Have you ever wondered how the Grand Canyon formed, where the canyon is located or what makes this canyon so special and unique? The Grand Canyon is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World due to its unique formation that took place over the course of billions of years.
Tourism at the Grand Canyon occurs each day with more than five million visitors each year. Tourism groups are available for hikers, rafters and more. Lodging options are expansive with some reservations made more than one year prior to a visit due to demand. However, the best time of year to visit the canyon generally depends on what you wish to see and do at the canyon.
In addition to the wondrous beauty that the Grand Canyon provides, this Wonder of the World offers unique hiking experiences and a variety of attractions that are available to those visiting the National Park.
1. How was the Grand Canyon formed?
Have you ever asked, “How was the Grand Canyon made?” The formation of the Grand Canyon was the result of several geological events that spanned over the course of billions of years.
While the formation of the inner gorge occurred about two billion years ago, the Grand Canyon began to significantly change between 30 and 70 million years ago when the entire region was uplifted through the process of plate tectonics. This process created what is known today as the Colorado Plateau, which was later carved out by the Colorado River. This resulted in the widening and deepening of the Grand Canyon.
2. Where is the Grand Canyon?
Now that you know how the Grand Canyon was formed, it is worth learning where it is located at this vast natural wonder spans over several states in the United States. While the majority of the landscape within the Grand Canyon National Park can be found in Northern Arizona, the landscape extends into other states, including Nevada and Utah.
There are several routes that you can take to enter the Grand Canyon National Park. However, the South Rim is considered to be easier to access than the North Rim, depending on the direction that you are coming from. This is due to the fact that the South Rim lies near an airport and a rail service, therefore, increasing accessibility to the park.
3. How deep is the Grand Canyon?
If you have ever wondered, “How big is the Grand Canyon?” then it is worth knowing that the Grand Canyon National Park is approximately 1,904 square miles in size. To better put that into perspective, you can imagine the state of Rhode Island, as Rhode Island is about 1,212 square miles in size. While the 1,904 square miles of the Grand Canyon National Park includes the landscape of most of this world wonder, it does not encompass the entire canyon.
The Grand Canyon has a depth of about one mile, averaging around 4,000 feet deep. The deepest point of the Grand Canyon is 6,000 feet deep. The elevation of the North Rim of the canyon reaches 8,000 feet while the South Rim reaches an elevation of 7,000 feet.
4. How old is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon began around two billion years ago when the formation of the inner gorge was first formed. However, it would be millions upon millions of years before the canyon became the world wonder that it is today. Most scientists had once considered the age of the Grand Canyon to be about six million years old, as this is the time period that the Colorado River was believed to have carved out the canyon. However, recent studies and research in 2012 suggest that the Grand Canyon is far older.
5. Tourism at the Grand Canyon is Booming
A popular choice for tourism is the Grand Canyon, as this vast and beautiful landscape is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In fact, more than five million people visit the canyon each year. The Grand Canyon also features unique lodges within the park.
However, should you wish to make a reservation for lodging, it is worth knowing that many lodges take reservations far in advance due to the popularity of the national park. In some cases, reservations can fill as early as a year in advance. Camping opportunities are also available within the park. However, a Grand Canyon backcountry permit is required for any overnight camping.
6. Some Choose to Live Within the Grand Canyon
While tourism at the Grand Canyon is the more common option, there are those that choose to live within the canyon. It is estimated that more than 2,000 people live year-round within the Grand Canyon National Park.
7. Tourism at the Grand Canyon is Popular for Hiking-Related Adventures
A good amount of tourism at the Grand Canyon includes hikers seeking a unique adventure. Hiking in the Grand Canyon National Park is different than most alternative hiking experiences. Instead of hiking uphill, the Grand Canyon consists of several hiking trails that descend towards the bottom of the canyon.
The difficulty of hiking in the Grand Canyon National Park varies depending on the trail. While some trails are difficult, others are relatively easier, and even small children, senior citizens and disabled individuals have successfully hiked on a few of these trails.
8. How does the Grand Canyon’s distinctive weather affect tourism?
Tourism at the Grand Canyon can be impacted by weather depending on the part of the canyon that you wish to visit. For example, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon experiences far colder temperatures in the winter season due to the higher elevation. For this reason, the North Rim is completely closed during the winter. While the South Rim remains open during the winter months, road closings can occur based upon the weather.
The range of temperatures in the Grand Canyon also varies based upon the depth of the canyon. For example, the park’s weather often ranges from 50 to 80 degrees in the summertime. However, during the day, temperatures below the rim can exceed 100 degrees.
9. The Grand Canyon is Home to Thousands of Species
The Grand Canyon is home to more than 1,750 plant species as well as 17 different fish species and dozens of animal life. Animal life within the canyon includes mountain lions, deer, snakes, bighorn sheep and short-horned lizards.
10. Why is the Grand Canyon important and when is the best time to visit?
If you have ever wondered, “Why is the Grand Canyon important?” then it may be best to visit this world wonder in order to experience the Grand Canyon for yourself. The canyon is famous for its breathtaking landscape and geological significance. It was one of the world’s most intensely studied geological landscapes.
The best times to visit the Grand Canyon is during the spring and fall seasons, specifically within March through April and September through November. The summer season is the busiest time of year for the Grand Canyon, which can equate to more crowds and a difficult time finding lodging unless you book well in advance. The spring and fall seasons also offer cooler daytime temperatures throughout the canyon.