Grand Canyon National Park is located in the state of Arizona and is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Today, it is the most famous canyon in the world and also one of the first national parks in the United States. It was founded in 1919. The dimensions of the canyon are unique, it is 446 km long, 20 km wide and 1500 meters deep. For millions of years, it was created by the Colorado River with its tributaries. The Grand Canyon is so impressive that it is visible even from space. For its uniqueness, the park has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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Every year, around 5 million curious people from all over the world come to see this unique natural phenomenon. Hiking through the canyon valley is intended only for able-bodied tourists, overcoming the canyon is very popular even among top athletes. However, the canyon is also very dangerous for inexperienced tourists. Around 600 people have died here since the end of the 19th century, and large-scale searches for lost people who tried to cross the valley and overestimated their forces were announced every year.
The southern edge of the national park has a relatively pleasant climate, in summer temperatures range between 10 and 20 ° C, but the nights are cold and in winter it snows. However, the northern edge of the gorge is 300 meters higher, so there is snow for most of the year. During the winter, this part of the park is even closed due to inaccessibility to the public. However, a completely different situation prevails 1.5 km deeper on the banks of the river, where the temperature can reach up to 50 ° C in summer, but is usually around 38 ° C. The local ecosystem is characterized by huge temperature differences, alternating heat, cold, drought, rain and snow. This created a unique environment to which various plant and animal species were able to adapt.
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Around 1,500 plant species from five vegetation zones were counted in the park. About 11 of these plant species are considered endangered. In addition to the ubiquitous desert landscape, you can find green coniferous forests and juniper bushes growing on the plateau in the Grand Canyon. The coast of the Colorado River, which looks like a stream from a height, is dotted with willow thickets and tamarisks. The park has also become home to 76 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 300 species of birds. Tourists can most often meet mules or bighorn sheep, which sometimes go on hiking trails.
Scared animals include the rare wolves that inhabit the northern edge of the gorge. Coyotes, lynx, and a small population of American cougars also hide in remote corners of the park. Their food most often becomes elk, red deer or Pronghorn. While wandering the park, you can scare away warming lizards, turtles or some of the many species of snakes. The pink rattlesnake, for example, is unique.
However, the Grand Canyon is also protected from a historical point of view, more than 2,600 prehistoric settlements have been discovered here. In the past, the Indian tribes Hualapai and Havasupai lived here, whose descendants you can still meet in the settlements on the edge of the park. In 1963, the Glen Canyon Dam was completed, which significantly damaged the environment. The biggest change was achieved by the Colorado River, which lost a considerable amount of water due to the dam, and its current today brings less and less alluvium.
Among the most sought-after places are the localities of Hopi Point, where you will find a magnificent view of both sides of the canyon. There are several trails down the canyon, the most famous of which is probably the Bright Angel Trail. You can relax at Indian Gardens Campground. A few miles away is the town of Grand Canyon Village, where every tourist will find quality and sufficient facilities. Numerous accommodation facilities were built here, the prices of which do not differ much. However, due to great interest, it is necessary to book accommodation well in advance. If you want to escape the biggest rush of tourists, come in spring or autumn.