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How Big Is the Grand Canyon? A Size Comparison

How Big Is the Grand Canyon? A Size Comparison

The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking example of the power of nature’s artistry over millions of years. Its colossal size is a marvel to behold, stretching 277 miles and featuring depths of 6,000 feet. Such numbers might cause a person to wonder how big the Grand Canyon is in comparison to other pieces of land or even man-made landmarks. Read below for a size comparison between the Grand Canyon and other landmarks as well as facts about how its size makes it such a unique attraction.

The Grand Canyon Is Bigger Than a US State

The sheer vastness of the Grand Canyon can be difficult to conceptualize without a frame of reference. Fortunately, we can turn to one of the US states to get a sense of perspective. The Grand Canyon is much bigger than Rhode Island, which ranks as the smallest US state. The Ocean State stretches 1,214 square miles, but the canyon mightily surpasses it, covering 1,904 square miles.

Furthermore, although Manhattan Island is far from a state, one could fit its 13.4 square miles within the space of the Grand Canyon. Both of these comparisons underscore the canyon’s immense scale and highlight its significance as a natural monument.

You Could Place Multiple Landmarks in the Canyon

You can also get a sense of how big the Grand Canyon is by comparing it to the size of several man-made landmarks. For example, imagine if the Statue of Liberty, standing at 305 feet tall, was at the bottom of the canyon. Although she looks tall on Liberty Island, Lady Liberty would appear minuscule within the towering canyon walls. The canyon could cover not just a single Statue of Liberty—it would also stand taller than 19 of these statues if you placed them on top of one another.

Another New York landmark that one could easily fit into the Grand Canyon is the Empire State Building. Although the structure was once famously the tallest building in the world, the Grand Canyon would stretch higher than the 1,250-foot-tall structure. It would even exceed 4 Empire State Buildings on top of each other, showcasing the immense scale of the Grand Canyon’s vertical drop.

The Grand Canyon could also tower above an architectural landmark found in the Midwest, Chicago’s Willis Tower. Like the Empire State Building, the Willis Tower once ranked as Earth’s tallest building. In fact, it remains one of the tallest, standing at a staggering 1,730 feet when you count its antennae.

But once again, the Grand Canyon wins this competition. Even if you built three Willis Towers on top of each other, the canyon would eclipse them. These comparisons illuminate the grand scale of this natural formation.

There’s a Canyon Larger Than the Grand Canyon

Despite the Grand Canyon’s impressive dimensions and the awe it inspires among millions of visitors each year, it doesn’t hold the title of the largest canyon in the world. That distinction goes to the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, located in Tibet. This canyon spans 313 miles in length and reaches depths close to 20,000 feet in some areas, surpassing the Grand Canyon in both depth and length. This revelation often surprises many people who, captivated by the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, assume it to be the largest canyon on Earth. But both canyons represent monumental natural formations, contributing to our appreciation of how nature can create impressive marvels that inspire wonder.

More Amazing Facts About the Canyon’s Size

There are many other aspects of the Grand Canyon’s size and scale that astonish people who visit or study this natural wonder. Read below to learn about some examples that highlight how immense this landmark truly is.

The Canyon’s Elevation Affects the Weather

The Grand Canyon’s varying elevations have a profound influence on the canyon’s weather conditions. In fact, it has unique microclimates at its different depths. For example, when you’re at higher altitudes at the canyon, you’ll experience conditions that are significantly cool compared to the hotter, drier conditions you would find deep within the canyon’s interior. These drastic changes in temperature often surprise visitors, who sometimes encounter differences of up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit as they travel to the bottom of the canyon.

It Has Multiple Types of Environments

The Grand Canyon’s size has made it a tapestry of environmental diversity. The canyon features a range of habitats and ecosystems within its vast expanse. These include arid desert landscapes that characterize much of the canyon’s rim, with sparse vegetation and rugged terrain, as well as lush riparian areas along the Colorado River at its base.

These environments transition through a variety of life zones, including pinyon-juniper woodland, deciduous forests, and subalpine grassland. Each supports unique communities of plants and animals. This ecological variety not only enriches the Grand Canyon’s biological tapestry but also offers visitors a chance to experience an astonishing range of natural beauty as they move from the sunbaked rim to the cooler, shadowed depths below.

The canyon’s vast environments also include thousands of caves, including a large percentage that people still have yet to explore. This suggests that the canyon may contain a vast amount of information that scientists have yet to discover via fossils or artifacts.

Multiple Species Roam the Canyon

Visitors can also behold a wide range of wildlife at the Grand Canyon. It serves as a natural sanctuary for over 440 bird species, 90 kinds of mammals, 45 types of reptiles, 5 fish species, and at least 1,440 invertebrate species. This makes the Grand Canyon a compelling area of study for nature enthusiasts. The presence of such varied wildlife, coupled with the canyon’s natural beauty, underscores the importance of conservation efforts to preserve this unique natural habitat for future generations.

As we’ve seen, the Grand Canyon’s size has made it a wonder. Comedy On Deck Tours can help you experience this amazing natural landmark as well as nearby Hoover Dam, a major accomplishment of engineering. We offer Las Vegas tours to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam that will allow you to see both up close while learning about them from our guides, who will keep you laughing throughout your journey.

How Big Is the Grand Canyon? A Size Comparison

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