Photograph by Bill Hatcher, National Geographic Creative
The Little Colorado River (at right) meets the bigger Colorado River in the park, marking the beginning of the Grand Canyon's central section.
Little Colorado River
Photograph by Pete McBride, National Geographic Creative
The milky blue waters of the Little Colorado River are irresistible on a hot day in the park. The stream's color comes from calcium carbonate and copper sulfate minerals.
Ancestral Puebloan Granaries
Photograph by Ralph Lee Hopkins, National Geographic Creative
Orderly niches called granaries are tucked into the cliff face of Nankoweap Canyon. The ancestral Puebloan people—the first to live in the Grand Canyon area—built the granaries to store threshed grain and other goods.
Photograph by Michael Nichols
Averaging a thousand feet (300 meters) higher than the South Rim, the North Rim’s alpine vegetation and more varied vistas appeal to many travelers. The North Rim is also home to several distinctive rock formations like the Esplanade, or Hermit Shale, pictured here.
Photograph by David Edwards
Every year, a staggering five million people flock to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon’s sweeping views, hike its trails, and hop on a mule for a trip through the vast canyon. What looks timeless is constantly changing: The Grand Canyon's variegated layers encode two billion years of Earth's history.
Deer Creek Trail
Photograph by Corey Rich, Aurora Photos
Hikers looking for a strenuous overnight backpacking trip often take the Deer Creek Trail, one of the most popular routes in the Grand Canyon.
Photograph by James Randklev, Getty
The twin streams of Havasu Falls splash down into a turquoise pool. The falls are located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, which lies just outside Grand Canyon National Park.
Photograph by Corey Rich/Aurora Photos
The National Park Service offers visitors three different types of river trips in Grand Canyon National Park, ranging in length from several days to several weeks. Most of these trips are so popular that they must be reserved more than a year in advance.
Rafter on Colorado River
Photograph by Dawn Kish
Grand Canyon visitors who are ready to rough it on the Colorado River can sign up for guided whitewater-rafting trips. Experienced rafters can enter a weighted lottery for self-guided river trip permits.
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