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Grand Canyon Facts

Theodore Roosevelt

Grand Canyon Facts: Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. The Grand Canyon was designated as a National Park by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.

Grand Canyon Facts for kids
Theodore Roosevelt passed the 1906 National Monuments Act, a law to preserve the heritage of the nation.
President Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. The Grand Canyon was designated as a National Park by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.

Definition and Summary of the Grand Canyon Facts
Summary and definition:
The Grand Canyon is a deep gorge in Arizona, formed by the Colorado River that extends from its junction with the Little Colorado River to Lake Mead. It was cut by vertical river erosion through the multi-coloured layers of the high Colorado plateau. The Grand Canyon is  277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and it is more than a mile deep. It is referred to as one of the Natural Wonders of the World and attracts over 5,000,000 visitors every year. The Grand Canyon Skywalk was opened in March 2007 and is a horseshoe-shaped, glass walkway that allows tourists to walk 70 feet past the edge of the Grand Canyon wall and stand 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.

Grand Canyon Facts for kids: Fast Fact Sheet
Fast, fun facts for kids about the Grand Canyon:

Where is the Grand Canyon located? The State of Arizona

How big is the Grand Canyon? 277 miles (446 km) long, widest point is 18 miles (29 km), narrowest point is 4 miles wide and it is more than a mile (6,000 feet) deep

When was it formed? The rock found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is around 2 billion years old. The oldest rock in the Grand Canyon is the Elves Chasm Gneiss

How was the Grand Canyon formed? By erosion, water, rock and climate. The Colorado River carved the depth of the Grand Canyon

What is the Grand Canyon Skywalk? A glass walkway 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) above the canyon floor

Grand Canyon Facts and Info on the Skywalk: Basic, Brief Facts for kids via the Fact Sheet
Interesting info, description and brief facts about the Grand Canyon and the famous Skywalk.

This awe-inspiring Grand Canyon National Park is located in the State of Arizona, close to the borders of Utah and Nevada. .

It is 277 miles (446 km) long

Its widest point is 18 miles (29 km) and its narrowest point is 4 miles wide

It is more than a mile (6,000 feet) deep

The area of this famous National Park is 1,902 sq miles (4,926 km˛)

It is 2 billion years old - much older than the dinosaurs

The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon and has been eroding its steep sides for millions of years. The Colorado River established its course through the gorge at least 17 million years ago

The Grand Canyon is important because not only is it one of the Wonders of the Natural World, it is also an important site for geological research due to the many types of rock that are visible.

Over 5 million people visit the area every year to enjoy the breath taking scenery and enjoy pursuits such as hiking, sightseeing, rafting, climbing and camping.

It is illegal to excavate, relocate, and/or remove fossils from the National Park.

Nobody has ever found a fossilized reptile skeleton within the Grand Canyon area although fossil footprints were left by more than 20 species of reptiles and amphibians.

The Sipapuni is a natural formation on the Little Colorado River and features in the creation myths of some Native Americans. Sipapuni is the  Hopi term for "Place of Emergence".

Native American Indian Tribes have occupied the Grand Canyon area for many hundreds of years. The six major Native American Indian Tribes are the Havasupai, Zuni, Hopi, Paiute, Navajo and the Hualapai.

  • The Zuni, a Pueblo Tribe. Ribbon Falls and Thunder River Falls are sacred destinations to the Zuni

  • The Hopi, a Pueblo Tribe. The Hopi village of Oraibi is the oldest continuously inhabited village in the United States and has been occupied since at least 1100 AD

  • The Kaibab Paiute Indians believe that the sacred land of Puxant Tuvip was where the Southern Paiute people were created

  • The Navajo have inhabited the area since the late 1500's

  • The Hualapai, meaning “People of The Tall Pines,” are the native people of the Southwest who believe the area is sacred and is featured in their creation myths

  • The Havasupai, meaning "people of the blue-green waters" have occupied the area for over 800 years

The steep sides and slopes abound with the shapes of towers, temples, columns, and pyramids. The north rim rises a thousand feet higher than the South Rim.

The area contains 90 species of mammals, 45 types of reptiles, 9 species of amphibians and 350 species of birds. Species of animals in the area include the Mountain Chickadee, Coyotes, Porcupines, Bears, Squirrels, the Bobcat, Mule Deer and Chipmunks

Because of the vast ranges of altitude and terrain, the Grand Canyon has many climate zones. Temperatures can range from below zero in places to over 100 degrees. The North Rim is only open to visitors in the late spring, summer, and early fall.

It is the third largest canyon in the world, exceeded by Barranca de Cabre in Northern Mexico and Hell's Canyon in Idaho

The oldest human artifacts in the area are estimated to be 3000 to 4000 years old

Skywalk Facts: The u-shaped glass Grand Canyon walkway opened in 2007 and was heralded as feat in engineering. It took 4 years to build the bridge and cost $30 million dollars.

Skywalk Facts: The glass bottomed structure allows tourists to walk 70 feet past the edge of the Grand Canyon and
stand 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. Definitely not for the feint-hearted!

Skywalk Facts: It is 10 feet wide and 70 feet long. The floor and walls are made of glass. The glass walls are approximately 5 to 7 feet high.

Skywalk Facts: The fantastic views from the glass walkway attract 2 million visitors per year.

Skywalk Facts: The idea was conceived by a Las Vegas businessman called David Jin who obtained agreement from the Hualapai Tribe for the project.

Skywalk Facts: The glass walkway was designed by Lochsa Engineering & MRJ Architects and built by Executive Construction Management

Skywalk Facts: Numerous tests were made to ensure its safety checking the strength of the rock and its ability to withstand high winds.

Skywalk Facts:  60 to 120 people are allowed on the Skywalk at one time, although it can support 800 people.

Skywalk Facts: It is located, not in Grand Canyon National Park, but at Grand Canyon West, on the Hualapai Indian Reservation

Grand Canyon Facts and Info : Fast Facts for kids via the Geology Fact Sheet
Interesting info,  description and brief facts about the Grand Canyon are detailed in the Geology Fact Sheet. For historical info refer to the Grand Canyon History Timeline.

Formation: The canyon was originally shaped by climate changes that created swamps, deserts and inland seas.

Formation: The many changes to the environment created many different colored layers of rock, one on top of the other.

Geology: There are 12 distinctive multi-colored layers of rock that provide a timeline of the rock formation. The age is measured by indicating the 'my', meaning the number of million years old. The following chart shows the names and the time periods associated with the layers of rocks. The oldest level is the Vishnu basement.

Names: Many of the names associated with the Grand Canyon are highly descriptive, other names relate to people or events. Some names are exotic and taken from Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, Norse and other ancient civilizations. Of the 230 place names at the Grand Canyon, twenty-five are Native American names.

Vishnu basement: The Vishnu basement layer is about 1,840 to 1,680 million years old, originally consisting of sediments of sandstone, limestone, shale and granite that combined with lava flows to form the schist. The colors of this layer are dark gray or black. Vishnu is the name of an important Hindu deity and means "the Preserver"

Grand Canyon Supergroup: The Grand Canyon Supergroup layer is about 1,250 to 740 million years old. It consists of thick group of basaltic rocks that flowed as lava and deposited on top of the schist and granite.The colors of this layer are dark brown.

Tapeats Sandstone: The Tapeats Sandstone layer is about 525 million years old, consisting of medium and coarse sandstone. The upper layer rocks are marked by ripple marks formed by prehistoric ocean waves. The colors of this layer are dark brown.

Bright Angel Shale: The Bright Angel Shale layer is about 515 million years old, consisting of mudstone shale and sandstone. The colors of this layer are green, gray, brown and tan.

Muav Limestone: The Muav Limestone layer is about 505 million years old, consisting mainly of limestone, separated by layers of sandstone and shale. The colors of this layer are gray.

Temple Butte Formation: The Temple Butte Formation layer is about 385 million years old, consisting of purple freshwater limestone in the east and gray or cream dolomite in the west.

Redwall Limestone: The prominent Redwall Limestone layer is about 340 million years old, consisting of limestone and dolomite. The colors of this layer are deep red caused by iron oxides and also dark brown

Supai Group: The Supai Group layer is about 315 to 285 million years old, originally consisting of sediments of sandstone, limestone and shale. The colors of this layer are red, brown and tan. The word Supai is derived from the Havasupai Reservation.

Hermit Formation: The Hermit Formation layer is about 280 million years old, and consists of soft shale that have eroded into slopes. The colors of this layer are red and rust.

Coconino Sandstone: The Coconino Sandstone layer is about 275 million years old, consisting of quartz sand. The colors of this layer are white and cream. Coconino is the Hopi word for Havasupai and Yavapai Indians

Toroweap Formation: The Toroweap Formation layer is about 273 million years old, consisting of sediments of sandstone and shale. The colors of this layer range from yellow to gray. Toroweap is a Paiute term meaning "dry or barren valley".

Kaibab Formation: The Kaibab Formation layer is about 270 million years old, originally consisting of sandstone, and shale. The colors of this layer are cream and grayish-white. Kaibab is a Paiute Indian word meaning "mountain lying down".

The Precambrian Era is 4540 to 544 million years ago
The Paleozoic Era is 542 To 251 million years ago
The Mesozoic Era is 251 To 65.5 million years ago
The Cenozoic Era is 65.5 million years ago to present

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era
Grand Canyon History

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