The Grand Canyon is among the most glorious natural sites in America and is regarded as one of the world’s seven natural wonders, alongside Victoria Falls, Mount Everest, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Paricutin, Northern Lights, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Grand Canyon, from the states it passes through to eight interesting facts about this wondrous place.
- 1 What States Border the Grand Canyon?
- 2 History of the Grand Canyon
- 3 How Was the Grand Canyon Formed?
- 4 How Big Is the Grand Canyon?
- 5 How Deep Is the Grand Canyon?
- 6 Accessing the Grand Canyon
- 7 8 Facts About the Grand Canyon
- 7.1 1. The Weather Can Be Influenced By the Grand Canyon
- 7.2 2. The Grand Canyon Is Full of Hidden Caverns
- 7.3 3. It’s One of the Most Frequented National Parks in the US
- 7.4 4. The Grand Canyon Was Formed Throughout a 6-Million-Year Period
- 7.5 5. The Canyon Hosts Some of the USA’s Best Sights
- 7.6 6. Visiting the North and South Rims on the Same Day Isn’t Suggested
- 7.7 7. Leave No Trace
- 7.8 8. The Grand Canyon Area Has a Town
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What States Border the Grand Canyon?
The three states that border the Grand Canyon are Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. The canyon is located in the northwest corner of Arizona, but the canyon rim at least partially passes through all these states.
History of the Grand Canyon
For generations, Native Americans have resided in the Grand Canyon area, but the geological formation far predates human history. The age of the Grand Canyon is still somewhat of a matter of controversy among geologists. Possibilities range from the Grand Canyon being 5 million to as old as 70 million years old.
The Grand Canyon was initially seen by Spanish explorers in 1540, but it was not explored extensively by Europeans or Americans until the mid-19th century. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt classified the site as a national park.
How Was the Grand Canyon Formed?
The Grand Canyon is the result of tectonic uplift. Tectonic activity is often responsible for the formation of canyons. The landscape of an area can transform as the tectonic plates below the Earth’s crust move and collide.
Tectonic activity can cause a part of the Earth’s crust to rise well above the surrounding terrain. It’s a process known as tectonic uplift. Deep canyons are formed by glaciers and rivers cutting through these raised sections of land.
The Grand Canyon is carved out of the Colorado Plateau by the Colorado River. It took millions of years for the canyon to form as the Colorado River running through the Plateau.
While the river flows through many states, the Grand Canyon area is exclusive to the river parts in Arizona and Utah up to the Nevada border.
How Big Is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon exceeds Rhode Island in size. It wends 277 miles along a winding path and covers 18 miles in width. Although the Grand Canyon National Park doesn’t cover the entire canyon, it covers a vast total of 1,904 square miles.
How Deep Is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is one of the most magnificent canyons in the world, but it’s not the deepest. It’s about a mile deep, but it varies in depth from 2,400 feet below Yavapai Point, located on the South Rim, to 7,800 feet at the North Rim.
Accessing the Grand Canyon
Most of the Grand Canyon’s visitors focus on Arizona, where the Canyon’s views are the easiest to reach. Other parts of the canyon, however, can be accessed from Nevada and Utah.
The Grand Canyon National Park is in Arizona, while the Lake Mead National Recreation Area borders the Nevada side of the Grand Canyon, and the Glen National Recreation Area is located in Utah.
If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, you might consider combining it with a visit to the nearby Four Corners Monument, where the four states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet.
8 Facts About the Grand Canyon
1. The Weather Can Be Influenced By the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon’s elevation ranges from roughly 2,000 to over 8,000 feet, making it endure a broad range of climates. Therefore, for every 1,000 feet lost in height, the temperature rises by 5.5°.
2. The Grand Canyon Is Full of Hidden Caverns
There are around a thousand caves in the Grand Canyon, but only 335 have been discovered. Only one cave on Horseshoe Mesa is open to the public today; the Cave of the Domes.
Even still, this isn’t the part of the country where you will find the state with the most caves (it’s actually Tennessee!).
3. It’s One of the Most Frequented National Parks in the US
The Grand Canyon receives an average of 5.9 million visitors every year, making it the United States’ second most attractive national park, after the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.
❓ Trivia Time: Which state is home to the most national parks? We best you can’t guess!
4. The Grand Canyon Was Formed Throughout a 6-Million-Year Period
Since it was eroded by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon was and still is one of the most researched sites. It has substantial fossil records, a rich archaeological past, and a variety of geological characteristics.
5. The Canyon Hosts Some of the USA’s Best Sights
From mule rides and boating in the Colorado River to stargazing, there’s a myriad of interesting activities to do around the Grand Canyon area. If you can’t do much, don’t miss taking a hike! Be it a short or long trail, they all offer a breathtaking vista.
👉 Read Next: What is Colorado Famous For? (17 Interesting Things)
6. Visiting the North and South Rims on the Same Day Isn’t Suggested
Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and the Grand Canyon resort on the North Rim are separated by just about 10 miles. However, the drive between the two rims is about 215 miles/5 hours long—passing through the park, around the canyon, and above the Colorado River. That’s just one brief example to show you the enormity of this wonderful place!
7. Leave No Trace
The Grand Canyon National Park, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, belongs to all people. Whatever you find there, you have to leave it where it is. This applies to plants, rocks, artifacts, and wood.
The Leave No Trace movement has set ethics specifically for the Grand Canyon in order to preserve this incredible site for future generations to enjoy it.
8. The Grand Canyon Area Has a Town
The human population of the Grand Canyon is rarely mentioned among Grand Canyon facts, yet the area is populated. Supai Village is situated within the Havasupai Indian Reservation, near the base of the Grand Canyon.
It’s the most isolated town in the 48 lower states, and the only town in which mail is still carried by pack mule! There’s no access to it by road and it’s populated by only 208 people.
❓ Trivia Time: What states do the Rocky Mountains go through? We bet you can’t guess all 7 states that touch on the Rockies!
For over a century, tourists from all over the world have flocked to the Grand Canyon to marvel at its breathtaking views. We hope you now have a clear picture of this incredible World Wonder in the heart of America.
Now you know the first thing you need to see when traveling across the states of Utah, Arizona, or Nevada!