Sheryl McLain from Edmond, United States shares Grand Canyon Experience

Sheryl McLain from Edmond, United States provides insight into a Grand Canyon Trip. Sheryl shares perspective on the best Grand Canyon attractions and things to do in Grand Canyon. See some incredible photos of Grand Canyon South Rim and surrounding area too!

From Landscapes and wildlife to history and adventure, what’s the one thing about the Grand Canyon that has intrigued you?

It’s vastness, which is impossible to capture in one photograph.

Sunrise at Lipan's Point

If this is your first visit to Grand Canyon, what motivated you to visit? If this is a revisit, what’s your reason for wanting to come back?

Experiencing the Grand Canyon has been on both my husband’s and my buckle list for several years, so we decided to visit in July 2012 for a week. We like vacations that include activities and exercise, as well as beautiful scenery, so this was a great trip for us. We did an organized van tour, a hike at Hermit’s Trail, the white water rafting trip, a helicopter tour and a photography workshop. So, we really felt as if we got a good overview of the canyon. We didn’t make it to the North Rim, so perhaps can do that in the future.

Sunrise at Lipan's Point - 2

What are five things your Backpack to the Canyon must contain?

A camera with a wide angle lens;

A rain poncho and/or umbrella;

Comfortable hiking shoes (not just tennis shoes);

Sunscreen and a hat or sun visor;

Water, which should be on you at all times.

Hiking Hermit's Trail

What is the best way to get to the Grand Canyon – By Air, By Road or By Rail? Why?

We drove from Oklahoma City and stopped in Flagstaff and Sedona on the way. While in Sedona, we did the Pink Jeep Tours. It was wonderful and offered more opportunities for photographs.

What is travel to you in one word?


What are three tips for an awesome budget trip to the Grand Canyon?

We liked driving, primarily so that I could pack all my camera gear and not worry about checking expensive equipment with the airlines.

Driving also offered us the opportunity to pack water and snacks so that we didn’t have to stop as frequently.

I think getting a good concierge to help focus your activities while there helped us tremendously and saved us time. I found the photography workshop on my own (via Adam Schallau Photography, which was amazing). All the other activities were planned through an amazing concierge named John Sagos and company, Cobalt Escapes, John also helped us with a Sedona side trip at the last minute.

What type of camera did you bring? Any tips on shooting the Grand Canyon?

Canon 5D Mark II

It’s really worth the time and money to get a local person/photographer who knows the best spots and can help you get there so that you don’t waste time. We had done a lot of research, but if you are trying to get a sunrise shot, it’s nice to be with a local person when you are stumbling around in the dark at 4:15 am waiting on the sun to rise.

Bring a tripod or borrow/rent one, and a wide angle lens if possible (I used a 28-70 mm but now have a 16-35mm, which I wish I had had then). A circular polarizer and a neutral density filter will help as well.

What surprised you about the Grand Canyon?

It’s vastness and how the colors in the canyon change so quickly during the day and during cloudy versus sunny conditions.

Little Colorado River Gorge - Van Tour

As a travel destination, how would you rank the Grand Canyon from 1 to 10?


Grand Canyon Beauty

Did you visit the Visitor Center?

Yes. Very interesting. Educational. Love the books and bought a couple.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I live in the Oklahoma City metro area with my husband, 14-year-old son and two rescue/shelter dogs. I also have a 25-year-old son. I left my job in health care administration three years ago to have more time for my aging parents and my youngest son. Since obtaining a journalism degree many years ago, photography has been a passion of mine. When I left my full-time job to consult part-time, I dove back into photography and have taken many online and face-to-face photo workshops in order to polish up on my skills. Photographing beauty around me, whether it is landscapes or people, feeds my soul. I love it.

Sheryl McLain
OK, United States


Please note: Photography on this page is copyright of Sheryl McLain.

If you’d like to participate in our “Almost Famous” program and get your own page on our site, we’d love to have you! Visit the Almost Famous Entry Page and enter your details. We’ll review and post the page with 48 hours.