We stared down one and a half kilometres to the bottom of the gorge, a hole so deep that can take two days to reach on foot by the official trails. And it wasn’t so peaceful this morning either as there was a continuous buzz of helicopter activity taking trips out over the canyon. The helicopters used to drop into the canyon for a closer look but after a number of accidents caused by rising thermal currents this have now been stopped.
From the viewing platform we were looking over the fabulously named Granite Gorge and along Bright Angel Creek which led directly to the North Rim Visitor Centre on the other side which although only fourteen kilometres to the north needs a journey of over three hundred kilometres to get there. The view just went endlessly on and on and was so infinitely panoramic that it was almost impossible to fully comprehend the scale of the barren wilderness stretching out before us.
To get a sense of perspective it is worth remembering that you could fit Dartmoor National Park in Devon into the Grand Canyon National Park five times and still have a bit of spare left over. When it was time to go the coach took us out along a road that followed the line of the canyon with further viewing opportunities and then we parted company as our route took us first east and then north across the Painted Dessert passing Marble Canyon, which is the beginning of the Grand Canyon, and towards our next destination, Lake Powell.