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About the Canyon

Information is always changing and evolving. The Grand Canyon is a vast environment that has been around for billions of years. We are constantly seeking new knowledge on anything and everything Grand Canyon. Feel free to share information you have, take the information we provide and collaborate with others to seek out deeper knowledge.

  • The Grand Canyon is a mile-deep gorge in northern Arizona. Scientists estimate the canyon may have formed 5 to 6 million years ago when the Colorado River began to cut a channel through layers of rock.

  • The Grand Canyon contains some of the oldest exposed rock on Earth. The mile-high walls reveal a cross section of Earth’s crust going back nearly two billion years

  • The oldest known rocks in the canyon, called the Vishnu Basement Rocks, can be found near the bottom of the Inner Gorge. The Vishnu rocks formed about 1.7 billion years ago when magma hardened and joined this region—once a volcanic ocean chain—to the North American continent

  • Spanish explorers led by Hopi guides were the first Europeans to reach the Grand Canyon in the 1540s

  • The first pioneers began settling around the rim of the Grand Canyon in the 1880s. They were prospectors looking to mine copper. Early settlers soon realized that tourism was more profitable than mining

  • It has long been believed that the Colorado River began carving the Grand Canyon about 6 million years ago, but a 2012 study contained a real shocker, suggesting that the process may have begun as far back as 70 million years

  • The Grand Canyon creates its own weather

  • It's not the deepest canyon in the worldThe Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet plummets to a depth of 17,567 feet, making it more than 2 miles deeper than the Grand Canyon's 6,093 feet. The Tibetan canyon is also about 30 miles longer than the Grand Canyon

  • There's a town in the Grand Canyon

  • Lists of Grand Canyon facts don’t often include information about its human population, but surprisingly, it does have one. Supai Village is located at the base of the Grand Canyon within the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Inaccessible by road and with a population of just 208, it is the most remote community in the lower 48 states, and is the only place where mail is still delivered by pack mule

  • The Grand Canyon is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. The Grand Canyon is a mile deep, 277 miles long and 18 miles wide. While the park doesn’t include the entire canyon, it does measure in at a whopping 1,904 square miles in total. In comparison, Rhode Island is around 1,212 square miles

  • Hidden caves abound in the canyon. Tucked within the Grand Canyon are an estimated 1,000 caves, and of those, 335 have been recorded. Even fewer have been mapped or inventoried. Today, only one cave is open to the public -- the Cave of the Domes on Horseshoe Mesa

  • The Grand Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. An estimated 5.9 million people visit the Grand Canyon a year, making it the second most popular national park following just behind the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. It’s a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 in 1919 when the park was created

  • The most dangerous animal in the park is the rock squirrel. From bighorn sheep and the California Condors to the Gila monster, the Grand Canyon is home to a large array of wildlife. But it’s the rock squirrel that causes the most trouble. Every year, dozens of visitors are bitten when they try to feed these animals. To stay safe, do not approach or feed any animals found at Grand Canyon (or any park). Learn more about keeping wildlife wild

  • Teddy Roosevelt was instrumental in protecting the Grand Canyon. President Theodore Roosevelt first visited the Grand Canyon in 1903 and was deeply moved by the unique landscape. In 1906, Roosevelt signed a bill that proclaimed the area the Grand Canyon Game Reserve, and two years later, he made it a national monument. Of the Grand Canyon, he said, “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”

  • Includes approximately 70 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 25 types of reptiles and five species of amphibians

  • Was made a national monument in 1908 and became a national park in 1919

  • Mules are chosen from Tennessee and Missouri. They are used for pack supplies to Phantom Ranch and pack mail out of the canyon and later promoted to trail mules

  • The condors were reintroduced to the Grand Canyon in 1996

  • The first automobile to reach the Grand Canyon’s South Rim was in 1902. It took 5 days from Flagstaff

  • Grand Canyon receives close to 5 million visitors each year

  • The first people living in the canyon were the Paleo-lndian (Ancient Native American People) 12,000 years ago. They left behind tools

  • The North Rim of the Grand Canyon at an average height of 8,000 ft., it is higher than the South Rim by 1000 ft

  • Arizona is the number one copper producing state in the nation. Not surprising then is that the Capitol building of Arizona has a copper roof — the amount of copper used is equivalent to that used in 4,800,000 pennies

  • Arizona has the largest percentage of land of any state set aside for Native American use

  • If you cut down a Saguaro Cactus, you may face 25 years of imprisonment

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