On Bicycling: Incomparable Grand Canyon Provides Recharge Thanks To Overnight Field Trip From Las Vegas

By Alan Snel of LVSportsBiz.com

It was reboot time.

It’s the first week of August and the summer grind of day-after-day of triple-digit temperatures in Las Vegas had me in its vise.

But there’s always ways to wiggle out.

Throw the bike in the car, start the vehicle and head to the Grand Canyon.

It’s a big, beautiful country out there — Zion and Yosemite, Glacier and Yellowstone. The national parks have quite the pretty real estate portfolio.’

But for my $35 entrance fee, I’m hitting the Grand Canyon.

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The geographic vastness of the Grand Canyon makes me smile, and then I just laugh at the outrageous scope of this big reveal of this planet’s history. Imagine, on average, this canyon with the Colorado River making a serpentine route through its topography is 10 miles wide and about a mile deep. Its length blows me away: 277 miles

The layers of red rock and the bands of million-year rocks give us a peak at the earth’s history.

Let’s face it, the first time your eyes catch a glimpse of the vastness the visual jolt is stunning.

OK, I’m going to spill the beans to my Grand Canyon get-aways.

First thing I do is check the weather forecast. Even during the summers, it’s usually around 85 degrees at the Grand Canyon village at 6,804 feet elevation.

Then I pick a Tuesday or a Wednesday and I show up around 2 PM after the morning crush of tourists storm the four federal park fee booths.

I head straight for the Bright Angel Lodge and inquire about canceled room reservations. I love staying in the Grand Canyon village. To me, it’s worth the $200-$300 a night. I find value in merely walking five or ten minutes from my room to the world’s greatest natural view.

I stay one night and I plan every minute, every step and every bicycle pedal stroke. Every moment is so precious and life feels bigger to me.

Where do I bike? It’s Hermit Road, the two-lane strip of pavement behind a gate that’s only accessible by the shuttle buses.

There are so many easy access points to the rim from Hermit Road that it’s an easy process to stop biking, walk to the rim and gaze at the majestic vistas.

I’ve never been denied a room when I show up at the 2 PM range. The hotels like Bright Angel and El Tovar are booked out months ahead of time, but surely there are cancellations.

And I seize the chance to snag a room.

I slowly bike along seven-mile Hermit Road, stopping every few minutes at different vantage points.

Then, I see the final light illuminating a red rock formation not too far from the village.

I catch a bite at a small food court a few minutes from my room and then fall asleep into a deep doze after I collapse into a comfortable queen bed.

At 5:30 AM, I’m walking the paved trail along the rim between the village and the geology center, seeing the early morning light slowly turning the sheer red walls from shadows to illuminated rock.

And then I take a quick final ride this morning and catch a father-son combo at Hopi Point. Dad , who lives in Madrid and was visiting his son in Phoenix, takes this photo and I’m ready to roll back to the room and call it a visit.

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