there, did you hike to the canyon floor, or just admire it from the rim, as we did here?

  14. Lovely post – I have recently also posted about the Grand Canyon and unbelievably some of our photos are very similar. I’ve always found that type of natural beauty is always difficult to describe and all we can do is show our experiences within it. You do a great job of that!

    1. A Wandering Memory, thank you for your kind words. When we were there, I found myself challenged by how to capture the Grand Canyon’s immense scale. Photographing the flora and people dwarfed by the magnificent canyon seemed to help with that. I look forward to returning someday, and soaking up its grandeur via a new experience – by hiking perhaps!

      1. Yes that is an excellent idea, It is very hard to capture such immense scales from any angle – I think that’s where video comes in so handy! I just was transfixed by the difference in colours that the canyon can show off day to day – as I showed in my post.

Join the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: