Updated: Jul 11
Have you ever wondered what the most frequently asked questions (or FAQs) people around the world are asking Google about the Grand Canyon? Welp, we did. And we were a little surprised that lots of folks were asking about the same Grand Canyon facts over and over again, while others were a little more obscure. People have so many questions, and that's pretty understandable. It’s one of the most visited wonders in the world, and the National Park Service says it’s one of the most popular parks in the U.S. with 4.5 million visitors in 2021.
But, if we’re being honest, the details surrounding it can still be a little murky. You know, other than the fact that it’s an enormous (albeit majestic) hole in the ground. So, we’ve done the research and put together a quick reference guide for 25 of the most-searched for facts about the Grand Canyon, and its elusive rims. And the best part is that they're all in one place, so you don’t have to keep scouring the internet.
Check out these Grand Canyon facts:
1. What's the Grand Canyon Location?
The Grand Canyon is located in the northwest corner of Arizona, bordering Utah and Nevada.
2. What state is the Grand Canyon in?
The Grand Canyon is in the state of Arizona.
3. How deep is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is 6,001 feet or 1,829 meters deep.
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4. Best time to visit the Grand Canyon
Spring, between the months of April and June or in the fall, in September and October when the temperatures are most pleasant. However, the Grand Canyon covered in snow is absolutely majestic, so if you’re not afraid to brave the cold and the wind, winter might be worth the trek. The summer is scorching at the Grand Canyon but still a very busy time because of school breaks.
5. How many Grand Canyon Rims are there?
There are three rims in the Grand Canyon, the South Rim, the West Rim and the North Rim. What happened to the East Rim? Good question, it’s not recognized by the National Park Service. But located on the eastern side of the Grand Canyon are extremely famous sites like Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, right at the base of Lake Powell in southern Utah.
6. Which rim of the Grand Canyon is the best?
Many people will tell you the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the best rim. But that’s really a matter of personal preference. The South Rim is chosen by the majority of people, so it’s much more crowded than the North and West Rim. There are lots of hotels and restaurants nearby, but it’s a much more commercial feel as well.
7. Grand Canyon Elevation
The elevation ranges from 2000 feet (610 meters) to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters), averaging about 6,804 feet (2,074 meters).
8. How long is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is roughly 277 miles (448 kilometers) long.
9. Grand Canyon Tours
There are many Grand Canyon tours you can take to explore. One of our particular favorites is by helicopter and we fully believe it’s one of the best ways to scratch the Grand Canyon off your bucket list. But you can also take a train, do a fly-over in a plane, take a tour bus, drive yourself, and now you can even zipline.
10. How big is the Grand Canyon?
It’s about 1,218 acres or 1904 square miles (4,931 square kilometers).
11. Grand Canyon Weather
The weather in the Grand Canyon varies by rim and interestingly enough, it even creates its own weather patterns. These are the average temperatures and rainy days for Grand Canyon National Park, AZ as provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Month High / Low(°F) Rain
January 58° / 38° 4 days
February 65° / 42° 4 days
18° / 5°C
March 74° / 48° 4 days
23° / 8°C
April 83° / 55° 2 days
28° / 12°C
May 93° / 63° 1 day
33° / 17°C
June 104° / 73° 1 day
40° / 22°C
July 107° / 77° 3 days
41° / 25°C
August 103° / 75° 4 days
39° / 23°C
September 96° / 68° 3 days
35° / 20°C
October 83° / 58° 2 days
28° / 14°C
November 69° / 46° 2 days
20° / 7°C
December 58° / 39° 3 days
14° / 3°C
12. Grand Canyon directions
The Grand Canyon National Park, which includes the North and South Rims, is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north from Flagstaff, Arizona. If you’re visiting Sedona, it’s a two-hour drive north to the park (109 miles or 175 km). The Grand Canyon West Rim is 125 miles (201 kilometers) east of Las Vegas.
13. How old is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is more than 6 million years old.
14. What is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is a geological anomaly caused by erosion from the Colorado River.
15. Grand Canyon History
Civil War veteran, Major John Wesley Powell coined and popularized the name of the Grand Canyon in 1869 when he and nine companions set down the Colorado in wooden boats, floating more than a thousand miles. Powell’s first thought as they floated through the deeply chiseled canyon was how grand it was. Yes, it's a little obvious, isn't it? He charted the region in two expeditions during this time (another in 1872) and would later give his name to Lake Powell in southern Utah as well.
16. Who discovered the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon has been home to Paleo-Indian and Native American tribes for thousands of years. There have been many archeological discoveries (more than 4,300 in fact) that support this point. But when you Google this question, the National Park Service website comes up and says the Grand Canyon was discovered in 1540 by the Spanish explorer, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado…who was being led by Hopi Indian guides.
You might be scratching your head and thinking, if he was led by the Hopi people who presumably knew where it was already, how did Vazquez de Coronado discover it? Glad we’re not alone in questioning that line of thought. We highly recommend learning more about the indigenous people who called the Grand Canyon home and learn more about the history of the Hualapai tribe who still live and operate the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon today.
17. How wide is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is 18 miles (29 kilometers) wide.
18. Grand Canyon Hours
The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays. The North Rim is open from mid-May to mid-October due to winter. Grand Canyon West is open daily from 8 a.m. until sundown, with the last entry at 6:00 pm from mid-March through October, and 5:00 p.m. from November to March.
19. Who owns the Grand Canyon?
The majority of the Grand Canyon is owned by the federal government. Grand Canyon West is located on the Hualapai Indian tribal land and is therefore self-funded, meaning they don’t receive federal funding from the National Park Service.
20. Grand Canyon Size Comparison
The Grand Canyon is slightly bigger than the state of Rhode Island.
21. What is the Grand Canyon Skywalk?
The Skywalk is a 30-million-dollar engineering marvel that took four years to build at Grand Canyon West. It opened in 2007 and is a 10-foot (3 meters) wide, glass bridge that extends 70 feet (21 meters) out over the rim of the Grand Canyon, with a clear view 4,000 feet (1219 meters) down to the canyon floor below.
22. What is the Grand Canyon West Rim?
The Grand Canyon West Rim is different because you will be entering the Hualapai reservation. The Native American reservation has been on this land since 1883 and has more than 1,600 people who live there, 1,353 of which are tribal members. As a sovereign Indian nation, the Hualapai tribe (or People of the Tall Pines) is self-sufficient, meaning they do not receive any federal funding for this rim of the Grand Canyon, like the others do. Every dollar you spend at this rim is put back into the keeping it open and used in the day-to-day functions.
23. What is the Grand Canyon Railway?
The Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, AZ has been open since 1901 and has been transporting passengers to the Grand Canyon ever since. The train cars have been carefully restored and guests enjoy many forms of entertainment while onboard, including live music and cowboys and outlaws. The views along the rail line are unparalleled and during the holidays, the railway even hosts a Polar Express train for kids of all ages.
24. How far is the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?
Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West is only 125 miles (201 km) making it a popular day trip for those visiting Sin City. The drive is just a little over two hours and you can tack on a stop at the Hoover Dam since it’s along the way.
25. What is there to do at the Grand Canyon?
There is so much to do in the Grand Canyon. If you’re looking for things to do in the National Park located at the North and South Rims, you can hike, take scenic drives, walk along historic trails, take a rafting trip down the Colorado River, explore the canyon on mules and so much more. If you’re looking for things to do at the West Rim, you can get tickets to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, zip line across the canyon, learn more about the Hualapai Indian tribe, experience cultural exchanges and shop from tribal vendors, eat traditional foods, take a river rafting tour, a helicopter tour and a pontoon tour.
Things to do near the Grand Canyon
Ashley Oñoz-Wright has been a travel writer and editor based in Las Vegas, NV for the last ten years. Her work has been featured in Manifesting Travel, Modern Luxury, Sophisticated Living, Greenspun Media Group, Vegas.com and LasVegas.com. She holds a degree in Sociology & Anthropology from DePauw University.