Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon is an experience that can be compared to no other. The majesty of nature stretches out before you. The canyon walls drop down to amazing depths. Ravens caw out from their distant perches. The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, carved by the powerful Colorado River. Visiting the Grand Canyon is a trip that no one should miss when traveling to the Southwestern United States.
The Grand Canyon is a tapestry of desert beauty. The reddish walls of the canyon are made of layers of sedimentary rock that has fascinated geologists since it was first discovered hundreds of years ago. The canyon is roughly ten miles wide. It is about a day’s journey to the bottom. From the rim, the wide Colorado River seems only a ribbon of muddy blue.
Desert plant life clings to the edges of the canyon hiding a diverse wildlife population. An interesting resident of the Grand Canyon is the California Condor. The large bird was introduced to the Grand Canyon after its near extinction in the wild. Due to the Grand Canyon’s size and its remoteness, it provides a home to a vast array of mammals, birds, invertebrates, and fish.
John Wesley Powell’s expedition in 1869 was one of the first trips into the bottom of the canyon made by Euro-Americans. He discovered that, although he and his companions were the first Euro-American explorers, people had inhabited the canyon for centuries. There are many signs of Native American culture within the canyon and archeologists are continually discovering more. The Grand Canyon has served as a powerful symbol for people across the centuries.
Things to Do
Recreation opportunities abound at the Grand Canyon. There are train rides, bus tours, scenic drives, and amazing photography opportunities. While sightseeing might be the most common, those who seek something more active will not be disappointed. Hiking the Grand Canyon is something many visitors aspire to complete. Rafting in surrounding areas is quite an adventure, although reservations are highly recommended and some trips may require previous rafting experience. In addition, Grand Canyon National Park offers visitor centers on both the North Rim and South Rim, with ranger-led programs to teach the natural and cultural history of the canyon.
Grand Canyon National Park and Surrounding Sights
There are various sites to take in views of the Grand Canyon. Many of the most breathtaking and famous sights of the canyon are from the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park. The National Park provides camping opportunities. The Phantom Valley Ranch also graces the bottom of the canyon, lodging that can only be reached by hiking or by horse. Reservations are highly recommended for most lodgings in the national park.
Beyond the boundaries of the national park, there are many private businesses that offer different views of the Grand Canyon. There are many campgrounds and sightseeing stops. A web search or a Grand Canyon travel guide can be extremely helpful in picking places to stop or stay.
The Grand Canyon is an adventure that a visitor will never forget.
William Finkelstein writes on travel, outdoor activities, boats, hiking and camping and other assorted topics; those fascinated by this piece should view the resources presented by Del Mar Los Cabos.
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