Grand Canyon, AZMar 4th, 2017 to Mar 11th, 2017
Trip Logistics & Participant Requirements
Prepare to be amazed by the largest canyon in the world! Actually, it’s the second largest but plane tickets to Tibet were a bit expensive. But seriously, there’s a reason why the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited of all our stunning national parks, it’s got a little bit of everything for everyone. During the trip, we’ll be exploring everything the Grand Canyon has to offer, from its world renowned hiking trails to its stunning beauty. And most importantly, we will have the opportunity to help the National Park Service preserve and protect this national landmark that is frequented by millions of people each year.
We will leave Charlottesville on Friday evening and head over to Austin’s house in Northern Virginia to spend the night. Early Saturday morning, we’ll fly out of Reagan National Airport and arrive at Las Vegas where we’ll pick up our two rental cars and drive down to the Grand Canyon. On Sunday we’ll do some exploring around the park and Monday is the first day of our service work. We want to make the most out of our chance to visit the Grand Canyon, so we plan on doing some adventuring every afternoon after our volunteer work depending on what everyone’s up for.
Our returning flight to Reagan will depart from Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon and we’ll be getting back to Northern Virginia Saturday evening. You’re welcome to spend the night at Austin’s house, somewhere else in the nearby area, or head back to Charlottesville once we get back to Reagan. Everyone will be back at UVA by Sunday.
The national park rangers will be deciding our work schedule and activities once we arrive. Todd Nelson has been working with ASB for the past 20 years and will be assigning us most of our volunteer duties. You can expect to be doing service work ranging from clearing trails of debris to helping the local fire department monitor fire activity, smoke signals, and firelines. It all depends on what the park is in need of when we are there. The rangers are always highly appreciative of the service we provide to the park and our work will be very rewarding. We will even get to see some cool sights while we’re out and about working on our projects!
Over the course of 5 – 6 million years, the Colorado River carved out what we know today as the Grand Canyon. Located in Arizona just a few hours north of Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. It’s no surprise that it is one of the most highly frequented national parks in the country. The Grand Canyon, which spans hundreds of miles, is home to unique geological formations, flora and fauna, which differ drastically from that of the Mid-Atlantic. Many American Indian tribes also call the Grand Canyon their home.
The National Park Service, which is celebrating its centennial this year, was founded in order to manage and preserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources. ASB has been working with the NPS in the Grand Canyon for several years and we are excited to continue this relationship!
We’ll have plenty of time to fully embrace the epicness of the Grand Canyon! We’re looking into whitewater rafting, horseback riding, visiting nearby parks, stargazing, and of course hiking. If you’re up for it, we can even go on a sunrise hike…just don’t sleep through your alarm. We’re also hoping to visit the city of Flagstaff to get us a well-deserved meal, enjoy some ice cream, and see another cool part of Arizona! Also, if you’ve been to the Grand Canyon and have any suggestions from experience or if you’ve always had a burning desire to do something at the Grand Canyon let us know and we’ll do our best to fit it in the trip! We really want to know what YOU want to do.
About the Site Leaders
My name is Austin Brown (amb6sg) and I was born and raised in Chantilly, VA. I am currently a 2nd year majoring in Computer Science and hopefully going on to master in Cybersecurity. I had the awesome opportunity of going with ASB to Moab, UT last year where I made some great friends and found myself looking down 3,000 ft. cliffs. Now, although I’m still afraid of heights, I am in fact leading a trip to a 6,000 ft. deep gorge! I’m proud to say that dumplings are a solid 50% of my diet and the other 50% is the sides that come with the dumplings. Fun fact: Ask me about that one time I almost got eaten by a lion while camping in Africa. Aside from jamming out on the saxophone for hours on end, I am very passionate about the outdoors. On any given day you could find me hiking, whitewater rafting, zip lining, cave tubing, or anything else that involves being outside really. So I can’t wait to head out west to visit the Grand Canyon this spring with you!
My name is Joanna (jmm3nq). Answering the question “where are you from?” is difficult for me as I have grown up in a few different countries, but for now Alexandria, VA is home. I’m a 4th year double majoring in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law (PPL) and Russian Studies. I went on the ASB trip to Zion, UT last year and wish I had joined ASB sooner! I love travelling, both domestically and internationally, and being outdoors in general. I’m also a huge fan of smoothies, gardening, and live music. I am beyond excited to experience the Grand Canyon with y’all while also working to preserve and protect such an amazing natural wonder!
I have so many fantastic memories from my ASB trip to Moab. From our stunning hikes to walking around Moab for hours looking for a pawn shop, we were always having a great time. And most importantly, I found a significant amount of fulfillment in being able to do what we came there to do – to serve a nearby state park. After the trip, I returned with a new perspective on how we are to treat the ecosystems in which we live and travel, and how we can improve the quality of our lives and the environment’s health in doing so. My ASB trip was an unforgettable experience that has changed my perspective on what I can do to help protect and preserve the environment in which we all live.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to volunteer with the National Park Service in Zion National Park, UT. While exploring a stunning environment for a week, I got to learn about the unique challenges facing the NPS as the number of park visitors increases exponentially as well as make new friends!