Grand Canyon Arizona National Park is the United States’ 15th oldest national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park is located in northwestern Arizona. The park’s central feature is the Grand Canyon Arizona National Park, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The park covers 1,217,262 acres (1,901.972 sq mi; 492,608 ha; 4,926.08 km2) of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.
Grand Canyon Arizona National Park.The red-embedded stepchild Utah loves like one of its own. Sure it’s technically in Arizona, but we claim Grand Canyon as a kindred spirit to Utah’s red-rock country. It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, a 277-mile cross section of the Northern Arizona desert laying bare 2 billion (with a b) years of geology. It gets up to 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep from the rim to the Colorado River.
Grand Canyon Arizona National Park
Artifacts from nomadic hunters found in the area date back to 12,000 BCE and the Ancestral Puebloans emerged ~2,000 years ago. Groups of Paipai people had migrated from the Mojave Desert before the first Europeans saw the Grand Canyon National Parks Utah Arizona 500 years ago. Dominguez and Escalante traveled the North Rim in 1776 and Mormon pioneers and early U.S. explorers arrived in the 19th century.
Hunter, outdoorsman and man’s man Teddy Roosevelt took a shine to what John Wesley Powell first called “Grand Canyon,” setting it apart as a game preserve (1906) and then a national monument (1908). It was made a national park in 1919 under Woodrow Wilson.
The Grand Canyon National Parks Utah Arizona, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for its combination of size, depth, and exposed layers of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. The canyon itself was created by the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, causing the Colorado River system to develop along its present path.
The primary public areas of the park are the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon itself. The rest of the park is extremely rugged and remote, although many places are accessible by pack trail and backcountry roads. Only the Navajo Bridge near Page connects the rims by road in National Park Utah Arizona; this journey can take around five hours by car. Otherwise, the two rims of the Canyon are connected via the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and the Hoover Dam.
The park headquarters are at Grand Canyon Village, not far from the south entrance to the park, near one of the most popular viewpoints. Park accommodations are operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Grand Canyon is like the Beatles vs. Stones question: You sort of have to pick a side. There are no roads across the canyon — did we mention it’s 18 miles wide and a mile deep? — so you may want to make the North and South Rims separate trips.
The North Rim is a short drive from Kanab, Utah (what national park isn’t?!), just 90 miles south on AZ-67 through the forest flattop of Kaibab Plateau.
The South Rim is 4 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada (I-40 & AZ-180), 3.5 hours from Kanab, Utah (UT-89 & AZ-64), and 1.5 hours from Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ-180).