Grand mornings at the Grand Canyon.
Though not the deepest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is easily one of the most memorable due to its overwhelming, sprawling size and its intricate, colorful landscape. Here, visitors can stand among some of the Earth's oldest rock and witness tens or hundreds of millions of years in a single stripe of color.
The Grand Canyon is a river valley in the Colorado Plateau that is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, and up to 1.15 miles (1.86 km) deep. Several geological studies show the Colorado River first began to flow through the area around 5-6 million years ago, although one method estimates the canyon reached its current depth around 20 million years ago, and another suggests it was formed 70 million years ago. In that time, the Colorado River and its tributaries have carved away at the Earth, layer after layer, exposing nearly 2 billion years of geological history.
The first known people to live in the Grand Canyon were the Ancestral Pueblo Native Americans. Current consensus suggests they emerged in the area around 1,200 BCE during the Basketmaker II Era. Several other Native American cultures inhabited the canyon and the area for thousands of years, though it is believed no one resides in the canyon today. The first European known to have viewed the canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain in 1540. It wasn't until roughly 300 years later in the 1850's that American exploration of the canyon began.
But you don't need to know any of that information to enjoy the view.
Featured | @shainblumphotography
Location | Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
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