Oh… It Was Grand!

Arizona is home to one of the most amazing places on earth. If you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon with its walls and floor carved by the Colorado River measuring 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attaining a depth of 6,093 feet… then its time you go.

The Canyon and adjacent rim are contained within the Grand Canyon National Park. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of the preservation of the Grand Canyon area and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of the Canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the Canyon.

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the Canyon and the many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was Garcia Lopez de Cardenas from Spain who arrived in 1540.

In September 1540, under the orders from the conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado to search for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola, Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, along with Hopi guides and a small group of Spanish soldiers, traveled to the south rim of the Grand Canyon between Desert View and Moran Point. Pablo de Melgorssa, Juan Galeras, and a third soldier descended some one third of the way into the canyon until they were forced to return because of a lack of water. In their report, they noted that some of the rock formations were “bigger than the great tower of Seville, Giralda”. No Europeans visited the Canyon for another 200 years. Fast forward to July, 2020.

Nancy and I have lived in Las Vegas for 18 years and have never taken a trip to the Grand Canyon before. Because of the current situation we’re always looking for short trips to places we haven’t been before. We decided to journey to the west rim of the Grand Canyon last Wednesday to marvel at its beauty and witness the Skywalk. The Skywalk is a 10 foot wide horseshoe shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway at Eagle Point extending 70 feet out over the rim of the Grand Canyon.

From Vegas its a little over two hours to the souvenir store to purchase your tickets for the Skywalk. The tickets range from $48.00 to $56.00 dollars depending upon your age. Then you must take a series of shuttles to and from the parking lot to the Skywalk destination. Plan on a 2 1/2 to 3 hour time frame to take in the beauty of this very special place.

When you arrive at the Skywalk you must decide if you’d like your picture taken out on the Skywalk in a myriad of entertaining poses. All keys, wallets, phones, etc. must be placed in secure lockers prior to you entering the line for the Skywalk. If you decide to have your picture taken it’s $17.00 per photo or $65.00 for a total package which includes digital picture access.

If you’re in Vegas or somewhere in Arizona or Utah and close to the Grand Canyon try to make the time to visit the Grand Canyon and witness one of God’s most amazing spectacles.