Over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is known throughout the world for its overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Located in northern Arizona, the majestic vista is geologically important because the layers of ancient rocks so beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon reveal a timeline of Earth's history. Many pueblo and cliff-dweller ruins and archeological artifacts have been found in and around the Grand Canyon, the oldest of which are nearly 12,000 years old and date to the Paleo-Indian period, but there has been continuous use and occupation of the area since that time. Today, three Indian reservations—Navajo, Havasupai and Hualapai—adjoin Grand Canyon National Park. In the early 1800s, trappers and expeditions sent by the U.S. government began to explore and map the Southwest, including the canyon. Although first afforded Federal protection in 1893 as a Forest Reserve and later as a National Monument, the Grand Canyon did not achieve National Park status until 1919, three years after the creation of the National Park Service. Today Grand Canyon National Park encompasses more than 1 million acres of land and receives close to 5 million visitors each year.
More to Explore
The last of the 48 coterminous states to join the union, Arizona has seen dramatic population growth in the early 21st century.
As the 26th U.S. president (1901-09), Theodore Roosevelt expanded the power and influence of the presidential office.
Built in the 1930s, Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam that spans the Colorado River at the Arizona-Nevada border and impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States.
Stretching more than 3,000 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the United States of America is comprised of 50 states, each with its own unique traditions and history.
Did You Know?
President Theodore Roosevelt, who declared the Grand Canyon a National Monument in 1908, said of the canyon, "Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see."
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