Grand Canyon-A glimpse to the Natural Wonders of the World
Carved out by the Colorado River, is the Grand Canyon. Arizona’s distinguished landmark and also the most spectacular gorge in the world located inside the Grand Canyon National Park. Stretching 277 miles from end to end, and nearly 1,500 m deep, the Grand Canyon is testimony to almost 6 million years of geological activity and erosion by the Colorado River. Owing to its labyrinthine topography, it is considered one of the world’s most visually powerful landscapes and was rightly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Geologists claim that the Grand Canyon is approximately 250 million years old. Its stunning and varied topography has always been a point of debate among geologists and wonder for its viewer. Most of the rock in the Grand Canyon is composed of sedimentary rocks. In fact the current top layer of the Grand Canyon is composed of Kaibab limestone, which can only be formed at the bottom of the ocean. Investigation has revealed that fossils of ocean creatures like coral, mollusks, sea lilies, worms etc also form an integral component of the Grand Canyon’s composition.
The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona which is why people tend to believe that the area only experiences the warm and dry weather of a desert. However, its elevation of 7,000 m results in varying temperatures throughout the year. Summer temperatures, both in North Rim and South Rim range from 5 to 21 degree celsius. Winter conditions tend to get extreme. In fact, visitors ought to note that the road into the North Rim remains closed from the first heavy snow in November to mid-May. May and October are some of the driest months. For hiking in the canyon, spring and fall sport mild temperatures with warm days and cooler nights, are advised as the best months. Incidentally, some of the cleanest air in the United States can be found in Grand Canyon. Travelers should also note that Grand Canyon North Rim, is only open from mid-May through mid-October.
Most visitors begin their Grand Canyon vacations by taking a flight to either Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, whichever is most suitable. The Grand Canyon is accessible from main entrances on the South Rim and the North Rim. Depending on where you wish to start your expedition from, tourists can hire a cab accordingly. As far as currency is concerned, US dollars are accepted here and are widely in circulation. About the food in and around Grand Canyon National Park , the basic American fare is sold.
Broadly, Grand Canyon North Rim has a quiet ambience and is thus relatively better suited to couples and hikers. Due to this, visitor services at the North Rim are limited. South Rim is the more popular choice. Irrespective of whether you choose to visit the South Rim, North Rim, or both, some activities which you should definitely incorporate in your itinerary include:
• Witness the spectacular sunrise, sunset or both if possible.
• Hiking down one of the trails into the canyon to gain perspective and appreciate the enormity of the Canyon.
• Indulge in mule rides, white water rafting, 4×4 safari-jeep tours or ranger-guided activities to make your trip to Grand Canyon more memorable.
• Visit to popular historical buildings in South Rim noteworthy among them being Buckey O’Neill Cabin, The El Tovar Hotel, Desert View Watchtower, among others.
So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to Grand Canyon, aptly listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.