En Route For Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon formed around 10 million years ago after disturbances in the surface of the earth resulted in the land rising, allowing the Colorado River to pierce a path through the rock. The rock forming the riverbed today is over 2 billion years old.
The Grand Canyon lies in the southern state of Arizona. The nearest city to the gorge is Las Vegas to the west, but Flagstaff ? 80 miles south ? offers easiest access to the main tourist area, Grand Canyon Village.
The Colorado River, winding its way through the vast gorges shaped the Grand Canyon into the dramatic vision it is today. The rapids provide a grand challenge for the brave adventurers who tackle the river by boat, particularly the notorious Lava Falls Rapids.
Stretching from Lake Mead through to Lake Powell the Grand Canyon extends some 227 miles. The vast chasm broadens towards the horizon at up to 18 miles at its widest point. In some places the land drops 1 mile to the winding Colorado River. The colossal gorge offers no easy route to the opposite side; consequently an enduring journey of over 200 miles is obligatory.
It was not until 1540 ? when Spanish adventurers came searching for gold ? Europeans first visited the Grand Canyon. Native Indians ? for thousands of years ? had previously been the only people to witness this grand spectacle. Scientists believe that remains discovered in caves indicate the Grand Canyon was first inhabited over 4,000 years ago.
The Grand Canyon was made a national monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt who said ?The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.? Many unique gorges combine to form the Grand Canyon National Park, visited by millions of tourists every year. Many descend on Grand Canyon Village seeking the glorious vistas the park offers.
The scale of the Grand Canyon is difficult to comprehend and can only be fully appreciated by experiencing it for yourself. Natural beauty is evident throughout the twists and turns of the many canyons that combine to produce nature?s work of art.
Despite its tourists, the sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon offers many opportunities for complete solitude. To contemplate the panorama alone is an extraordinary experience. Away from the tourist hotspots the incredible vistas become hypnotic, establishing you in a trance as the scene unfolds before your very eyes.
About the Author: Steven Cronin writes articles, poetry and short stories predominantly concerning travel as well as issues that influence the world in which we live. For further literature visit http://www.sargas.co.uk