• Where to get the most out of your Grand Canyon experience

    2012-06-12

    Almost everyone agrees that the Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders of the world. The beautiful views, diverse wildlife and awe-inspiring power of the Colorado River all make Grand Canyon National Park one of the must-see destinations in the U.S. It's no surprise, then, that it was the second-most visited national park in the country in 2012 with more than 4.5 million visitors. Yet, while most people recognize the Grand Canyon is truly an American treasure, less people are familiar with the ins and outs of the expansive park. There are a few places in particular that put into perspective just how spectacular the Grand Canyon is. Here are a few of them:

    The North Rim
    Many visitors may not want to head to the North Rim because it's often a long drive from the more popular South Rim, but it is certainly worth the effort. According to CNN, the North Rim stands at a higher elevation than many other parts of the park, and it is also considerably more heavily forested. This combination not only offers better views, but its remote location is especially appealing to anybody who wants a more traditional atmosphere.

    "If you want to experience a national park kind of like they were decades ago -- the feeling of slower pace, quieter, fewer people -- the North Rim is the place to go,' Andy Pearce, the Grand Canyon's environmental education specialist, told CNN.

    Bright Angel Point
    To truly get a sense for the enormity of the Grand Canyon, hiking along Bright Angel Point may be your best bet. Situated along the North Rim, this trail is less than 1-mile long, but it offers perhaps the best illustration of just how deep the canyon is. At some points, you can peer down an estimated 4,000 feet to Cottonwood Campground located at the bottom of the rim.

    Desert View Watchtower
    You may not think the Grand Canyon National Park is home to some impressive architecture, but the Desert View Watchtower will prove you wrong. Not only does it have a unique design, which was created by architect Mary Colter, but a quick walk to the top will provide yet another stunning view of the iconic canyon.

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