- 1882: First unsuccessful attempt to establish a Grand Canyon National Park
- 1893: Designated a "forest reserve" by President Benjamin Harrison (Presidential Proclamation #45)
- 1908: Established as Grand Canyon National Monument by Theodore Roosevelt (Presidential Proclamation #794)
- 1919: Designated Grand Canyon National Park by an act of Congress on February 26 (40 Stat 1175)
- 1975: Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act, an act of Congress of January 4 (88 Stat 2089) (Public Law 93-620)
- 1979: Designated a World Heritage Site on October 26
- Park Size: 1,217,403.32 acres (487,350 hectares)
1,904 sq. miles (4,950 kilometers)
- Length: 277 river miles (446 km)
- Width: Minimum at Marble Canyon 600 feet (180 m)
Average Rim to Rim 10 miles (16 km)
Maximum Rim to Rim 18 miles (28.8km)
- Depth: Average 1 mile (1.6km)
- Elevations: South Rim 7,000 feet (2100m)
North Rim 8,000 feet (2400m)
- Volume: Cubic Yards 5.45 trillion
Cubic Meters 4.17 trillion
Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park
- Length: 277 miles (446km)
- Average Width: 300 feet (90m)
- Minimum Width: 76 feet (23m)
- Average Depth: 40 feet (12m)
- Greatest Depth: 85 feet (25.5m)
- Average Gradient: 7 feet per mile (1.3m per km)
- Elevation at Phantom Ranch: 2,400 feet (720m)
- The Colorado River is 1,450-miles (2,333km) 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 1,840 to 270 million years old, including diverse paleontological resources; unconsolidated surface deposits; a complex tectonic and erosion history; and Pliocene to Holocene volcanic deposits. The Colorado River established its course through the canyon about six 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.
Learn more about geologic formations
in Grand Canyon.
- 373 species of birds
- 91 species of mammals
- 18 species of fish (5 native)
- 58 species of reptiles and amphibians
- 8,480 known species of invertebrates
- 23 exotic (non-native) animal species
- 20 endemic animal species
- 7 Endangered Species: California condor, humpback chub, razorback sucker, southwestern willow flycatcher, Kanab ambersnail, and Yuma clapper rail.
- 3 Threatened Species: Mexican spotted owl, yellow-billed cuckoo, and desert tortoise.
- 10 Extirpated Species: Grizzly bear, black-footed ferret, gray wolf, jaguar, Bear Valley sandwort, Colorado Pikeminnow, bonytail, roundtail chub, northern leopard frog, and southwestern river otter.
- There are over 35 species of special concern and former USFWS Category 2 species.
- One reptile, three mammal and one mollusk species are known only from the Grand Canyon region. At least nine species of insects are endemic to Grand Canyon; and six fish species are endemic to the Colorado River basin.
- 1,750 species of vascular plants
- Four endemic species
- 205 exotic (non-native) species
- One endangered species: Sentry milk-vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax)
- Nine species of special concern (formerly category 2 species) 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.
- 11 Traditionally Associated Native American tribes.
- Oldest human artifacts found within the park date to the Paleoindian period and are nearly 12,000 years old. There has been continuous use and occupation of the park since that time.
- Archaeological evidence from the following prehistoric culture groups: Paleoindian, Archaic, Basketmaker, Ancestral Puebloan (Kayenta and Virgin branches), Cohonina, Cerbat, Pai, and Southern Paiute.
- Historical-period cultural groups the Hopi, Navajo, Pai, Southern Pauite, Zuni and Euro-American.
- More than 4,403 recorded archaeological resources
- The park’s Traditionally Associated Tribes and historic ethnic groups view management of archaeological resources as preservation of their heritage.
- Eight National Historic Landmarks.
- 38 National Register of Historic Places
- National Register properties include archaeological sites, historic structures, cultural landscapes, and ethnographic resources.
- Determinations of eligibility have been prepared by both Hopi and Zuni preservation offices identifying elements of the greater Grand Canyon, Colorado River, Bright Angel Creek and Little Colorado River as a Traditional Cultural Property.
- Climate in Grand Canyon National Park is relatively mild.
- Low humidity generally allows large temperature differences between day and night.
- Precipitation totals are low, so 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: 63°F (17°C)
- Mean Low Temperature: 35°F (2°C)
- Average Annual Precipitation: 15.6 in. (39.6 cm)
- Total Precipitation in 2016: 22.4 in. (56.9 cm)
- Mean High Temperature: 56°F (14°C)
- Mean Low Temperature: 30°F (-1°C)
- Average Annual Precipitation: 25.3 in. (64.3 cm)
- Total Precipitation in 2016: 25.5 in. (64.7 cm)
- Mean High Temperature: 82°F (28°C)
- Mean Low Temperature: 57°F (14°C)
- Average Annual Precipitation: 8.5 in. (21.6 cm)
- Total Precipitation in 2016: 10.3 in. (26.2 cm)
Shuttle System Passengers
- 7,358,095 boardings (not passengers)
- Year-round shuttle service began March 10, 2000
- Implemented in 1974, the shuttle system has provided over 165,740,177 rides since its inception.
Backcountry User Nights
- Total: 98,013
- Corridor: 55,302
- Other Backcountry Trails: 39,703
- Backcountry permits issued: 15,186
- Backcountry permits used: 13,386
- Detailed backcountry use stastics.
Colorado River User Days
Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek
- Commercial: 115,228
- Noncommercial: 109,291
Diamond Creek to Lake Mead
Mule Trip Riders
Xanterra, South Rim
- Phantom Ranch 1 night: 2,247
- Phantom Ranch 2 nights: 342
- Canyon Vistas: 10,407
Trail Rides, North Rim
- One Hour Rim Ride: 3,353
- Half Day Inner Canyon Ride: 4,751
- Half Day Rim Ride: 918
- Total: 176,050 North-bound boardings
Commercial Air Tours 2015 (numbers reported by FAA)
- Commercial Air Tour Flights: 119,897
Law Enforcement Activities
Emergency Medical Services
- Part I Offenses Investigated: 42
- Part II Offenses Reported: 1,137
- Law Enforcement Jurisdiction: Concurrent
Structural Fire Incidents and Responses
Wildland Fire Incidents and Treatments
- Emergency Medical Service Incidents: 1,202
- Fatalities: 16
- Search and Rescue Incidents Total: 293
- Fire Starts Incidents: 21
- Acres treated with fire: 9,544
- Acres of defensible space treated: 245
Visitor Centers and Contact Stations
Interpretive Walks, Talks, and Programs
- Grand Canyon Visitor Center
- Verkamp’s Visitor Center
- Yavapai Observation Station
- Tusayan Ruin and Museum
- Desert View Visitor Center
- North Rim Visitor Center
- Kolb Studio
Environmental Education Programs
- 4,979 presentations to 526,074 visitors
- 709 presentations to 22,317 participants
- 31,800 Junior Rangers sworn in
- 246 print publications currently maintained Park
- Unigrids/maps: 1,305,250
- Pocket Map and Services Guide: 2,282,000
- All other brochures: 753,384
- Pocket Map and Services Guide available in eight languages.
- Total: 1,232
- National Park Service: 697
- Concessioners: 535
- Maintained: 126 miles (202.8 km)
- Established: 358 miles (576.1 km)
Sewage Treatment Facilities
Trans-canyon Pipeline Water from Roaring Springs to the North and South rims
- Total: 254 miles (408.8 km)
- South Rim: 908
- North Rim: 218
- Phantom Ranch: 15
Recreational Vehicle Sites
- 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
Visitor facilities and services include visitor centers, museums, theaters, backcountry office, historic structures, scenic overlooks, accessible rim trails, lodging, campgrounds, dump stations, service stations, restaurants, cocktail lounge, coffee shop, general store, gift shops, bookstores, clinic, bank, post office, church, and kennel. Some facilities are seasonal.
Services include educational exhibits, curriculum-based education programs, jr. 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 2016, 22 concessioners grossed approximately $178 million and paid franchise and other fees of approximately $16.7 million.
FY 2016 Funding
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act— 80% portion
- (ONPS, Operation of the National Park System) ONPS Base Operating Appropriation: $21,262,600
- ONPS Base for other Purposes: $110,060
- ONPS Non-base Funding: $3,110,097
- (SEPAS, Special Emphasis Program Allocation) FirePro Base: $1,787,146
- Construction and Major Maintenance: $253, 383
- Repair and Rehabilitation: $1,060,676
- (FY-07) $15,616,824
- (FY-08) $16,798,553
- (FY-09) $13,973,982
- (FY-10) $13,367,858
- (FY-11) $13,780,061
- (FY-12) $13,972,969
- (FY-13) $14,775,466
- (FY14) $8,407,057 (collections reduced by LSI buy down)
- (FY15) $18,361,846
- (FY16) $15, 215,281 (collections reduced by Pipeline reserve)
- 10 Year Total (FY07-16) $144,269,897
- Federal Lands Transportation Program: $677,904
National Park Service Staffing – Fiscal Year 2016 Information and distribution of all staff (Permanent, Term, and Seasonal) as of November 2016
- Utilities Reimbursable: $5,184,851
- Quarters: $1,762,647
- Concession Franchise Fees 20% Portion: $2,489,998
- Filming and Location Fees: $25,406
- Donations (monetary): $458,880
- Transportation (Shuttle Busses): $7,991,557
- Other (reimbursable, refundable, etc.): $2,805,756
- Superintendent’s Office: 6
- Project Management Team: 3
- Administration: 23
- Science and Resource Management: 64
- Concessions Management: 13
- Planning and Compliance: 8
- Facility Management: 128
- Interpretation: 49
- Visitor and Resource Protection: 128
- Fire and Aviation Management: 29
- Total : 451
- Coconino County-AZ
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area- AZ / UT
- Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument-AZ
- Jacob Lake-AZ
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area-AZ
- Mohave County-AZ
- Vermilion Cliffs National Monument-AZ
- Valley of Fire State Park-NV
- Garfield County-UT
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument-UT
- Kane County-UT
- Washington County-UT
11 Traditionally Associated American Indian Tribes
- Arizona Strip Field Office-AZ
- Arizona Game and Fish Department-AZ
- Flagstaff Area National Monuments-AZ
- Kaibab National Forest-AZ
- Pipe Spring National Monument-AZ
- Bryce Canyon National Park-UT
- Kanab Field Office-UT
- Zion National Park-UT
Arizona Congressional Representatives
- Havasupai Tribe-AZ
- Hopi Tribe-AZ
- Hualapai Tribe-AZ
- Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians-AZ
- Las Vegas Band of Paiute Indians-NV
- Moapa Band of Paiute Indians-NV
- Navajo Nation-AZ
- Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah-UT
- San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe-AZ
- The Pueblo of Zuni-NM Yavapai-Apache Nation-AZ
- Senator John McCain
- Senator Jeff Flake
- First District Representative Tom O’Halleran