I took Harry de Bruyn (visiting from the Netherlands) on an ambitious weekend tour of the Grand Canyon and environs. We had a 4:30am wake-up call Sunday morning at our Flagstaff "base-camp" Hilton Hotel. Looking to avoid the summertime tourist crowds, we decided to take the backdoor route into the National Park. Our planning seemed impeccable until we reached the Mather Point vicinity. I think most first-time visitors must believe Mather Point is the only parking lot and overlook - what a mess!
We managed to weave through traffic and find a parking spot near Maswik Lodge and proceeded towards Bright Angel Lodge. More impeccable planning as the steam train passed at the level crossing as we made our way towards Rim Trail.
I've been reading "Mary Colter - Architect of the Southwest" by Arnold Berke. It's given me a whole new appreciation for her clever designs, especially the link between local history and landscape. The Grand Canyon National Park works are impressive - Desert View Watchtower, Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio, Hermit's Rest, Phantom Ranch. Also check out Mary Colter's La Posada in Winslow AZ and Painted Desert Inn at the Petrified Forest National Monument near Holbrook AZ.
This section of the Rim Trail features Mary Jane ColterÃ¯Â¿½s Lookout Studio, Bright Angel Lodge, and Hopi House. El Tovar was decorated by Colter, but not designed by her.