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Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a HUGE canyon in Arizona. It is about 277 miles long! It’s 4 miles wide at it’s narrowest point, and about 18 miles wide at it’s widest point. And It’s about 6000 feet deep. That’s really big! The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon as well, which causes even more water erosion.

An image of the Grand Canyon at sunset.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

How Was the Grand Canyon formed?

The Grand Canyon is about 6 million years old. It wasn’t formed with tools or machinery, but by the Colorado River! The water has eroded away particles of rock for millions of years, resulting in what we have today. Other small streams, snow, ice, rain, and tectonic plate movement have all helped form it as well. It doesn’t stop there, though. As you read this, the Grand Canyon is forming more and more!

An image of a waterfall in the Grand Canyon.

Waterfall in the Grand Canyon

Fun Facts!

  • Many people see the Grand Canyon as one of the seven wonders of the world.
  • The different types of rock found in the canyon make it very important for geological research.
  • The rock at the bottom of the canyon is around 2 billion years old!
  • Native Americans have been living in the canyon for thousands of years.
  • They used to call the Grand Canyon just “The Big Canyon” and “The Great Canyon”.
  • It became a national park in 1919 and was the 17th national park in the USA.
  • Even though it isn’t the biggest canyon in the world, it still gets over 5 million visitors a year!
  • You can go sight-seeing, river rafting, hiking, and boating here. 
  • You can’t camp overnight here without a permit from the Backcountry Office.
  • It is bigger than the state of Rhode Island!
  • Over 1000 caves hide all around the canyon.
  • The most dangerous animal in the park is the rock squirrel. People try to feed them, and they can become aggressive.

    The Grand Canyon was formed from erosion.

    Colorado River, Grand Canyon, AZ

Other Great Resources:

How the GC was Formed – KidsDiscover – https://online.kidsdiscover.com/classroom/CF5F72/topic/how-the-grand-canyon-was-formed

13 Things You Didn’t Know – U.S. Department of Interior – https://www.doi.gov/blog/13-things-you-didnt-know-about-grand-canyon-national-park

Grand Canyon – SimpleWikipedia – https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon

Written by: Hannah Bertoch