Everyone always says you have to see the Grand Canyon in person, pictures don’t do it justice. We never really believed that mantra until we walked to edge of the South Rim and gazed into the seemingly endless gorge in front of us.

No picture, postcard, video, or first hand account can ever replace seeing the canyon with your own eyes. It’s like the human imagination is not capable of conceiving something so vast.

We were nervous about the traveling in November as it starts to get cold and snowy in the south rim and the north rim is completely closed by then. The timing turned out to be perfect. A light dusting of snow, crisp air, and bright sunshine made the views spectacular and we only needed light jackets to walk around. Plus the park was not crowded with tourists and we were able to drive and park at all of the scenic outlooks with ease.

Crying. Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.

Ron Swanson. Parks and Recreation.

You Need to Stand at the Edge of the Grand Canyon. But please, for the love of God, don’t turn around and start snapping selfies at the edge.

General National Park Tips

  1. If you plan on visiting at least 2-3 parks, buy the annual pass. It is 80 dollars and the card is able to be signed and used by two different people! It’s valid for one year from the date of purchase.
  2. Stop in the visitors center when you arrive. The rangers are always helpful and will provide updates on latest trail conditions and any areas that are closed.
  3. We like buying souvenir post cards, they are a great way to remember the trip and there are some really cool retro-graphic ones available.
  4. Be sure to stamp your postcard or some piece of paper with the park specific stamp. You will find a small kiosk inside each visitor center that has the stamps.
  5. If you have small children you can get a junior ranger activity book from the centers which will help direct some activities for your kids.

Getting the Right Shot

Camera phones offer the easiest and most convenient way to take pictures on your adventures. With most photos never being printed and rarely viewed other than on a phone or computer there is really no need to pack a ton of fancy camera equipment. Leverage your cameras filter settings and especially panorama if you have it. This creates some unique shots that people will enjoy more than just another picture of a tree. If you are going to pack a DSLR we would recommend a couple pieces of gear.

  1. A wide angle lens: This will give you some of the best shots and incorporate a lot more in your image.
  2. A polarizing filter: There are a lot of contrasts between the sky and the scenery, having the filter will allow you to darken the sky and get the right balance of light in your shots.
  3. A tripod: The stars are amazing at night. Try and do some creative shots and capture some stars

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