Grand Canyon

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View from Mohave Point

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona in the United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock.[1] While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests that the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago.[2] Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to its present-day configuration.[3]

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon ("Ongtupqa" in Hopi language) a holy site and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.[4]

The Grand Canyon, located in northern Arizona.


  • We've got to step up our conservation efforts before it's too late. We're not protecting our lands and natural resources. Take the Grand Canyon for example; I'm sure that at one time it was a beautiful piece of land, and just look at the way we've let it go.
    • Pat Paulsen [5]
  • The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must fail.
    • John Wesley Powell [6]
  • It's like trying to describe what you feel when you're standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it's like.
    • Jack Schmitt (astronaut) [7]
  • On Draft Day for the Game of Life Arizona by lottery had first choice and to no surprise to anyone chose the Grand Canyon. As the draft went on Yellowstone, Yosemite, and all the other wonders of the world were taken. Then Utah, with a later pick, surprised everyone, like it did with Stockton and Malone. Utah's pick was the best access to the north rim of the Grand Canyon - and so the argument continues to this day, was the best pick Arizona's first pick, or Israel's Jordan River pick, or the magic of Utah's Grand Canyon North Rim pick?
    • Lawrence Jay Sullivan (Poet) [8]

Grand Canyon Panorama 2013

From the film, Grand Canyon (1991)[edit]

  • Davis: The point is there's a gulf in this country; an ever-widening abyss between the people who have stuff, and the people who don't have shit. It's like this big hole in the ground, as big as the fucking Grand Canyon, and what's come pouring out is an eruption of rage, and the rage creates violence, and the violence is real, Mack. Nothing's gonna make it go away, until someone changes something, which is not going to happen. And you may not like it, even I may not like it, but I can't pretend it isn't there because that it is a lie, and when art lies, it becomes worthless. So I gotta keep telling the truth, even if it scares the shit out of me, like it scares the shit out of you. Even if it means some motherfucker can blow a big hole in my leg for a watch, and I'm gonna walk with a fucking limp for the rest of my life and call myself lucky.

  • Simon: You ever been to the Grand Canyon? Its pretty, but thats not the thing of it. You can sit on the edge of that big ol' thing and those rocks... the cliffs and rocks are so old... it took so long for that thing to get like that... and it ain't done either! It happens right there while your watching it. Its happening right now as we are sitting here in this ugly town. When you sit on the edge of that thing, you realize what a joke we people really are... what big heads we have thinking that what we do is gonna matter all that much... thinking that our time here means didly to those rocks. Just a split second we have been here, the whole lot of us. That's a piece of time so small to even get a name. Those rocks are laughing at me right now, me and my worries... Yeah, its real humorous, that Grand Canyon. Its laughing at me right now.

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