Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is home to much of the Grand Canyon, with its layered bands of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon’s size is immense – 277 river miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, and a mile (1.6 km) deep. The Canyon has a South Rim (open all year) and a North Rim (closed for the winter). Viewpoints include Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station and architect Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and her Desert View Watchtower. Lipan Point, with wide views of the canyon and Colorado River, is popular, especially at sunrise and sunset. Although first afforded Federal protection in 1893 as a Forest Reserve and later as a National Monument, Grand Canyon did not achieve National Park status until 1919, three years after the creation of the National Park Service. Today Grand Canyon National Park receives close to five million visitors each year – a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 which the park received in 1919.