In northern Arizona lies one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is a massive canyon of red rock. At the bottom of the canyon runs the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is over 277 miles long and over 1 mile deep. It is up to 18 miles wide and getting wider.
The Grand Canyon was made by the Colorado River. The river has run through this area for almost 2 billion years, carving the rock into a canyon. Native Americans have lived around the Grand Canyon for thousands of years. Today, almost 5 million visitors come every year to marvel at the canyon.
People like to go hiking and rafting in the canyon. Hiking the Grand Canyon is thrilling, but dangerous. You can also camp in the Grand Canyon. People coming to the Grand Canyon should be careful though. Hiking here is very hard and people often must be rescued because they become too tired or dehydrated to continue. Over 600 people have died in the Grand Canyon in the last 150 years.
Fun Facts about the Grand Canyon for Kids
- The ancient Pueblo Indians first inhabited the Grand Canyon over 3,000 years ago. They used the caves for shelter and stored grain in rooms cut out of the rocks.
- The Grand Canyon was a sacred site to the pueblo people. They made pilgrimages to it.
- People take helicopter rides into the canyon.
- The canyon is 4 miles across at the narrowest point.
- President Theodore Roosevelt often visited the canyon to tour and hunt. He guided the decision to make the canyon a national park.
- John Wesley Powell, for whom Lake Powell is named, was the first to lead an expedition into the Grand Canyon in 1869. He gave the canyon its name.
- The weather here is extreme. In the summer, the temperature rises to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Winter temperatures can fall to 0 degrees.
- The air here is some of the cleanest in the U.S.
Grand Canyon Vocabulary
- Massive: huge
- Rescue: save
- Dehydrated: lack of water in the body
- Ancient: old
- Inhabit: live in
- Trench: narrow ditch
- Canyon: deep gorge; similar to a valley but deeper, usually with steep sides
- Sacred: holy
- Pilgrimage: a religious journey
How Was the Grand Canyon Formed?
Here’s a fun science experiment for kids – how to make a canyon:
Pour some water over sand and notice what happens. The water most likely will run off in one stream, washing away some of the sand and creating a trench. Keep adding water and the trench gets deeper. This is how many valleys are made. A very deep valley is known as a canyon. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the largest canyons in the world.
Easy Science All About the Grand Canyon for Kids Video
Check out this awesome video all about the Grand Canyon:
A video of the Grand Canyon Walk.
Grand Canyon Q&A
Question: How many people visit the Grand Canyon every year?
Answer: Around 5 million people visit annually.
Question: How old is the Grand Canyon?
Answer: Scientists aren’t exactly sure, but they believe the Colorado River started making the canyon about 17 million years ago.
Question: What is the weather like in the Grand Canyon?
Answer: The South Rim is hot and dry most of the year, while the North Rim can get cold in the winter. The area is very dry. Hikers must bring their own water.
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