The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is visited by over four million visitors each year. This makes it the second most-visited national park in America, right behind the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. The canyon has over 1 billion years of exposed rock and the canyon itself was formed between 5 and 17 million years ago. It’s 277 miles long, a mile deep, and 18 miles across at its widest point. It takes five hours to drive from one side of the canyon to the other, which is a 215-mile drive. But most peopel don’t visit both the North and South Rim all in the same day. And be sure to watch out because about a dozen people die here every year, often from accidents. Around 53 people fell to their deaths from the canyon rims from 1925 to 2005, with another 48 deaths inside the canyon. They also have an official Grand Canyon webcam where you can see up to 225 miles of scenery on a clear day.
You can hike from one side to the other via the South Kaibab Trail, which is the one path that goes down into the canyon, crosses the Colorado River and comes back up the other side. It’s a 21-mile hike, which means that you’ll have to camp within the canyon overnight to complete it (remember that temperatures inside the canyon can be up to 30 degrees hotter than at the rim!). If your looking for something a little more adventurous then I say to go for it!
Fun fact: In 2012, they decided to eliminate the sale of disposable waters within the park because of litter concerns. Luckily though, that dehydration won’t last for long because they have free water stations throughout the park. Bring a water bottle of your own to carry along for the trek, or clean water nuts may want to come prepared with a couple bottles on deck.