The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and just by looking at it; you will understand why it has been given such title. In case you are thinking of visiting this monumental landmark, it is best to learn more about some of the most interesting Grand Canyon Facts.
Grand Canyon Location
The Grand Canyon is located in the northwest corner of Arizona, near the borders of Nevada and Utah. Most of the canyon sits within the Grand Canyon National Park and under the management of the Hualapai Tribal Nation, the Havasupai Tribe and the National Park Service.
The Colorado River that flows through the entire length of the canyon goes through seven states; the Grand Canyon National Park though belongs within Arizona state borders. Arizona is known as the Grand Canyon State, but the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that is attached to the Grand Canyon sits within Utah, while Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in the Nevada border part of the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon History
The history of Grand Canyon should begin with how it was formed, and the answer to that is erosion. The Colorado River, that tiny ribbon that can be seen when one looked from one of the rims, was responsible for forming this huge magnificence. For millions of years, the rivers managed to wound its graceful way through the canyon walls and this process carved a gorge of grand proportions. Wind and water erode rock and then sweep it away and this means that even though it can be hard to imagine, the river used to be on top.
The Grand Canyon layers are a stunning feature revealing various conditions and time periods. The sediments that were left behind reveal the conditions (like volcanic, muddy, sandy and rocky) of certain time periods, with the river cutting through the earth slowly through the years.
Native Americans have been living in the Grand Canyon for thousands of years. About ten thousand years ago, Paleo-Hunters have been known to hunt big game all over the area. In recent times, hunter-gathers lived within the vicinity until 1000 BC. There are archaeological findings like pottery that were discovered in the canyon that were carbon dated to about 4000 years back.
By 500 AD, Ancient Puebloan people have moved in the canyon. They survived by hunting deer, rabbits and bighorn, and by cultivating corn. There are also evidences that these natives made beautiful intricate baskets and that is why archaeologists called then the Basket Makers.
The Grand Canyon National Park has about two thousand Puebloan sites, which include the extraordinary Tusayan Pueblo that dates back to 1185 AD. During the 1200s, the early settlers of the Grand Canyon abandoned the area, and it was speculated that the mass exodus was brought upon by extended drought.
During the 1300s, Cerbat people (ancestors of the Hualapai and Havasupai Tribes of today) moved in the area. After a century, the Dine and the Navajo people settled within and around the Grand Canyon. Now, reservation site of the Navajo is located at the canyon’s eastern side.
Key Grand Canyon Facts
Here are some key Grand Canyon facts:
- The Grand Canyon measurement ranges from four to eighteen miles wide or 6 to 28 kilometers, and it is 277 miles in length.
- On an average, it is five thousand feet deep.
- Entirely, the Grand Canyon is tilted with the northern, rim 1200 feet higher its southern rim.
- The climate in the vicinity is semi-arid; during summer the floor can be as hot as 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The Grand Canyon is the world’s third largest canyon with Barranca de Cabre (Northern Mexico) and Hell’s Canyon (Idaho) being the first two.
- There are about 88 mammal species, 300 bird species, 25 reptile types and five amphibian species living in the canyon.
- It was in 1540 when García López de Cárdenas made history as the first Caucasian to discover the canyon.
- About 3028 million litres of water are flowing through the river per hour.
- The base of the canyon is about a third of the age of the earth.
- Despite the fact that there were never any fossilized teeth or bones of reptiles discovered in the canyon, fossil footprints of more than 20 species of amphibians and reptiles have been seen in the canyon’s floor.
- Except for desert plants, very little plant can grow in the canyon because of the absence of soil.
Grand Canyon Fun Facts
Included in the Grand Canyon Facts are some of the movies filmed there, like the following:
- Grand Canyon
- Bride and Prejudice
- Into the Wild
- Dill Scallion
- Fools Rush In
- Due Date
- Nurse Betty
- Held Up
- Thelma & Louise
- The Thief of Bagdad
- The Trial of Billy Jack
- National Lampoon’s Vacation
- Waking Up in Reno
Grand Canyon Facts for Kids
To get the younger crowd interested in knowing more about the Grand Canyon, here are some facts that can help them:
- It is primarily located in Arizona State.
- The various types of rock that can be seen in the canyon are responsible why it is considered as a geological research site.
- Native Americans have been calling the canyon their home for thousands of years now.
- John Wesley Powell was the first person to call the canyon Grand Canyon.
- In 1919, the Grand Canyon was turned into national park.
- The Grand Canyon National park was the 17th US national park.
- About five million people visit the Grand Canyon every year.
- The activities that can be enjoyed within the area include; sightseeing, rafting and hiking.
- If you want to spend an overnight camping in the Grand Canyon you will need to get a permit first from Backcountry Office.
These Grand Canyon Facts were gathered to help everyone know more about this monumental wonder of nature. If you want to know more, it would be a good idea to visit it and have the firsthand experience of how enjoying its magnificence.
Author: Tajirul Haque
Tajirul Haque is a travel enthusiast and freelance travel writer on Upwork. Having written hundreds of travel articles on so many travel destinations around the world for his clients, Tajirul started Top Travel Lists back in September 2014. Travel writing is his passion and he always loves to write about a new destination as it allows him to know about more beautiful places the planet has to offer. He is always available for freelance travel writing opportunities.