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15 Interesting Facts about Grand Canyon

15 Interesting Facts about Grand Canyon

What do you know about the Grand Canyon in the United States? Here are 15 Interesting Grand Canyon Facts that I bet you didn’t know!

Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic places to visit in the U.S with over 5 million annual visitors. It has been featured in countless numbers of movies and even continues to be a great mystery even in modern times. 

There are several beautiful waterfalls in the canyon

Havasu Falls, Ribbon Falls, Cheyava Falls, Beaver falls and the Navajo falls are just some of the spectacular waterfalls in the Grand Canyon.

It might take some hiking to get to these places, but you’ll be met by the beauty of Mother Nature, and the hike will definitely be worth it!

Havasu Falls

Photo: thomas prusso/Shutterstock

More than 5 million people visit the Canyon every year

People from all over the world, including Americans, come here to admire the spectacular scenery and become awe-struck of the vastness of rock formations and wonders of nature. 

The canyon is a great geological mystery

The bottom of the canyon is dating back some 1.2 billion years in time, but the upper layer of the rocks are “just” 250 million years old, which means that for some mysterious reason, a few hundred million years of rock history have vanished. 

Geologists are baffled by this Grand Canyon fact, and they don’t have any explanation for it. The mysterious phenomenon has become known as the Great Unconformity.

Grand Canyon

Photo: Anton Foltin/Shutterstock

It has fossils dating back 1.2 billion years

While you won’t find any dinosaur fossils here, there are plenty of fossils that are even older than the dinosaurs! That’s definitely one of the coolest facts about Grand Canyon.

The fossils come from marine animals dating back 1.2 billion years as well as land mammals who lived in the canyon in more recent times up to 10,000 years ago.

There is a small town in the Grand Canyon

Yes, there are still people living in the Grand Canyon, in the small town known as Supai Village, which is also a gateway to the five Havasupai falls in the Havasupai Indian Reservation. 

Supai Village

Photo: joojoob27 /

The Havasupai people have lived here for more than 800 years

The Native American Havasupai people have been living in the Grand Canyon for more than 800 years. The tribe has a total population of about 730 people, and the Supai village has about 200 permanent residents.

The Havasupai people have been living in the area known as Havasu Canyon since at least the 13th century. 

Grand Canyon National Park is bigger than the state of Rhode Island

Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the US, but it’s still a state with a population of more than 1 million people. However, if the Grand Canyon National Park was a state, it would be bigger than Rhode Island with a total area of 4,926 km².

Grand Canyon information

Photo: Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock

It’s considered a gateway to the afterlife by the Hopi Tribe

The Native Americans from the Hopi Tribe have always held the area as a spiritually important location, and they believe that when a person dies he/she will pass through a place of emergence at the convergence of the Colorado and Little Colorado River.

Temperatures vary greatly within the canyon

Did you know that some parts of the canyon might have colder temperatures and rain and just a few miles away it could be dry with hotter temperatures? The sudden changes in the elevation cause the temperatures to vary greatly, and you could say that the canyon forms its own kind of weather system. 

The Canyon is around 6000 feet deep (1800 meters)

This makes it the fourth deepest canyon in the world, which is quite impressive. And it actually gets deeper every year too, which makes this yet another interesting fact about Grand Canyon. 

Grand Canyon size

Photo: Josemaria Toscano/Shutterstock

5 x Grand Canyon Facts for kids

  • It became a national park in 1919
  • The total length of the canyon is 277 miles (446 kilometers)
  • The Colorado River runs through the massive Canyon
  • It’s located in the state of Arizona
  • Bighorn sheep and Rock squirrels are some of the animals living in the national park
Grand canyon facts for kids

Photo: vagabond54/Shutterstock

General Facts about Grand Canyon

  • Name in other languages: (Hopi: Ongtupqa, Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Spanish: Gran Cañón)
  • Length: 277 miles (446 km)
  • Width: 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29.0 km)
  • Depth: 6,093 feet (1,857 meters)
  • Location: Arizona

The North Rim receives the heaviest snowfall, averaging 142 inches per year, with a record snowfall of 272.8 inches. Most of the rims will receive snowfalls during wintertime, but the snow often gets melted before reaching the bottom of the canyon.

The snow adds an extra touch to the winter and if you have the right clothing, some spectacular scenery awaits. 

General facts about Grand Canyon

Photo: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people have fallen into the Grand Canyon?

On average 2-3 people die each year after falling over the rim. Other than that, there are no official records of how many people fall down into the canyon.

Are there snakes in the Grand Canyon?

Yes, there are 6 species of Rattlesnake living within the national park, including the pink rattlesnake.

What is the most dangerous animal in the Grand Canyon?

There are many potentially dangerous animals living within the canyon’s borders, such as mountain lions, black bears, scorpions, rattlesnakes, charging elks as well as the venomous lizard, known as the Gila monster.

However, encounters with these animals are rare and they tend to avoid human contact. Based on the number of emergency room visits per year, the rock squirrel is without a doubt the most “dangerous” animal. 

Dangerous animals in the Grand Canyon

Photo: Creeping Things/Shutterstock

Who owns the Grand Canyon?

There are some private in-holdings, but the majority of the land is owned by the Federal government. 

Does the Grand Canyon get deeper every year?

While it’s not the deepest or the longest canyon in the world, the depth of the Canyon gets deeper every year. 

Who named Grand Canyon?

John Wesley Powell named the canyon after his first trip in the 1800s.

What river runs through the Grand Canyon?

The Colorado River runs all the way from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado through the canyon before continuing into Lake Mead on the border of Arizona and Nevada.

colorado river

Photo: Anton Foltin/Shutterstock

How many of these Grand Canyon facts did you already know? Leave a comment below!