The Grand Canyon is the result of gradual erosion over the course of 17 million years. Wind, water and ice slowly eat away at the stone forming the signature caves and crevices that have become famous around the world. This relentless erosion has led to the creation of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World known as the Grand Canyon.
The most influential element responsible for carving out the Grand Canyon is the Colorado river. Although the exact date cannot be determined, most scientists agree that the Colorado River established a path through the Grand Canyon about 17 million years ago. That path has shaped the canyon into its present day form, a constant process that still continues to this day. At 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, with crevices over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon continues to grow and change even now. Geologists have dated the stone itself to be as old as 2 billion years, making it a prehistoric monument of sorts.
Although the Grand Canyon is not the largest or deepest canyon in the world, it is unique in the fact that it preserves and displays the prehistoric layers of stone, and does so in an amazing, visually appealing fashion. This is the result of tectonic uplifting, a geological process involving the collision of tectonic plates in the earth, resulting in the creation of mountains or plateaus. The increase in elevation raises earth and stone that was previously buried, thus the older stone becomes visible once more.
Knowing the history of the formation of the Grand Canyon can give new understanding and appreciation of its beauty. It is hard to believe that something as massive and aesthetically intricate as the Grand Canyon was created by chance and natural processes alone. Walking through the crevices and caves is a memorable experience, but the real treat is to see the whole thing from above. That is why Grand Canyon flights are a favorite choice among tourists. Helicopter flights to Grand Canyon offer the opportunity to see the path of the Colorado River in its entirety, a sight that is definitely worth seeing. If you plan on visiting the Grand Canyon anytime soon, make sure to opt for aerial views.