A news article that mentioned Arizona today made me think of the Grand Canyon.
- The Canyon is located in the northwest corner of Arizona, and is an enormous chasm cut by the Colorado River as it flows between Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
- The Canyon averages 4,000 feet in depth and is 15 miles across at its widest point. In total, it spans 1,217,403 acres.
- Visits to the Grand Canyon totaled 4,102,541 in 2003.
- The Canyon provides a rich fossil record of three of the four eras of geologic time. Some geologic formations at the bottom of the Canyon date back 1,800 million years.
- While the entire park is considered a semi-arid desert, it contains within it a tremendous range of biological diversity, the equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Canada.
- It has three forests, one of pinyon pine and juniper, a second of ponderosa pine, and a third of spruce-fir.
- In those forests live 52 species of mammals, including porcupines, squirrels, mule deer, elk, and black bears. In the desert scrub live 50 other species, primarily rodents and bats.
- Also present in the Canyon are bighorn sheep, bobcats, coyotes, and spotted skunks.
- The greatest number of species that live in the canyon are birds. The bald eagle especially enjoys the Grand Canyon, for its rich supply of trout in the Colorado River.
National Park Service Grand Canyon