The Best Understanding of the Grand Canyon

For its extraordinary natural and landscape features, the Grand Canyon is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Located in northern Arizona, it extends for a length of almost 450 kilometers and has a width that varies from 500 meters to 27 kilometers depending on the area. Much of its area is included in the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the United States. For the grand canyon tours you need to know these matters now.

The Formation

  • The Grand Canyon looks like a long and deep gorge carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries, which with the action of flowing water have eroded the sediment strata over millions of years.
  • With the raising of the mountain, associated with plate tectonics, the various geological layers of the soil were brought to light, creating the area of the Colorado Plateaus, which in some places exceeds 1500 meters above the river.

The walls of the rocky desert represent one of the most complete documents of the geological history of the territory:

The dating of the deepest layers dates back to around 1800 million years ago, the different geological ages of the sediments vary from 2 billion years of the Vishnu Schist’s to the base of the Inner Gorge, to the 230 million years of age of the Kaibab Limestone on the upper edge.

  • In general, the whole area is considered semi-desert, although at different altitudes there are different habitats, characterized by the presence of various species of flora and fauna.
  • The arid climate has facilitated the conservation of the numerous paleontological resources of the park. The interiors of the deep caves and the geological formations are rich in prehistoric fossils, still recognizable today.
  • In the westernmost part of the Grand Canyon, at the Hualapai Indian Reservation, lies the modern Skywalk structure, a large horseshoe-shaped walkway suspended in a void, built with a glass floor to admire the depths from above of the Grand Canyon. The Skywalk is about 1200 meters high and offers one of the most beautiful views in the world.

3 free shuttles leave from the Village and will take you along the scenic roads of the canyon. Whether you have reached the Visitor Center with your machine, or you have used the bus, this service will prove very useful. The frequency varies depending on the time of day but in the most important times, there is a ride every 15 minutes.

grand canyon tours

During the outward journey, there will be as many as nine stops along with the viewpoints, while on the return there will be only three. Travel time to complete this tour without ever getting off: 80 minutes. Please note: as mentioned above this service is not active in the months of December, January and February, the only months in which the road is open to private cars.

Hikers’ Express Shuttle Bus: those interested only in going to the South Kaibab Trailhead (service terminus) in the early morning can opt for the express shuttle that leaves from Bright Angel Lodge and stops only at the Backcountry Information Center and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.

Where to sleep inside and outside the Grand Canyon

When organizing a visit to the Grand Canyon, one inevitably faces the question of accommodation. In this choice, many factors come into play, first of all, what our itinerary is. Having the next stop to be reached and a roadmap to be respected is not a trivial matter. Just as it is not secondary to find a place from which to enjoy a beautiful view or that is comfortable to reach after a long day.

Coralee Bravender