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How "Grand" Is The Grand Canyon

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
When I first made a road trip to the Grand Canyon, I had every anticipation of being disappointed. I mean, the name of the U.S. National Park lends itself to over-hyping the physical feature: The Grand Canyon. The name implies that this canyon is, in fact, the biggest, widest, coolest canyon on the planet.

With that as my expectation, there was only one option that I foresaw: disappointment. Pulling into Grand Canyon National Park, I already felt the disappointment. I drove for miles without seeing a single canyon. Just trees. I saw signs for elk, deer, and cougar crossings, but no wildlife.

As the sun began to set, we pulled into one of the first viewpoint in hopes of finally seeing this so-called "Grand" Canyon. I stepped out of the car and approached the edge of the viewpoint area. My jaw dropped.

The canyon was so much more impressive than I ever could have imagined. The canyon plunged to depths of one mile; it expanded as far as my eyes could see. The layers of multi-colored rock palates seemed to glimmer in the setting sun. I couldn't stop gazing at the primeval beauty.

The following day, I had the opportunity to hike around the canyon's South Rim and into the canyon itself. As a result, I gathered a close-up appreciation for the intricacies of this massive physical feature. As we hiked around the forests that border the canyon, we encountered, elk, deer, and dozens of other impressive animals.

A lot of tourist attractions throughout the world can be over-hyped, leaving the tourist in a state of disappointment. The Grand Canyon was not one of the places. If you have the desire to feel small in the face of nature, visit the Grand Canyon and stay a while.

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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