My 4 Days of Winter!

It’s now winter! We beat the closure of Interstate 40 in northern Arizona. We were already relaxed in a warm Maswik Lodge room at Grand Canyon National Park. Driving the interstate highway the previous day was a breeze. We were ahead of the snow storm that eventually caused the highway’s closure. 

Coming to this national park when fewer people visit is what is best about the winter season. Unfortunately Covid is still in the air so facial masks are required in every building. Due to less staff and various supplies, we did find some restaurants with limited menus. We were here for the beauty of the place, so we were okay with how things were at the moment.

It is easy to spend 4 winter days here. We walked many parts of the rim trail. We stopped in at the art exhibit at the Kolb Studio and the geology museum. I do not think we missed any shop on the rim either. At Desert View we climbed the watchtower to see the eastern end of the canyon. Then we drove all the way to the western end at Hermit’s Rest to walk the rim trail. Meals were eaten at the historic El Tovar, Bright Angel Restaurant and AZ Steakhouse.

The day of our arrival there was no snow, but overnight the winter snow came! Unfortunate for those on the highway, but we woke to at least 6 inches of snow! Mule deer and elk were walking about during our visit. We bundled plenty of clothing layers on our body … it was cold weather! This was our 4 days of winter before returning to southern Arizona where we rarely see snow at our doorstep. It was a wonderful winter!

Enjoy the photos from our Grand Canyon stay.

Grand Canyon before the snow arrived.
Grand Canyon is beautiful all seasons!

Grand Canyon National Park … East Gate Entrance … Come In!

Is visiting Grand Canyon National Park on your list of places to travel? I hope so! Everyone should see this place at least once in their life. The biology, geology, anthropology and ecology of the area would be appreciated as one sits at the canyon’s edge. To view miles of territory discovered many years ago and still today there are many places where a human foot has not walked upon the land. Be sure to visit someday.

Many park visitors enter Grand Canyon National Park from its southern entrance. Arriving from the east gate entrance recently was a nice change of pace even for me who has visited this park often. One can spend time at the Desert View tower and see more of the Colorado River from the various viewpoints along the road eventually leading to Grand Canyon Village 20 miles to the west. The village area was congested with traffic and people and so I drove through and will save it for another time. I was glad to spend more time on the eastern end during this visit.

In 2014, Grand Canyon was designated as a Globally Important Bird Area. It is a flyway for hawks. From Lipan Point to the north rim of the park many birds go from forest to forest crossing an eight mile distance. On this visit, I saw violet-green swallows, ravens and black-throated gray warblers. Other times I have enjoyed seeing condors, mountain chickadees and other birds.

Here are photos from Grand Canyon National Park:

Leaving the park, elk were crossing the road so motorists need to be aware of wildlife on the road! I loved the elk sitting roadside watching all the action!

Again, if you have never been to Grand Canyon National Park add it to your list of places to see sometime in your lifetime! Come visit and enjoy nature! Remember, there is a south rim and a north rim to visit, but it takes a few days to accomplish that even if you are hoping to drive to both. Of course, there is also time to be spent down at the river whether on a river trip, hike or mule ride to Phantom Ranch, or backpacking to Bright Angel Campground. Hopefully when Covid-19 is history, we will be able to get back to enjoying those options.