Not quite sure how I’ve lived so close to the famous Grand Canyon and have yet to see its’ magnificent depths in person but I’m so glad I waited til now because I explored the best side! On our road trip back from Utah we made it a priority to stop in Arizona on the way home. After a few hours and lots of back roads trying to beat the moon fall and snow storms we drove up the South Rim. The first beauty we saw was the historic Novajo Bridge. It was really mind-blowing to think 90 plus years ago this was the only way to cross!
After watching World Detour with Ozzy Osbourne I really had my heart set on staying the night inside the actual cave but unfortunately I’m always last-minute and the room was booked. None the less we checked into a super cute lodge looking hotel the El Tovar. As most hotels are fairly old I highly recommend this place because of the great location and food! All that really matters lol. The next morning we had a quick breakfast in bed and walked a few feet out in front of the El Tovar and had a perfect upfront view of the canyon. I was blown away by how wide and deep it really was! This time of year made my experience all the better with snow-covered edges on the rock; it was gorgeous. Next to this outlook was the astonishing Hopi House built in 1904 as a replica of the traditional pueblos from the Hopi tribe. Inside is a big gift shop full of different hand crafted items and traditonal art.
Next on our agenda we scheduled a tour at the Grand Canyon Caverns (where the hotel room I initially wanted to stay in was. I’m so glad we booked this 45 minute tour because this view is 100% different from the others. We entered the 56-year-old elevator and went down 21 floors to get to the bottom cavern. After nerding it up with our tour guide and learning almost everything there was, let me just say there is SO much history on this tour so I’ll share just a few favorites.
- First man to discover and purchase the caverns was Walter Peck. He started a business where he would lower customers inside with a simple rope and lantern charing them 10 cents. This is where the term “Dope on a Rope” comes from.
- The Cathedral Cavern is the dryest however it was once wet around 60 million years ago.
- In 1962 a fallout shelter was made and is still there. Enough supply to last 2,000 people around 2 weeks.
- A bobcat fell in around 1850 breaking his hip and was so well preserved and petrified due to extreme dryness.
- Remains were found of an extinct animal (Glossotherium Harlani) who comes from the sloth family, only a 15ft tall and 2,000 pound difference lol. Around 11,000 years extinct. Giant footprints along the wall are indented into the rock from the animal trying to escape.
- Los Angeles theatre donated movie seats from the 1940-50s and they actually have ashtrays lol.
- Paranormal activity occurs and “ghost tours” are held
-Sorry in advance for the photo quality. The caverns are pretty dark and dusty.
(Remembered I wasn’t suppose to touch anything right before I really did)
(water and food supply)
Hope this post inspires you to visit the Grand Canyon someday soon! I didn’t expect it to be this cool honestly but I’m so glad I visited. I would like to also take a moment and express my appreciation for the people who have not only kept the tourism here open to the public but also kept it clean and alive throughout this government shut down.