Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park - A Great Chasm Carved Over Millennia

The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those who explore the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of the turbulent Colorado River. This canyon is a gift that transcends what we experience. Its beauty and size humble us. Its timelessness provokes a comparison to our short existence. In its vast spaces we may find solace from our hectic lives. The Grand Canyon we visit today is a gift from past generations. Take time to enjoy this gift. Sit and watch the changing play of light and shadows. Wander along a trail and feel the sunshine and wind on your face. Attend a ranger program. Follow the antics of ravens soaring above the rim. Listen for the roar of the rapids far below. Savor a sunrise or sunset.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park Geology

The Grand Canyon, a World Heritage Site, encompasses 1,218,375 acres and lies on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona. The land is semi-arid and consists of raised plateaus and structural basins typical of the southwestern United States. Drainage systems have cut deeply through the rock, forming numerous steep-walled canyons. Forests are found at higher elevations while the lower elevations are comprised of a series of desert basins. Read More

Grand Canyon National Park and Wildlife

Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance. What is a safe distance? If the animal obviously knows you are there, you are too close. Seemingly tame squirrels, ravens, coyotes, deer, and elk, accustomed to human handouts, can turn aggressive without warning. You could be harmed! If wildlife approaches you, back slowly away and give them space.

Geologic Activity

The overall silence and stillness that many visitors experience at the Grand Canyon does not hint of the geologic processes that are active today, or in the recent past, in the canyon. Except for the occasional visitor who hears a rock fall, or a rare large landslide, it is not apparent that the canyon is actively getting bigger. However, the erosional processes that originally formed the Grand Canyon are still active today as the Colorado River and its tributaries slowly cut deeper into the canyon. As the shadows lengthen across the spires and buttes, time passing into the depths of the canyon, understand what this great chasm passes to us - a sense of humility born in the interconnections of all that is and a willingness to care for this land. We have the responsibility to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to form their own connections with Grand Canyon National Park. More

Geologic Formations

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a world-renowned showplace of geology. Geologic studies in the park began with the work of Newberry in 1858, and continue today. The Grand Canyon's excellent display of layered rock is invaluable in unraveling the region's geologic history. Extensive carving of the plateaus allows for the detailed study of the Earth's movements. Processes of stream erosion and vulcanism are also easily seen and studied. More

Grand Canyon Scenic Vistas

Grand Canyon National Park is world renown for its scenic vistas. With ever-changing and colorful scenery of enormous proportions, it is widely considered one of the world's most spectacular landscapes. In Grand Canyon National Park, pine and fir forests, painted deserts, sandstone canyons, mesas and plateaus, volcanic and geologic features, the Colorado River, perennial streams, and waterfalls contribute to incredible panoramic views.

North and South Rim

The South Rim of Grand Canyon averages 7000 feet/ 2134 m above sea level. South Rim The North Rim is over 8000 feet/ 2438 m above sea level.

Quick Highlights

Canyons, Caves, Faults, Springs and Seeps, Rivers and Streams, Biological Soil Crusts, Wildlife, Crustaceans, California Condor, Cactus, Wildflowers, Tamarisk, Geologic Formations

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We've all been there, grinding slowly up a never-ending climb as our cadence slows to a high-torque, barely moving...
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