Arizona, I guess is one of the hottest places on earth! And I got a feel of the heat, during a weekend trip. Temperature going above 120F and extremely dry conditions ... I was wondering how people survive there.
Drive to Grand Canyon from Phoenix started early morning. This pic was taken while driving in I-17 towards Flagstaff. From Flagstaff, we took the I-40 till Williams and then AZ state 64 till the Grand Canyon South Rim. Drive thro' AZ freeways was fun, coz of higher speed limits (75 Miles/Hr) and lesser traffic.
First major view of the imposing Grand Canyon in the South Rim is from the Mather View Point. The Canyon is indeed 'Grand', if not anything else. Summer is probably not the right time to get to the Canyon. Looks like, the best view of the Canyon is during the sunset / sunrise and the best way to explore the Canyon is by foot. If u look carefully, there is a trail visible on the bottom left corner. Hope I'll get to do that some other time!
This pic is from the Yavapai Point about a mile from Mather. Its stitched from abt 4 pics, but I doubt if I've done any justice to this huge spectacle. Wud defenitely like to come back for sunrise / sunset pics and some more shots down from the Colorado river.
Have no clue, how far down is the ground, from where I am sitting! The deepest point in the Canyon is abt a Mile ... so guess, the ground below me shud be abt 2000ft.
Well ... for the record, the Grand Canyon is attributed to the upliftment of the Colorado plateau due to the plate movements and the Colorado river eroding this plateau over a long period of time. The Colorado river is visible in this pic at the mid-right as a small greenish stream.
There are so many view points for the Canyon and all of them offers a slightly different view, with rock faces having different hues. Free shuttles are available to take you all over the place, wherever u wanna go. We chose to take the Hermit's trail, which is the furthest u can go with the shuttles and even took a 1mile short walk along the Southern Rim, between Mohave Point and Hopi Point. It was too hot and de-hydrating to do this in summer, but well ..... the thirst was more to take up a longer trail!
After heading out of the Grand Canyon village, the next pit stop was @ Desert View, towards the east side of the Canyon. The pic is of the Watch Tower @ Desert View.
Grand Canyon from the Desert View Watch Tower. The stream on the mid-left is Colorado River.
Back to AZ-64, Williams, I-40 West and then to US-93 towards Las Vegas. This kind of landscape with barren hills is very common throughout this area.
As you go north, the number of hill layers increases ... and the road becomes windy. Past the Hoover Dam, the traffic goes up considerably, especially due to reduced speed limits, construction activities and the checkings @ the Nevada - Arizona state border.
First view of Las Vegas from boulder city. This is pretty much the Vegas skyline, with the Stratosphere, being the pointed building on the right.
@ the foothills of Stratosphere.
So much of lights and colors ... isnt it? Its the same all over 'the Strip'.
Shabna, standing in one of the foot over bridges across Las Vegas Blvd aka 'the Strip', which can be seen behind. Most of the major Casinos are located on either side of 'the Strip'.
Las Vegas @ night, as seen from the Stratosphere Observatory. Apart from the major Casinos, u can also spot a 315,000 watt, blueish beam of light, shot up from the Luxor Hotel, reportedly visible from airplanes abt 250 miles away.
Hoover Dam / Meed Lake. Located @ the Nevada - Arizona border, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Hoover Dam is an arch dam built in 1931-35. Lake Meed is the reservoir behind the dam. The pic was taken on our way back to Phoenix, via US-93, I-40 and back to US-93.
A Cactus plant seen @ Wickenburg, en route Phoenix. What else can symbolize the heat and the arid climate in Arizona? No ... wonder Cactus is used as a symbol of Arizona!