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Hiking into the canyon is probably the best way to see it and these amazing rock formations.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Grand Canyon National Park

2 Albright Ave. Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023
South Rim and facilities = usually open year round. North Rim = seasonal closures.
928-638-7888 2 days
February 2013 Summer, Fall, Spring
$10-29 Grand Canyon Arizona
Website Nature National Parks
 
The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and is considered by many to be the most impressive natural landmark in the US. It is over 270 miles long and up to 18 miles in width. The canyon is over a mile deep in places. The national park was established in 1919, and contains about half the canyon it its 1.2 million acres.

The Colorado River, which once flowed unhindered by dams or diversions, was the primary carver of the canyon. Over 6 million years the river slowly developed a deeper channel in the Colorado Plateau. Some of the rock layers exposed by erosion along the canyon walls are up to 2 billion years old. The canyon has consequently been carefully studied by generations of geologists. Conservation protection came first via a forest preserve in 1893, and continued thereafter.

Given the park’s popularity, pre-planning and reservations may be necessary. For example, cabins at the Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon are often reserved 6-8 months out and the entire North Rim is closed much of the year. For a two day visit, spending one full day checking out sites and drives along the South Rim and in the village and another day hiking into the canyon worked well. The visitor center, although not especially interesting is a good place to start. Nearby it are Mather Point and the Rim Trail, both of which offer great views of the canyon. The South Rim village is also worth a visit to see the historic El Tovar Hotel and several smaller museums and shops. The Hermit Road west of the village is closed to traffic much of the year but was dull. On the other hand, the Desert View Drive had better views and more interesting stops, including the beautiful art and architecture of the Desert View Watchtower. A separate review of a hike into the canyon is included in the table below. The Grand Canyon is one of those places that everyone should see at least once and it will have universal appeal.
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guyonthego
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Gar the Bold
5/17/2013 10:55:11 AM
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Grand Canyon is a great destination. My family and I loved our trip there, and although we went at a busy time of year, we never felt overcrowed.