Standing at a Grand Canyon overlook is similar to that moment when you curiously spun a classroom globe around as a child: there’s simply too much there to comprehend. We spent about a day and a half at the park (thanks to the aforementioned itinerary change), but I left feeling as if we might have missed out on something.
It’s not that we sat in our room the whole time, either. We arrived to the same inclement (but much colder) weather we had tried to leave back in Page, but were still offered a glimpse over a couple of the viewpoints on the eastern end of the park. And when things had cleared before sunset, we walked to the Rim Trail and caught a few moments of beautiful lighting over the cloud-speckled canyon. And the following day, we tackled Section 1 of the Bright Angel Trail to get some sense of the canyon looks like from a lower perspective.
It was the faces of people we passed coming up that trail, who had clearly hiked from absolute bottom up, that told me we had missed out. The vastness of that huge, complicated space needs explored from more than the overlook perspective; it needs experience from the canyon floor at a riverside campsite and even from a helicopter sailing between canyon walls. Most people go there and shuttle to overlooks for oohs and ahs, but to be perfectly honest, it starts to look the same after a few of those stops, and that doesn’t do this incredible wonder justice.
Yes, it’s amazing, but it needed more than a day and a half of our time, as there’s just so much there. Certainly don’t pass it up if you only have that much time or less, but if you can give it more, and in an adventurous fashion, by all means do so!