Grand Canyon, Days 3 & 4

Along the Rim

Before beginning our photographic trek for days 3 & 4, we would like to delve just a little into the geology of the Grand Canyon.

Recent research indicates the Canyon began forming some 70 million years ago when what is now known as the Colorado River began to snake its way through the multitude layers of sedimentary rock. The base rock of the Canyon is almost 2 billion years old, while the top layer of sedimentary rock is “only” 270 million years old. 12 classified layers of various kinds of rock lay between the bottom and top of the Canyon.

Today, the canyon walls reach 5,000 feet below the rim to the Colorado River. The rim of the canyon is over 7,000 feet above sea level and the width of the canyon varies from 10 to 16 miles wide. The canyon starts at Lees Ferry and ends 277 miles later at Grand Wash Cliffs.

The grandeur of the Grand Canyon lies not only in its size, but also the beauty of its landscape. We found the 12 different layers of rock, each with its own color and texture, provided a stunning array of colors as daylight progressed across it.

However, we should not forget the mighty Colorado River! While it may seem “puny” from the rim it is over 100 yards wide at the base. We also need to remember the canyon would not be here but for the river. From its origins high in the Colorado Rockies, the river drops more then 12,000 feet and passes through a series of canyons, including Grand Canyon, on its 1450 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

Day 3: Historic Landscape District:

We spend day 3 exploring the Historic Landscape District, with its array of 100+ year old buildings, including its railroad depot.

In what is known as the Village, the original El Tovar Hotel still provides luxury accommodations today. Constructed in 1905, at the end of the Grand Canyon Railway.
Another view of the El Tovar from across the rim.
Architect Mary Colter crafted this Hopi House (also located in the Village) in a manner reminiscent of ancient southwestern pueblos. Today it operates as a craft store.
Another view of the Hopi House.
The old Grand Canyon Train Depot. Constructed in 1909-1910, the Train Depot is part of the Grand Canyon National Park National Historic Landscape District and a designated National Historic Landmark.
Some of many layers of the canyon as seen from the rim near the Village.

Day 4: Out the Eastern Entrance

As we began our trek out the eastern entrance of the Canyon, we were surprised to find more intriguing sights and structures.

Along the outbound route, there are a number of “turn outs” that provide different and amazing views along the canyon. Note the vast range of colors at this stop.
An early morning photograph captures the slight haze over the canyon. Note the Colorado River in the center.
Again, early sunrise provides contracting colors between shadows and sunlight.
Lastly we have the magnificent view from Desert View very near the East Entrance.
In addition to the views at Desert View we encountered this wonderful structure named Indian Watchtower. Constructed in 1933, the Watchtower was built to replicate similar towers built some 800 years ago by native Indians in the Four Corners region.
As closer view of the Watchtower helps provide its scale.
Yet another view. The National Park Service allows visitor access to all four floors of this magnificent structure.
The second floor presents one with these incredible panorama. Most of the paintings were created by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie.
More paintings on the third floor. Quite an artist created the person in blue!
Our last view of the Canyon, this panorama was taken from the top of the Watchtower.
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  • GaryAwesome pictures. Who painted the pretty lady?😊ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Gary…I presume, her parents and the ONE above!ReplyCancel

  • Don OatmanTHANKS! THANKS! THANKS! f For taking us with you.  You see so much and perseive it wonderfully.ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks for the compliments, Don. I glad you finding it interesting.ReplyCancel

  • mao  Such beautiful colors you’ve captured of the Canyon!  And you educated me on the mind-blowing history of how the Canyon came to be.ReplyCancel

    • HaroldMAO, its our pleasure to bring the blog to you. We always try to make them interesting and informative.ReplyCancel

  • MardeeThank you for sharing… I love your photographs!ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Mardee. We really enjoy sharing them with you.ReplyCancel

  • LauraI’ve been privileged to visit the four corners Hopi village/remains. The watchtower I saw was a bit smaller in scale but still impressive. Can’t imagine the awe of seeing this. 
    Thank you for the spectacular photographs of profound color and strata. You are amazing. A master artist created you, too!ReplyCancel

    • HaroldThanks, Laura. You are so kind. Meriam and I truly enjoy bring these posts to you. BTW, I lived in Shiprock, NM when I was10 years old. To bad we knew nothing about the Hopi village back then. We would certainly have visited it!ReplyCancel