Considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon meanders 277 miles (446 kilometres), stretches 18 miles wide (29 km), and has an astounding depth of 1,857 meters (6,093 feet). To add a bit of perspective, a driving between the North and South visitors centre, a 200 mile trek, takes roughly 4 hours. Though, thought to be carved by the Colorado River into its current state between 5 and 6 million years ago, portions of the canyon are now thought to have developed as long as 70 million years ago.
The Grand Canyon acts as a home for some and a destination for others. Supai Village is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation – people who’ve called the canyon home for 800 years. Then there’s the animals, like ringtail cats, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain lions, and more. Tourists flock to the canyon, coming in droves totalling in the millions every year.
With so much activity, it’s amazing then to capture a shot like this one that offers the appearance of total peace and tranquility – without a person or animal in sight. Here, on the day I shot this photograph my surroundings were completely silent and still. Though huge, it is the majestic beauty of the canyon, not necessary its size, that lures visitors time and time again.
I’d visited this location once before. I loved the sheer and dramatic drop from this perspective. Rather than canyon walls gradually stepping down towards the river below, here, a better sense of the canyon’s height is evident. For my second visit here, I carefully planned to beat the sun. Here, perched on the edge of the canyon, just ahead of sunrise, I sat waiting for the beginnings of morning light.
Sitting for an hour and half, the light of the sun slowly highlighted the shelf in the foreground in a beautiful golden glow. With such incredible detail, you’re able to see layered rock, demonstrating millions of years of evolution. The sky in the background shows hues of pink, purple, and blue, and though arid, trees and grass are evident too.
Though typically the rock face has a reddish hue, the lighting on this day offered up a spectacular “Canyon of Gold”.