The Magnificent Grand Canyon

When we arrived at the first viewpoint on the South Rim the sun had just set. Nevertheless I immediately understood that the name of this place was by no means an understatement: between the backlit plateau in the far distance and where I was standing there was a gigantic gaping emptiness – a majestic canyon so vast that it was impossible for me to determine just how far it was across.


The next day I was then able to get a better idea of how grand this canyon was: My uncle and I had set out on a four-day hike into the canyon. I was fascinated by the different colorful layers of rock we passed on our way down, and by the harsh desert-vegetation.





And more than once I had to tell myself that I was not in the mountains, because that is what it looked like, but in fact almost a kilometer below ground level!
When we arrived at our first campsite at the Colorado river it was already long after dark. So it was not before the next morning that I saw the rocky wall on the other side: the Vishnu-layer – rock that was formed around two billion years ago!


I went out of the “Inner Canyon” again, and to a place called “Hermit’s Camp”, where the Grand Canyon tourism had taken its origin more than a hundred years ago: A mule-train had taken well-paying customers down the winding path that we had hiked on the day before, to a small village of stone cabins (of which by this point there were only ruins left).




I saw the remains of an iron lift, encountered two rattlesnakes, and took a refreshing bath in a pool with a small waterfall, then I returned to our camp, catching a beautiful sunset on the way.


We spent half of the next day at the river, then hiked for a few hours and found our designated campsite for the third night.


On day four the special experience of the Grand Canyon continued as we followed the rim of the inner canyon, often taking long “detours” around side canyons, and around high stone fins that were blocking our passage.



During the last days we had met only a handful of people, but when we arrived at the main trail that changed immediately: many day hikers were on their way down into the canyon, or up again, and as we climbed out of the canyon their number increased, until we were on a “tourist highway”.
It felt strange to me that only a few kilometers away there could be all these amazing and deserted places, just waiting to be explored…


(Grand Canyon start-selfie with my uncle)

GC Selfie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *