From ancient sites to dizzying heights, the Grand Canyon offers a jaw-dropping journey into the wild. Check out these highlights within the Grand Canyon’s 1.2 million acres, from South to North Rim.
Within the <a title="Grand Canyon" href="http://www.travelchannel.com/topics/grand-canyon/index.html" target="_blank"><em> <b>Grand Canyon</b></em></a> take in the view from Yaki Point. From an elevation of 7,000 feet, you’ll see the rocky terrain dotted with pinyon pines and junipers -- trees with nuts that sustain wildlife such as deer, squirrels, ringtail and birds.
The South Kaibab Trail leads to the Colorado River. Along with the Bright Angel Trail, the path provides a direct route to the bottom of the canyon. But with minimal shade, be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection.
It took 6 million years for water to carve out the Grand Canyon. Get an expansive view of this handiwork at Mather Point -- where vibrant, ancient rock layers await, stretching back 1.7 billion years.
For nearly a millennia, Native American peoples have regarded the Grand Canyon as a sacred place. Visit the Tusayan Museum for a look into Pueblo Indian life at the canyon 800 years ago.
Without a power plant in sight, the Grand Canyon is home to some of the cleanest air in America. Check out an air quality monitoring stand, located outside the Yavapai Observation Station (pictured here).
See that broad, flat-topped plateau off in the distance? That’s Shiva Temple, a mesa about 1 mile long, with an area of about 300 acres. It’s located near the canyon’s North Rim.
At the edge of Grand Canyon you’ll find Kolb Studio -- in the early 1900s, it was the home and photographic studio of outdoorsmen Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. Today, an art gallery operates inside the building, showcasing artwork from the canyon.
Bright Angel Lodge was built in 1935 to accommodate the increasing numbers of visitors coming to the canyon via train. The lodge’s rustic architecture of logs and stone was conceived by American architect Mary Colter.
These little guys -- call them “long-eared taxis” -- will take you on a cliff-hugging trip through the Grand Canyon. But relax, each mule goes through 1 year of training before it’s ever allowed to carry any passengers.
From Trailview Overlook you can look down at Bright Angel Trail -- the main route used for centuries to enter and leave the Grand Canyon.
Discover the Grand Canyon’s geologic splendor. Take the Trail of Time, a nearly 3-mile-long interpretive walking trail, to peel back the pages of time -- as told through the landscape’s many rock layers.
Architect Mary Colter designed Hopi House in 1905. Today, this Pueblo-style building is the Grand Canyon’s largest gift store; it features a large selection of authentic Native American art and craftwork. The building is located in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Also within Grand Canyon Village: the Grand Canyon Depot -- one of 3 remaining railroad depots in the US built with logs. The depot opened in 1910, courtesy of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway -- one of the largest railroads in the US at the time.
Nearly 5 miles down the Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab Trail you’ll find Roaring Springs. It’s one of several underground water supplies within the Grand Canyon. Listen closely … and hear the roar.
Get out your telescope: The Grand Canyon offers prime nighttime skies for observing stars. Without a telephone pole or electric wire in sight, it’s just the starry skies above … and an awe-inspiring feeling within.
And for the ultimate view, you’ve got to experience Grand Canyon Skywalk: this glass bridge walkway offers a jaw-dropping 4,000-foot-high view of the Grand Canyon’s floor.