Day 2: Grand Canyon & Painted Desert

by John Nelson May. 06, 2011 4984 views

Dad and I originally planned to do a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Sedona, but it was too windy and they cancelled the ride. So we packed up and drove toward the Grand Canyon.

We went through Oak Creek Canyon, through Flagstaff, and beside the Painted Desert. The road signs told us the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was only 120 miles from the turnoff to the South Rim. We had plenty of time, so we ventured northward to get a glimpse from the North Rim.

After 2 1/2 hours of driving, we realized that 1) The North Rim was still 75 miles away (bad road signage, AZ) and 2) It probably wasn't even open for the season yet. So, we turned around and went back to the South Rim.

We stopped at several scenic overlooks along the South Rim and took hundreds of pictures. Literally hundreds. It was pretty cloudy at the Rim, so we had to wait for the sun to break through to get any color in the photos. After being in the car for 8 hours, we opted to eat dinner and edit photos that night.

Dad taking pictures of Oak Creek Canyon's beauty.

A random rock stairway at a scenic overlook near Sedona. I'm labeling this trip the HDR-Sunflare trip, as that is the majority of my shots.

A quick stop along Oak Creek…Dad was shooting back-lit trees along the creek. I was done, so I snapped this shot of him.

Humphreys Peak outside of Flagstaff. It's the tallest peak in Arizona at 12, 562 feet. And it's pretty with those puffy clouds in the sky!

Dad photographing the Painted Desert. I thought the Painted Desert we saw was just odd & weird, so I opted for a car ad shot.

Dad and I have a photo thing for lone trees against the terrain. This is one of many lone tree shots.

A random flower alongside the road.

The road to the North Rim along highway 89 is desolate, to say the least. With the Vermillion Cliffs [en.wikipedia.org] looming in the background, this old soccer ball jumped out at me symbolizing the desolation of this area.

The view of the Vermillion Cliffs [en.wikipedia.org] from Highway 89. Between me and the cliffs is the narrow beginnings of the Grand Canyon (100-200 yards wide at this point).

The Colorado River and beginning of the Grand Canyon as seen from Navajo Bridge [en.wikipedia.org].

The Colorado River and beginning of the Grand Canyon as seen from Navajo Bridge [en.wikipedia.org].

A view from the Vermillion Cliffs back toward the Painted Desert. There is literally NOTHING there. Just cool-looking clouds.

The Vermillion Cliffs

Yep…had to take a picture of a cactus.

It's fun standing (or lying down) on the long stretches of highway to get this shot. Staring at this shot for 4 hours…that's Dad and I's experience of the North Rim. Actually, the dark line at the horizon is the mountain range where the North Rim is.

My first view of the Grand Canyon from Desert View point. The massive Colorado River can been seen in the middle-right as a tiny green strip of water. Desert View point is 7,400 feet above sea level.

Desert View, Grand Canyon. I was amazed at the vastness & scale of the Grand Canyon. It's indescribable and difficult to capture in a photo.

Desert View, Grand Canyon. As the clouds would move over the sun, I was amazed at the color changes the light would produce. From drab to stunning reds, greys, & whites. All cut out from a bright-green Colorado River.

Desert View, Grand Canyon. As the clouds would move over the sun, I was amazed at the color changes the light would produce. From drab to stunning reds, greys, & whites. All cut out from a bright-green Colorado River.

A wide-angle crop of a sunlit Grand Canyon.

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Andrea 8 years, 9 months ago

Wonderful!

8 years, 9 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson 8 years, 9 months ago

Wowwee! I put 17, 18, 21 & 23 in my faves so I can remember it for myself! Wonderful photos - wondrous post!

8 years, 9 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 8 years, 9 months ago

Great shots and reportage of our trek around the East end toward the North rim. I'm STILL editing Sedona shots - haven't done much of the Grand Canyon yet!

8 years, 9 months ago Edited
Nadezda Karaseva 8 years, 9 months ago

great set! do you use HDR for this?

8 years, 9 months ago Edited
Scott 8 years, 9 months ago

Really, really nice John. I've been there a couple of times in my life. Unfortunately, that was before I took up photography. Now I'm ready to go back.

8 years, 9 months ago Edited
Kaitlyn 8 years, 9 months ago

Very cool!

8 years, 9 months ago Edited
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