Vulcan's Anvil

Named after the Roman god, Vulcan, Vulcan's Anvil is considered a sacred part of the Grand Canyon National Park.
Rafting By Vulcans Anvil

Vulcan's Anvil rock formation in bottom center. Photo by Jan Wellington

Just before the river plunges into Lava Falls, one of the most notorious rapids in the Grand Canyon, you float past a 50-foot tall vertical volcanic plug protruding out of the deceptively calm pool that lies above the maelstrom below.

Vulcan - The Roman God of Beneficial Fire and Volcanoes

Vulcan's Anvil was named after the Roman God Vulcan. Like his Greek counterpart, Hephaestus, Vulcan was a blacksmith who forged swords, spears, jewelry and other metallic objects on his anvil in a smithy beneath the slopes of Mount Etna, a volcano in Italy. Vulcan's Colorado anvil was created by massive lava flows that poured through this part of the canyon 400,000 years ago, damming the river and leaving behind the black rocks that mark the landscape in the lower part of the canyon.

The explorer John Wesley Powell described this area, "What a conflict of water and fire there must have been here! Just imagine a river of molten rock running down into a river of melted snow. What seething and boiling of the waters; what clouds of steam rolled into the heavens!"

A Sacred Rock

According to river lore, Native American's consider Vulcan's Anvil to be sacred and prefer that visitors refrain from touching the rock or leaving artifacts on its sides.

Two Ways to See Vulcan's Anvil

1. Rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, you will pass by the rock formation a few hundred yards before Lava Falls, the canyon's fiercest rapids.

2. View Vulcan's Anvil at the Toroweap Overlook on the North Rim. To get to the overlook, take the turnoff from Highway 389, 7 miles west of Fredonia. A sign points to 61 miles of dirt road. There are no facilities past this point except for a ranger station with an emergency phone 6-miles before the overlook. It is advised to be well supplied with water, food, and a 4wd vehicle. See more routes to Toroweap


Guano Point at the Grand Canyon's West Rim

Top 2 Grand Canyon West Viewpoints

Outside of the Grand Canyon National Park on the Hualapai Indian Reservation lies the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Eagle Point, and Guano Point.

Upper Antelope Canyon near Page Arizona. Photo by Joshua Benally

Canyons in Arizona Beyond the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is the ultimate canyon, but it's only one of many canyons that are worthy of seeing and experiencing during your Arizona vacation.

Toroweap Outlook

Fantastic Sights Beyond Grand Canyon

It's just a short jont to Toroweap (also called Tuweep) Overlook, Monument Valley, Goosenecks State Park, San Francisco Peaks, Oak Creek Canyon, Vermiliion Cliffs, Hoover Dam, Lake Powell, and London Bridge.

Geology Display in Grand Canyon

Get a First Hand Look at the Earth's Geology in the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the only places in the world where visitors can hold a chunk of rock that's nearly 2 billion years old.

Grand Falls also called Chocolate Falls. Photo by Sierralara

Arizona Waterfalls Near the Grand Canyon

Waterfalls around the Grand Canyon can range from trickling water to a raging cascade, but they're fun either way. Learn about Grand Falls and Encinoso Falls here.

Rainbow at Point Imperial in the Grand Canyon. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Top North Rim Viewpoints in the Grand Canyon

Don't miss the views at the Grand Canyon's quieter side - the North Rim. Top views can be had at Cape Royal and Point Imperial.

Early morning at the Lookout Studio in Grand Canyon National Park

Visit Grand Canyon Virtually

You don’t have to visit Grand Canyon National Park to experience its spectacular attractions like Hopi Point, Bright Angel Trail and Phantom Ranch.

Sunset at Havasu Falls. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Havasu Falls and Other Havasupai Waterfalls

After a long hike on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, enjoy three refreshing waterfalls in the canyon, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls and Navajo Falls.


Rivers in the Grand Canyon Region

So many river options on a hot day in the Grand Canyon!