Arizona – The Grand Canyon

We stayed at the Canyon Gateway RV Park in Williams, Arizona.  (On a side note, about 100 trains go through Williams every day.)  The park is associated with the Passport RV group and is very easy to find and conveniently located about 25 miles east of Flagstaff.  When we checked in at the park we indicated that we intended to tour the Grand Canyon and picked up brochures to help the planning.

Our intent was to put our Lifetime Senior Passes to work since the Grand Canyon is a National Park.  The more we studied it became evident that a guided tour would be our best bet.  We opted to drop $85.00 each for Marvelous Marv’s Grand Canyon Tour,  Marv picked us, and two other couples, up at the RV park at 8:30 AM and led us throughout the park sharing his years of Canyon tour experience and returned us safely home at 4:00 PM.

We’ll try not to bore you with too many photos that you’ve probably already seen.  But we can’t resist a few.  Here’s a panoramic shot that I took at our first sight of the canyon.  (CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE)


Marv took a picture of us.


At an information area near the rim, numerous books and displays illustrated the history of the canyon.  The geology of the area is fascinating.  The Grand Canyon formed through plate tectonics, wind and water erosion.  There are at least seven major faults in the canyon and evidence that certain layers of the canyon are consistent with being connected to Africa when it was part of a super-continent.  Anyway, the various layers indicate that the area of the Grand Canyon has been uplifted and submerged numerous times.  The bottom layer of vertical rock is actually the earth’s mantle and the top layer is a thousand feet of limestone that has been compressed to 600 feet of sandstone.  The top layer is called the Kiabab Limestone and was deposited beneath the sea over 250 million years ago.  All layers, including the top one, are older than the dinosaur record.  More information regarding the canyon’s geology can be found at


Snow is still present amongst the 90-foot trees on a ledge below.


One of the most popular things to do in the park is to ride a mule into the canyon.  Unfortunately they have a 200 pound limit and therefore Rick can’t ride the mules.  Oh, there is also a 13 month waiting list. They have one and two day rides.  On the return trip in the van, Marv played a video showing the mule ride.  The path shown in this photo, follows to a point near a cliff where the riders have lunch.  This point is about halfway to the bottom of the canyon.


In this photo you can see a spot of the Colorado River about a mile below.  At this spot in the river there is a camp where people hikers, riders, and rafters will spend the night.


In the 1880’s the train started bringing tourists to the Grand Canyon.  This lodge was built to house the guests and the suites overlook the train station, not the canyon.


Across from the lodge is a gift shop that was designed by Mary Jane Colter, a female architect employed by restaurateur Fred Harvey in the early 1900’s.  She designed this shop and several other buildings in the park.  The shop is fashioned after an Indian pueblo.


We were shown backgound areas of the park that we would not have seen had we ventured out on our own.  Most of the employees live in the park and there is a school in the park for their children.  

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and would recommend Marv to anyone interested.

One Response to “Arizona – The Grand Canyon”

  1. Sister says:

    Glad to see you in a coat at last. Getting ready for Canada,eh?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.