The Grand Canyon National Park is one of America's oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. Grand Canyon was largely unknown until after the Civil War. Today Grand Canyon National Park receives about five million visitors each year.
Most visitors to the park come to the South Rim, arriving on Arizona Highway 64. The Highway enters the park through the South Entrance, near Tusayan, Arizona. Williams, Arizona on Interstate 40 is where most visitors turn off to visit the park.
The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. Its beauty and size humble us. Grand Canyon is unmatched throughout the world for the vistas it offers to visitors on the rim and is known for its overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape.
The park includes over 1,218,376 acres of land and is 277 miles long. Width and depth of the canyon vary from place to place. At the South Rim, near Grand Canyon Village, it's a vertical mile deep and10 miles wide.
Grand Canyon owes its distinctive shape to the different rock layers in the canyon walls. Each responds to erosion in a different way: some form slopes, some form cliffs, some erode more quickly than others. The vivid colors of many of these layers are due mainly to small amounts of various minerals.
In 1919, Congress made the Grand Canyon Preserve a National Park and established it's use for the enjoyment of future generations as a recreational resource.