The Grand Canyon National Park

USA · The Grand Canyon
By PradeepBisht (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

USA · The Grand Canyon

Horseshoe Bend pre sunset Grand Canyon Grand Canyon

USA · The Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park boasts stunning vistas that even the best photographs can not adequately capture. Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 446km long, up to 29km wide, and 1.6km deep. This park contains exposed rock that as old as 2 billion years and has enough diverse microclimates that people can be hiking through snowdrifts and sunbathing on the river bank on the same day.

The park’s central feature is the Grand Canyon, it is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River, in northern Arizona and is largely contained in the Grand Canyon National Park. It is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

The extremely rugged and remote landscape of the area prevented major agricultural development, but made it a top-notch destination for outdoor explorers and athletes. Even so, only 3.3% of the terrain has been surveyed by archeologists, who continue to look for more evidence from groups who once inhabited the area. Carbon dating indicates that some artifacts found there date from as far back as 2900 B.C. It is thought that people have lived in the area for at least 8,000 years.

Grand Canyon National Park was officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Today, the park hosts more than 4 million tourists each year, who walk the trails, climb the cliffs, photograph the scenery, row the river, explore by helicopter, and revel in the grandeur of the Canyon.