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Often described as Earth’s greatest geological showcase, the breathtaking ensemble of colorful rock layers, impressive buttes and shadowed side canyons sets Grand Canyon apart.
The Grand Canyon truly is Flagstaff’s back yard. Only 80 miles of scenic road between destinations, you can wake up to breakfast in Flagstaff, have lunch at the Grand Canyon Historic Village at South Rim and be back to take the brewery trail that evening.
The Grand Canyon achieved National Park status in 1919, although having been afforded Federal protection since 1893 first as a forest reserve, then later as a National Monument. Only 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon sees close to five million visitors each year! The most visited area of the park being Grand Canyon Village on the south rim. This area is listed as a National Historic Landmark District and consists of 257 structures.
There are a variety of ways to experience the Grand Canyon based on each person’s interest. Visitors can travel to the many viewpoints via shuttle bus or commercial buses. There are also information centers, museums and interpretive ranger programs where you may learn more about the canyon and its history. If you are feeling adventurous, take a day hike above the rim, or plan for a camping trip down into the canyon. One of the more famous ways to experience the Grand Canyon and Colorado River is a rafting trip. These trips are offered for varying lengths from many different river running companies.
No one really knows how old it is. Many scientists believe that the Colorado River began carving what we now know as the Grand Canyon, but there have been other respected studies that show the formation started much earlier than this with multiple canyons coming together.
No dinosaur bones have ever been found in the Grand Canyon. It’s true. Although it seems like the perfect setting for paleontologists to discover their next big find, The Canyon walls are much older than the dinosaurs and the canyon formed after their existence.
The park, established in 1919, has a land area encompassing 1,217,403 acres.
The highest point of elevation on the canyon is Point Imperial on the North Rim at 8,803 feet.
Every United States astronaut that has set foot on the moon trained in Flagstaff and at the Grand Canyon. They had a keen interest in geology and the landscape of the Colorado Plateau.