This is nature’s most awesome sculpture, carved by the mighty Colorado River over millions of years. You’ll have a bird’s eye view as you explore the out-of-the-way waterfalls and monuments by air. In addition, a raft trip down the Colorado gives another perspective of the canyon’s timeless beauty. Magnificent sunrises, sunsets, and the changing seasons are all here to enjoy at your leisure.
The area around the Grand Canyon became a national monument on January 11, 1908, and was designated national park on February 26, 1919. The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage Site.
The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.