As the sun dimmed, shadows slowly crawled the canyon walls. The deep red rock curves turned to bright orange flame, striations became darker, deeper, more pronounced and each new version of the visual creation lasted only a few seconds until the next. The temperature dropped quickly. I fumbled with my camera in an attempt to capture a glimpse of the experience, but knew as I was snapping that even the most advanced technology wouldn’t do. After 7 hours of driving and lots of pit stops, this was one of my longest sunset-chases to date, and I’d made it just in time.
Laying your eyes on the Grand Canyon for the first time is everything everyone tells you it will be. It’s majestic, awe-inspiring, quizzical, immensely curious and the most obvious reminder of what a small role we play in the universe.
The result of 40 million years of elements, it manifests a perspective of time that only nature ever could.
Chatting with a ranger, I was surprised to learn that 99% of visitors spend less than 4 total hours in the park — and of those, most leave early enough to be completely out by dark.
Luckily I’d have the entire day ahead to explore, but if scheduling is a restriction during your visit to one of the world’s seven natural wonders, I’d definitely recommend planning your hours around the show.