We got out of the vans and I was like, oh, it looks like the other campsite. But then I walked to the edge and saw the canyon for the first time. Wow. I had to take a few steps back. It was huge. (Tony, age 11)
Grand Canyon National Park is the destination of the second half of our Arizona immersion trips and typically the highlight of the week—how could it not be? Though Parks in Focus celebrates parks and cultural sites of all shapes and sizes and recognizes the importance of connecting youth to nature, culture and history in their own backyards, introducing them to the magestic Grand Canyon for the first time and watching them encounter the vast, timeless space is impossible to put into words.
This year, our group was joined by an awesome NPS education staff member, Melanie, for sunset photography, a challenge hike into and out of the canyon, a visit with the current artist-in-residence Liz Roth, and a photo scavenger hunt around Grand Canyon Village.
On the last night, after a lively campfire chat (the last one before fire bans across the Grand Canyon) the participants decided to leave the tents behind and sleep out under the stars—a first-time experience for most of them!
The five-day trip wrapped-up with a much anticipated adventure at Slide Rock State Park, where slipping down the natural waterslides was the perfect way to celebrate a successful week.
Check out the photos below! Did you miss highlights from the first half? Click here!