Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Grand Canyon, May 1

I've been to the Grand Canyon several times and the most recent visit was back in September of 1994.  I didn't enjoy it then due to the crowds, so I didn't have very high expectations of avoiding the crowds this time either. Sandi had never been to the Grand Canyon, and I tried to explain the "Disneyland" atmosphere to her, but was willing to make a day trip  in the Jeep since I was only about 1 1/2 hour drive from the Desert View entrance to Grand Canyon.

We got a very early start and arrived at the Desert View parking area by 9:00.  Much to my surprise there were hardly any cars there.  Thinking back, I don't think I had been to this part of the canyon before because I don't remember The Watch Tower, one of the main attractions to this part of the Grand  Canyon.

The art work on the ceiling is unique

 Looking up from the bottom floor.  There are three stories.
 One of the spectacular views from Desert View Point.

I drove over to the Desert View Campground to check it out.  I hadn't planned on camping because I figured the place would be a zoo and it is first come first serve. The literature I read said to be there early to get a spot.  The campground was empty.  Huh?? It turned out May 1, was the first day it had open for the season.

Next we drove over to the main visitor center about 25 miles down the road, not the visitor center I remember in the village, but the new visitor center with a parking lot that rivals the size of Disneyland.  Wow, was I in for a surprise! The shuttle systems that take you into the village and out to Hermits Rest are great!  Parked the Jeep and took the shuttles everywhere, walked part of the rim, and saw most of the highlights.  And..there were people but not the crowds I remembered.  So, since I didn't have very high expectations, they were exceeded greatly, and I now think a day visit is worth it.  No parking hassles along the rim trail. It was a really pleasant experience.

I'll just post a few pictures of the Canyon.

Sign of spring!
I walked around the village and visited El Tovar and it is all the same with lots of people. I stayed in Bright Angle Lodge last time and had dinner at the main restaurant in El Tovar then.  I'm not sure how far in advance you need to make reservations today, but back in 1994 we called several months ahead but nothing was available so we call  everyday for two weeks prior to our arrival hoping to get a cancellation.  We got one for several nights on the south rim, but were never able to get one for the north rim.

My bucket list still has a rim to rim hike with a night or two at the Phantom Ranch.  Need to get that done while I can still hike.

Next stop, Boulder City.

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