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EXPLORE AMERICA: South Rim of the Grand Canyon

There are many ways to see the Grand Canyon. And the South Rim is its own unique experience. One look and it is if you are looking at eternity. It is the view that draws you in and you want to explore all the ways to uncover the Grand Canyon.

The magical quality of the view did not go unnoticed by the artists and architects who were drawn here. The South Rim inspired them to build structures that worked with the landscape. When famous developer Fred Harvey commissioned the Grand Canyon Village, his vision was to work with the land. He hired American architect Mary Colter to design the Desert View Watchtower in 1932. A perfectionist, she insisted that it support the majestic view of the South Rim. She brought the same reverence to the design of Hopi House. Still in use today as a shop featuring native crafts and jewelry, the Hopi House was designed using authentic Hopi architecture as its base as well Hopi craftsmen to build it.

The architecture is just one of the ways The Grand Canyon Village welcomes you the Grand Canyon/South Rim. From here there are many trails to begin your exploration of all things grand. A popular way to get started is with the Bright Angel Trail. It will take you into the inner canyon. Or a the 16-mile round trip Hermit Road takes you past Hopi, Maricopa and Pima views. It also let’s you gaze into the Abyss, the point at the Great Mojave Wall plunges 3,000 feet to the Tonto Platform and the Colorado River.

The South Rim is open to visitors all year long, although certain trails are closed for specific seasons. Each season features different charms and different reasons for coming. Experience the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on drives, hikes, mule rides, guided bus tours, and during ranger talks.

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is located at 1 Village Loop, Grand Canyon, Arizona. Telephone 928-638-7888. http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

Photo credit: ©Rand McNally/Anne Ford

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