Grand Canyon National Park has a great free shuttle bus service. Since private vehicles are not allowed in the Hermit’s Rest western area of the Park between March 1 and November 30th, it is the only way to get around and see the area. The buses arrive at each the many stops throughout the Park every 10 to 15 minutes and the bus drivers are friendly and helpful. The first eight seats are reserved for seniors or the disabled and the drivers are pretty aggressive about keeping those seats available for those who need it. The buses are well utilized and stay very crowded and a few times we had to stand which wasn’t a big deal to us. As I mentioned in the last post, the Park was very busy the week after Easter. Most of the people we heard talking on the buses or trails were non-English speaking tourists.
One day we walked part of the thirteen mile paved path along the Canyon rim. In the distance we could see snow on the mountains (San Francisco Peaks) near Flagstaff. We had a view of all the buildings that make up the Grand Canyon Village which includes the Visitors Center, lodges, restaurants, a grocery store and a train depot. As we walked along the rim we could see all the trails that lead down into the canyon. We could see people like tiny ants walking on the trails. As you look at the pictures look for all the trails. Also look for glimpses of the Colorado River. In how many pictures can you spot a piece of the river at the bottom?
After walking on the trail and enjoying the views we hopped on a bus and rode to Hermit’s Rest, the westernmost point and end of the bus line. Hermit’s Rest was built in 1914 and is another Canyon structure designed by architect Mary Jane Colter. It was built as a rest stop for tourists who came by train to visit the area years ago.
Another day we took the bus to several popular viewpoints. It was easy to hop on and off the buses since we knew another one would be along in 10 to 15 minutes. One stop was Powell Point where there is a large granite memorial to Major John Wesley Powell. In 1869 Powell led one of the first documented explorations down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. He led another exploration in 1872.
Next up: We are currently in Show Low in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona for the month of May.