Great Phoenix Road Trips: The Grand Canyon

Sun Devil Auto Expert, published on 04/27/2016

On Earth there are seven landmarks that are known as “The Seven Wonders of The Natural World.” The Grand Canyon is one of them, and it is easy to understand why. Its size alone inspires awe, while its various features are extremely captivating. Read on to learn why visiting the Grand Canyon is easy from the Phoenix area.

Historical Facts

The canyon was established in Arizona in 1909, though it had become a tourist attraction in the 1800s. In 1919, it also became a national park. Today, almost 5 million people visit the national landmark each year.

Natural Characteristics

The Grand Canyon is a large chasm that occurred over approximately three to six million years caused by the Colorado River, which still flows through the canyon, and continues to expand today. Measuring 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, this canyon is home to several different types of animals including:

  • 250 bird species
  • 70 types of mammals
  • 25 species of reptiles
  • Five types of amphibians

Native American Tribes

Along with the animals, the Grand Canyon has long since been the home to several Native American tribes. In fact, the first people to live in the canyon were the Paleo-Indians. Today, the canyon is home to five tribes:

  1. Navajo
  2. Havasupai
  3. Hopi
  4. Hualapai
  5. Paiute

The Navajos are one of the most well-known tribes and are noted for their strong resistance to United States domination. Today the tribes are protected, and the Native Americans live uninhibited. Navajos build and live in earthen houses called hogans, which always face towards the east. They also speak dialects of the Athabaskan language. The various tribes live off of and make good use of the land. For example, they have been known to use the bark of juniper trees for diapers, due to their soft and absorbent nature.

Tourist Hot Spot

Arizona itself is a unique travel destination; however, as one of the great wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon garners tourism on its own merit. There are a number of different guided tours that individuals may take, while it is also possible to admire the landmark by oneself. However, tourists should note the unique offenses of the area that could land them in big trouble. For instance, cutting down a Saguaro cactus could result in 25 years in jail.

With all of its interesting facts, rich history, and beautiful natural views, it is easy to see why the Grand Canyon is such a common attraction.