Visiting the Grand Canyon was an absolute highlight of my cross-country USA trip with Topdeck Travel. This was my very first visit to any of the National Parks in the USA AND the Grand Canyon was checked off for me as number two out of Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Our Topdeck Travel tour guide made our very first viewing of the natural wonder of the world a very special moment, by giving us each a brochure to cover our eyes and on the count of three remove them to reveal one of the most spectacular, amazing, jaw-dropping and magnificent first sightings of the canyon.
What makes it one of the Seven Natural Wonders?
The Grand Canyon is recognized as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World due to the overall scale and size of the canyon, combined with the beautifully coloured landscape. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446km) long and up to 18 miles (29km) wide with one of the deepest gorges on Earth with an average depth of one mile (1.6km). I think the view itself of the Grand Canyon is enough to make it a natural wonder in my eyes!
The Grand Canyon is located in the Grand Canyon National Park in the state of Arizona in North America created by the wind and water erosion from the Colorado River. The first European to see the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain in 1540 during a search for the seven “gold” cities of Cibola. However, Native Americans were already familiar with the canyon for thousands of years!
3 Ways To View The Grand Canyon (AND get some great photos!)
There are a multitude of viewpoints of the Grand Canyon, and there is certainly not enough time to do all of them in one trip, so I am going to share three with you that I did on my cross-country USA tour:
1. Mather Point – South Rim
The South Rim is the most popular tourist spot for viewing The Grand Canyon. During the Summer months you will find the South Rim to be quite crowded with tourists and their cameras, all wanting to capture that perfect Grand Canyon photo!
2. Papago Point – Viewpoint from South Rim
Papago Point is one of the other viewpoints from the South Rim and is a bit of an adventure! You will need to be prepared for steep drops, narrow trails and scaling the side of the canyon! Although a little difficult, the views of the Grand Canyon well and truly make up for it! Another bonus is there are not many tourists at this viewpoint!
3. By air – The Best Way to View The Grand Canyon!
Viewing The Grand Canyon by helicopter was one of the optionals on my cross-country USA tour, and seeing as I had previously seen the Victoria Falls by helicopter, I thought why not?! (I can see a seven natural wonders by helicopter theme emerging here!). Flying over the Grand Canyon is definitely the best way to see it! Here are some of my helicopter flight photos!
What flight company did I fly with?
I flew with Maverick Helicopters and highly recommend the company! We had a fabulous pilot who not only took us on a great flight, but was an excellent tour guide!
How much does it cost?
I purchased a 45-50 minute flight called the “Canyon Spirit” from the South Rim which cost me about $274 USD. Maverick Helicopters takes you over the beautiful Kaibab National Forest and to some of the most spectacular views of the entire canyon.
Here are a selection of photos I took on the helicopter flight:
Here is a quick video by Maverick Helicopters of what may be your future flight!
Want More Information?
1. National Geographic: Top 10 Lookout Points of the Grand Canyon
2. Canyon Plaza Resort blog: South Rim Viewpoints
3. Maverick Helicopters: Canyon Spirit Flight
Share your thoughts
1. Check out my other 7 Natural Wonders post about Victoria Falls!
2. Have you been on a flight over the Grand Canyon before? What was your favourite spot to view the Grand Canyon?