From Cortez CO we drove to an RV park at Tusayan, just south of the Grand Canyon National Park on October 3. We entered the park from Cameron and made our first stop at Desert View observation point where there was ample parking for large RVs. This was Arla’s first visit to Grand Canyon, and we were fortunate to have a clear day.
Desert View is one of the few places from which visitors on the rim can see the Colorado River. The Little Colorado River flows into the Colorado through the large side canyon at the upper right. It has been 4 years since I rode a commercial raft down this very stretch of the Colorado River.
(Sorry if this comes through overexposed. It was correct at one time but some unknown thing changed it.)
On Friday night Laura and Jeff joined us at Tusayan, so there were 7 of us to tour the western part of the tourist facilities at the west end, beginning at the El Tovar Hotel. Above is the view from the sidewalk near El Tovar.
From left to right – Mike and Barbara Williams, Jo, Arla, Laura (Barbara’s daughter) and Jeff, Jo’s son.
El Tovar Hotel from the next observation area. Other hotels are located in the same area.
The Bright Angel trail down which mules take tourists to view the river is shown here on the far side of the canyon.
Jo waiting for a shuttle bus to take us to the western part of the park west of the El Tovar complex. In most months of the year the only way to reach the several overlooks there is to take the shuttle bus, and it does very well in carrying the passengers on a reasonable schedule.
The entrance to the Orphan Mine is in this canyon. Copper was mined beginning in about 1906. Uranium was discovered and mined from 1953 to 1969 from adits 1400 ft down into the side of the canyon until the National Park Service bought the patented mining claims. Mining buildings and an inn for tourists were located in the bare area.
The afternoon sun creates great shadows to give a better feeling of depth.
Well-equipped mountain climbers gather in the fall to pick up debris that careless tourists have thrown into the canyon in the El Tovar area.
Here is one of the climbers picking up debris. The pipe to left of center carried water from a spring in the canyon to the South Rim.
We had to introduce Arla (right) to the ambience of the El Tovar Hotel lounge.
Reception area of the El Tovar. It is operated by Xanterra, the corporation tracing its roots to Fred Harvey of Harvey Girls fame. Xanterra’s future operation of the hotels there is in jeopardy as the Forest Service has asked for bids from other operators, but many are having trouble meeting the Forest Service’s terms.