Sunday, April 17, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: Mather Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Our trip in November 2009 was my second visit to the Grand Canyon and Luis's first. As you might have gathered by now, Luis is a bit of a photo addict and can literally snap hundreds of pictures a day in the most mundane of places, but in the magnificent Grand Canyon, he kicked into overdrive. I don't think that there's a rock or tree in the entire canyon that he missed. By photographing what seem like tiny spectators on the top of the rock towers of Mather Point, he really captured the beauty, scale and the colorful vistas of the area.

The Grand Canyon, part of the U.S. National Parks Service system, runs 277 miles long, 18 miles wide at its widest point and is over a mile deep, making it one of the largest canyons in the world. Geologists estimate its age at at least 17 million years. The Grand Canyon National Park hosts approximately 5 million visitors a year, not just to view the canyon, but to camp, hike, white-water raft, take helicopter sightseeing tours, run marathons, ride to the bottom of the canyon in mule and horse trains, or visit the Hualapai Tribe's new glass-bottomed Grand Canyon Skywalk, which sits 4,000 feet directly above the Colorado River. Although the canyon is spectacular and there are many exciting activities, it is not to be taken lightly; over 600 accidental deaths have occurred since tourists starting visiting in the 1870s. Causes include falls, drowning, lightning strikes, heatstroke, heart attacks, plane crashes, homicides, suicides and environmental causes.     

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