Grand Canyon Experts | A conversation with Wendy Wason Part 1

Q  Can you give us an overview of your experience in the Grand Canyon?

A  I have over 20 years as a guide and have been bringing mostly European visitors to Grand Canyon. I speak French, German and Spanish in addition to English. I lead trips with the tour companies Adventure Travel West and Bonjour USA.

Q  So where do you take visitors to the Canyon?

A  We take groups to Indian Gardens down the Bright Angel Trail. From there we will go

Grand Canyon

Photo by Steele Wotkyns

out to Plateau Point – all as part of a day trip. Then the visitors will stay at the Red Feather Lodge in the nearby community of Tusayan or the Canyon Plaza Resort also in Tusayan. I recommend the Canyon Plaza Resort since it is located conveniently behind the Visitor Center and IMAX Theater and it has a good buffet breakfast.

Q So can you tell us a little more about this hike out to Plateau Point?

A  Well it’s about a 20-minute walk from Indian Gardens. The Park Service discourages people from trying to go all the way to the Colorado River from the Rim and so when you hike out to Plateau Pt. you can see the River from there. These are small groups we take as part of the tours with Adventure Travel West. The entire trip down the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Gardens and then to Plateau Point and back up the Bright Angel trail usually takes from about 7 to 10 hours.

Q  You take bigger bus trips with Bonjour USA than with Adventure Travel West. Can you tell us about the differences in those Grand Canyon trips?

A  Yes, so it’s a different feeling, you experience the Canyon differently, when you hike

Wendy Wason

Photo by Steele Wotkyns

down into the Canyon than when we are touring with a bigger group. Our Bonjour USA trips to Grand Canyon are usually pretty quick and they are part of a bigger tour of the region, a circle tour, where we start in Las Vegas, visit Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and we spend a half day at Grand Canyon since we’ve also usually gone to Capital Reef and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Q  So with the Grand Canyon portion of those Bonjour USA tours where are places you go?

A  We often go to Grandview Point. That is where one of the original Grand Canyon hotels was located. At Grandview you get a feeling of what it was like originally. I like Grandview because it is also exciting to see the rapids and the Colorado River like you can from this vista point.

We also go to Navajo and Lipan Points. At Lipan you can also see the river and rapids.

With our 14-day trips we visit Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Moab, Arches and Canyonlands, Monument Valley and then we stay in Page and visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

Wendy Wason has been working for over 20 years as a freelance guide/interpreter for foreign visitors to the Grand Canyon. She leads trips for Adventure Travel West and Bonjour USA Tours. Adventure Travel West specializes in hiking and camping trips to the parks and the Southwest. Bonjour USA organizes bus trips for French visitors.

Bonjour USA Tours
Adventure Travel West, Inc.