25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim

In All Topics, Travel Photography, United States by Ryan1 Comment

This photo essay is from a recent road trip around the wild west of the United States, with the Grand Canyon being one of the highlights, even if it’s a huge tourist attraction. Below are my 25 favorite photos from the breathtaking Grand Canyon South Rim. 

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Ryan Brown of Lost Boy Memoirs stand on a rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset, wearing a vintage jean jacket with a LOST flag on it, and a fidora. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

The ever-changing landscapes flashed by to the tune of “King of the Road” as we pushed on and on that hazy two-lane highway, knowing we had to make up time. Knowing we had no reservation. There was a slight worry we’d arrive and be shit-out-of-luck, but the euphoria of being on a road trip masked that. But with the late start and occasional stop at the weird attractions you find out in the desert, we arrived much later than we had hoped.

When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we arrived to some seriously bad news.

We pulled up at the ranger station and were greeted by a sign that read “No Spaces Available”. Our hearts sank. We had driven 5+ hours and over 300 miles to get to the Grand Canyon but had failed to reserve a spot ahead. We thought we could wing it. Clearly, that was a bad assumption.

We both looked at each other with exhausted faces, crushed by this news. If we couldn’t stay the night somewhere in the South Rim, we’d have to drive miles and miles back the way we came. And we would probably not be able to hike down into the Grand Canyon in the morning.

This was a childhood dream, and somehow even driving across the United States, I still hadn’t camped there. The little kid in me wept, and the man in me cursed myself for not booking ahead.

Screw it. I’ll just ask them for kicks anyway, even though they’ll probably just point to the sign.

Is there any availability for tonight in the campground?

The ranger gave me a look, as if to tell my sorry and tired self it wasn’t likely and began clicking away on the computer.

Well, if you’re just staying tonight, we have one spot left.

YES!” I blurted out way too loud. I couldn’t believe our luck! Last spot. Not planned. 300 miles and we made it into the park just at the last second.

I wanted to do some cartwheels or a heel click, but I feel they might have revoked the pass. But it all worked out.

Sometimes you risk not planning and end up with an epic failure on your hands which has happened too many times. In this case, we came up much luckier than we did in Las Vegas the night before.

There was just enough daylight to throw the tents up and rush to the South Rim edge to catch the sunset. So we pulled into our camp spot, quickly changed into something warmer as the desert night’s cold was beginning to defend on the canyon, and rushed over.

And all because of a little sprinkle of luck, we had the opportunity to see the sunset over the Grand Canyon south rim.

This was an incredible and breathtaking experience, staring into a mile deep scar in the earth gazing at the millions of years of history carved through by a much smaller river. This was the Grand Canyon, in all its glory before my eyes. Grand just doesn’t do it justice. I could finally feel it, and touch it, and sense it. And being afraid of heights, I could feel my legs and stomach turn to jelly.

Since we managed to camp here the night, we were able to see sunset and sunrise, and even hike down almost to the Colorado River. And it was one of the most memorable travel experiences. Sunset turns the canyon from red-hot and gold to deep purple. Sunrise paints the Grand Canyon in orange with morning beams of golden light and was one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. Once inside the canyon, everything changes to a deep blood orange and crimson color.

Damn Mother Nature, you’ve outdone yourself. Here she is, 25 of my favorite photos from my stay in the Grand Canyon.

SUNSET 

GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A couple sits on a rock outcropping looking out over the Grand Canyon at sunset. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A man stands on a precarious rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset wearing a white shirt, hiking shorts, and a pineapple hat. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Ryan Brown of Lost Boy Memoirs sits on a rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset, wearing a vintage jean jacket with a LOST flag on it, and a fidora. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Ryan Brown of Lost Boy Memoirs holds a hand out into the light over the Grand Canyon, with a compass tattoo and Fernweh tattoo. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A unique rock formation inside the Grand Canyon shows the geology and layers of the rock of millions of years of erosion. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Ryan Brown of Lost Boy Memoirs sits on a rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset, wearing a vintage jean jacket with a LOST flag on it, and a fidora. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A man stands on a precarious rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset wearing a white shirt, hiking shorts, and a pineapple hat. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A Landscape photo of the Grand Canyon with a rock formation in focus at sunset. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A Landscape photo of the Grand Canyon with a rock formation in focus at sunset with a close up of desert lizards. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A man stands on a precarious rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset wearing a white shirt, hiking shorts, and a pineapple hat. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light cast dark shadows over the grand canyon at sunset, painting the faces of the rocks golden. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A man stands on a precarious rock at the edge of the Grand Canyon at sunset wearing a white shirt, hiking shorts, and a pineapple hat. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light cast dark shadows over the grand canyon at sunset, painting the faces of the rocks golden. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light cast dark shadows over the grand canyon at sunset, painting the faces of the rocks golden. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - A black and white photo of a California Condor perched on a rock in the Grand Canyon. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - 2 beer bottles cheers over the fire at the Grand Canyon camp grounds, glowing in the light. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Long exposure photo of two males roasting marshmallows over the camp fire with long streams of blaze at the Grand Canyon camp grounds, glowing in the light. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

SUNRISE

GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light shines through rock formations at sunrise in the Grand Canyon, painting everything in gold. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light shines through rock formations at sunrise in the Grand Canyon, painting everything in gold with silhouetted trees. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light shines through rock formations at sunrise in the Grand Canyon, painting everything in gold. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light shines through rock formations at sunrise in the Grand Canyon, painting everything in gold. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light shines through rock formations at sunrise in the Grand Canyon, painting everything in gold. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.

25 Breathtaking Photos of the Grand Canyon South Rim - Sun beams and golden light shines through rock formations at sunrise in the Grand Canyon, painting everything in gold. Photo taken with Canon 650D Rebel T4i, edited in Adobe Lightroom with VSCO filters.
There will be much more to come from this road trip, and articles about the grueling and amazing hike into the Grand Canyon coming soon. To get notified, subscribe to the newsletter to know when it drops!

Have you been to the Grand Canyon?

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