American Locations 40 – South Rim of the Grand Canyon 2

The trip is from Natchez Trace, Tennessee, to Dodge City, Kansas, by way of Tucson, Arizona.

 South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

The next morning the shuttle picked us up outside our campground and rode us into the park to the visitor center. This serves as the transportation hub for the park. You transfer here to other shuttles depending which way you are headed. Besides the visitor center, there is a snack bar, gift shop and bicycle rental. In the vicinity is also a lodge, several motels, an RV park and a campground, several restaurants, a science center and the office headquarters.  This is taken at a distance, so all the development is evident.

1491_GC South Rim

After a brief look-through at the visitor center, we set off westward on the Rim Trail.

1489_GC South Rim

1490_GC South Rim

1492_GC South Rim

In these photos Bright Angel Trail can be seen winding down into the canyon.

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1494_GC South Rim

1496_GC South Rim

That trail goes all the way to the bottom, crosses the river, and up the other side to the North Rim. It is not advised to cross from rim to rim in one day, or to go down then back up in the same day. It’s too difficult for most people. There is a primitive campground at the bottom, and a café to serve simple meals. Hike down, spend the night, then hike up, on either side. I’ve heard the rangers have no sympathy with inexperienced hikers. If you can hike down, they reason that you can hike back up, you just have to take your time, several days if need be. If you do get down to the bottom and absolutely can’t make it back up, you can be flown out by helicopter. But I’ve heard the price is astronomical, and I doubt if anyone’s health insurance would cover that. So no way was I going to attempt that at my age. For people wanting to hike across from rim to rim, you can hire a driver to bring your car around, a trip of about 200 miles. The driver then hikes down from the North Rim and back up the South Rim. I’m sure the charge is astronomical for that, too.

 

I was content staying up on top and looking down.

1497_GC South Rim

1502_GC South Rim

1504_GC South Rim

1506_GC South Rim

1507_GC South Rim

1508_GC South Rim

1510_GC South Rim

1512_GC South Rim

1515_GC South Rim

1518_GC South Rim

The shuttle can be ridden from stop to stop for those not wanting to walk the entire way to the west end of the route, but doing that you miss much. Yet by the end of the day we gladly rode the shuttle back to the visitor center rather than walk back. There we hopped on the shuttle heading south out of the park and returned to our campground.

 

The next location is South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona 3

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