North America

Grand Canyon Facts: Explore the history of the earth

The awe inspiring Grand Canyon embodies the stunning beauty and awesome power of nature. It is one of the natural wonders of the world with its mile high rock walls which are multi colored, the many sandy slopes and craggy cliffs.

The natural features of the Canyon make it a natural wonder of the globe. The exposed layer of rocks can be seen a mile above the flowing river. It is like a record sheet of the changing geological history of the earth since the early ages.

This structure of epic proportions was carved out by the swift and fast flowing Colorado River. It is steep sided canyon which is found in the state of Arizona in the USA. Most of the canyon can be sighted in the National Park of Grand Canyon. It was one of the first National parks in the country. The preservation of this natural wonder was spear headed by Theodore Roosevelt the then president of the US. He was known to visit the site on many occasions to soak in the beauty of the landscape and to hunt.

Numerical Grand Canyon Facts:

The Grand Canyon is a stunning 277 miles (446 km) long, 18 miles (29 km) in width and garners a plunging depth of a mile and more (6000 feet). It surely helps redefine the expression larger than life. The Grand Canyon took about three to six million years to be formed the way it is today. The varied contours of the canyon continue to be affected by the erosion.

At the Yavapai point the Grand Canyon is above sea level by 2400 feet. Below the south Rim of the Canyon it is 4500 feet below sea level and 5400 feet above sea level at the North Rim. Thus the average depth of the Grand Canyon is about 1 mile.

Over the many years the Colorado River and its many tributaries cut their paths (channels) layer upon layer of rock to form the Canyon. This helped expose the massive two billion year old history of the Geology of the earth. A factor which also helped formation of the canyon was the uplifting of the Plateau of Colorado. It is like sawing a wooden board while applying pressure from below the wooden board.

While the timing and the geological processes have been the subject of debate between geologists for ages, recently collated data shows that the river established its course over the Colorado plateau over 17 million years ago. The Colorado River flows at an average speed of 4 miles per hour. The Colorado River is a west flowing river which has a average depth of 300 feet wide and a depth of 100 feet. The river is a stunning sight to behold.
Amazing Grand Canyon Facts:

More than twenty different species of amphibians and reptiles have left their foot prints here at the canyon site. But no reptile skeleton fossils or bone have ever been found here at the Grand Canyon. But no teeth or bone has been found ever. The terrain of the Canyon has about 70 different species of mammals, bird species over 250, 25 stunning types of reptiles and 5 varied species of amphibians.

The guardian condors:

The massive California condors which can be sighted here are very curious birds. They are even said to be attracted by human activities. One must remember not to approach a condor or feed it any food stuffs. When you visit the Grand Canyon keep a look out for these huge scavengers which soar in the sun above the canyon on the wings which are nine foot long.

One of the lesser known Grand Canyon facts is that the area was previously inhabited by the Native Americans who established their settlements in the many caves and within the Grand Canyon itself. Pueblo people considered the site holy and even made pilgrimages to the Grand Canyon. The first person from Europe to sight the Canyon was from Spain. Garcia Lopez de Cardenas arrived here in 1540.

The Grand Canyon is sadly not the deepest or the widest canyon in the world but is world renowned for its intricate, visually stunning and beautiful colorful landscape. The structure’s significance in geological (rock) studies is of mammoth importance. Thick sequences of prehistoric and ancient rocks are preserved here and are exposed at the walls of the Grand Canyon.
Sight seeing:

Today many great options can be availed to see the Grand Canyon in its true glory. One can get an air view of the region by flying in a tourist helicopter. One can even take a white water rafting trip through the Canyon. For the more relaxed there are many jeep tours to catch the action first hand at the Majestic Grand Canyon.