The Grand Canyon
Being one of the seven world wonders, the Grand Canyon is a bucket list destination for Arizona visitors and residents alike. This historical landmark is considered one of the world’s most spectacular example of erosion and thus, one of the most visited attractions in Arizona. Stunning geological features and jaw-dropping views frame a unique experience.
Grand Canyon Quick Facts
- Roughly 5 million visitors per year
- Length: 277 miles (446 kilometers)
- Width: widest point 18 miles (29 kilometers) | narrowest point 4 miles (6.4 kilometers)
- Depth: 6000 feet (1800 meters)
- Colorado River is carving the Grand Canyon for about 6 million years
- A rock type found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is approximately 2 billion years old
- The limestone at the upper rim is about 230 million years old
- In 1919 it was established as the 17th national park in the US
Whether visiting for a few hours or for multiple days, the Grand Canyon National Park offers an abundance of recreational activities, historical sights and artifacts, as well as a panoramic scenery. In particular, two distinct areas each offer unique experiences, which are well worth a visit.
Grand Canyon South Rim
The south rim is considered the most popular destination for visitors, as it is open year-round. Furthermore, the proximity to Flagstaff, Williams, and Sedona allow convenient day trip excursions. Also, the historic Grand Canyon Village is a common stop, as it features lodging, restaurants, as well as opportunities to shop for hiking/ camping gear and canyon souvenirs. There are many viewpoints along the rim ensuring unparalleled views. Especially noteworthy are Yavapai Point and Desert View Point. Yavapai is located close to the village and is the most northerly viewpoint, which ensures spectacular views of the canyon and Colorado River. When entering the South Rim from the east, Desert View Point is a prominent stop. Walking up the winding staircase of the watchtower visitors pass by traditional Indian paintings. At the top, breathtaking vistas of the Canyon, the Painted Desert and the Colorado River, await.
Tips for visiting the South Rim
- Arrive early – parking becomes limited in certain areas after 10AM
- Pack layers – the temperatures vary from the rim compared to hiking down to the inner canyon
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration – especially when hiking. Bottle filling stations are accessible along the rim year-round
- Experience a sunrise or sunset – breathtaking!
Grand Canyon North Rim
The North Rim of the canyon is considerably less-traveled compared to the South Rim. Visitors escape the crowds of the village for a tranquil experience. Due to the higher elevation, the North Rim experiences heavy snow. Consequently, this part of the national park is closed during the winter months. Moreover, there are only few facilities limited to a campground, general store, gas station, café, ranger station and the rustic Grand Canyon Lodge. A short, yet, occasional steep trail leads to the Bright Angel Point. This is the most popular viewpoint at the North Rim presenting an amazing outlook.