Grand Canyon With A Little Wildlife

The Grand Canyon was as grand as it’s name!  We visited the South Rim, and I felt like I was looking at a living painting from every overlook we ventured. My senses were overwhelmed with the beauty…..

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The Grand Canyon became a National Park in 1919 and has since been given the honor as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, one mile (1.6 km) deep, and covers 1,900 square miles.

The Grand Canyon includes rock at the bottom that is nearly two billion years old!

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The numerous overlooks offered unparalleled views of grandeur.

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While at the Grand Canyon, we learned authorities were still trying to recover one person who had fallen weeks prior, and another person fell to their death on a day inbetween the two days we visited.

We were seriously flabbergasted at seeing so many people taking chances each day we were there, passing over/under/aside the fencing.  Parents taking children with them to do selfies!  A bit crazy to say the least, as this teenager was in the next photo.

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(People, please be safe and don’t take chances!)

 

Below the South Rim, the Colorado River flows at an average speed of four miles per hour.  Averaging 300 feet wide and 100 feet deep, the river flows west through the Grand Canyon.

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Colorado River off in the distance, winding through the Grand Canyon at sunset

 

The temperatures were in the low to mid 80’s while we were there, but at the canyon’s floor, it soared to over 100 degrees each day.  With a required permit, hikers still took to the trailheads and were required to spend the evening in the canyon if hiking to the bottom.

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Bright Angel Trailhead – over 18 miles round trip

 

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A horseback trail way down below….

 

The Grand Canyon is also home to 70 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, and five species of amphibians.

Only a few came out of hiding for me…..

I had shared a few posts back of Rock Squirrels spotted at the Grand Canyon, here’s a repeat of those cuties.

The “beggar” getting caught in the act!

 

Common Ravens were in abundance, searching parking lots for food.  This one, however, was busily working on collecting nesting materials.

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Common Raven

 

The Roadrunner is clearly named appropriately.  He was so fast, this was the only focused photo I got.  With an awful background in a parking lot to boot.  😦

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Roadrunner (a new lifer!)

 

At one instance while standing back and just absorbing it all, I heard/felt (not sure which!) a buzz go by me and turned to see this next Rufous Hummingbird in the brush.

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Saw a few bunnies, always adorable of course….

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And a mule deer, grazing….

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We even got lucky in seeing an Elk, who was too busy eating and wouldn’t look up for a face capture.  Great rack though!

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One of the two days we stayed until sunset.  It’s was surreal…..

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I could easily spend a couple weeks venturing throughout the entire park, there is so much more to see and do.  Our two days there were exhausting but well-worth the visit!

38 thoughts on “Grand Canyon With A Little Wildlife

  1. Great narrative to accompany the wonderful views of the Grand Canyon Donna! We visited the South Rim way back in 1992 with our kids who were 8 and 12 at the time. Terrific capture of the hummingbird in flight! As you know they are tough subject to photograph… but you nailed a tack-sharp flight shot with wonderful lighting and a great composition. The west is so incredibly beautiful. Hard to decide what to shoot sometimes… so many great photo ops.

    • Thanks Steve! Hope all is well with you. I really felt lucky with the hummingbird, especially with so many people around. 🙂 You hit it on the nail, sometimes hard to decide what to shoot! I would have liked to have seen more wildlife, but…..you know how that goes, lol.

  2. Oh Donna, the vastness of the park is amazing and you truly gave a good impression of that. I guessed that hikers going to the bottom of the canyon had to stay so they wouldn’t be traversing the trail at night.You have captured some wonderfullyscenic shots with great light . I have horse back-ridden in the mountains but fear I would get truly dizzy riding those trails down the canyons.Love the wildlife shots. Ha! I am surprised those rock squirrels don’t have a slot for the tourists to stick money into-they are so used to people and quite the posers. I saw one Richardson’s Ground Squirrel at Roger’s pass that would pose with the tourists who would crouch down beside him. Too funny. I like your hummingbird shots with focus on face and motion in the wings-great captures! Thanks for sharing the journey-it makes me want to go there.

    • Thanks so much, Jane, for your wonderful comments! There was a sense of dizziness just overlooking the Grand Canyon, it seemed surreal. There is so much more to see in the vastness in person, your senses are overwhelmed instantly. I had wanted to attend one of the Grand Canyon’s ‘starry night’ evening programs, they say the stars are stunning in the vast darkness of the area but we didn’t make it. Someday I’d like to return and do that for sure! 🙂

  3. Amazing vistas Donna, you guys continue to live the dream! I love your Hummingbird pics, well done. Perfect weather gave perfect shots, oh and I love your Rock Squirrel too:-)

    • Thanks so much, Ashley! I wish we had seen more wildlife than we did. We did see a huge bull Elk standing along the highway returning one evening, he was huge! Alas, no photo, lol. 🙂

  4. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! We’ve been to the North Rim and South Rim and as you say (and your photos show) it is overwhelmingly beautiful. I wasn’t aware of the deaths, and the risks people take, like in that one photo, are incredibly stupid.

  5. Great shots of the majestic views, Donna! And cute little wildlife. It is strange that people take such risks that can easily turn deadly, when one can enjoy the views safely. Thanks for a great trip!

    • Thanks so much, Helen! I was so happy we got to visit two different days, but I could have easily spent a few weeks at the Grand Canyon. 🙂 Our RV is too large for the GC campgrounds max length, but someday I’d like to stay in one of the lodges to see the stars at night. It has to be amazing!

  6. Such gorgeous images, and light Donna!

    The sunset was glorious, and the Hummingbird in flight image is beautiful!

    The images of Bright Angel Trail took me back. He-Man and I hiked down that trail to Indian Gardens and back. The trip up was grueling!

    • Thanks so much, Deborah! OMG you hiked that trail, WOW! I watched many doing it, thinking how hot it would be when they reached the bottom (100 degrees). Me and my hot flashes would not have survived. LOL They’d have had to get mules to bring me back up. LMAO Well done for you both!

      • I hiked down and crawled back up. It was fun going down until my feet started to blister. Turns out my boots weren’t as broken in as I thought they were. Going up my legs cramped, my feet hurt, and I was hungry! Going up was quite painful and slow. We didn’t get back up until after dark- well past 9PM then.

  7. It took me three trips to the Grand Canyon before I ever got to see it. The first two had the canyon socked in with fog so bad that you couldn’t tell there was any canyon there at all. I used to prefer the north rim because it was far less crowded. The crowds in your shots were mind boggling. It seems that all of our parks are being loved to death these days. It’s truly wonderful that so many people are wanting to visit them, but overcrowding does get to be a problem.

    • We were lucky to stay in the area long enough to go when the weather seemed the nicest, we did have to go past forest fire smoke one day and I was worried the smoke had socked in the canyon but it hadn’t. All the parks were crazy busy, the 100th anniversary added to it for sure. Worst part was was finding a parking spot to see something and the lots were full. Hubby doesn’t do well with riding around and around and around, he’d rather move on, and sometimes we had to. 😦 But overall, I still had a great time1 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Sylvia! I was super-lucky with that hummingbird. 🙂 I’m so busy out and about sightseeing, I can’t sit still awake long enough to edit and post, lol I think we are about to keel over from exhaustion. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Pam, the Grand Canyon was mind-boggling and beautiful all wrapped up in one! And boy I did get lucky with the hummingbird coming right up to me like that, he got a big thank you as he buzzed off! 🙂

  8. Thanks for adding the beautiful wildlife shots to these outstanding photos of the Grand Canyon! You provided so many viewpoints that I could almost imagine being there.
    Your cautions are so invaluable, Donna. My daughter was there with her boyfriend the same week that a young woman her age fell accidentally to her death – so very tragic!

    • Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. My gosh, how traumatizing for your daughter & boyfriend to be there at a time when someone falling over actually happens. 😦

  9. Spectacular photos, Donna! I hiked down into the canyon almost (!) 50 years ago and was mystified by the entire ecosystem at the bottom, and that was before I was aware of anything. Now you’ve made me want to go back, 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! Kudos on hiking to the bottom even if years ago, that is a tremendous adventure for sure, especially the return up. I’m in my mid-50’s now, there’s no way I’d make it back up, unless they gave me a couple days, lol. I hope you can swing another visit some day! 🙂

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