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Two hours before sunset on our first evening in the Grand Canyon, we met up with Grand Canyon Jeep Tours & Safaris in Tusayan for the Grand Sunset Tour. Unlike the other tour company we used this trip, this was a well-run operation and we enjoyed this introduction to the park immensely.
Our guide was a local with ties to the Navajo and very knowledgeable about the native flora and fauna. He took us through Kaibab National Forest via the unpaved historic stagecoach roads, pausing whenever someone glimpsed an elk or deer through the trees so we could all see.
Our first stop was the steel Grandview Lookout Tower. This was built in 1936 as a fire watchtower by the Civilian Conservation Corps. We climbed the 80 foot tower to see the view from the top.
We got back into the jeep and continued along the gravel road until it met up with the park road. We got out at Moran Point where we could see the river and Grandview Point and then got back in the jeep to travel to Grandview for the sunset.
The Grandview is the southernmost point on the South Rim and the farthest from the Colorado River. Because of its position, the drop-offs here are less steep with more intervening buttes and ravines than in spots closer to the river. This makes it an ideal place to watch the sunset as it washes over all the nooks and crannies in a colorful display.
There was a hotel built here in 1895 for Grand Canyon tourists, before the construction of El Tovar and other Grand Canyon Village facilities. It only lasted a few years and we saw no remains of it when we were there.
To see my other posts on the Grand Canyon, please click the following links:
- Bright Angel
- Hermit’s Rest
- South Kaibab
- Desert View
- Western Rim Skywalk (Coming Soon)
- Western Rim Guano Point (Coming Soon)
Designation: National Park
Date designation declared: 1/11/1908
Date of my visit: 8/19/2014