Nature is forever conspiring to present beautiful sights. These sights are not mere works of art and neither are these overnight miracles. The beauty of nature lies in decades of hard work and persistence. One such natural beauty, which awes and inspires is the Grand Canyon.
Describing The Unparalleled
Describing something that is truly amazing is a difficult task. But the first word that comes to mind when you see this majestic formation is just WOW! It is unique, unrivaled, intimidating and yet beyond any comparison. Rising thousands of feet above the ground in different shades of reds and browns the Canyon presents a mesmerizing sight.
The color of the Grand Canyon is essentially red. But each group of strata or layer has its own distinctive hue. In its depth, the canyon varies from brown, slate-gray to violet in color. However, towards the top one can see delicate greens and pinks along with buff and gray.
It is estimated that the Grand Canyon was formed almost 5 to 6 million years ago. It is a mile deep gorge that was formed when the Colorado River began to cut through layers of rocks. The Grand Canyon is approximately 270 miles long and 18 miles wide. Today, it is the best standing example of the beauty of erosion.
The Grand Canyon has been a witness to the changing times. It has yet stood resolute and unwavering. Each layer of the canyon tells a story of the times gone by. Every exposed rock reveals the history of the Earth. However, this history is broken and intermittent. These immense time gaps have resulted from the very phenomenon that led to its formation…Erosion. Large quantities of materials that could have shed light on the past were removed due to erosion. Not only that but sometimes there was no deposition of matter. Hence, rocks that should ideally be separated by a large margin can be seen very close to each other.
Location Of The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is located in the USA. Specifically, it lies in northern Arizona, northwest of the town of Flagstaff.
What To Expect At Grand Canyon
You can never be too prepared for that first sight of something that makes you feel so little. So Yes! the Grand Canyon is a majestic formation that makes you feel really small. The first look will make you hold your breath. Once you realize that it is not something that can be easily destroyed, you breathe a little easy.
There are two primary locations from where you can view the Grand Canyon. The first is the South Rim and the second is the West Rim. No matter your vantage point, the Grand Canyon still offers truly spectacular views from each and every angle.
The South Rim
South Rim of the Grand Canyon is quite a popular tourist spot. It is made even more popular with the opening of the “Skywalk” in 2007.The Skywalk rises 4000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon. This daring structure is not only a marvel of engineering but also gives you a chance to look down into the canyon through a glass wall.
Other than the Skywalk there are helicopter tours into the canyon that take you down to the Colorado River where you can experience rafting. A helicopter is not the only option to go down into the canyon. You can hike; take a 4 wheel drive or just bike to reach the river bed.
The West Rim
Although the West Rim of the Grand Canyon cannot boast of a Skywalk yet it gives you a chance to see the Grand Canyon in all its beauty from many impressive spots. For those who wish to go deep into the canyon, the west rim also offers helicopter tours, jeep tours, and hiking or biking options. The west rim has many beautiful wooden structures that remind you of the old world charm. They are just what every quaint little town needs.
Grand Canyon Facts
- The gorge contains many ancient rocks that are visible to the naked eye. The oldest known rocks within the canyon are the Vishnu Basement Rocks. These rocks can be found close to the bed of the Inner Gorge. These rocks were formed when the magma solidified and joined this region to the North American continent almost 1.7 billion years ago.
- The first Europeans reached the Grand Canyon sometime during the1540s. These explorers were from Spain and were led by Hopi guides.
- The first known geologist who studied the Grand Canyon was John Newberry.
- According to the Havasupai tribe, they have been living in the in the canyon for more than 800 years and hence it is their ancestral home.
- Federal protection in the form of a forest reserve was granted to the Grand Canyon in the year 1893 by the then American President Benjamin Harrison.
- The Grand Canyon became a National Park in 1919.
- Almost 20,000 tourists visit the Grand Canyon each year.