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Grand Canyon

Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Grand Canyon has been called the most spectacular natural wonder in the world — and rightly so. It runs for 450km, measures up to 29km across and is 1.5km deep, with the raging Colorado River cutting its way through. With its diverse plateaux, towering buttes, mesas and valleys, the stunning canyon exudes wonder, magic and awe to over five million tourists each year.

There are countless things to experience on a visit to the Grand Canyon. It is rich in beauty, ancient geological history, forests of evergreen juniper and piñon and desert agave and Spanish bayonet.

Its tiers of limestone, sandstone and shale can be seen close up on a trip along the Colorado River. Wind, water and energy excavation over half a billion years has left behind marvellous colours in the rocks, which are stacked like pancakes.

Another popular way to see the Grand Canyon is as the eagle does — soar above the plateau, fly around the towers and dip into the valleys in a light aircraft or helicopter.

Purists say the only way to get the real feel of the canyon is to walk in — following the footsteps of ancient people and explorers. One of the most popular treks is from the Bright Angel Lodge, a National Historic Landmark on the south rim. The log and native stone lodge opened in 1935 and is environmentally sensitive. It has a variety of rooms and historic cabins — some with fireplaces — restaurant and lounge.

Other ways to experience the vastness of this natural wonder is on a guided hike, horseback tour or a jeep or bus tour. Whichever way you see it, it's bound to leave everlasting memories.

Monument Valley in the Arizona Desert is also a must-see. The 300m tall free-standing sandstone rocks rise dramatically from the desert floor and their red colours form a magnificent contrast against the deep blue skies. Navajo Indians still live in Monument Valley, herding sheep and goats, weaving and living in mud and log structures called "hogans".


144km north of Flagstaff, Arizona

For further information

Le Meridien Pyramids
El Remaya Square
Cairo 12561
Ph: 20 2 377 3388
Fax: 20 2 377 1730

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