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Arizona and the Grand Canyon


First a little bit about the Grand Canyon. Then I am going to tell you about Arizona, one of the most remarkable stretches of highway I have ever seen, and three castles in the state. Yup, there are castles in Arizona. Well.... kind of.













I spent one day at the Canyon. My trip was only for five days which meant I had to be prudent with my time. There were a lot of things I wanted to see and visit including three castles and the Lowell observatory in Flagstaff.

And come to discover I was very glad I stayed at the canyon for a full day including, I had a hunch, for sunset. And sunset did not disappoing. It was absolutely amazing. So, if you visit the Grand Canyon I highly recommend you stay until sunset. Let's take a look at a picture.

The Grand Canyon at Sunset


Here is another view of the canyon during the day.

The Grand Canyon and Colorado River


And another.

The Grand Canyon


Some thoughts and advice for you if you are visiting the Grand Canyon.

They have it all worked out very nicely. It is open 24 hours a day. You enter the main gates then are free to drive a large area along the rim of the canyon. Along the way there are lots of things to do and see including Information areas, a visitor center, shops, museums and lots of excellent observation posts. And they have shuttle buses at regular intervals that will take you to lots of locations and back. Wonderful experience.

More About Arizona

Chances are good that you will fly into Phoenix. That's what I did. From Phoenix it is about a four hour drive to the Canyon. And there are some things along the way you will want to see.

First off, the drive north from Phoenix to Flagstaff along Route 17 is among the most beautiful stretch of highway I have ever experienced. Just the drive was worth the trip to Arizona.

And the landscape changes significantly as you go north. In the south where Phoenix is there is a lot of cactus and small hills, gulleys and gulches. As you move north you come to all this wonderful red rock land.


Then you cross through a lot of what looks to me like Buffola grazing land with lots of grass and a lot of flat plains.


Finally, as you get to within an hour of the Canyon (North of Flagstaff) the terrain changes to coniferous with lots of pine trees.


Other recommendations:

I highly recommend you stop in, and drive around the area of Sedona. There are lots of sights to see, including natural red rock formations like Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. There is of course lots of wonderful shopping in and around Sedona.


Montezuma's Castle

I also recommend you stop at Montezuma's Castle. It is along the way and right on Route 17.













And Lowell Observatory. They have a lot of wonderful programs including guided star parties at night where you can look through various telescopes. And during the day it is open and has all kinds of things to do including an audio visual presentation, a tour of the grounds, a gift shop and more.

24 inch Alvan Clark Telescope


And, if possible I recommend you take a trip to meteor crater. It is only a half hour drive east of Flagstaff. Well worth the trip.

Meteor Crater


In Summary, Yes, of course the Grand Canyon is magnificent and something you just have to experience. But... Arizona is not a desert, it is a very rich place with so much more to see.


Lonely Planet Grand Canyon (Travel Guide)


Lonely Planet Arizona (Travel Guide)