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June 2002
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The Grand Canyon National Park is in the northwest corner of Arizona, close to Utah and Nevada.
There are two rims: the north and the south which are from16 kilometres (10 miles) to 29 kilometres (18 miles) far apart. The south rim is the easiest to visit. It is open all year and has the most spectacular views. By standing at any of the view points, one can admire the many vividly-coloured layers of rock that over time have been formed into many different shapes. From some of these view points the Colorado river appears small and peaceful. Its blue-green colour is a lovely contrast with the rocks. This river drains the waters of seven states and is largely responsible for the depth of the canyon.
It took five to six million years for the rain, snow, ice and river to create this masterpiece.
The Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919 when a little over 44,000 people visited the park annually. Today it is close to five million! The park managers try their best to control the flow of people but their biggest concern is the air quality.
In fact, when I visited the south rim, the north section of the canyon was obscured by haze carried along by winds from surrounding industrial areas.
The only way I was able to take photographs was to avoid the sky and concentrate on the inside of the canyon.