I just got back from a little bit of summer escapade. This year I did some reconnecting with nature. We did the drive from California to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Our trip was short and limited to the South Rim of the Canyon, however I think many fail to realize the spectacular views that can be experienced there.
My perspective of the Vishnu Temple – a majestic bute named after a Hindu Temple which it is reminiscent of by Major Clarence Dutton, while surveying the Grand Canyon in 1880.
Many go straight to the Desert View Watch Tower at sunset. It is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most prominent architectural features on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The 70 -foot tower contains a gift store and its upper floors serve as observation decks where visitors from around the world enjoy magnificent views of the canyon and the Painted Desert. Murals by the famous Hopi artist, Fred Kabotie, adorn much of the second level of the tower.
Desert View Watch Tower
Tourists flock to this point and I feel it to be a bit overcrowded. For a Zen like experience at sunset, go half a mile east of Desert View to breathe in the fresh air and unadulterated surroundings from Navajo Point. At an elevation of about 7,500 feet, you will find no rails and lesser crowds at Navajo Point, which is the highest point of overlook points at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Simply sit at the edge of the rim and join the few other meditators that have trickled in for a visionary sunset.
Sunset Over The Grand Canyon At Navajo Point
View of the Desert View Watch Tower from Navajo Point
Navajo Nation – Twin Arrows Casino Resort
From this point we entered into the dusk and darkness through Navajo Nation territory and drove down to Twin Arrows Casino Resort. Ok, I love to enjoy nature to its fullest, but at the end of the day, I need the comforts of a plush Egyptian cotton robe and towels. This resort, smack dab in the middle of a Native American reservation, with nothing but the great San Francisco Peaks surrounding it has it all. I was quite surprised by this hotel, which is less than a 2 hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim and only 2 years old, it still remains unknown, but holds its own in comparison to a Las Vegas Hotel.
Amazing ceiling fixture in the lobby of the hotel and a possible “energy vortex” bellow on the floor.
Bath and Body Works Toiletries and 5 Star Amenities
We arrived late into the night and found a 24 hour coffee shop called Indulgence full of yummy treats comparable to any Starbucks, as well as the Four Elements Café, which remains open until midnight. We opted for a hearty dinner at Four Elements and it did not fail. Their specialty is Sopa, a Navajo handmade frybread.
For my meal, I orders the Navajo burger and to my surprise it is served on the Navajo Frybread, hence the name Navajo burger. My husband ordered the steak which is Navajo beef – from grass fed free range cows raised on their own reservation. We found the Navajo reservation to be quite resourceful and self-sufficient, without compromising the luxury of their new resort.
Breakfast was at the Indulgence coffee shop, plus the gelato that they happen to serve there. The resort is also home to an award winning steak house, Zenith, which I look forward to trying the next time we pass through there.
When passing through the Grand Canyon Twin Arrows will be my go to hotel. It is incredibly inexpensive in comparison to its stature and the people are super friendly. My next excursion to the Grand Canyon will definitely include other hidden gems, such as a cruise down the Colorado River and the Havasu Water Falls.
Arizona Meteor Crater
On the way home we made a last stop at the Arizona Meteor Crater, which is only 20 minutes from Twin Arrows Resort. This amazing whole in the ground lies at an elevation of about 5,710 ft. above sea level. It is about 3,900 ft. in diameter, some 570 ft. deep, and is surrounded by a rim that rises 148 ft. above the surrounding plains. The crater was created about 50,000 years ago by a nickel-iron meteorite about 160 feet across. This was during the Pleistocene epoch, when the local climate on the Colorado Plateau was much cooler and damper. The area was an open grassland dotted with woodlands inhabited by woolly mammoths and giant ground sloths. It was initially suggested that the meteorite struck at up to 45,000 mph but more recent research suggests the impact was substantially slower, at 128,600 mph. It is believed that about half of the impactor’s bulk was vaporized during its descent. The meteorite was mostly vaporized upon impact, leaving little in the crater.
There are several points and telescopes to view the crater from.
It is quite amazing to see and think about how at any given time such an occurrence can change our entire world.