The Colorado River is 1,450 miles (2,333 km) long from its source in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California.
Grand Canyon National Park preserves an iconic geologic landscape and resources ranging from 1.8 billion (PreCambrian) year-old igneous and metamorphic rocks to 230 million (Triassic)-year-old sedimentary rocks, 5 million (Pliocene)-year old to recent volcanic deposits, a complex tectonic and erosional history, and unconsolidated surface deposits.
The Colorado River established its course through the canyon approximately 6 million years ago and likely evolved from pre-existing drainages to its current course. Geologic processes, including erosion of tributaries and slopes, and active tectonics continue to shape the canyon today. The geologic record in Grand Canyon is an important scientific chronicle and is largely responsible for its inspirational scenery.
Palentology resources include nearly 300 diverse and globally significant fossil localities ranging from 1.2-billion-year-old stromatolites to Paleozoic trilobites, plants, reptile tracks, and marine invertebrates, and Pleistocene megafauna in caves.
Invertebrates: 1,443 species, including 292 butterflies and moths
Exotic (non-native) animals: 30 species
Range expanding species (not native to the park but to the region, naturally expanding into the park): Mammals: coatimundi, hog nosed skunk, javleina, elk (North Rim); Birds: California Quail, Zone Tailed hawk
Park Endemic animals, not extirpated: 17 species; 1 mammal, 1 snake, 5 butterflies, 1 pseudoscorpion, and 1 tarantula
Regionally Endemic animals, not extirpated: 5 species; One reptile (Grand Canyon Rattlesnake) and three mammals (Kaibab squirrel, and the Navajo Mexican vole) are known only from the Grand Canyon region. At least nine species of insects are endemic to Grand Canyon, and six fish species (humpback chub, razorback sucker, flannelmouth sucker) are endemic to the Colorado River basin.
Federally Endangered and Threatened Species:Sentry milk-vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax).
An additional nine species of special concern are known, and 25 additional vascular plants are of management concern due to their limited distribution.
Six Vegetation Formation Types: riparian, desert scrub, pinyon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine forest, spruce-fir forest, and montane meadows/sub-alpine
The oldest human artifacts found date to the Paleoindian period and are nearly 12,000 years old. Since that time, various cultures have continually used and occupied lands that became the park. Archaeological evidence from the following prehistoric culture groups is found in Grand Canyon National Park: Paleoindian, Archaic, Basketmaker, Ancestral Puebloan (Kayenta and Virgin branches), Cohonina, Cerbat, Pai, and Southern Paiute. Historical-period cultural groups include the Hopi, Navajo, Pai, Southern Paiute, Zuni, and Euro-American.
There are currently 3,391 ancestral sites documented within the park dating to the prehistoric period, representing approximately 7.5% of park lands inventoried. In addition, park records document evidence of historic period use from 1540-1950, including 453 locations with evidence of historic Native American use.
Grand Canyon is home to 11 federally recognized tribes with deep history and connection to the Grand Canyon since time immemorial. Tribal governments and communities work closely with park administration and management on a host of programs. Through collaborative projects such as the Desert View Watchtower Intertribal Cultural Heritage Site, the park is working with tribes to provide accurate and culturally appropriate information to visitors. This “First Voice” programming acknowledges the rich and diverse cultural history of the Grand Canyon and celebrates the connections native people have to the Canyon. Tribal lands surrounding the park offer many unique tourism opportunities to visitors planning a trip to the Grand Canyon.
National Historic Landmarks
4 Individual Buildings
National Register of Historic Places
National Register properties include archaeological sites, historic structures, cultural landscapes, and ethnographic resources. The park is working with the University of Arizona and tribes to prepare a nomination for the Grand Canyon as a Traditional Cultural Place. The work will be completed in 2022.
List of Classified Structures (LCS): 874 listings
LCS includes National Historic Landmark and National Register listed or eligible properties
Cultural Landscapes: 16
Climate in Grand Canyon National Park is relatively mild. However, low humidity generally allows large temperature differences between day and night. Since precipitation totals are low, year-to-year variations can be large. The passage of a few major storms can have a significant impact on the year’s total.
Mean High Temperature (30 year average): 64°F (17.8°C)
Mean Low Temperature (30 year average): 29.5°F (-1.4°C)
Average Annual Precipitation (30 year average): 13.4 inches (34.0 cm)
Total Precipitation in 2022: 14.74 inches (37.44 cm) (22 days of missing data)
Mean High Temperature (30 year average): 55°F (12.8°C)
Mean Low Temperature (30 year average): 31.7°F (-0.2°C)
Average Annual Precipitation (30 year average): 24 inches (62 cm)
Total Precipitation in 2022: 16.42 inches (41.7 cm) (28 days of missing data)
Mean High Temperature (30 year average): 81°F (27.2°C)
Mean Low Temperature (30 year average): 54.2°F (12.3°C)
Average Annual Precipitation (30 year average): 9.6 inches (24 cm)
Total Precipitation in 2022: 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) (4 days of missing data)
Distance Learning: 158 programs to 6,414 participants
Family tabling and programs: 11 programs to 1,028 participants
Events & Presentations: 6 programs to 890 participants
Park Unigrids/maps distributed on South Rim: 757,350
Pocket Map and Services Guides distributed on South Rim: 1,050,000
All other brochures: 249,000
Pocket Map and Services Guides: Available in eight languages
National Park Service: 647
Paved: 35 miles (56.3 km)
Unpaved: 560 miles (901.2 km)
Total: 595 miles (957.6 km)
Paved: 124 miles (199.6 km)
Unpaved: 148 miles (238.2 km)
Total: 272 miles (437.7 km)
Sewage Treatment Facilities
Water from Roaring Springs to the North and South rims
Total: 23 miles (37 km)
South Rim: 908
North Rim: 219
Phantom Ranch: 15
Mather: 317 family, 7 group, 2 hiker/biker, 2 livestock
Desert View: 50 family
North Rim: 90 family, 3 group
Tuweep: 9 family, 1 group
Recreational Vehicle Sites
Visitor Facilties and Services
Visitor facilities include visitor centers, museums, theaters, backcountry offices, historic structures, scenic overlooks, accessible rim trails, lodging, campgrounds, dump stations, service stations, restaurants, cocktail lounges, coffee shops, general stores, gift shops, bookstores, clinic, bank, post offices, churches, and a dog kennel. Some facilities are seasonal.
Services include educational exhibits, curriculum-based education programs, junior ranger programs, ranger programs and hikes, picnicking, bicycling, bike rentals, self-guided hikes, mule riding, backpacking, fishing, river trips, overnight lodging, camping, camper services, guided bus tours, air tours (outside of park), shuttle bus service, taxi, auto repair, publication sales, gift and grocery sales, law enforcement, medical and emergency services.
In Fiscal Year 2022, 21 concessioners grossed approximately $193 million and paid franchise and other fees of approximately $18 million.
FY 2022 Funding
Operation of the National Park System (ONPS)
ONPS Base Operating Appropriation: $23,801,000
ONPS Non-base Funding: $323,030
Special Emphasis Program Allocation (SEPAS)
Repair and Rehabilitation: $34,750,128
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act—80% portion
Total volunteers in park: 382
Total hours: 37,499
National value of each volunteer hour: $29.95
Total in-kind services: $1,123,095.05
Gateway Communities & Counties
Jacob Lake, AZ
Coconino County, AZ
Garfield County, UT
Kane County, UT
Mohave County, AZ
Washington County, UT
State and Federal Partners
Arizona Game and Fish Department, AZ
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Bureau of Land Management, AZ/UT
Bureau of Reclamation
Flagstaff Area National Monuments, AZ
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, UT/AZ
Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, AZ
Kaibab National Forest, AZ
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, AZ
Pipe Spring National Monument, AZ
U.S. Geological Survey
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, AZ
Zion National Park, UT
Philanthropic & Community Partners
Grand Canyon Conservancy
National Park Foundation
Arizona Trail Association
Grand Canyon River Guides
Grand Canyon Music Festival
11 Traditionally Associated American Indian Tribes
Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians-AZ
Las Vegas Band of Paiute Indians-NV
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians-NV
Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah-UT
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe-AZ
The Pueblo of Zuni-NM
Arizona Congressional Representatives
Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Senator Mark Kelly
District 2 Representative, Elijah Crane
District 9 Representative, Paul Gosar