Grand Canyon National Park

We spent part of an afternoon at the Grand Canyon's south rim.

We had changeable skies, and several times it started to rain over the Canyon, but fortunately not on us.

We ate lunch on this wall, right at the edge of the Canyon, in Grand Canyon Village.

The old steam engine below belongs to the Grand Canyon Railway. Number 29 was built in Pittsburgh in 1906 by American Locomotive. It's an SC-3 class 2-8-0 consolidation type. For the first 54 years of its life it worked in Michigan, hauling iron ore. It sat idle from 1960 until 1989, when the GCR bought it.  Now it pulls trains from Williams, AZ to Grand Canyon, a 60-mile trip each way, on an old branch of the Santa Fe. Trains to the Grand Canyon started running in 1901, but were discontinued in 1968. The good news is that in 1989, service was restored.
For more info on the GCR, they have a website.

Except for the panoramic picture at the top of this page, all of the pictures above were taken from the Village. The Park Service runs shuttle buses from here heading both east and west, making stops at several observation points where you can get off and sightsee, then either walk along the rim trail to the next overlook, or pick up the next bus. We did a little of both, heading out on the westward Hermits Rest Route.

At a few of the observation points you can see the Colorado River, about a mile below the rim. Here it is in the photos above and below.

The picture below shows Grand Canyon's top 6 rock layers. Together they represent 80 million years of ancient environments: swamps, seas & deserts.

The Park Service's marker points out the different layers visible here, at an observation point called The Abyss.

Below, the Canyon view from Pima Point. The Colorado can be easily seen here at left, and if you look closely, a small portion just left of the lower right foreground tree.

Finally, back at the Grand Canyon Village, this is the front of the historic El Tovar Hotel. Completed in 1905, it has 78 rooms and suites.

For more photos, go to the National Park Service's
Grand Canyon Picture Page

Next stop on the trip, a climb up Cathedral Rock in Sedona, AZ.

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