Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon, with
its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Viewpoints
include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio
and her Desert View Watchtower. Lipan Point, with wide views of the canyon and Colorado
River, is a popular, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Grand Canyon National Park encompasses canyons, river tributaries, and surrounding
grounds. The Grand Canyon is situated in Arizona’s northwestern quadrant. With millions of
visitors making the trip to the canyon each year, this park is one of the most visited tourist
destinations in the world. In addition, the park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since
The Grand Canyon had a long and arduous road to becoming a national park, beginning in the
1880s with several failed congressional bills. After making multiple visits to the area, Theodore
Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a National Monument in 1908. The bill to grant national
park status to the area was passed in 1919 and signed by then-President Woodrow Wilson.
There are two public areas of Grand Canyon National Park, the North and South Rims. At 7,000
feet above sea level, the Grand Canyon South Rim is the most accessible section of the
national park, with numerous places where visitors can pull over to admire the views. The
Grand Canyon North Rim, 1,000 feet higher than its southern sibling, isn’t as popular because
it is harder to get to, especially when harsh winter weather closes access roads. By car, the
trip from one rim to the other is 220 miles. However, if traveling by foot, the distance across
the canyon is 21 miles via the Kaibab Trails.
With its ever-changing and dramatic scenery of enormous proportions, the Grand Canyon is
one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. Its pine and fir forests, painted deserts,
sandstone canyons, mesas and plateaus, volcanic and geologic features, the Colorado River,
perennial streams, and waterfalls breathtakingly combine to form one of Earth’s greatest
landmarks. The only one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World to be located in North
America, more than 4,000,000 people visit the canyon each year, making it the most visited
national park in the United States.