The big one – the Grand Canyon (North Rim)
On the way through the forest we spied bison.
The North Rim is the quiet rim, and it wasn’t at all busy. We began at the visitor centre, which is always a good place to start. There were quite a lot of people there as that is where the lodge (accommodation) is. It is perhaps the least best bit of it all, though you certainly know you are at a very grand canyon!
From there you see a lot of the side canyons and across towards the west and the San Francisco Mountains in the far distance.
We then went on the long drive round to several other viewpoints. At the first stop there was a beautiful picnic area in the shade and so we had lunch and looked out on the view east towards the Marble Plateau.
As we drove on we were thrilled to start seeing the Colorado River. Apparently it was called the red river because it brought down so much red silt with it and was rather treacly as a result. However since dams have been built upstream it is no longer red, and from where we saw it it looked decidedly green.
Here is the river again through the hole in the rock. It was rather narrow walking out on to it but it was from that point that we had the best views of the river and the South Rim.
It was a long drive to the North Rim and back again, but worth it. On the way to Page, our next stop, we crossed over the canyon at the Navaho Bridge at the East Rim – it wasn’t quite so Grand at that point!
We will get to the popular South Rim next week, where we are staying overnight in the park to see sunrise and sunset over the canyon. In the meantime there are other canyons waiting for us in Utah and Arizona.