On the way to the Grand Canyon we passed the Hoover Dam which was very very busy and very very hot. In fact I didn't bother getting out and looking at it. We have been here before when it was much quieter and wasn't as much as a tourist trap as it is now. You can go down in the bowels of the dam on a tour and go up in lifts to look at the dam from above but everything had long waiting times and queues so Peter just took a few photos and we left.
No matter how much you read about the Grand Canyon or how many photos you see nothing really every prepares you for the sight of it. One of the seven wonders of the world, it is so startling you just cannot take your eyes off it. The canyon's size, the intensity of light and shadow and even it's age are totally unbelievable.
The three rims, north, south and west are totally different with the north being the most remote and the south visited by about 5 million visitors a year. We were glad we arrived in October and not July or August as it would have been too busy but for us it was good. There was room in the campsite with no electricity and it was a good camping experience and all the facilities and attractions of the Canyon were not too over run with tourists. We walked the easy rim walk from one end to the other and looked down over the canyon from many different angles but decided not to attempt one of the much harder hikes down into the canyon. Some of them are relatively easily accessible but hard, it takes about 6 hours to do a short distance because of the heat, the altitude and the sheer effort involved in climbing back out of the canyon. The mule rides took you down into the canyon and back but involved 7 or 8 hours in the saddle in over 100 degrees so we passed on that one.
We stayed a couple of days in the canyon and really enjoyed it and may go back one day to do some of the more serious hiking but only if we are staying in one of the lodges with access to showers and certainly not camping!!