Exploring the Grand Canyon’s South Rim with Zeb and Soapy Smith

Leaving Williams, Arizona.

Williams, Arizona

Driving north on Route 64, through beautiful tall pine forests, we reach Grand Canyon National Park.   We are entering the park through the South Rim entrance.   This is the most developed area of the park, and provides the most amenities for visitors.

Grand Canyon National Park

First stop is always the Visitor’s Center, then a short walk to Mather Point.

Mather Point, Grand Canyon

This canyon is huge!

Panorama can’t begin to cover it all

It is rather crowded here, so we begin following the Rim Trail.   A very short distance, and we found a new friend.

Our new friend, the elk

This park is full of elk.   It is spring, and the male elk are just sprouting new antlers.   Hard to know if we are seeing male or female elk, but they don’t seem to have any fear of humans, or ducks.   Of course, they are protected in the National Park.   Continuing along the Rim Trail, we must stop for many photos.

Like the red here

Soapy’s mom is holding us.

Every view is breathtaking.

If we fall, we are gone forever.

If we fall, we are gone

This canyon averages 10 miles wide (up to 18 miles across, or wide, at places) and 277 miles long.  And it averages one mile deep, but deeper in places.   We reach Yavapal Point and Geology Museum.   Geologists decided this was the best location for the museum.   This is a great view from the Geology Museum.

Beautiful canyon

They appreciated the view, showing several layers of rock.   Private cars are not allowed on these roads during main tourist season, so we ride the free and frequent park shuttles.   Cars are only allowed to lodges and camp grounds.  We leave our shuttle at The Abyss and hike more of the Rim Trail.   There are very few humans on our trail.   Although there are over 5 million visitors each year, the park contains 1,217,403 acres.   Avoiding the crowds is really not that difficult.  The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River over several million years.   As you notice, the erosion process in still happening.

Watch for falling rocks

When will these huge rocks fall?   And these pretty wildflowers can grow in this rocky desert climate.

Cheerful wildflowers

Aren’t they beautiful?   This is Hermit’s Rest.

Hermit’s Rest

The shuttle buses end here and Hermit Trailhead will guide climbers to the bottom of the canyon.   We hiked a short distance on this steep trail.

Rather steep trail

This trail is recommended for experienced desert hikers only.  We didn’t go very far.   Only about 15 minutes down the trail.   The inside of the lodge is beautiful and huge.

At Hermit’s Rest

This photo should give you an idea.  Hermit’s Rest is a National Historic Landmark.   The gift shop was nice.   We purchased ice cream from an outside window.   So good!  On the way back to Mather Point and our car, we stopped at Yavapal Lodge for dinner and these delicious pies.

We loved these pies

Hiking and admiring the Grand Canyon makes humans and ducks hungry.   We will show you more of our Grand Canyon experience next time.

Bearizona with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Williams, Arizona, often referred to as “the gateway to the Grand Canyon”, also houses wild bears and other wild animals.   We visited Bearizona, a drive-thru wildlife park in Williams, Arizona.

Bearizona at Williams, AZ

The brochure promises Spin It, which is the drive-thru portion.   You drive your own vehicle and view North American animals in their natural forested environment.   Also, Stroll It, the walk through area for a close up look at many animals.   This resembles a zoo.   And, Soar It, where visitors witness the High Country Raptors show. Our moms wanted to see bears walking and playing in the woods, so we started the drive-thru portion.  Our first animals, Rocky Mountain Goats, were eating.

Rocky Mountain Goats. Fine dining.

We liked them.   They are losing heavy winter coats, preparing for summer.   The mule deer wanted to meet us.

Mule deer wants to say hi. Or looking for a free snack?

We were told not to feed the animals.   So we didn’t.  These crows, or ravens, appear to be grooming each other.

Crows grooming

Next, we saw burros.

Burro

Of different colors.

Burros are different colors

Tundra wolves are next.

Tundra wolves

Definitely keep windows up around the wolves.   The white bison were new to us.

White bison

Brown bison are also losing winter coats.

Brown bison also losing winter coat

These baby Big Horn Sheep were so cute.

Young big horn sheep. One practicing climbing and other practicing walking

Seemed like it was just learning to walk.

Very new Big Horn Sheep

This is what our moms love.   They are fascinated by bears.

I am watching you humans and ducks

Is he watching us?   Yes, we live in Colorado and bears live in Colorado also, but they still love those furry, adorable bears.    This is a younger bear.

Looking for fun. Or trouble?

He is still playful  and unpredictable.   He must be hungry.

Snack time

Time to pick his own tree branches.   The preserve is about to close and this handsome guy is ready for a nap.

Time for a nap

Parking the car, we head to the Stroll It section.

Entering Stroll It section

Look at this beautiful pure white peacock.

White peacock

This beauty had no fear of us.   We had to walk around him.   Moms just thought this bird was fabulous.   Hey moms, remember we are birds, also.   After a quick walk through the gift shop, and a few purchases, we left Bearizona.   The wildlife park was closed and the employees were ready to go home.   When you are near Williams, Arizona, stop at Bearizona.   There is so much more than we saw and showed you.   You will find something to love.   For more information visit http://www.bearizona.com     Tell the animals we still remember them.