U.S. North to South: Rally driving in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon NP 2Sunset on the Grand Canyon North Rim, AZ

After crossing Utah from north to south, admiring a multitude of National Parks along the way, we now travel to the National Park that tops them all: Grand Canyon. Check out all previous iterations of this U.S. North to South photo series here as we started all the way north in Barrow Alaska – the northernmost settlement in the U.S.!

Kanab Grand Canyon NP mapOur itinerary for today (click on the image to enlarge)Bob Grand Canyon NP Pic2Bob admiring the Grand Canyon

Having already visited the Grand Canyon’s more touristic South Rim as a teenager, I decided to opt this time for the more quiet North Rim – also helping was the fact that reaching the South Rim from Kanab would have required an additional 200 miles/322 km which is something I cannot afford in the limited time I am loaned Bob the Ram 2500. And I wasn’t disappointed by my choice – by far. After a mixed experience at Yellowstone NP, anything that can keep me away from the crowds will make me happy. I had forgotten how breathtakingly grandiose Grand Canyon is, and the North Rim offers a more finely cut landscape where it is possible to get your eyes lost for hours studying every asperity of the rock formations. If you haven’t done so already, visiting both rims of the Grand Canyon should definitely be on your to-do list.

Bob Grand Canyon NPBob on the Kaibab Plateau just before arriving in Grand Canyon National Park AZ 

Crowds flee the Park as soon as the sun dips below the horizon, and because I waited long after that to discover the bottom of the canyon – inscrutable when the sun is glaring – I found myself on a 130 mile/200 km trip back to Hurricane at night on a completely deserted winding mountain road. It was the perfect opportunity to push Bob to its limits and see what the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine has in its guts. A lot, as it turns out. Bob being a Ram 2500 crew cab with an 8′ extended bed, its length culminates at 259.4in/6.59m! Which I would have thought would hamper its stability in high speed mountain road “rally” driving mode, constantly swapping between strong acceleration and heavy braking. Yet I was extremely surprised by how much Bob stuck to the road and was manoeuvrable at high speed. I pushed him to 85mph (140 km/h) on the short straights that the road afforded me with no negative impact whatsoever on its handling. Bob a rallyman? Who would have thought…

Grand Canyon NP 1

Grand Canyon NP 3North Rim at Grand Canyon National Park AZ

We finish today as is now the tradition on a short analysis of the best-selling new vehicles in Arizona, if you want to know detailed sales figures for all U.S. states be sure to check out our Exclusive 2015 State by State sales charts. Here too the best-sellers are all pickup trucks but it’s a surprise on top: the Chevrolet Silverado reigns above GMC Sierra! The Ram and Ford F-150 follow, distancing the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is #5 light truck in Arizona, one of only two Top 5 placements in 2015 along with Hawaii where it ranks #2.

Next we get back to Utah to explore Zion National Park where I got… stranded! Be sure to check in tomorrow for more.

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