Best Road Trip Destinations: Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is the perfect road trip destination if you’re looking to be inspired by the sheer power of nature (or for a bit of an adrenaline rush). Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon stretches 277 miles across Arizona, through the Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the lands of the Havasupai Tribe, making it the perfect place for a road trip.
What You’ll See
A rugged, jagged landscape stretches on for miles with the walls of the canyons showcasing just how beautiful the study of geology can be—even if it is just about rocks. Pines cling to the sides of the canyon as if for dear life, while a number of animals reign free across the walls. Standing along the rim is a life-altering experience, both heightening the heart rate, while also inciting pure terror at the fact that nature is even capable of creating such a sight. Whether you’re at the North, South, East, or West Rim, there’s no shortage of prime vantage points that give you the opportunity to just take everything in.
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Where to Stop
There’s really no wrong place to go when road tripping at the Grand Canyon, but you do want to make sure you don’t miss out on a few of the “must-see” stops along the way. Taking the Bright Angel Trail will bring you straight down the canyon walls to the Colorado River, while hiking to the Desert View and the Watchtower will give you the opportunity to take in some of the most beautiful views of the Painted Desert and Utah’s Vermillion Cliffs. Also, make sure you explore Village Loop Drive and East Rim Drive, since they’re considered to have some of the Grand Canyon’s most beautiful scenes.
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Created by the sheer, eroding power of the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon has been a national wonder for centuries, though its existence stretches much further. First known by the Ancient Pueblo People, a Native American tribe that is now located on the Four Corners area of the U.S., the Grand Canyon was referred to as the “Anasazi,” which means “Ancient Enemy.” In 1540, Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas of Spain arrived on the South Rim of the canyon, making the first written record of it. Since then, the Grand Canyon has become a national monument in the United States, officially established in 1908, and continues to attract tourists from around the world.
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