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Visit Grand Canyon: why at sunrise is better

Today i’ll write about my Grand Canyon experience, and reasons why at sunrise, it’s absolutely better than at sunset, thanks to some special little secrets.


DISCLAIMER: the present article has been realized in pure amateur form with a mere recreational, personal, non profit intention. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee in any case the absence of errors or the freshness of the informations reported. For this reason he strictly invites any reader to also search for more informations about the same arguments inside other external sources, and to report any eventual mistake to the author through the Contact page on this website. In any case the author will not be responsible for any action committed by anyone following the reading of the informations reported inside this article


It was morning, very early morning. We could already hear in the air the sound of touristic helicopters flying over the Grand Canyon from our hotel room. It was time to go. We got up around 6 o’clock, we even missed the breakfast willing to arrive there as early as we could. There is a small centre called Tusayan just 15 km outside the south rim of the Grand Canyon where we found a good hotel for a cheap price. We stayed there in a place managed by a Navajo family, with big rooms and a nice breakfast

We took our car and drove along the road to reach the south Kaibab trail. During the drive we found some beautiful sceneries and even some animals crossing the roads

Once arrived in the south rim we found some nice panoramic spots to take pictures, and close to one of them, there was the beginning of the south Kaibab trail which went down over the entire valley


The atmosphere was silent and peaceful….if you want a nice reason to prefer the sunrise to the sunset, i can give you a couple….firstly there are less people, and secondly and most important, during the night the fog gets accumulated on the ground, and when the sun rises, it often creates an impressive light effect…. i can understand how hard is to get up, but it’s worth to do it! However, I’ll talk later about these 2 aspects

The south Kaibab trail can make happy both trekkers who want to reach the Colorado and those who want something easier to do, like enjoying a great view from the middle of the valley…..if you belong to the latter category, you could conclude your trail at the O’Neill butte, the strange tall rock formation you see in these pictures where you can have a short rest before coming back



If you decide to go down over the Grand Canyon, whatever you want to do, i recommend to bring at least an entire bottle of water per person, and a couple of sandwiches, plus something sweet like a couple of chocolate bars…..Due to excessive enthusiasm one can feel stronger than he really is…..but after the initial enthusiasm, the tiredness can suddenly come out, and togheter with the hot sun, it can be lethal……someone died out there in the past, you can even find a big sign alerting you and telling the story of some expert trekkers who lost their life due to the lackness of food and water


And now it’s time for some photographic tips about the Grand Canyon, to show why i prefer it during sunrise

For most people it doesn’t make such difference if it’s sunrise or sunset, but after my visit, i have found some interesting differences…….


Fog inspires lot of photographers, especially those interested in nature and landscapes….fog recalls mistery, spirituality and deep emotions…. Countrary to the sunset, the sunrise often shows this natural phenomenon, thanks to the night, during which the humidity had all the time to lay down to the ground



Furthermore, nowadays taking an original picture can be tricky, since the web is full of any sort of material…thousands of tourists everyday visit famous places, and the idea to come back home with an identical picture already taken by dozens of other people can be frustrating…..for this reason, the sunrise can be an alternative moment, since most people tend to choose the sunset

During sunrise the light hits different things respect to a sunset….i’m talking about ALL the things which were in shadows during the sunset itself….if you can pay the price of getting up early, all these things hidden in shadow the afternoon before, will be hit by the light now, leaving a photographer with many different and alternative shooting opportunities


There are 2 things that i particularly liked of this place: admiring it from the panoramic points along the road, and hiking down through famous trails like the Kaibab trail, to reach the Colorado river…..let’s consider the first point…..During sunset, panoramic points are quite crowded…Sometimes i tried to figure out how native americans have perceived this place before the arrival of the white man….can you imagine how nicely they enjoyed it? The Grand Canyon is a great place to meet again one’s interior peace through its silence…..and for me sunrise can seriously improve this experience




Conclusion? i hope this is just the beginning! Grand Canyon deserves to be visited once in a lifetime! don’t wait for so long!

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Moyan Brenn and Earthincolors.wordpress.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Small excerpts or the pictures contained in the article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Moyan Brenn and Earthincolors.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


3 thoughts on “Visit Grand Canyon: why at sunrise is better

  1. Great photos of the Grand Canyon! Did you end up hiking all the way down to the bottom of the canyon?

    Posted by Adventure Strong (@AdventureStrong) | March 13, 2013, 6:13 am
    • Hi friend, thanks for your interest. Unfortunately we didn’t plan well the hike, so after becoming out of water and food we decided to come back. In the end we arrived more or less at half way, around 500 meters after Cedar Ridge

      Posted by moyanbrenn | March 14, 2013, 2:02 pm


  1. Pingback: myWanderlist 50 Best April Travel Experiences | myWanderlist - April 28, 2014

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