The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular National Parks in the United States of America. Like all National Parks, the Grand Canyon was not always the well known national treasure that it is today. It was not a protected area right after it's initial discovery a few hundred years ago. The Grand Canyon received a to-be protected status in 1893 by the government and was named as a Forest Reserve. It was later given the status of a National Monument, followed in 1919 by a National Park status. Over the years, the Grand Canyon has grown to be one of the most popular destinations in the United States.
There are many different theories as to how the Grand Canyon itself was created. Many people will agree, however, that it took a lot of time to form and become what it is today. It also means that the Grand Canyon is constantly changing and is not exactly the same year over year. This allows visitors to return to the Grand Canyon many times over their lifetime and have a new experience each and every time.
The Grand Canyon is immense in size. The park itself covers more than 1.2 million acres of land. The desert type area is broken only by the Colorado River that winds its way along at the bottom of the giant canyon floor. There are also some areas of the park that are covered with forests rather than the desert land. This makes the Grand Canyon an area of contrast. When a visitor chooses the Grand Canyon as a part of their vacation, there are many different adventures that one might wish to embark upon. The Grand Canyon houses numerous hiking trails for those who enjoy a good hike. Some of these trails wind along the edge of the canyon offering magnificent views of the canyon below. Other trails wind down into the canyon itself. Some of the trails will allow visitors to hike to the very bottom of the canyon. One trail leads directly into the heart of the canyon and is so long that it requires the visitors to stay the night at the bottom of the canyon.
For those who do not wish to make the hike, but would like to experience the lower canyon areas, donkey excursions are available as well. A visitor can also choose to spend their vacation within the Grand Canyon without traveling to the bottom of the canyon. There are several unique resorts that are located within the Grand Canyon. Those wishing to stay at these hotels will be required to make reservations well in advance as these hotels have a tendency to fill up quickly. There are also several wonderful hotels and lodges that are located within easy driving distance of the Grand Canyon. Those who enjoy camping will also find several options along both the north and the south rims of the canyon. These campgrounds do not offer hookups, however. Restaurants are another part of the charm within Grand Canyon National Park. For those who just need a few grocery items, Canyon Village Marketplace is the perfect store. This store offers grocery items as well as clothing and other souvenirs. There are also many different full-service restaurants at the Bright Angel Lodge as well as several other snack type stores that serve such things as ice cream and other snacks. For those traveling to the bottom of the canyon, the Phantom Ranch Canteen can help with meals such as breakfast, a sack lunch, or dinner. Reservations for the Phantom Ranch Canteen are necessary and must be made well in advance.
Most of those who journey to the Grand Canyon will arrive by car or bus. This requires visitors to pay for the entrance fee to the park, which runs about $25 and also the gas that it will require to make the trip. For those who would rather travel into the Grand Canyon National Park by another method, the town of Williams offers a unique steam engine train trip into the park. This will save visitors from the necessity to travel into the canyon by their own vehicle and also offer a unique experience that can not be found in many other places.
The Grand Canyon offers views to visitors that can not be found in any other place in the world. The canyon walls are unique in color and stature. The mighty Colorado River is magnificent to see winding far below along the canyon floor. These features, along with the vegetation and wildlife that live and thrive within the park, create a unique experience that is found nowhere else in the world. There are constant changes going on in the Grand Canyon, both man-made and natural, that make the canyon a great place to visit multiple times throughout your life. The Grand Canyon is never quite the same canyon that you saw the last time that you visited.