If you’re considering taking one of our Grand Canyon raft trips, you should prepare yourself for the expedition of a lifetime. Before you set off for your trip and dive into the wonders of the canyon, there are some interesting facts you should know. A lot of people think they know the basics of the Grand Canyon’s history; however, these facts might shock you!
Although it is truly Grand, the Grand Canyon is not the world’s deepest gorge.
At first glance, the depth of the Grand Canyon is breathtaking. It is hard to believe that it is not the deepest or widest gorge in the world. The immensity is undeniable, but there are other gorges that beat out our beloved Grand Canyon. The Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon in the Himalayas is a whopping 5,382 miles deep at its lowest point!
The Grand Canyon is about one mile deep on average and 10 miles wide. The Colorado River runs a full 277 miles through the beautiful canyon. If you ever take a Grand Canyon rafting trip, you can experience the exhilarating adventure down the entire length of the river and explore all that the canyon has to offer.
The age of the Grand Canyon is hotly debated.
Although there is strong evidence that the Colorado River broke through the west end of the canyon about five million years ago, scientists cannot agree on how old the canyon truly is. Some say it dates back to the days of the dinosaurs: over 70 million years ago.
The geologic evidence supporting the theory that the canyon formed about five million years ago still provokes some questions as new evidence is found. A recent study found some rocks were exposed at the surface long before the five million year mark. Did the river tear through the canyon all at once? Or was there an existing, smaller gorge that guided the river through the rock? There is still great debate about the exact way the canyon was formed that we may never really know.
Want to learn more about the Grand Canyon’s past? You can take a Grand Canyon rafting trip and see the rocks for yourself to truly appreciate the vast history in the canyon’s layers.
The top layer of rock is named after a Native American term.
The Paiute Indian Tribe named the canyon Kaibab, which means “mountain lying down.” If you look at the canyon, it does look like a mountain turned upside down! The negative space in the canyon forms an inverted triangle. You can see how the canyon got its nickname. The top layer of rock is the Kaibab limestone which is said to be over 240 million years old.
Come learn even more about the majestic and mysterious canyon on one of our Grand Canyon expeditions. There is so much more to discover!