The Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and somewhere I just had to visit especially considering before visiting the Grand Canyon I had only been to Victoria Falls!! So it’s now two down and five to go!
I arrived at the Grand Canyon on day 4 of my most recent American road trip after a doing a big night in Las Vegas and a 2 day hike across Havasu Falls so needless to say my energy levels were not at their highest by the time I reached the park. That being said its the Grand Canyon and the excitement levels were sky high!
Here is my experience of my day viewing the Grand Canyon
I stayed in a little town called Williams the night before visiting the Grand Canyon which is just over an hours drive away from the park entrance. Williams has a good amount of value for money motels which is all I was after for a one night stay and a small amount of average restaurants to keep you well fed. It did seem like everyone in the town was there for the Grand Canyon which is unsurprising considering that’s its the closest town outside of the National Park.
My big mistake on the day however was not leaving the motel until 9AM!! I was tired after the previous days hikes and needed a few extra hours worth of shut eye but man did you notice it on the roads leading into the park. It took me around 45 minutes to get near to the parks entrance but an extra hour in traffic to get into the park and although I tried there was not a chance of getting a parking space after 10AM near the visitor center. So I needed a new plan!!!
After checking with my trusted adviser (Google Maps) I decided to drive along the Eastern Rim of the Grand Canyon as there seemed to be a couple of small tracks that seemed to not be commercially advertised which seemed like a great idea (and how right I was) .
Now there is loads of points long this route where you can simply pull over your car, walk 5 steps and be blessed with beautiful canyon views which is perfect for those just spending a few hours and wanting to tick the box to say they have seen the Grand Canyon (me being one of them) but there is one trek that really grabbed me during the day which is suitable for hikers of all ability who want to get away from the crowds but still see something absolutely stunning…. Shoshone Point Trek!
Shoshone Point Grand Canyon
The Hidden Grand Canyon Trek!!
Keep this trek between me and you, its our little secret!!….
I was able to find this hike by simply zooming into Google Maps, there was no sign post for the hike and not even a car park marked out! When I pulled into the ‘car park’ there was four other cars parked up and this is when the smile on my face started to rise and I got the feeling I was onto something great.
The Trail itself is flat, surrounded by beautiful trees with the sound of utter silence around you providing the ultimate escapology from the busy crowds just a few miles away. The Hike albeit only a mile from car park to view is a laid back and relaxed one with no dangers to be worried about. As you get closer to the end of the trail you can dart off to the right to get some unique views of the Grand Canyon enjoying it in all its glory
At the end of the trail there is some public toilets, a BBQ and a seating area. It will be of no surprise that this area was completely empty as was the trail end itself (which as you can see in the picture below).
If you want to get away from the crowds, enjoy some unique and picturesque views on a laid back and easy trail there is no better trail than the Shoshone Point trail within the Grand Canyon
On the Hike back to the car I was passed by a lovely lady who told me to keep my eyes out for some Elk which are in the area. Low and behold one walked directly in front on me on the trail unfazed and completely relaxed about me being in its area. Now I am a Brit and used to deer but Elks are HUGE in comparison (America does everything bigger right?), I did make sure to keep my distance as these are very large animals and I was unsure if they wanted to be in a close up selfie with me ;-)
The rest of my day at the Grand Canyon was spent driving along the east rim drive stopping at every view point I could see/ find to marvel at the Canyons beauty… I did find however that the closer you are the to the parks entrances the busier the view points were, that being said there are many places that seemed quiet enough to get out your packed lunch and enjoy one of the World Natural Wonder (you have just got to be clever and use Google Maps to its full potential)
- Arrive Early
- Don’t follow the crowds, get out and find your own unique hikes
- Bring lots of water and food for the day
- The Grand Canyon is Hot & Cold so make sure you have clothing to protect you from sunlight and to keep you warm when the sun goes in.
- Stay in a cheap Motel 1 hours drive away in a tiny town called Williams
- Don’t rush!!! This is one of the natural wonders of the world and needs to be appreciated