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Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon measures 277 miles (446 kilometres) long, the Grand Canyon reaches depths of over a mile (1.83 km or 6,000 feet) and has a width of between 4 and 18 miles (6.4 km to 29 km). It is a spectacle which has to be seen to be believed because until you stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon you really can't imagine just how magnificent it is.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon and the Grand Canyon National Park is one of the world's top tourist destinations attracting between 4 and 5 million visitors per year. Most will come to stand in awe at the edge of the canyon, but the Grand Canyon also has other attractions too such as its ancient Native American cultural heritage and its more recent history including discovery by the Europeans. There are also many interesting remnants of the tourism development in the area which began in the early 1900's.

As well as viewing the Grand Canyon from the rim, helicopter rides over it are very popular and these can be taken from the nearby town of Tusayan , at the south rim entrance to the park. Hiking into the Grand Canyon is also very popular though this is a strenuous and fairly dangerous hike so should ideally be undertaken with a qualified guide and not in the height of summer! Finally the other way to see the Grand Canyon is by boat and there are many companies who offer white water rafting experiences on the Colorado River.

The Grand Canyon was one of the first destinations in the United States to be designated a National Park and was established as such in 1919. Later the Grand Canyon was also added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The general scientific consensus is that the canyon was carved out by the mighty Colorado River over a period of 6 million years. The Grand Canyon is hence one of the most important geological areas in North America because the layers of rock which have been exposed here are up to 2 billion years old.

Many visitors will come to the Grand Canyon as part of a larger road trip, though if you're coming just for the Grand Canyon head for either Las Vegas McCarran International Airport west of the Grand Canyon in Nevada, or Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport which is south of the Grand Canyon. Another option is to fly from Los Angeles to Flagstaff 's Pulliam Field Airport as Flagstaff is actually the nearest commercial airport to the Grand Canyon .

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