The Grand Canyon is a very popular national park, and it can sometimes feel a bit crowded. While the crowds weren't nearly as bad as in the summer, there were still times when we had to dodge large groups of tourists at some of the shuttle stops and overlooks. But luckily there is one overlook that is not marked, and not very well known. The Park uses it for weddings and special events, but when there isn't anything going on it is open to the public. But the parking area isn't marked, so many people drive right past it.
It is called Shoshone Point, and it's on the South Rim near Yaki Point. I drove out there before sunset, and started on the mile hike to the overlook. When I reached the edge of the Canyon, there wasn't anyone else there. The only sound was the wind and a few birds.
As the sun began to set, the sky erupted in color. The low clouds that had been hanging onto the distant rim all day changed from white to blue to gray to orange. It was hard to know which direction to point the camera at.
In the foreground is Newton Butte, with clouds hugging the top of the canyon in the background.
Two other hikers came in, and sat and enjoyed the view as well. We were the only ones out there, which is a small number of people to be sharing such a wide and vast view.
The two other hikers left as it started to get dark, but I lingered there as long as I could trying to get a few pictures. This is one of the last shots, with a solitary hoodoo standing up on the point. Low clouds (and maybe rain?) lingered along the top of the canyon wall.
It was nearly dark when I started the mile hike back to the parking area. Luckily I had thought ahead and packed a flashlight, which came in handy since it got dark very quickly. Within a few minutes I found the two other hikers, who were walking in the dark. They said they didn't think the hike would be that long and that they didn't know they would need a flashlight. So I walked with them so that neither of us would end up getting lost in the dark and walking off of the edge of the Canyon.
We made it safely back to our cars, and I headed over to pick up Caroline (who decided that hiking in the dark while pregnant might not be that great. She instead patiently waited for me in one of the park lodges). We were at the end of our time at the Grand Canyon, but we would soon be visiting a few other neat places in Arizona...