Visiting destinations in the Southwest during the winter season is the best way to avoid the extreme heat of summer. With lower outdoor temperatures, more time can be safely spent doing strenuous physical activity and carrying extra water for a hike is unnecessary. The cool winter temperatures are much easier on an automobile too, especially if it is a small car that is loaded to the brim with passengers and a ton of luggage. The cool fresh clean winter air has a way of reinvigorating a tired soul and this is inspiration enough to hit the road to the wide open spaces of the Southwest this time of year.
Winter is the slow time of year for tourism in the Southwest. There are no big crowds to deal with and the waiting lines at the primary attractions are much shorter. In fact, many tourist destination towns practically board up the doors for the winter. There is no problem finding parking spots during the off season and the motel rates tend to be cheaper. Deals can be found at restaurants and service companies tend to offer good incentives. Having to make campsite reservations is practically unheard of this time of year too.
Cool temperatures, no big crowds and no long waiting lines are like a dream come true at a major tourist destination like the Grand Canyon. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon can be like a chaotic human zoo with a vast sea of people creating a push and shove atmospere during the summer season and the hot temperatures add to the madness. During the winter, the opposite is true. The atmosphere is much more relaxing and it is far easier to spend some quality time exploring the great outdoors.
The Grand Canyon offers a unique perk for visitors during the winter that will please those who prefer touring in the comfort of a private passenger car. Hermit Road is only open for passenger car traffic from November 1st till March 1st. The parking spots at the Hermit Road overlooks are easy to find during winter and Hermits Rest is far from being overcrowded too. This is all the reason to make the off-season trip happen!
Articles about Powell Point and the Hermit Road scenic overlooks have been previously published in this website. The historic Hermits Rest is at the end of the line, so it certainly is worth featuring on its own. There is quite a bit of history involved with Hermits Rest and the architectural style of this outpost set the design standards for all that followed in the National Parks.
Hermits Rest is located at the end of the seven mile long Hermit Road. A primitive archway marks the short trail that leads to this old historic building on the canyon rim. Upon first glance after rounding the bend, Hermits Rest certainly looks like an old outpost that was built by explorers or mountain men way back before the wild west was settled. This rustic building was the creation of the famous architect Mary Colter, who also designed the Hopi House in Grand Canyon Village. Her goal was to create a rustic outpost built with local materials, which would blend in with the environment.
Hermits Rest was originally constructed in 1914 and it served as a stagecoach stop for passengers from the El Tovar in Grand Canyon Village. Hiking or riding horseback was the only way to get to this architectural marvel back in those days, so as can be imagined, the visitors were in plenty of need of refreshment by the time they got there. Food, drinks and supplies were stocked at this outpost, so Hermits Rest naturally turned into a comfort zone of its own. Visitors lazed the day away sitting in the shady veranda that overlooks one of the prettiest views of the Grand Canyon.
In modern times, Hermits Rest pretty much still serves its original purpose. This outpost has a snack bar for those that pass through and those who are going on long hikes in the back country can find last minute supplies. Local Native American artisans market their crafts in this place too, so finding a memorable work of Grand Canyon art or a unique piece of jewelry is an option.
Lounging around at Hermits Rest is as relaxing as can be! If one can picture sitting on an old rustic hand crafted bench with a drink in hand in the shade of a porch that overlooks the Grand Canyon, then it will be easy to imagine just how pleasant this place can be. No matter whether the drink is cold water on a warm day or a cup of hot cocoa on a chilly winter day, the comfort that Hermits Rest provides will cause memories of the world back home to fade away. Hermits Rest has a way of making visitors desire to stay much longer than they planned, so be prepared to laze the afternoon away after the relaxation mode sets in!
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