The Grandest of Canyons
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The last time I had been to Grand Canyon National Park was seven years ago when I didn’t appreciate landscapes the way I do today. I remember once saying that I thought Canyonlands National Park was just as, if not more impressive than the Grand Canyon. I completely retract that statement. It’s still simply awe-inspiring.
Desert View offers the first glimpse of the canyon when coming in the Southeast entrance to the park and looking North across the Colorado River, Temple Butte, and Cape Solitude, it’s hard to really put anything in perspective. The only discernible human element is the 70-foot Desert View Watchtower towering above the droves of people clambering around. It was constructed as a replica of a prehistoric Indian Tower and now provides a glimpse of the wonder through 8” diameter windows above the rim.
Since I’ve gotten serious about photography, I can’t now help to think in terms of ideal light; we got to the Desert view right around 3p.m., which was some of the worst light possible – Just flat, no shadows, and the heat in the air had created some haze in all directions. So, we decided to get to our campsite, set up, and then come back out for sunset. Back in the car, we kept going West on East Rim Drive, but the plan to get to camp wasn’t as realistic as we thought – we had to keep stopping at every different pull-off and viewpoint. The “why not, we’re here” approach. It took about two hours to hit up the 5-6 different spots, but it was also better in the end because I got some ideas of where I might want to shoot some sunrises and sunsets.
We got set up at our site at Mather Campground right in Grand Canyon Village, went back out to Yavapai Point, cracked some beers, and kicked back for sunset….