Fun Facts About the Grand Canyon
One of the most awe inspiring natural wonders in the world is located in northwestern Arizona. The Grand Canyon is an experience you have to see in person to appreciate. It's an utterly amazing place to visit.
The Grand Canyon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The canyon is up to 18 miles wide, 277 miles long and about a mile deep. Scientists estimate it took three to six million years to form. It's common knowledge that the canyon was formed by the Colorado River. This is what children have been taught in school for many years. However, scientists now believe the canyon was formed from a number of different processes that include:
- The Colorado River
- Erosion from water ice and wind
- Continental drift
- Slight variations in the Earth's orbit
- Giant anomalous structure underneath the Colorado Plateau
One of the most recent discoveries according to Livescience, is that of an anomalously cold, dense region, more than 120 miles deep, sinking into the earth, located in the lithosphere under the Grand Canyon and much of the Colorado Plateau. It appears the anomaly is pulling off the lower part of the crust above it, which could account for much of the unusual geology in and around the Grand Canyon.
Wildlife and Ecosystems
The Grand Canyon is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The canyon is comprised of different ecosystems, such as:
- Cave systems
- Prairies and grasslands
- Rivers and streams
The Canyon also runs through part of the Havasupai Reservation. According to Havasupaitribe.com, the diverse wildlife in the Canyon includes different species of:
- Plants -1500
- Birds - 355
- Mammals -89
- Reptiles - 47
- Amphibians -9
- Fish - 17
There are also waterfalls in the Grand Canyon. The canyon is always changing and in 2008, a significant flash flood caused the extinction of a well-known waterfall called Navajo Falls. However, the flood also created two new waterfalls, which are unofficially named Rock Falls and New Navajo Falls. The other three waterfalls are:
- Havasu Falls
- Mooney Falls
- Beaver Falls
Other Interesting Facts
Other interesting facts about the Grand Canyon that you may not know include:
- The Canyon became a national monument in 1908.
- It was designated as a national park in 1919.
- There are 400 miles of trails in the park.
- The maximum depth of the Colorado River is 85 feet and the average is 40 feet.
- There are 160 rapids along the river.
- The length of the river in miles is 277.
- The Canyon has five of the seven life zones.
- Since the 1870s, about 600 people have died at the Grand Canyon.
- There are 1,000,000 acres of land in the Grand Canyon.
- The only accommodations inside the canyon are at Phantom Ranch.
- The North rim of the Grand Canyon has an elevation of 8000 feet.
- The North rim can get snow anytime of year.
- Summer temperatures inside the canyon can range from 80 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Winter temperatures inside the canyon can range from 30 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Visiting the Grand Canyon
If you decide to visit the Grand Canyon, the North rim is open between May and October, depending on the amount of snowfall each year. The South rim is open all year long, with summer being the busiest season. The rim with the best views depends on who you talk to. It is really a matter of opinion, however, one thing is certain. You will get spectacular scenery on every side of the Grand Canyon.