Grand Canyon is one of earth s most spectacular natural phenomenon, that is also why it is one of the seven nature miracles. Grand Canyon is a very popular tourist destination and one of the most visited places on earth. What many visitors do not know is that the deepest canyon in the world has been formed by the simple natural effect of erosion.
There are of course a number of combined erosion processes that have created the canyon. The three main weathering processes that have formed the Grand Canyon are primarily water but also wind and ice.
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The Grand Canyon is located in the desert of Arizona that makes the soil very hard and dry, leading to weak absorption of water. The plants that grow in the Grand Canon have a very shallow root system because of the hard and dry soil but.
Hard and dry soil results in the wind that takes away the softer parts of rock and soil, and leaves the harder layers. The Colorado River runs through the canyon and because of the shallow root system that cannot hold the soil in place the river takes soil and rock with it.
Stream transportation and erosion
Stream transportation is the way the rock particles are being moved in the stream. Some lightweight particles can be carried in the stream in suspension. Because of the flowing water the small particles swift and turbulent in the water, this prevents them from sinking.
Heavier rock fragments are being moved by a process called traction, this is when sand grains stones, and small rocks are pulled by the stream along the streambed, making them roll and slide. The rock minerals that have been dissolved from the land flows in the stream in solution.
When the particles are being transported in the stream they also erode the stream they are flowing in, cutting deeper into the land. Stream erosion has three main processes. The first process is the hydraulic action but also called the hammer effect. The action occurs when the stream is turbulent and riotous. When the waves in the stream splash against the sides of the stream the force of moving water loosen and carries particles away.
The second process is the abrasion. The rock particles that are being transported in the traction process are scraping and scratching against the streambed slowly erodes it away. This is a very down-cutting process. The last erosion process is corrosion. This process means that stream is able to wear down minerals and rocks dissolving them in the water.
Acids can be created in the water because of the process of corrosion. An example of this is when water and carbon dioxide produces carbonic acid. This is called a weak acid. The acids eat the surface of the streambed making it weaker, this of course helps the hydraulic and abrasion process eroding even more.
The wind erosion is not very significant but is very consequential for the forming of the Grand Canyon. The wind erodes away the softer parts of rock and soil and leaves the harder layers. This gives the plants a hard time finding soft ground for the roots, this leads to a very shallow root system that can not hold the soil when the Colorado River torrent.
Deflation is the removal of loose, lightweight particles from the Earth s surface, by the force of the wind. ( ) Deflation is most common on the windward sides of desserts. The deflation process of wind erosion corresponds to the hydraulic action of running water in stream beds (taken from page 197 in our geography book)
The erosion of ice
In the Grand Canyon winter months, Canyon water seeps into cracks between the rocks. When water freezes it expands and pushes the rocks apart, even making the cracks more widen. Eventually, rocks near the rim of the canyon are pushed off the edge and the rocks fall down into the slopes. This creates rock piles at the bottom of the canyon that is being pushed into the Colorado River.
The smaller pieces of rock are slowly being pushed along the river, but the bigger pieces are staying in the river giving it resistance. The resistance is very important because of the fact that the stream must be turbulent for the suspension transportation witch leads to hydraulic action. This shows that there are many different weathering processes, but they are all important for the creation of the Grand Canyon.
Location The Grand Canyon is located in the northwestern region of Arizona. It is over 277 miles long and 18 miles across at the widest point. At its deepest point, the Grand Canyon is approximately a mile deep below the Earth’s surface. It reaches up to the borders of southwest Utah and eastern Nevada. It ranges from the Kaibab Plateau to the Painted Desert.
The Colorado River splits the Grand Canyon into two parts; the North Rim and South Rim. Being known as one of the world’s Seven Wonders, the Grand Canyon is the greatest gorge known to mankind. History of the Grand Canyon Efforts to preserve the canyon as a national park were begun soon after the establishment of Yellowstone but required thirty years of campaigning to take effect.
The first protagonist, Senator Benjamin of Indiana, introduced a bill in the upper house in 1882 to make the area a national park. It failed. It was not until 1893 that William Harrison, as President of the United States, was able to establish the Grand Canyon Forest Preserve, which could be, and was, exploited by mining and lumber interests. President Theodore Roosevelt took up the cause after his visit in 1903. He established the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. An act of Congress in 1919 established Grand Canyon National Park (Krell 1980).
Main Geologic Features and Attractions of the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a park composed of many geologic features. Its main feature is the Colorado River. Every year thousands of tourists travel down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Colorado carries half a million tons of sediment passed any point each day. Although only one hundred miles of the canyon wall lies within the park, many distinct features are present.
On the north side of the park lies a fragment of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and other public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service. From the North Rim, many people hike to the Bright Angel Trail or drive a bit longer to reach Point Imperial. Point Imperial is the highest point on either side of the canyon. From this point, the Grand Canyon could be viewed from all possible directions, North-South-East-West. Another attraction is Cape Royal.
Cape Royal gives a view of what is known as Angel’s Widow, a large hole in the rocks formed by erosion. Another point of attraction is Point Sublime. People can even camp at this point after getting a permit from park rangers. At the start of the South Rim, you will pass points of interest like the Hopi House built by the Fred Harvey Company to encourage Southwest Indian crafts at the turn of the century. Just west from there is the Trail Overlook.
The San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountains in Arizona, can be seen from here. The Bright Angel and Plateau Point trails can also be seen going down into the canyon. About half a mile away is Hopi Point. Here you can view the Shiva Temple, which is an isolated section of the Kaibab Plateau. About another mile away you can reach Mohave Point and then eventually the Abyss. The Abyss is one of the more popular stops on the South Rim.
Huge sandstone columns fill up your entire view. Another attraction point is Pima Point. From here you could view the Tonto Trail which descends almost 70 miles through the canyon (Fishbein 1991). Facilities Available to Tourists For nearly a century, travelers have converged to the South Rim for many tourist attractions. Being closer to major population centers and trunk highways than its counterpart across the canyon, the South Rim is easily accessible by bus, plane, or car, and it has always drawn the heavier volume of tourists. As a consequence, it is well provided with many facilities for travelers both inside and outside of the park.
Some of the facilities available for tourists are large campgrounds, motor lodge cabins, hotels, a bank, a post office, abundant parking lots, a visitor information center, and a museum. For transportation around the canyon, quick shuttle buses and reliable railroad trains are easily accessible. Even in winter, when snow is deep on the ground but not on the plowed roads, the South Rim is accessible and visitors can witness the canyon walls frosted with snow (Aitchison 1991).
Type and Age of Rock Formations Exposed in the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon has some of the oldest rock known to man. Its oldest rock is about two billion years old. The youngest rocks are about 280 million years old. The rocks that evolved in the Precambrian era were the Vishnu Shist, Brahma schist Zoraster Granite, bass limestone, Hakati Shale, and Shinumo Sandstone.
During the Paleozoic, the last rocks to form were Tapeats Sandstone, Bright Angel Shale, Redwall Limestone, Hermit shale, Coconino Formation, Toroweap Formation, and finally the Kaibab Formation (Harris 1975).
Two-thousand million years ago during the Precambrian Era sands, silts, and mud were deposited in a shallow marine basin. Many volcanoes were present during this era. They contributed to a lot of the rocks present during this era. The Vishnu shist was also formed during this era. The Vishu Shist contains some of the oldest rock known to man. Paleozoic Era Moving up to the Paleozoic Era a sea came from the west depositing three formations. The first formation would be the Tapeats Sandstone. At the base of the Tapeats formed a Basal Conglomerate, mud then formed the Bright Angel Shale.
The deepwater around the Grand Canyon in this era precipitated out, forming a ring of ooze, later becoming Muav limestone. Mesozoic Era Later on in the Mesozoic era bluish, gray limestone containing chert was deposited in a shallow sea. The Supai formation was also formed during this era. The Supai contains footprints of amphibians and primitive reptiles. Plant fossils are also found in the Supai. The various footprints and fossils indicate the region was a vast flood plain.
The upper beds of the Supai are stained bright red possessing a thickness of approximately one thousand feet. Hermit shale, having a reddish-brown color, was also deposited in this era. It contains ripple marks, mud cracks, and footprints. The flood plain during this era was gradually buried by sand dunes, which now form the Coconino Sandstone. The dunes are large, and the Coconino is 400 feet thick. Despite the large size of the dunes animals wandered around them because we can see their footprints today. One can identify Coconino as the whitish band at the top of the canyon.
The Kalibub plateau was also formed during this era. The Kalibub is over 300 feet thick and is mostly limestone. The formations of the Rocky Mountains were also uplifted during this era. The formation of what the present-day Canyon looks like today also began in the late stages of this era and continued on into the Cenozoic Era. A lazy stream, meandered through a gently sloping plain, cutting a shallow channel into the earth. Pressure within the earth slowly uplifted the surface, causing the river to run faster and ultimately cut deeper.
As the river deepened, land on both sides was gradually eroded into the river and the canyon took on a V shape instead of forming a straight-side trench. Sides of the V-shaped canyon began to break down as forces of erosion attacked them. Rain transported soil down into the canyon bottom where it was carried away by the river. Water from melting snow the froze in cracks in rocks, splitting them and further crumbling canyon walls.
Cenozoic Era Following the Mesozoic era is the Cenozoic era. During this era, the Colorado River was formed. It changed from a little stream to what is seen today. The river formed from an overflow of a lake. The river brought the flow of soft rocks and sediments through the canyon. As the river was developing, the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and warped. The uplift increased the gradient of the stream, thus allowing it to cut through the plateau. Now the canyon had begun to form. The river gradually removed and transported material from its bed, while weathering and mass wasting helped remove the rest of the material from the canyon (Harris 1975).
Processes Presently Shaping the Grand Canyon
Over the ages, the river has continued to cut deeper, ever following its original configuration, and as it cuts, the breakup of the canyon walls becomes accelerated, disintegrating in an ever-widening gap. In time, the canyon wall may disappear, leaving a flat plain again. Thus, rivers are the main forces that shaped the Grand Canyon and still are the main forces that presently continue to shape it now and in the future. (Krell 1980)
Climate of the Region
The Grand Canyon is a region of the world that has multi-climates. As the canyon wall progresses up the climates begin to change. At 2000 feet of elevation and lower, the climate is such of a hot dry desert. This are is called the “Lower Sonoran,” and is near the river. Between 2500 and 6000 feet, the climate is like the high desert in Mexico. This is called the “Upper Sonoran.”A lower Canadian type of climate is present at the elevations between 7500 and 9000 feet. This climate lies mostly in the North Rim. Another Climate that lies in the North Rim is that of one that is similar to the one around Hudson Bay. This is the subarctic climate zone and is located over 9000 feet. (Davidson 1982)
Flora and Fauna
On the steep switchbacks through the Kaibab Limestone pinyon pine and juniper dominates in addition to the number, Christmas-tree-shaped Douglas firs, whose roots tenaciously grip the shallow, steep soil. Before pinyon pine had reached the canyon, spruce, fir, and limber pine had made up the rim forest.
Surprisingly, there was no evidence of the intermediate ponderosa pine forest so prevalent in northern Arizona today. On the trail switchbacks through the cross-bedded Coconino Sandstone to the flat Cedar Ridge, junipers were abundant. Banana yuccas and Utah agaves, both sililar plants to the juniper, also existed.
Woody black brush, a tough desert member of the rose family, exists across the Tonto Platform. Besides plants and flowers, the canyon also yields bones of former canyon residents. Harrington’s mountain goat, Shasta ground sloths, and white-footed mice are just some of the area’s extinct inhabitants. Some animals still residing in the Grand Canyon area are coyotes, spotted skunks, woodrats, porcupines, chipmunks, squirrels, and pocket mice. (Fink, 129)
Each year four million people visit the Grand Canyon. Most of the people come just to visit for a day while others stay in nearby hotels or lodge cabins to repeatedly visit. In the summer the park is at its busiest time with well over 20,000 visitors a day. Pollution usually becomes another problem included with the enormous amount of tourists. The growing number of visitors places further demands on already strained facilities. There may come a time when the park can no longer hold all of the people that it attracts. The National Park Service is now requiring people to have permits to visit popular parts of the backcountry and river.
Environmental Problems The Grand Canyon, being visited by four million tourists a year, is definitely susceptible to many environmental problems. The most obvious environmental problem occurring in the Grand Canyon in pollution. The primary reason for the increasing pollution is because of the overwhelming growth of tourists traveling to the Grand Canyon. Personal Reactions From near and far they come, four million each year, to see the Grand Canyon, long cherished as one of the nation’s and the world’s treasures.
The Grand Canyon blends elements of color, contour, and immensity like no other possible place on the Earth. The Grand Canyon is a gift from God to us Americans and to the rest of the people of the world. It is one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Its great views and outstanding canyon walls make it a great place to visit any time of the year. The Colorado River is an added attraction that adds excitement and adventure to the park and is the main reason the park is in existence today.
The Grand Canyon’s Geological Cross Section of the south rim consists of the south rim geology and the formation of the Colorado River. This Geological attraction will be examined to see if the old rock layers that have been showing up for thousands of years are beneficial to the arrangement of the Grand Canyon. The reason is to find out the importance of the Grand Canyon to our country and if the split of the cross-section matters in our course of the subject.
The discussion will involve a historic representation of the canyon, and will, therefore, include all different rock layers and their significance, environment outcome among fossils and rock layers, and lastly, how the Colorado River went down a certain path to form this canyon. The cross-section is a vital part and main feature of the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a world-renowned location in geology. Evolution through the geological time may be interpreted through the changes between different rock layers. This paper will examine how our environment affects rock formation and how the Colorado River began carving the canyon. Next, the Grand Canyon consists of many different rock layers. Rock layers such as igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, etc. Rocks are continuously evolving and therefore this discussion will be about the type of rock and formation of the rock.
With different sources such as wind and water, rocks get pushed away and change. Magma follows a similar process. When the surface of the earth is heating up it can destroy rocks, therefore, resulting in a split. Rocks come in all different forms, shapes, and sizes. The rocks can be classified into three different categories.
These three categories of rocks can be found today at the Grand Canyon. Igneous rocks are formed from melted rocks on the ground. They are about one hundred million years old and are formed in volcanic environments. When rocks are deep under the earth’s surface, the magma below it melts the rock due to its high heat and therefore forms the magma chamber.
As we look at figure one below, we can see how the rocks are changing due to the magma on the surface. Once the magma starts to cool off and the heat disperses, crystals will soon then form ultimately turning into the granite. Once magma cools onto the earth’s surface, soon after, the magma immediately cools down.
Therefore, there is not enough time for the rock to fully crystalize causing a formation of a small-grained type of rock called basalt. This rock can be harmful because it is volcanic with alarmingly high temperatures. Sedimentary rocks are visible on the earth’s surface either on water or land. They are a few million years old and are formed in areas of water such as rivers or lakes. This type of rock comes from the material that we use today such as minerals, or animal/plant materials. Sedimentary rocks are formed when we see layers of rocks covering old layers underneath them.
They come together compacted as one and form this type of rock. Soon after, the sedimentary rocks that were compacted and pushed together, are combined with different chemicals and minerals. The sedimentary rocks contain so much since they are compacted together as one. These rocks can be formed to be huge in size. The sand that we see on the beach can be formed as a sedimentary rock. This is why this type of rock is so commonly visible. Metamorphic rocks are only formed when the other two rocks are not present, and therefore a new rock may be formed.
This is why the metamorphic rock is less common. Although, they are about 1.8 billion years old and are formed in hot, high-temperature environments. When the other two cannot take in the source of heat and such a high temperature, this is when the metamorphic rock will take action. The outcome that the rock will produce is the transformation and change we will see in the rock due to the crystals that form it.
This change is due to the new minerals that are created, and the water that is moving into these rocks. In figure two we see through the narrow openings of the rocks, water is pouring through like a river. They play a big factor in changing the structure of the whole rock. We can see that little subjects make a huge difference in the rocks formed at the canyon.
Lastly, metamorphic rocks can even be changed into other metamorphic rocks with a different temperature or pressure that may be exerted on to it. Finally, young rocks are always piled over older rocks. The study of the sequence of these rock layers is our main source of knowledge about the earth’s history. This includes the evolution of life and changes that appear in our climate. We see that with moisture in the air and humidity in the air, the climate is affected.
As for the geological cross-section that defines these rock layers, it can be said that it appears from faults and folds that the canyon goes through all the time. This defines that rocks are always being changed due to the pressure that parts of the canyon are experiencing. For example, an earthquake that takes place is an effect that ties in with the cross-section. This goes hand in hand to affect our rock layers in the Grand Canyon as well.
Secondly, rock layers that are formed in the Grand Canyon have an effect that connects with fossils. The canyon contains rock formations that we discussed above with the effect on them which is hidden. Those are the fossil fuels that are hundreds of million years old. Fossils are the old remains of animals’ body parts from millions of years ago. This can include a leg or even teeth.
The rocks connect with the fossils because the rocks contain footprints from the past which a new layer is put on top of the old layer to track these steps. These fossil fuels appeared because of these rock layers and are classified as a giant attraction to people today. There are three types of fossils that will be discussed, such as Marine Fossils, Terrestrial Fossils, and Recent Fossils. Marine fossils are fossils viewed because of the layers of sedimentary rocks that have been in the canyon the past millions of years.
Stromatolites are classified as a type of marine fossil which is the oldest in the Grand Canyon. In figure four, we see a stromatolite that looks like a piece of wood, although, the reason they appear like this is that the fossils are formed by bacteria piling on top of more bacteria. As more bacteria is added on, the sun affects the bacteria that are forming. This creates layers upon layers of bacteria in waters, which are dominant. Although, once predators such as animals come into the picture, the formation of the stromatolite may be affected in away.
For this reason, salt is now put into the water to keep predators away. This has solved the issue of keeping the stromatolites in a good place. Terrestrial fossils are formed from mudstones and siltstones which then formed river systems that were connected. This occurred at an average climate temperature. The sand that has appeared from these sandstones, were caused by significant amounts of wind pressure in the dunes.
The layers were all divided up and each layer referred back to a fossil. As we can see, there is a huge connection between the two. Terrestrial fossils are all over the Grand Canyon today, such as Coconino sandstone, hermit shale, and the Supai formation. In these areas, we see these types of fossils appear due to the rocks that are in between.
Recent fossils are fossils that were newly discovered or not too old. With the temperature the Grand Canyon is at today, we see a climate with cool and hot. This allows us to view these recent fossils. With the remains that we have today, for example, the sloth’s skull from a cave, scientists are able to study it and tell us the effects that climate change brought upon to them and how they can advance in the right direction.
In figure three, we see the skull of the sloth, and we can determine that with this figure, scientists will be able to discover new things with all sorts of different fossils that they may encounter with. As we can see, rock layers upon old layers are the product that is hidden underneath these rocks and tie in with fossils that are found along the walls of the Grand Canyon.
Finally, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a significant landmark that is recognized today by many people across the world. The landmark was formed because of the rocks that would appear and how they would form on the earth’s surface. This is why today at the canyon, we see so many different cool features. We see the rocks come in different ways such as going up and down, side to side, unraveled, etc.
The Colorado River is split into multiple plateaus of the province. It comes along with four different parts to it. The province is classified within sedimentary rocks. Due to these rocks, the province has formed and can do so much more. Many erosions formed due to the rock building of making this canyon miles long. During the Proterozoic era, crystals started to appear.
This was a hugely positive outcome for the canyon because the magma and heat that arose in these rocks, allowed the crystals to form in the shape they are today. The magma that was contained in these rocks rose deeper in, and then soon formed granite. This is due to the crystalline structure that appeared. Many years ago, the mountains that formed the canyon due to the rocks, and splits, tilted the shape and form of these rocks.
Erosion then appeared and took away these cracked rocks. In the eastern canyon, a small number of tiny particles were present. The rock layers that formed in the time of the Paleozoic era stood out the most in the walls that consisted of the canyon. Layers of limestone and sandstones totaled to make the canyon so deep and thick in structure.
The Grand Canyon is a geological area today. In figure five, we see a picture of the Grand Canyon, and we can tell that with the formation of rocks upon others, different levels rise and different levels sink. This all has to do with how the rock was manipulated and what path it went through. It has been supplying water for thousands of years. These rivers that are produced due to the water that is supplied, are for agricultural use by many groups along the rim of the canyon. We see so many ups and downs with the canyon that occur all the time. For example, we see erosion at times, but then we can see violent and heavy storms that pour in.
The moisture from the air and water the canyon receives at times creates the area of the rock. Still today, geologists are discovering how rocks are the main source of covering the canyon, and if these rocks can perform new carvings to the canyon. The canyon allows people today to view these interesting landmarks and to see the different types of rock formations and how they appear. Furthermore, we can see that one effect will cause another and it will continue to happen. We may see major differences in the future to come as we discover new things in the canyon all the time
As discussed above, geological roles play an essential part in our earth today. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a world-renowned place in geology. Evolution through the geological time may be interpreted through the changes between different rock layers. The Grand Canyon examination on how our environment affects rock formation and how the Colorado River began carving the canyon was the ultimate goal of our research.
Overall, the Grand Canyon is an exceptional feature in today’s geography, and therefore the discovery of old and new will continue to appear in our world today. The conditions of the site today will always determine the outcome of what will happen next within the Grand Canyon, and this will all depend on the three factors discussed in this paper; rock layers, environment affect between fossils and rock layers, and the Colorado River path and the formation of the canyon.
In the world of geography exists The Seven Natural Wonders of the World: The Grand Canyon, Iguazú Falls, Yosemite Valley’s giant sequoias, Mount Everest, the harbor of Rio de Janeiro, the Nile River, and the Aurora Borealis. Among these natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is one of the most grandest and beautiful.
Appropriately named, the Grand Canyon is so enormous that it can even be seen from space. The Canyon is unmatched throughout the world in the landscapes that it offers to its visitors.
Although it not the deepest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is known throughout the world for its overwhelming size and its colorful landscape. The park preserves more than 2,700 archaeological sites of Native Americans, who have lived there at least 4,000 years. The Grand Canyon became a National Park in 1919.
It is not certain exactly how old the Grand Canyon actually is. Although rocks that are exposed in the walls of the canyon are geologically quite old, the Canyon itself is fair. The oldest rocks at the canyon bottom are close to 2000 million years old. The Canyon itself was an erosional feature, which has only formed in the past five or six million years. So, geologically speaking, the Grand Canyon is considered quite young.
The size of the Grand Canyon will depend on how you look at it. The entire park is actually 1,218,375.54 acres or 1,904 square miles, but the most common measurement is a measurement of the canyon in river miles, along the course of the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. In that case, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long. It begins at Lees Ferry and ends at the Grand Wash Cliffs.
The Colorado River, which carved the Grand Canyon, is actually 1450 miles long. It extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. The Grand Canyon is only one of many canyons that the river has carved. Cataract Canyon and Glen Canyon are just a couple of others, but the Grand Canyon is by…
The great view of the Grand Canyon At the summit of the canyon, I can feel the clouds that are drifting are really close to me and I can touch the clouds in the sky if I stretch my arms out. The color of the sky is various from bright blue to dark blue depending on each individual’s viewpoint.
Looking upward, I can see skies splashed with cotton white clouds and the peaks of the canyon are wrapping in clouds. Even though there are clouds a lot in the sky, the sun drawing water is so beautiful. There is also a small plane for tourists who want to enjoy sightseeing the scenery from the sky.
The canyons stretch as far as the eyes can see. The canyons that were very deep and steep have a lot of vertical and horizontal stripes and its color is not the same as each other.
The color of the canyon is overall brown but the top part of the canyon is red, the middle is yellow, and the bottom part seems to be gray or black color. I think the reason the color of the canyon looks different is the sunlight because the sunlight has all different colors of light in it. As time goes on, I can see more various colors of the canyons. Even the shadow of the light also creates beautiful scenes.
The view of plunging cliffs also seduces visitors far away. At the bottom of the Grand Canyon, there is a little bit huge boat floating on the river that winds its way through the valley and it seems to move a little bit fast. I am gazing down on the liver leaning over the railing and thinking. I could sit and watch the river all day long for admiring the scenery. The sunlight bounced off the river and dazzled me and the canyon casts its sharply defined reflection on the river. I am thinking that the water of the river is so clear I could almost see the gravel on the bottom.
Around the river, beautiful trees line the river road. Some tops of the canyon are hidden from sight behind lots of trees. However, trees are more located on the bottom of the canyon than the top of it actually and the trees throw long shadows across the enormous river. The land except for the river on the bottom is covered with all green color because of numerous trees. I am standing drinking in the peaceful landscape at the top of the Grand Canyon, admiring the view and feel my spirit seems to have been purified.
I think about myself and set achievable goals with the landscape seen from the top of here. The weather is pretty good to see a view even though there is a cold wind blowing slowly. The sunshine, beautiful scenery, and the sounds of nature make me feel fresh and give an energy boost.
I can feel complete peace of mind while seeing the manifest views. The scenery here looks like monotonous, but the scenery is beautiful beyond all description. I am so engrossed in admiring the view that I lost track of time.
Much of the whole Southwest US is made of layers of sandstone. I think it was originally the bottom of an ocean. These layers have a range of colors from tan to brown to red. Sandstone is fairly soft so all across the area this rock is sculpted by erosion, wind and water, into strange and beautiful shapes. If you drive to Grand Canyon, on the way there you’ll see mesas, ‘hoodoos’, cliffs, canyons, natural bridges, etc., where you can see the striations of different colors of sandstone.
The Grand Canyon is probably the most beautiful, certainly the best known. It was carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, and I believe it was pulled open by movement of the earth. It’s as much as a mile deep, and in some places, it is several miles wide. When you stand on the rim and look at the opposite side, you are seeing millions of years of geologic history. It is just a spectacular sight, one you won’t easily forget. There are formations inside the canyon, and at sunrise or sunset, the shadows move over the walls. It’s hard to describe, very beautiful.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the Grand Canyon is really crowded during its season. We camped out there, and they have a campground with 5000 campsites! And that night it filled up! They also have an ‘RV Village’ with a similar number of spaces. We had to walk to the rim of the canyon, about half a mile because they close the roads when it gets crowded beyond a certain level. And at the rim, we had to fight our way to the rail to get a view. This was my third visit to Grand Canyon and it was only a problem the last time. From now on if I go to GC it will be off-season.
There is a historic old lodge there, and various archaeological sites where you can learn about the Indians who lived in the Southwest, the Navajo and Hopi, and Zuni. The whole Southwest is full of museums of beautiful Indian stuff, plus they still make beautiful ceramics and baskets and jewelry (and a lot of touristy schlock). To me, this was definitely a big part of the experience.
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