Majestic Horseshoe Bend

After leaving Grand Canyon National Park, we set our sights on Page, AZ, a small town about two hours northeast. Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend, a majestic place where the Colorado River makes a 270° turn—a sight you can witness from 1,000 feet above it.

Admiring the view.

Admiring the view.

The overlook parking lot is clearly marked on the west side of US 89 heading into Page, just sound of the Glen Canyon Dam National Recreation Area. The overlook is a trek from the car—make sure you have 30-45 minutes to hike the wide path. It’s an uphill climb both ways! You’ll walk up the pathway from the parking lot, expecting to see the river once you make it to the top of the hill, but you’ll be greeted by an even longer trail descending to the overlook. You’ll see people and tripods dotted across the mouth of the river ledge.

Tripods galore!

Tripods galore!

When you finally reach the edge, the view is stunning. Be safe—there is no guardrail, and the rocks near the edge may be eroding beneath your feet—quite literally! (So glad I saw that warning sign on the way back to the parking lot!) Find a spot to sit and admire. We were there at sunset and got to witness the color of the rocks shift in the evening light.

 

Places

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend, U.S. 89, Page, AZ, United States

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend, U.S. 89, Page, AZ, United States

Best Viewpoints Along Grand Canyon’s South Rim

Viewpoint along the South Rim.
Viewpoint along the South Rim.

As you know from my post a couple of weeks ago, we loved our recent trip to the Grand Canyon. To stand in its presence and soak up its beauty was really something special. But where—exactly—is the best place to stand to witness all the wonder that is the Grand Canyon?

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is by far the most visited part of the canyon, attracting more than 5 million visitors each year. It is the easiest part of the canyon to reach, and it provides lots of great hiking and photo opportunities. Here are our favorite vantage points from an afternoon spent looking over the edge.

Mather’s Point

Viewing at Mather Point.

For many people, this is their first glimpse of the Grand Canyon—the place they’ve seen in movies; the place that’s been at the top of their bucket lists for years. It’s the first vantage point along the Rim Trail, and as you might expect, it’s also one of the most crowded. It has insanely beautiful views, and is the perfect introduction to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Yavapai Point

Stunning vista along the Rim Trail (South).

Near Yavapai

How did the Grand Canyon form? How many years ago did it all happen? What types of rocks are out there? Those are all questions that can be answered at the Yavapai Geology Museum and Observation Station. Browse the 3-D displays and exhibits to get a better picture of the geology of the region. Enjoy unobstructed panoramic views from the large glass window, providing views of the Colorado River, deep down in the gorge.

Walking the Trail of Time at the Grand Canyon.

From here, pick up the Trail of Time, a walking trail that further takes you on a journey through the Grand Canyon’s geologic history. Over the course of the 1.3-mile, hour-long hike, you’ll transition from the most recent rocks (all of which you can touch) to rocks that are literally billions of years old. The trail ends at Grand Canyon Village.

Desert View Watchtower

The beautiful Grand Canyon.

A four-story tower stands high above the point where the Colorado River takes a turn to the north towards the Navaho and Hopi Indian Reservations. Moe than 20 miles to the east of Grand Canyon Village, this point offers fantastic views—on a clear day, you can see for 100+ miles! Several viewpoints on the ground offer panoramas of some beautiful land—and you can see the site of the final resting place of 128 lost when two planes collided over the Grand Canyon back in 1956. Climb the watchtower to see the murals inside, and to enjoy the bird’s eye view from your perch in the sky.

Are there viewpoints you’d add to our list?

View from the Top of the Rock in NYC

My favorite view of NYC.
My favorite view of NYC.

New York City is such a vibrant place. It’s the city that never sleeps. The hustle and bustle of it all—the people coming and going at such a hurried pace—it’s all a bit overwhelming. NYC is probably the only place in the world where people can fit 25 hours’ worth of activities into a 24-hour day. It’s chaotic. It’s messy. It’s Manhattan.

But from high above it all, the city seems quiet. All the details fade away. Everything becomes background noise to the beauty and grandeur of the place that’s called the greatest city on earth.

Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller Center.

My respite in the city is the Top of the Rock. The view from the 70th floor of Rockefeller Center is truly unmatched, and gives you some perspective on what’s going on below. I love this view for several reasons. Most first timers to NYC want to stand atop the Empire State Building, but at the Top of the Rock, you get that iconic building in all of your pictures! And, you get a bird’s eye view of Central Park, dotted with thousands of picnickers on a warm spring day.

Sure, you’re sharing the view with several hundred pushy, loud tourists, but somehow that doesn’t matter as you gaze out over the city that just seconds before you were a part of. 40 seconds is what separates you from the chaos of a NYC sidewalk, and your perch on top of the world.

Here are some of my favorite views from the top.

The view from the Top of the Rock.

The view from the Top of the Rock.

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What to know if you go

Make sure to book tickets in advance, or plan to stop to get tickets early in the day.

Places

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, United States

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, United States
http://www.topoftherocknyc.com/
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