Feb 15, 2014

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

There is nothing that can prepare you for this one. It is 277 river miles long ( 446 kms ), 18 miles ( 29 kms wide ) and one mile deep ( 1.6 kms ). Carved by the roaring and majestic Colorado River, it has for millions of years carved out one of the most spectacular sights. You can see the river but it is a mile down and continues to carve the Grand Canyon. This is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and is all about the marvellous and mysterious Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona, USA about a 1 1\2 hours drive from Flagstaff or Williams. In 2013, the Grand Canyon was in the news, as millions around the world watched Nick Wallenda Live on television, make his incredible, daredevil tightrope stunt walk across the Grand Canyon. To see the clipping, click on this Youtube link.

GRAND CANYON:

The south rim of the Grand Canyon is the most visited by millions throughout the year.

If your planning just driving through Grand Canyon and do not have a lot of time there, here are some suggestions. Either use the free shuttle from point to point or park and walk the trails of your interest. The Rim trail is good to experience the Grand Canyon from various viewpoints. It is paved from Pipe creek vista point to Maricopa point. Some places are unsecured.
  • Evening may have a nip in the air specially in spring and in fall. Winter be prepared for cold, windy temperatures.
  • Take the shuttle. It is an easier way to get around without having to worry about parking. 
  • See the sunrise\sunset if possible. 
  • Winter you could expect snow and rain, whilst in summer, as hot as an oven. 
Panoramic views from different points will enable you to see the amazing canyon. Far below, you will be able to see the Colorado river that snakes its way through the canyon. No pictures or videos can make you experience this fascinating wonder of the world. Take a drive along the East rim and be amazed at how wide and large the canyon is! Hire bikes and enjoy views from the various vista points along the trail.

Some of the vista points worth seeing are:

Canyon View
Mather Point
Yavapai Observation Station
Powell Point
Hopi Point ( for sunset )
Yavapai Point: There is a glass viewing area that gives you a perspective of how far below the bottom of the Grand Canyon is.

Visit the NPS site for indepth guidance and information regarding the Grand Canyon. Sharing some pictures from our drive from San Francisco all the way to Arizona.

grand canyon
Layered look of the canyon

grand canyon
Visitors at the Canyon

grand canyon
cloud shadow over the Grand Canyon
I have gathered some travel itineraries of ours if you would like to visit other places too. Williams in Arizona, Flagstaff in Arizona, Page in Arizona, St. George in Utah is where we stayed while visiting the Grand Canyon. If your staying in and around the Flagstaff area, its worth checking out the night sky!

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon ( about 5 1\2 hrs driving time ):

Grand Canyon National Park to Page ( about 3 hours ) : details in this post.
Page ( Horse Shoe Bend & Antelope Canyon ) to Bryce Canyon ( about 3 hours drive ): 

Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park ( 2 hours )

Zion National Park  back to Vegas ( about 2 1\2 hours drive ) http://www.savsmich.com/2012/07/zion-national-park.html

Monument Valleyhttp://www.savsmich.com/2012/03/monument-valley.html

Till our next post, cheers to yet another drive!!

Feb 12, 2014

Twin Peaks, San Francisco

Viewing places from a height is always captivating whether it is from a flight, a blimp or a skyscraper. The place could be blanketed in fog for a few minutes and the next moment you see the city lights, vehicle tail lights and downtown right in front of you. What is it about viewing places from a height that brings people to photograph and visit these places? San Francisco, the city of lights, fog or love ( or any other name you want to call it ) has the most perfect place to sit and relax and marvel at how the city transforms hour by hour each day.

Sometime in September 2013, we drove down to Twin Peaks. It was windy, cold and the city was covered in fog. With umbrellas almost flying off the cliff with the wind and the rain coming down on us at intervals, we decided to stay another 5 -10 mins in the hope that the rain subsides and the sun shines brightly. As if our prayers were heard, in minutes the fog suddenly lifted and the entire city revealed itself to us majestically. Check this picture.. Isn't it beautiful!

Check out this time lapse video I found online: Video Link by Chad Richard. An amazing time lapse video of the night and day!

Foggy San Francisco

twin peaks
Sunny San Francisco
Twin Peaks is located at: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114.

downtown san francisco
San Francisco  Downtown
Parking is available. Restrooms are located near the vista point.Hiking trails are also in the vicinity.Windy and chill\cold is all I can say when up there!
Good place for night photography on a clear night. Watch a breathtaking sunset from here too.