Friday, December 22, 2017

The Grand Canyon: Just One Of The Truly Great National Wonders

There are a variety of national wonders found in the United States, but even among the most extraordinary and fascinating of them all, it is hard to beat what The Grand Canyon in Arizona brings to the table! A genuinely stunning and distinct wonder created from millions of years of geology, geography, and environmental factors, many individuals are impressed at just how many fascinating and awe-inspiring things there are to experience at the Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon Introduction

Located in Grand Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon is a wide assortment of canyons etched out of the layered bands of reddish desert rock by the dynamic Colorado River. The canyons in north central Arizona are famous for the layered rocks that reveal millions of years of geology while producing extraordinary natural beauty. There are numerous popular tours, campsites, and viewpoints that create perfect pictures and even better memories.

Grand Canyon History 

Currently the Grand Canyon receives over 5 million travelers a year but this wasn't always the case. The canyon was carved out from river erosion over millions of years, and while most people are familiar with this they are surprised to discover that there are many amazing archaeological discoveries that have been made all throughout the canyon and the valleys.

Artifacts that are an astounding 12,000 years old have been identified that are from the Paleo-Indian time period and there has been active tribes or civilizations living in the region ever since. Considered as a modern-day treasure, the Grand Canyon area was first given federal protection in 1893. Previously declared a forest reserve, in 1919 it would be declared a national park.

Grand Canyon Geology 

There is no denying the amazing geology of the Grand Canyon and it still has scientists researching the area to this day. The mile-high walls are an incredible site to see but they also expose a story. Throughout them, layered bands of reddish rock on the canyon walls present incredible natural history of the local area. Geologists love the canyon given that there are about forty sedimentary layers of rock visible on its walls. This is among the many extraordinary sites a visitor can witness on one of the great day tours offered at the canyon. Geological phenomena's such as vulcanism and stream erosion are two of the primary reasons for the canyons formation.

Popular Points Of Interest 

The Grand Canyon measures up to its name, and while located in north central and northwest Arizona, there are many different specific areas within the park and the canyon itself that are worth a visit. Regardless of whether you are there for photos, education, camping out, or a bit of everything, spend some time to really explore all the points of interest in this area. You will be surprised with how different one part of the park can be from another.

If you are searching for the best viewpoints and some panoramic photos be sure to visit:
- Mather Point
- Mary Colter's Lookout Studio (particularly from the watchtower)
- Lipan Point (especially great for sunrise/sunset photos)
- Yavapai Observation Station
- Grand Canyon Skywalk

Also make sure to do your homework to give yourself the Grand Canyon experience you really wish to see! Some areas are only easily accessible from the south entrances to the park while others are best seen from the north.

Grand Canyon Day Tour 

Most of the best tours are rim specific. Given that the park is so large there are tours for the North Rim, South Rim, and East and West. Your options will depend on what specific part of the park you are in. For instance, there are day tours by horse, raft, and even helicopter. If you are thinking about a tour, check our extensive catalog where you will have plenty of options.

So what are you waiting for? Whether going by yourself, with a small group, or planning the perfect family trip, the Grand Canyon offers an awe-inspiring experience for everyone so why not start planning your trip today? If you have questions or you are still not sure how to approach your visit, we can help you. Our experienced staff is ready to make some awesome suggestions so give us a call today!

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Learn About Oak Creek Canyon

If you are wanting to hike, swim, or fish; visit Oak Creek Canyon! People going to Arizona can be overwhelmed by all of the activities and tourist attractions readily available to them within the state. A common question asked is, what other destinations should I check out besides The Grand Canyon? Among the most popular choices for adventurers is the stunning Oak Creek Canyon. Oak Creek Canyon is commonly referred to by the locals as the small cousin of the Grand Canyon. While it does not match up in size, it does feature incredibly unique scenic charm. This is a fabulous place to visit heading to or from the Grand Canyon.

Beauty of Oak Creek Canyon

This geographical creation is a steep canyon with a fabulous river gorge. It is located in Northern Arizona between Sedona and Flagstaff. The Canyon is often dismissed as just one more hiking location in Arizona but nothing could be further from the truth! If your trip will not permit a full day at Oak Creek Canyon, don't worry. Tourplicity's Grand Canyon Day Tour drives through this work of art on the way to the Grand Canyon!

Oak Creek Canyon Facts

Oak Creek Canyon is close to 13 miles long. It has a width that ranges from 0.8 miles to 2.5 miles wide. The canyon hits depths ranging from just 800 feet to a spectacular 2,000 feet. Due to faulting during the canyon's formation, Oak Creek Canyon's West Rim is about 700 feet higher than its East Rim. The canyon's elevation to the western side is around 7,200 feet whereas the east side's elevation is close to 6,500 feet. This diverse area contains water features, red rock formations, and pine trees.

Geological evidence reveals that the formation of Oak Creek Canyon occurred about 10 million years ago. The original canyon was later filled by a number of lava flows and gravel deposits during the Miocene Epoch. Around this time frame, the Oak Creek Fault which was once inactive became active. At this point, the existing day canyon started to form along the fault line because of the erosional action of Oak Creek. Oak Creek carves through the canyon and it is a tributary to the Verde River.

Oak Creek at Oak Creek Canyon

The eroded walls of the Oak Creek Canyon are mainly formed of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. These sedimentary rocks are formed by the build-up of sediments over time. The exposures of Kaibab Limestone and Toroweap formations are only on the canyon's northern end. The most commonly exposed rock on the southern edge of the canyon are the white and red colored sandstones of the Schnebly Hill Formation. The east rim of the canyon includes some of the youngest rocks. This area's rocks developed from basalt lava flows that are estimated to be 6 million years old.

Recreational Activities

The Oak Creek Canyon is found within the unique Coconino National Forest. Some areas of the canyon are assigned as federal wilderness areas to conserve their natural condition for future generations. There are numerous recreation areas, picnic areas, and campgrounds managed by the United States Forest Service within the canyon. This makes the Oak Creek Canyon an awesome place to visit for people of all ages.

swimming at Oak Creek Canyon

One of the main attractions is the natural water slide, Slide Rock. Located in Slide Rock State Park, the slide ranges from 2.5 feet to 4 feet wide and is 80 feet long! If you count on visiting Slide Rock make sure you visit when the water is warm. It can reach near freezing temperatures in the cooler months. Also, be cautious in the water when crossing on foot because the sandstone is very slippery. The canyon also presents more than 49 miles of fishable waters along the creek. Fishing fanatics can hope to catch catfish, brown trout, rainbow trout as well as smallmouth bass in this area. Aside from swimming and fishing, backpacking the trails leading into the canyon or up to the canyon's rim is a must do activity.

Slide Rock at Oak Creek Canyon

If you intend to check out the canyon on your own, you can access it relatively easily. You will just need to drive south from Flagstaff on US Route 89A. After about 14 miles, you will arrive at the canyon's edge. At this point the canyon plunges close to a thousand feet through a string of switchbacks to the bottom. On the bottom of the canyon, you can investigate an extra thirteen miles alongside the flowing, crystal clear Oak Creek.

If you do not have the time to visit Oak Creek Canyon, take advantage of our Grand Canyon Day Tour. The tour departs from Scottsdale, Tempe, or Phoenix and will drive through Oak Creek Canyon on the way to the Grand Canyon! Call us and speak with a tour specialist to make your reservation today!

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