There is something so magical about the Grand Canyon. This rugged landscape has caused awe and inspiration for countless years. If you’re interested in visiting America’s National Parks, be sure to add this to your list. It is beautiful and filled with so many colors and layers of history and work from the natural world.
Lessons From The Grand Canyon
Make no bones about it, travel teaches people many invaluable lessons. It is only natural that the grandest canyon of them all would be filled with lessons for visitors who are willing to listen. The lessons I’ve learned from the Grand Canyon are very important in life.
- Nothing happens over night.
- It is amazing when we see the results from something being put under enough pressure and time.
- Keep going forward. There is something amazing waiting for you in the distance.
- Sometimes in life, things might make you look down. Even then, don’t forget to look up to see all the beautiful things happening around you.
- Life is as grand as you make it.
The Grand Canyon is located in the Southwest region of the United States. It is located within less than days’ drive from major cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, there are more than plenty of options to get to here. There are also countless tour options if you prefer to let someone else do the driving.
Because I’ve always loved getting those glimpses of the canyon from the window of a plane, we decided to take that one step further and head to the Grand by helicopter from Las Vegas! This seemed like the most grand way to visit the Grand Canyon. Tours from Vegas include round trip transportation between the hotel and heliport by stretch limo. Each helicopter holds 5 passengers.
Once you’re in the air the ride takes about 45 minutes of flight time and offer an amazing vantage point of the Southwestern United States landscape. This includes aerial views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead on the way, as well as the Sky Walk upon arrival at the Grand Canyon. Upon return, we were also able to do a flyover of the Las Vegas Strip.
It is important to remember that while this transportation option is an amazing experience, taking a helicopter to the Grand Canyon is not without its consequences. This is discussed further down in this post.
The muted colors of the desert Southwest are enjoyable. As you approach the Grand Canyon, the landscape begins changing. The colors start to get a bit more saturated and the terrain is a bit more rugged. I swear you can sense a change in the air as you fly nearer to the rim. The excitement is palpable.
Venturing To The Bottom
This particular helicopter tour was a great choice! Not only did we fly over the west rim of the Grand, but we actually descended and landed at the bottom. It was nearly a mile down.
Time is allowed for an enjoyable picnic lunch. Here, we were surrounded by little canyon chipmunks anxiously awaiting bits of food. The lunch is included in the price of the tour and presented in the most perfect individual baskets.
This is also a great time to take some incredible photos!
Be sure to take a little time to explore the area and learn about the impressive geology. The Colorado River has ripped through the rock for centuries in order to form the Grand Canyon.
Cause For Concern
Unfortunately, there are modern day issues causing further erosion and degradation. This is caused by environmental impacts as well as some human interactions.
Increased visitor activity impacts the Grand Canyon in more ways that one. As more and more people travel there is more plastic left behind, more wear and tear on the trails, more animals being used for tourism purposes, more pollution and noise from helicopters…. The list goes on and on! If we would have known about the issues with helicopters at the time, we probably would have found a different transport method. We are glad we learned about this and can make changes for the future.
The Colorado River also has many challenges. The river (and nearby Lake Mead) are impacted by drought. They also serve as primary water sources for many of the Southwest’s mega cities, putting strain on precious natural resources. Plus, this river is heavily polluted. And, increased use by visitors further erodes the riverbed and turns up sediment.
Keeping It Grand
There are things visitors can do to lessen their negative impacts to the Grand Canyon. Like we always suggest, visitors should practice the Leave No Trace Principles. If you take it in, take it back out. We made sure to survey the area we had lunch in to ensure no trash was left behind.
It is also a good idea to try to avoid visiting at peak times. This can help ease congestion and overcrowding. If there are tours available that provide transportation for multiple people, this also helps to a certain extent. But, overtourism is always concern.
We are firm believers that, if everyone did a few small things, it would add up to something big. The Grand Canyon is no exception! Traveling to this natural wonder is a once in a lifetime experience and we can all help reduce our negative impacts there.
The Grand Canyon is beautiful. Visitors find it trans formative – both physically and mentally uplifting! It is even more inspirational than one would imagine. I can think of no better place to look up, inhale, and get lost in the moment.