The Grand Canyon, in Arizona, US, is one of the largest and most impressive example of erosion by water, along with Victoria and Niagara falls. It has been named as a UNESCO world heritage site, and one of USA Today’s seven wonders of the world, and both these titles mean that it is very well protected.
The Grand Canyon is a series or gorges, spanning 227 miles and with cliffs reaching 5280 feet in height. Today it is primarily the site for the Grand Canyon National Park and tourist attraction, but less than 5 centuries ago it served as a place to live for Native Americans, the Pueblo people and after that Europeans immigrants.
Because the Grand Canyon is located in a place such as Arizona, it makes the ideal site for a family holiday, or couple’s vacation for a fortnight. There are many historic parks, zoos and water parks located in Arizona, so you could fill your week with visiting these, and an awe inspiring visit to the Grand Canyon to finish it off. Because the Grand Canyon is protected by a National Park you can take tours and take the paths that make your day out safe.
This entirely natural structure was formed as many as 40 million years ago, but it didn’t look the way it does now overnight.
40 million years ago was when the Colorado River was first formed; the same Colorado River that caused the flooding of much of western America and prompted the construction of the Hoover Dam in order to tame it. This river started from small tributaries and grew gradually into a lake, or basin. Currents within this lake started to form grooves in the river bed and the Colorado river started to snake in and out of the rock; eroding it over millions of years to form what we know as the Grand Canyon today.
Along with the formation of the deep gorges that run through the grand canyon, and the cliffs that encompass them, are various caves which provided shelter for indigenous peoples and eventually European immigrants in the sixteenth century. Today, the water that runs through the gorges of the Grand Canyon continue to erode the rock around them, although we will not notice the differences in our lifetime. The Grand Canyon has taken 40 million years to get to this point, so who knows what the next 40 million will bring?
How to Get There:
There are three international airports near the Grand Canyon: Phoenix Sky Harbor, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport or The Grand Canyon Airport which is closest to the actual attraction.
This may seem like the best choice at first, but it’s important to remember that you will want to stay in a more metropolitan area in order to find restaurants and thing to do on the days that you’re not visiting the canyon. For this reason it’s best to fly to Flagstaff Pulliam Airport and either rent a car from there, hire a taxi or take a bus to your hotel, or the attraction itself.
Where to Stay:
You can choose from camping ground accommodation around the rim of the Grand Canyon, or alternatively a comfortable hotel in one of the towns nearby, such as St. George, Bullhead City, Flagstaff or even the ever-exciting Las Vegas.
Spring Hill Suites is a great hotel in Flagstaff, which is also by highway 40 which runs to the Grand Canyon and has wireless Internet, room service, laundry services and a restaurant with room delivery. A couple’s room here for one night costs from $119 to $129. Alternatively, you could try a stay in Flagstaff’s Holiday Inn Express for $130 to $199 per night.