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National parks USA by Scott Walton (Geography free e-book)

National parks USA by Scott Walton

Arizona - The Grand Canyon

There aren't too many people in the world who haven't heard of the Grand Canyon. Ask most people you meet to describe the national park in 3 words and regardless of whether they have visited or not, the likely response is "big", "beautiful", and well, "BIG".

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge that has been carved out by the Colorado River over the course of millions of years.

The canyon spans an impressive 277 miles long and ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles. Its most impressive feature though is its dramatic depth of one mile. All of these measurements, along with the sheer aesthetic beauty of it have contributed to its status as one of the world's greatest natural wonders.

Situated within the Grand Canyon National Park, this is one destination everyone should see at least once in a lifetime.

The South Rim 

Easily the most famous part of the Grand Canyon, the South Rim attracts the most visitors and is also perhaps the most photographed section. The South Rim is the most accessible and provides the most amenities in the park.

Averaging 7000 feet above sea level and overlooking some of the canyon's most spectacular sights, the south rim is best visited from November to February in order to avoid the crowds.

The Wildlife

The Grand Canyon National Park is home to a diverse and interesting range of wildlife. In fact there are approximately 355 bird, 89 mammal, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, 17 fish and thousands of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate species within the park.

The park is also known to a number of threatened and endangered species, making it an important player in the protection of these animals.

Care should be taken around wildlife in the park as some of the animals can be dangerous.

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