The United States of America have many national parks with many gorgeous vistas and breathtaking landscapes, and it’s not surprising that going out to see some of the most beautiful places in the world has become a popular past time.
One national park, however, holds the most incredible monument this country has to offer. It was the only national park that President Theodore Roosevelt asked the American people to preserve for their children and their children’s children. He called it “the one great sight which every American should see”, and 112 years later, it’s still one of the most striking sights in the world. I’m talking, of course, about the Grand Canyon National Park.
The 227-mile-long canyon is, on average, 10 miles across, yawning and drawing itself in between 600 yards at its narrowest and 18 miles at its widest. The river that formed the canyon began doing so between 5 and 6 million years ago, and some of the rocks found on the floor of the canyon have been dated at over 2 billion years old. The distance from the top to the floor of the canyon is, on average, about a mile, but it varies between the North and South Rims.
The South Rim is the most popular tourist access point to the canyon, and the many Grand Canyon tours offered at the South Rim are waiting to entice and amaze visitors looking for a guided experience. The North Rim has one-of-a-kind lodging experiences, mule rides, and more. In fact, the perfect time the visit either rim is now – the 100th anniversary of the national park system is in 2015, and the festivities will include engaging new educational, artistic, and entertaining events and exhibits. Many of these events will even extend until 2016, but 2015 is the anniversary proper.
If you’re interested in seeing the canyon from a new perspective, you may brave the rapids of the Colorado River than runs through the landmark. Set aside plenty of time, too, because these immersive and excited rafting adventures can take anywhere from five to 19 days. Five days may seem like a long time, and 19 takes commitment, but going through the rapids has changed the lives of many people. Looking up from within the canyon is even more stunning than looking out across it.
19 days is a long time to be away from home, though, especially if the majority of that time is spent battling vicious currents. Why not take a relaxing ride on the park’s shuttle? A complete trip around its route will allow you to see the canyon from several different angles in just 75 minutes. If you time your ride well, you may even get to catch the sunrise or sunset since the train runs from 4:30 in the morning to one hour after sunset.
The Grand Canyon may be America’s greatest treasure, and thanks to our unwavering appreciation for this world-renowned landmark, it stands today as gorgeous as it always has. Why not see for yourself?
Have you ever taken a trip to the Grand Canyon? What was the most memorable moment of your trip? Share your experiences with other readers in the comments below!