In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt visited this place and said, “It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world … Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.” We don’t know about you, but a description like that sure would make us want to visit this place! What was President Roosevelt talking about? The Grand Canyon. After seeing this amazing piece of land, President Roosevelt was determined to preserve it. After several failed attempts to declare the Grand Canyon a national park, it was actually President Woodrow Wilson who finally signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act on February 26th, 1919, forever preserving the canyon for future generations to enjoy, just like President Theodore Roosevelt hoped it would be. It was only the third time in US history that a place was designated a national park—the two before were Yellowstone and Mackinac National Parks. A hundred years later and the Grand Canyon continues to lure people to its beauty, welcoming five to six million visitors every year. To celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 100th birthday, we’re sharing some interesting facts about the place:
-The Grand Canyon is called “grand” for a reason … it’s over a mile deep (6,093 feet deep to be exact!) and over 1,900 miles squared (that’s more than six times the size of New York City!).
-The weather changes significantly depending on where you are in the canyon. The coldest spot is at the North Rim, and the warmest is only eight miles away!
-Although the Grand Canyon is often thought of as the deepest canyon in the world, it isn’t! The title of deepest canyon actually belongs to the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet. It’s 17,567 feet deep, more than two miles deeper than the Grand Canyon!
-People actually live in the Grand Canyon. It’s true! Although it’s a small town, the Havasupai Indian Reservation located in the Supai Village at the base of the Grand Canyon is home to just over two hundred people. It’s the only US location where mail is still delivered by pack mule because there are no roads for cars to get there!
-The layers of rock that form the Grand Canyon tell the story of Earth’s geological history!
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience and what kids should check out when they go! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Grand Canyon experience!