Most Spectacular Canyons in the US

canyon panorama

Glen Canyon ©Wolfgang Staudt/Flickr

For hikers and mountaineers, the United States of America offer some of the best hiking trails, landscapes and wilderness areas in the world. The Rocky Mountains, spreading across Western  USA from North to South, are famous for their gigantic trees, their spectacular views, their ski resorts, their red rocks and their canyons. The numerous rivers have shaped the most spectacular canyons in the US, creating natural sculptures in their red rock. The US is the place to look for the biggest canyon in the world, but also some of the narrowest, most intricate ones:

Grand Canyon, Arizona

cnyon panorama

grand canyon ©ohn Vetterli/Flickr

Created by Colorado River, the Grand Canyon has become one of the trademarks of US tourism. It’s hard to estimate which of the canyon’s dimensions is the most impressive: its length (over 400 kilometers), its wideness (almost 30 km) or its depth (at its maximum depth, the canyon can reach 1.6 km). The canyon is part of the Grand Canyon National Park, a protected area.

The two main access points into the canyon are the South Rim and the North Rim – tourists areas with numerous panorama points, hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities. The Rim to Rim trail takes 2 days to complete, and its a strenuous hike taking you at the bottom of the mile deep canyon.

Zion National Park, Utah

Utah is particularly famous for its rock formations, and it’s first national park, Zion, is particularly famous for its red-rock gems. The park is actually a long, narrow canyon – or, rather canyons, with very high, coral rocks and unique vegetation. Zion offers some of the most spectacular (and dangerous) hikes as well as a comfortable shuttle service for those less willing to try the strenuous trails.

Antelope Canyon, Navajo Country

antelope canyon ©Alaskan Dude/Flickr

Unlike the most of United States’ natural parks, which are administered by the National Park Service, the Antelope Canyon is part of the Navajo Nation, whose territory borders Arizona. This is an extremely narrow, but also extremely beautiful canyon, consisting of two parts: the Lower Antelope Canyon and the Upper Antelope Canyon. Some parts of the canyon can be very difficult to access and there the constant menace of floods, which is why only dedicated photographers and experienced climbers dare to adventure there.

Glen Canyon, Arizona/Utah

A common recreational area for the states of Utah and Arizona, Glen Canyon, just like the Grand Canyon, is formed by the Colorado River. This canyon is unique in many ways, but mainly because it’s a half man made natural attraction.

canyon panorama

Glen Canyon by Wolfgang Staudt/Flickr

Following the creation of the Glen Canyon Dam, part of the hot Colorado Plateau was flooded, forming the Powell lake. There are numerous recreational activities available in the area, as well as a rich bird population.

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