The first Nature-Find of the series.
On our road trip we visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Most people don’t visit the North Rim and then still around only 5% of visitors actually descend down into the canyon. We hiked down from the South Kalibab Trailhead to Ooh Aah Point. It is about a 2 mile round trip and there is no available water on this hike. It was deceivingly steep, as you are completely immersed in the views, you simply don’t notice how far down you are going. I just remember thinking how small I felt. It’s a strange yet very serene feeling. Once you get to Ooh Aah point, it is meant to make you say just that, “Ooooh…Aaaah”. It is a fantastic wide view and there are some great spots to sit and take it all in. This hike does go further down to the river of the canyon but it is suggested that you don’t do the full hike in 1 day. What we have to remember is that although the canyon is 1 mile deep, you have to zig zag down into it, making the journey much longer. I could have spent weeks at the Grand Canyon no doubt, but although our time was short, I am so glad I was able to hike down into it as it gave me a better sense of the scale of the canyon.
Now for the nerdy part. The diversity in temperature, landscape and wildlife throughout the Grand Canyon makes for incredible scientific exploration. When you look at it from the viewpoint at the rim, it seems like this barren landscape of red and yellow rock. The chasm seems impossible to cross and it is still strange to think that there was once human life living down in the canyon. There are many areas that show evidence of human civilisation down there and the beautiful flowing springs plus abundant wildlife prove that this could be a habitable place.
Now, just as I like to mention the construction of the architecture that I blog about, I also want to mention the formation of the Nature-Finds. In this case, there are no definitive answers about how the Grand Canyon was formed but there are many educated guesses. The main way the Grand Canyon was seemingly carved out, was by the water eroding the rock throughout it. However, as the canyon is so old there are many other factors such as wind, continental drift and therefore climate change, that has shaped it over millions of years.
This is definitely one for the bucket list, whether you are a science geek like me or not. The sheer scale of the canyon makes you feel obsolete in its grand presence. There’s nothing like a bit of perspective to bring you back down to Earth.
If you want to learn more about the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service have a great video series on their website which you can find below in the sources.
Quick Facts about the Grand Canyon:
– You can visit the Grand Canyon on a day trip from Las Vegas if you are okay with a 10 hour round trip. Or there is the option to take helicopter ride which can take you right down into the bottom of the canyon.
– There is evidence that at some point there were humans living down in the canyon.
– Only around 5% of visitors actually hike down past the rim.