The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon has been carved out by the Colorado River and is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and has a depth of over 1 mile in places. It is found in Arizona and every year hundreds of thousands of tourists are attracted to its area to experience the magnificent scenery associated with this region. In fact the area attracts over 5 million visitors each year who spend over 584 million dollars in the surrounding communities.
The gorge has been created by the Colorado River cutting through the plateau over a period of 5 million years. The strong structure of the rock has left steep cliff sides that has created the spectacular nature of the land. The attractiveness of the area to visitors is that the land has been inhabited for years by indigenous people. Native Americans used the caves and the canyons as their homes and the Pueblo People regarded it as a holy site and would make pilgrimages to visit it.
The most popular route into the Grand Canyon is through Grand Canyon Village. In an area that is remote in nature it is hardly surprising that during high tourist season this area is subjected to vast crowds of people. The village offers the tourists the opportunities to purchase mementos of their visit to the region. People can lodge in the village and it gives a great location to visit Yavapai point which offers some of the best views of the area.
The village has a railway station that is used by both Amtrak and the Grand Canyon Railway. Amtrak gets people to the region from different areas of the country. However, once inside the canyon the Grand Canyon railway gives people to travel through the great expanse by rail. In fact the railway is good for the canyon’s environment as it keeps a great number of car users out of the area. The park also offers free shuttle buses for those who want to leave their cars behind them. Starting from the village people are able to use the buses to be take taken to their favorite vantage points of the park. Some of these routes are closed in the winter months but others remain open all the year around. People can combine a walk with using the bus as they have different pick up points.
There are plenty of visitors who seek a real adventure and hike around the park stay in lodgings and camp sites. Most of the camp sites are open all year round but the ones in the remote northern area are only opened during the summer months. They are all reached by the shuttle bus and are particularly popular with those visitors who want to explore the areas “off the beaten track”. Some people also choose to travel on the River Colorado itself. There are day trips plus for the more adventurous there are opportunities to partake in longer journeys. There is even the added excitement in being able to travel along white water routes. However, permits allowing groups to be able to do this are often difficult to obtain as the land passes through American Indian territory.
The Grand Canyon has been described as one of the world’s most attractive natural landscapes, and is described by the CNN as one of the seven natural wonders of the earth. There is a constant battle to get the balance right between giving people the opportunity to see its natural environment, and also to protect it from the actions of those people visiting the area. The vast income brought into the region helps to protect the environment and also educate those tourists who are on visits. This current policy if successfully applied will be to the benefit of all concerned.