Dec 06

Grand Canyon Sunrise: South Rim

Grand Canyon SunriseI have been to the Grand Canyon 3 times in my life, but never really at sunrise.  One of my biggest goals of my most recent trip to Arizona was to see a Grand Canyon sunrise, which was not the easiest thing for my wife Karen and me to do because we were staying an hour away in Williams, have a 1 year old daughter, and we were on vacation with my parents.  The sunrise time for the Grand Canyon on the day we were there was around 6:30 in the morning so needless to say it was a very early morning for us.

After getting everybody loaded into the car and heading down the road we made it just in time…to get stuck behind a school bus as we headed up Highway 64.  We worked our way around the bus to get a few miles down the road to see a large bull elk walking along the shoulder of the road heading in the same direction.  Nothing like the heart skipping a beat to keep the eyes wide open looking for more wildlife that will do serious damage to the car and/or our lives as we head to the Grand Canyon in the dark.South RimReaching the gates we did not know what to expect, this particular trip to the Grand Canyon was during the government shutdown and the Feds getting paid by Arizona to reopen the national park for a week.  Karen and I thought it would either be packed with people wanting to see it before it was shut down again or a ghost town because those that were planning a vacation to the Grand Canyon had to make other plans when the shutdown started.  Luckily for us and the people that were with us that day the Grand Canyon probably saw its smallest crowd in decades.

I wish I could say that we reached the Grand Canyon while it was still dark and got to see the first rays of light hit the canyon, but it was not in the cards for us.  We did get to see the sunrise over the horizon which was a spectacular sight.  My humble words could never describe the sight well enough but it did remind me of a quote I read in a travel book about the Grand Canyon on one of my trips there

“It’s like trying to describe what you feel when you’re standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it’s like.” Quote by Harrison Schmitt

Now I hope this is not my last time to the Grand Canyon because I have yet to see the North side of the Canyon which is supposed to be even more awe-inspiring then the south rim.  I guess that will have to be my next big goal when I head to Northern Arizona.Grand CanyonTo see all of reviews on things to do in the Grand Canyon click here


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  1. freda phillips

    Glad that elk didn’t want in the car with you. I’d say you did good getting all 5 of you out the door and to the canyon that early. It looks beautiful.

  2. Caryl Anne

    These are stunning photos! In my opinion, the Grand Canyon is definitely a place worth seeing and visiting more than once in a lifetime. It’s simply amazing! Thanks for sharing your post!

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and could not agree with you more about visiting the Grand Canyon multiple times. Happy Travels!

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