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Seeing the Grand Canyon was absolutely amazing. The kids and I all commented on how surreal the view is. The canyon is so vast, so deep, the colors are muted in such a way that it looks like a painting, or a movie backdrop or a theater scrim. Our eyes were saying “this doesn’t look real” while our brain was saying “yes it is!”

I could get how big it was while also getting that I didn’t REALLY GET how big it was.

Does that make sense?

As I mentioned in the posts about how to get there and see the Grand Canyon, after arriving at the Grand Canyon and finding a place to park, we chose to visit Mather’s Point first, then walk the trail to the Geology Center and head back.

But first, since we had to park in front of the Grand Canyon Village market, we made a pit stop for souvenir hats (because we didn’t think to bring hats on our road trip!) However, the kids did bring along some small stuffed animals, at my husband’s suggestion, to take pictures of them having fun on their vacation. You’ll see them pop up in our vacation pictures from time to time. 😉

Here’s my son’s Tiger checking out the souvenirs while I was checking out at the cash register:

Grand Canyon 1 After picking up some souvenirs, we caught a shuttle to the Visitor’s Center, so we could check that out and get our National Park Passport stamped before heading out to Mather’s Point.

This is the main "hub" of the Visitor's Center area. On the other side of this pavilion is the Visitor's Center, to the left is the Bookstore, and where I'm standing is the shuttle stop where buses take you to and from the various parking areas and viewpoints.
This is the main “hub” of the Visitor’s Center area. On the other side of this pavilion is the Visitor’s Center, to the left is the Bookstore, and where I’m standing is the shuttle stop where buses take you to and from the various parking areas and viewpoints.
One of the many displays inside the Visitor's Center. We did take several other pictures but I won't bore you with all of them.
One of the many displays inside the Visitor’s Center. We did take several other pictures but I won’t bore you with all of them.

Next we boarded a shuttle out to Mather’s Point (though we could have walked from the Visitor’s Center because it’s very close.)

The view at Mather's Point. Notice the guard rails. Some points are railed, most of the canyon is not.
The view at Mather’s Point. You can walk out onto the point, there to the right. Notice the guard rails. Some points are railed, most of the canyon is not.
Another view of Mather's Point.
Another view of Mather’s Point.

We also took some obligatory group shots and selfies. =)

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My mom with my kids.

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My middle child, indulging mom with a selfie.
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Don’t you love my son’s hat? We picked that up at a gas station along the historical Route 66 route. But that’s another post.

Then of course we took several pics of the canyon from Mather’s Point:

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See the tiny people?

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After we oohed and ahhed at Mather’s Point, we walked the trail to the Geology Center. The trail is a paved path along edge of the canyon, with no rails. The “edge” was anywhere from 6-12 feet away from the path as we walked.

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You know what my mom and I both got out of that picture above? We need a wagon like that! I now have this one on my wishlist. (Think about it! Not only for traveling, but camping, field trips, pool days, park days, you name it! Moving on..)

There were a few different places where you could venture off the path and out onto a jutting point for what is probably an epic view, and an epic selfie.

As you can see, some people (I like to call them “crazy people,”) chose to do so. My people, however, did not.

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In fact, some of my people chose to stay on the inside of the path as much as possible. And that’s okay with me. Some of my other people (okay, mostly The Boy,) were threatened with consequences if they ventured off the canyon side of the path, for Momma’s Sanity’s sake.

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You can see the path behind her, and the canyon through the trees. It gives you a small sense of how closely the path followed the canyon’s edge.
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Standing on the path and taking a picture – you can see there’s not much between the path and the “edge” at this particular spot.
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More tiny people. I think this was taken as we were getting close to the Geology Center, and that’s a view point there.

After a little bit of a walk, we arrived at the Geology Center, which included this outdoor seating area for informational talks. The center inside educated people on the formation, rocks and other geological features of the canyon.

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This park ranger was giving a talk about the formation of the canyon, which was interrupted by a pair of California Condors (which you can’t see in this picture.)

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This information board at the Geology Center explained some about the air quality and how it affects the view. The view while we were there was actually really great, and we could see Mount Trumball a little clearer than the example on the board.
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If you look close, you can see Mount Trumball on the horizon.

By this point we were hot, tired, and starving. We made our way to the shuttle stop and shuttled our way back to the Village Market where we grabbed some snacks before heading out.

There was so much more at the Grand Canyon than what we were able to see. It’s definitely the kind of thing you could spend 2-3 days visiting. Even if you don’t have that kind of time, if you have a few hours to spend there as you’re passing through Arizona, it’s definitely worth a visit. There really isn’t anything like it.

The variety of God’s amazing creation,.. amazes me. We saw so many different landscapes and natural wonders on our road trip, and I think that may have been the best part (aside from seeing family.) Every part of our country that we saw was beautiful in some way. God’s creation is beautiful.

Oh, and if you’re interested in the formation of the Grand Canyon from one Creationist’s point of view, I saw this Answers in Genesis video come through my Facebook feed about a week after we got back. (Here’s an accompanying article.) Interesting!


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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!