Stretching all the way from Arizona to Colorado in the United States is the awesome Grand Canyon. People from all across the globe are lured by this natural wonder and statistics reveal that over 4 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. If you ever happen to visit Arizona, you definitely need to check the Grand Canyon out. Let's look at some interesting facts and information, to understand this natural wonder better.
Formation of the Grand Canyon
The formation of the Grand Canyon goes all the way back to the erosive activity of the Colorado river and the action of forces like the continental drift. It so happens that the region where the Grand Canyon now stands was occupied by a series of mountain ranges. Over the course of centuries, the mountain ranges were chipped off by water and wind erosion. Moreover, sudden climate changes in the area caused Colorado river to flow over these plains and deposit rocky layers. The river also played a major role in the formation of the gorgeous and uneven topography of the region, by contributing to the erosion process.
First Visitor to the Grand Canyon
The Spanish explorers are believed to be the first European visitors to the Grand Canyon in 1540. Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas along with some Hopi guides and a few Spanish soldiers traveled to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Three members from the party descended one third of the Canyon, however, the lack of water on the journey forced them to return. It took another 200 years for the next European to visit the Canyon. It was John Wesley Powell who consistently used and published the name, "Grand Canyon," in the 1870s. Even though these Spanish visitors were the first to visit the Canyon, let's not forget that the region was inhabited by native American Indians since 4000 years.
The Grand Canyon is a part of the Grand Canyon National Park which encompasses 1,218,375 acres on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona. This park is the 15th oldest national park in the United States and houses the 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and 5000 feet deep Grand Canyon. A trip to the foot of the canyon on camels or by foot would take about 2 days. The Canyon's walls are made up of valleys, hills, cliffs, and rocks.
Grand Canyon Glass Bridge
The Grand Canyon houses the famous 'Sky Walk', which is a balcony-like extension made from an awesome see-through surface, allowing people to experience the breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon at a height of 4,000 feet. It's an experience of a lifetime!
Animals in the Canyon
The Canyon is not all about rocks, valleys, and cliffs. It is home to over 75 different species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians and 25 species of fish.
The Grand Canyon is a wonderful place to visit while on a vacation. Besides gazing at the picturesque landscape, there are scores of activities that one can do at the Canyon, including river rafting, camping, mule rides, hiking, kayaking, etc. You can also take the 2 ½ hours trip on the historic Grand Canyon Railroad, which not only entertains you with music and Wild West shootouts, but also leave you 200 yards from the Grand Canyon's edge. Hope these facts have spurred a desire in you to visit this great wonder of the world.