In my nearly forty years of living in Arizona I’ve been to the Grand Canyon over two hundred times, to day hike, to backpack both the famous and remote trails, to climb Brahma Temple, ride mules along it’s rim, and to run its world famous rapids on fourteen river expeditions. The Grand Canyon embodies the very concept of wild, of "being in a natural state" by virtue of its physical size and its preservation since 1919 as a National Park. Within the Grand Canyon (more than 400 km long) is revealed a geology spanning 1.7 billion years, shown like rock pages in a book of supreme scale, which is nearly impossible to accurately grasp while standing on the rim, but when you descend into its depths and sinuous side canyons the outside world vanishes into distant memory.
My favorite way to explore the canyon is by going down the Colorado River on a raft or dory, which opens up so many of the side canyons that would otherwise be nearly inaccessible. This is Riverworld, a one-way passage deeper into geologic time, with a succession of daily adventures to savor. The Grand Canyon changes its very nature thoughout the seasons, with storms and floods, rainbows and waterfalls that last for mere minutes, and rare moments of clarity to taste anew the feeling of being alive in the wild. That’s why I’m ever drawn back here, to this grand canyon visible from space, to explore its secrets and through them, myself.