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The Canyon
  Traditionally, a visitors first view of the Canyon would be from a point near the village. This is probably about half way along the rim path. The new visitors center is a few miles east of this, and almost due north of the park entrance. Grand Canyon host around 5 million visitors a year, and is the most visited of all of the national parks.  

The new park headquarters, lecture area, and welcome center sit towards the east end of the park, at canyon view. Traditionally, people enter, and start their walk along the canyon rim, at the village; but this is probably a better beginning.

A look towards the main building of the visitor center, across the plaza. There are many shady spots, a fair number of trees, and various walkways and displays outside.

This is the bus stop. A series of natural gas powered buses shuttle visitors all over the park. This precludes the use of cars, and is actually quite convenient. There are, in addition, some parts of the park, served by the buses,  in which cars are not allowed.

Some shaded displays, tell the story, and explain the features of the park.

Above and left:
A gigantic three dimensional. map/model of the canyon, sits outside, under the shade of an open shelter.

Across from a line of shaded displays, is the entrance to the new visitor center. This was built a few miles away from the village, to prevent overbuilding at that site. It also seems that this site better serves the day visitor, whereas the village better serves the visitor who will be staying for a while.

Inside the Visitor Center, can be seen the high ceiling of an architectural style designed for hot days. There is no mechanical air conditioning system here. Instead, the park has installed an evaporative system, commonly known as a swamp cooler. Due to it's rather isolated location, and the desire to pollute as little as possible, the park has investigated many alternative energy sources.

The lecture area, of the Visitor Center. Rangers give a variety of talks here, as well as scheduling meets, for various hikes.

The new official visitor entrance to the beginning of the canyon trails.

The Canyon, as first seen by those who pass through the visitor center.

Looking over at Yaki point. The photo also shows part of the South Kaibab trail as a sort of a faint scar on the rock face.

Plenty of observation points and scenic lookouts grace this part of the rim.

Looking out over the canyon, from one of the observation points. This is the paved, and developed portion of the trail. Further West, towards Hermit's Rest, the trail is neither paved nor maintained.

This is Yaki Point again, this time showing a bit of Cedar Ridge.

A bit of nearby Cedar Ridge, along with a view over the canyon.

A view of the observation point, form which the first photo of the canyon, above, was taken.

A view of the Grand Canyon, showing a rare glimpse of the river below, towards the left of the photo. When Spanish explorers first saw this spot, they mistakenly estimated that the river was only about six feet wide, and a couple of hundred feet down the slope.

Though hot and dry, the south rim of the canyon is not without it's own collection of plants and animals. The north rim, at a bit higher elevation, is actually forested.

Shaded walks line much of the rim, with lookout points dispersed around. Much of this system was designed in recognition of the need to shelter visitors from the ever present heat. Parts of the walking trail were originally a road, for automobiles.

A look down part of the rim, which weaves in and out of the line of view. Visitors are visible on the next ledge over, like ants at the edge of a dinner table.

 A look at the next ridge over, and out across the sun baked canyon. As with most places on the rim, the bottom, along with the river which dug the canyon, can not be seen here.

One of several book stores and gift shops in the park. This one happens to be at the new visitor center.

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