Grand Canyon History
Grand Canyon History

36 Amazing Grand Canyon Facts

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published December 25, 2019Updated January 11, 2020
  • While the Grand Canyon as a whole is considered to be a semi-arid desert, it is so large that it contains five habitats: boreal forest, ponderosa forest, pinyon-juniper woodland, desert scrub, and riparian.[8]
  • The Grand Canyon is home to 91 species of mammals.[2]
  • The Grand Canyon is home to 22 species of bats, more than anywhere else in the United States.[8]
  • Forty-one species of reptiles live throughout the Grand Canyon, including lizards, snakes, Gila monsters, tortoises, salamanders, and toads.[2]
  • Under President Theodore Roosevelt, the United States named the Grand Canyon as a national monument in 1908.[2]
  • The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.[8]
  • Crazy Grand Canyon Facts
    How well does the Grand Canyon echo?
  • According to Men's Journal, the Grand Canyon ranks #81 among the best places to have sex. According to the Journal, the view is nice—but so are the echo possibilities.[3]
  • Over 6 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year.[8]
  • Five American Indian tribes live in or near the Grand Canyon. The tribes are the Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, and Paiute.[8]
  • Geologists long believed that the Grand Canyon was formed over 6 million years by the Colorado River. However, some now say the process began as far back as 70 million years ago.[8]
  • Native Americans have continuously lived in or near the Grand Canyon for thousands of years. Many tribes consider it a sacred place.[2]
  • The first European on record to see the Grand Canyon was Spaniard Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, in 1540.[8]
  • John Wesley Powell led the first expedition down the Grand Canyon in 1869. He was also the first to call it the "Grand Canyon."[8]
  • The Grand Canyon is so big that it creates its own weather.[2]
  • The Grand Canyon is not the longest or deepest canyon in the world. The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet is 17,567 feet deep, which is 2 miles deeper than the Grand Canyon's 6,093 feet. The Tibetan canyon is about 30 miles longer as well.[8]
  • While several types of marine fossils can be found in the Grand Canyon, such as crinoids and sponges, there are no dinosaur bones there. The rocks of the canyon are older than the oldest known dinosaur—approximately a billion years older. But the canyon itself didn't form until after the dinosaurs.[8]
  • The oldest fossils at the Grand Canyon are 1,200 million to 740 million years old.[8]
  • The Hopi consider the Grand Canyon to be the gateway to the afterlife.[2]
  • The Grand Canyon is so large that it can be seen from space. It stretches up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, 1 mile (1.6 km deep), and 277 miles (446 km) long.[8]
  • Grand Canyon Size
    The Grand Canyon is breathtaking in scope, beauty, and history

  • Only eight fish species are native to the Grand Canyon, six of which are found nowhere else in the world.[8]
  • A fatal plane crash in 1956 in the Grand Canyon prompted the creation of the FAA.[1]
  • The Paiute Indians called the Grand Canyon Kaibab, which  means "mountain lying down," or "mountain turned upside down."[2]
  • The odds of dying while visiting the Grand Canyon are around 1 in 400,000.[6]
  • About 12 deaths happen each year at the Grand Canyon, including deaths from natural causes, medical problems, suicide, heat, drowning, and traffic accidents.[6]
  • On average, about two to three deaths per year are the result of falling into the Grand Canyon.[6]
  • There is a post office at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. A mule carries the mail 2.5 hours down into the canyon each day.[2]
  • The world's largest underground hotel suite is located 22 stories under the surface, in the Grand Canyon Caverns. One night for two people in this 65-million-year-old cave costs about $700.[2]
  • Over 1 billion years of geological history is missing from the Grand Canyon. Known as the Great Uniformity, this 1.2 billion-year gap in the rock record is still a mystery.[4]
  • The Grand Canyon features a SkyWalk, which is a transparent bridge that lets you see 500–800 feet vertically beneath you.[5]
  • In September 2019, a 28-year-old man jumped to his death from the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon.[5]
  • Early Europeans initially believed that the Grand Canyon was worthless, annoying, and that no one would ever want to visit it.[2]
  • Grand Canyon Animals
    This species of rattlesnake is only found in the Grand Canyon
  • The Grand Canyon is home to pink rattlesnakes. Found nowhere else in the world, these pretty-hued snakes are still poisonous.[7]
  • The Grand Canyon is bigger than Rhode Island.[2]
  • Of the estimated 1,000 caves in the Grand Canyon, only 335 have been recorded, and just one is open to visitors.[2]
  • Although the mighty Gila monster and bighorn sheep live in the Grand Canyon, they are not the most dangerous animals living there. The rock squirrel bites more visitors per year than any other animal.
    [2]
  • Located in the Grand Canyon, Supai Village is the most remote community in the continental United States. Population: 228.[2]
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