Five Things You Didn't Know About The Grand Canyon

On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.  Here are 5 things you didn’t know about one of the world’s natural wonders...

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Teddy Roosevelt Named the Grand Canyon A National Monument In 1903, Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon, and it must have made a big impression on him because he signed the bill to name it the Grand Canyon Game Reserve in 1906. Two year later, he named it as a national monument, saying “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”  A photo of President Roosevelt taken during his trip to the Grand Canyon in 1903 is held by the Library of Congress.

The Grand Canyon Is Bigger Than The State Of Rhode Island The park surrounding the Grand Canyon measures 1,904 square miles, while Rhode Island encompasses 1,212 square miles, making this splendid natural wonder much larger. The Grand Canyon itself has a width of 18 miles, a length of 227 miles, and measures one mile in depth. One of the viewing areas that is popular among visitors is Hopi Point, which overlooks wide vistas and the majestic Colorado River below.

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The Canyon Is So Large that It Can Influence The Weather The Grand Canyon itself can influence the weather. The Grand Canyon has an elevation spanning from around 2,000 feet to over 8,000 feet, allowing it to experience a variety of weather conditions. As a result, the temperature generally increases by 5.5 degrees with each 1,000-feet loss in elevation. In 2013, a rare 
meteorological event called total cloud inversion filled the canyon with with a sea of fog making the Canyon not visible. Such events are so rare that National Park officials said the phenomenon is a once-in-a-decade occurrence.

The Most Remote Town in the Country Lies at the Bottom of the Canyon There is a small town at the bottom of the Grand Canyon named Supai Village, which is a part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, but visitors have to be physically fit and hike a total of about 10 miles to get there. The population is around 208 people. Mail is still delivered to local residents via pack mule to navigate the tricky slopes. 

The Grand Canyon Was Carved Over 6 Million Years Ago The Grand Canyon was formed by erosion from the Colorado River and geological activity more than six million years ago. It is one of the most studied landscapes in the world, with extensive fossil records, a multitude of geologic features and rich archeological history. An estimated 5.9 million people visit the Grand Canyon a year, making it the second most popular national park following just behind the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. It’s a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 in 1919 when the park was created.