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Grand Canyon Travel Guide, Arizona

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* Five million people visit the Grand Canyon every year.

* The Grand Canyon is 443 kilometers long.

* The width is between 180 meters and 30 kilometers.

* The Grand Canyon is 1.6 kilometers deep.

* The North Rim is closed for visitors from half october till april.

* You're not allowed to drive with a car at the West Rim Drive.

* The average temperature beneath the Grand Canyon is about 40 degrees Celsius.

* The North Rim and the South Rim are seperated by 16 kilometers, but by car it's a 345 kilometers drive.

* Along the East Rim you'll find an Anasazi settlement and a watch tower.

* The lenght of the Bright Angel Trail is 16 kilometers.

* Till the end of the 19th century the Grand Canyon didn't draw any attention.

* Spanish explorers visited the Grand Canyon in their search for gold, but left empty-handed.

* The expedition of John Wesley Powell over the Colorado River (1869 - 1872) "put the Grand Canyon on the map" for the general public.

* The layers of rock exposed in the canyon walls record much of the geologic history of North America.

* Over several million years the Colorado River has carved an immense chasm through an arid land-one of the greates geoligical features of its kind.

Hiking the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is the nation's most popular National Park with 5 million visitors annually. Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, the Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers from the rims. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site.

First of all, we have to tell you, that of all of the pictures we had seen of the Grand Canyon, we were truly surprised by how many trees and how green The Grand Canyon was! We were really expecting a big barren red hole! But trees were everywhere! And the panorama over the edge of the rim was overwhelming.

Once there, looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon is amazing, breath-taking, and unbelievable! But we didn't get a true feel for how large and outstanding the Grand Canyon is until we started to hike into it. Because South Kaibab Trail [6.3-miles to the bottom] is one of the few trails in the park that follows the ridge lines instead of the canyons, it is very steep. This allowed us to see up the top and below to the bottom almost the whole way. In fact, just a few hundred yards into the descent, we saw the Colorado River almost a mile below.

Hiking the Grand Canyon was an amazing experience. We recommend it to anyone who has the ability to do it. One cannot see what the Grand Canyon is about from the top. Even if 18 miles isn't feasible, hike part way down and back up! The top half of Bright Angel Trail has drinkable water every 1.5 miles, so traveling light on this part of the trail is possible. If you do venture down toward the bottom, remember to drink a lot of water, to eat a sufficient amount of food, to pack your trash back out of the Grand Canyon, and to watch your step so you don't tread where the mules have been -- and yes, they have big ears, too!

<< Editor's Note: The Grand Canyon is a place of peace and silence. It's a place you need to respect, simple for its size but also because it hold the entire geological history of North America in its rocks. Make sure that if you come to the South Rim one year, try the North rim next. It's a completely different site, a bit cooler, but with even more vegetation and a bit more spectacular in its rock formations. >>

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