Grand Canyon Among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World

Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the canyon stretches an impressive 227 miles long and averages over ten miles wide.
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Grand Canyon View

"You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths." - John Wesley Powell

Located in northwestern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder every American should see. Widely considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the canyon, formed by millions of years of erosion, wind, rain and the Colorado River, stretches an impressive 227 miles long and averages over ten miles wide. The Canyon's inner-depths expose the Earth's history with rocks dating back 250 million years to 2 billion years old. One famous quote described the Grand Canyon as the basement of history.

Originally home to Native Americans, the Grand Canyon is now one of America's premier National Parks and a popular destination for hiking, rafting, climbing and canyoneering. Though widely visited, the canyon has several places where crowds are thin and it's possible to feel completely secluded. Sitting on the rim of the canyon at sunset as the sky turns from blue to orange to deep red, it's impossible not to contemplate the meaning of life and the vast amount of space directly in front of you.

Experiencing the Grand Canyon's Natural Grandeur

The South Rim

The most popular way to experience the Grand Canyon is to visit the South Rim and peer out over the Bright Angel Trail leading down the canyon's wall to Phantom Ranch thousands of feet below. Each year millions of visitors spend time on the South Rim walking along paved paths, snapping photos during the sunrise and sunset and camping in designated campgrounds. If you go, make sure to secure campsite reservations ahead of time and plan ahead when it comes to meals. There isn't a large store on the South Rim and cafeteria food can be expensive.

Hiking and Backpacking

One of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon's natural wonder is to hike down into the canyon and spend a night below the rim. There are several campsites for backpackers heading down from both the North and South Rim, but they fill up quickly so make sure to reserve a spot early. One of the most popular destinations is the Bright Angel Trail leading down into the canyon from the South Rim. Crowds can form in the mid to late morning so start early and avoid the day hikers. Plan on camping at Indian Gardens half way down or Phantom Ranch, located just across the Colorado River at the Canyon's bottom.


The Grand Canyon might be known for its impressive grandeur from the canyon's rim, but the real gem of the Grand Canyon lies nearly a mile below the surface. The Colorado River, flowing out of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, cuts through the canyon featuring some of the world's best rapids and riverside scenery. Multiple outfitters offer a wide variety of trips, but whatever you do, don't plan on taking a motorized boat. Instead opt for an oar boat or paddleboat and spend at least seven days on the river. Just about every rafter at the end of their trip say the river will stay with them forever.


Grand Canyon View

How the Grand Canyon Became a National Park

The Canyon's natural beauty was under attack from developers, miners and ranchers. Jan 11, 1908, Roosevelt stopped them by establishing a national monument.

Early Tourists of Grand Canyon

Early Tourists of the Grand Canyon

The first people to come to sightsee were transcontinental travelers, who disembarked in Williams or Flagstaff and came to the canyon via stagecoach

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter going over blueprints for one of her buildings in the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Throughout Time

Travel back in time with a history lesson on the Grand Canyon

Lees Ferry - Mile 0 for rafting in the Grand Canyon

Legendary Grand Canyon Boatman - Martin Litton

In the Grand Canyon, 296 miles of the Colorado River runs free, largely because of Martin Litton. He was a Grand Canyon river runner and environmental activist.


Excavation Reveals Grand Canyon's Ancient Human History

Nine sites located along or just above the Colorado River were excavated over a period of 136 gritty days in the field between 2007-2009.

An artist's impression of United Airlines Flight 718 colliding with TWA Flight 2. Wikimedia Commons by anonymous author.

1956 Grand Canyon Airplane Crash

A mid-air collision occurred on June 30, 1956 when a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 struck a Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation over the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Yavapai Point in the Grand Canyon

Naming of Places in the Grand Canyon

Learning about names is a fun way to discover some of the history of the area, so check it out.

Thunder Spring Falls. Photo by Whit Richardson

Hiking Thunder Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is one of the world's seven wonders, and the North Rim is its most remote destination.

John Wesley Powell with a native guide

Powell's Grand Ambition - Rafting Through the Grand Canyon

Running the treacherous Colorado River in 1869 would be one of many historic firsts for explorer and scientist John Wesley Powell.