What’s the Widest Spot on the Grand Canyon?

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: May 21, 2022
Image Credit sumikophoto/Shutterstock.com
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The Grand Canyon is located in the northwest corner of Arizona with Utah just to the north and Nevada to the west. The entire area of the canyon is bigger than Rhode Island! The total area is 1,904 sq miles while Rhode Island is 1,212.

The Colorado River is what runs through the bottom of the canyon, causing erosion over millions of years. The different colored layers of rock in the canyon provide years of detailed fossils. With almost 2,000 sq miles of canyon, how long is the Grand Canyon? How deep is it? What is the widest spot on the Grand Canyon? Let’s find out!

Grand Canyon National Park - Sunrise
The Grand Canyon is in the northwest corner of Arizona. It covers 1,904 square miles!

sumikophoto/Shutterstock.com

How long is the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon is approximately 277 miles long. The Colorado River starts at Lees Ferry, near the northern border of Arizona and runs through the Grand Canyon to the Grand Wash Cliffs on the Western border of the state.

Grand Canyon National Park - Rafting
The Grand Canyon is around 277 miles long. The Colorado River runs through the canyon.

Jim Mallouk/Shutterstock.com

How deep is the Grand Canyon?

At the deepest point, the Grand Canyon is more than a mile! It is 6,000 feet below the edge of the rim. If you are on the 10th story of a hotel, for example, and look out the window you are about 100 feet up. On the top of the Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the United States, it is 108 stories 1,450 feet above the ground. The Grand Canyon is 6,000 feet down. The deepest part is between Lake Powell and Lake Mead in the Grand Canyon National Park. The average depth of the Grand Canyon is 4,000 feet deep.

What’s the widest spot on the Grand Canyon?

Grand Canyon National Park in Winter
The widest spot on the Grand Canyon is 18 miles wide!

Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock.com

The widest spot on the Grand Canyon is 18 miles (29 kilometers)! If you take a quick look at a map app and choose a city near you that is 18 miles away that will give you an idea of how far we are talking. There are several spots along the canyon that measure 18 miles across from rim to rim but Lipan point offers one of the widest views of the canyon. You can also see the Colorado River at the bottom from this point. You can drive to the point which is 20 miles east of the Grand Canyon Village.

What is the narrowest spot on the Grand Canyon?

The narrowest spot is Marble Canyon near the beginning of the canyon where it is only 600 feet (200 yards). That is two football fields long.

Can you walk across the Grand Canyon?

Yes, you can walk across the Grand Canyon. There is an easy way and a hard way…much harder way. Near Marble Canyon there is a pedestrian bridge that you can walk across and visit the interpretive center. The Historic Navajo Bridge allows you to cross above the Colorado River. There is also the modern vehicle bridge that is US Highway 89A that crosses at the same point.

Navajo Bridge - Grand Canyon
The easy way to cross the Grand Canyon on foot is along the historic Navajo Bridge.

Serge Yatunin/Shutterstock.com

You can walk (hike) across the Grand Canyon by hiking down into the canyon to the Bright Angel Campground (spending the night) and then crossing the Silver Bridge which crosses the Colorado River along the Bright Angel Trail. You can hike from the South Rim down along the South Kaibab Trail or Bright Angel Trail, stay the night and hike up the North Kaibab trail, camping at the halfway spot Cottonwood Campground and then completing the trip the following day. It is a 21-mile hike from South Rim to North Rim, but it can take days to complete due to the steep terrain and elevations. You have to have a permit to hike to the bottom and stay at the campgrounds.

Can you drive across the Grand Canyon?

You can drive across the Grand Canyon near Marble Canyon along US Highway 89A, but most people want to know if you can drive from the South Rim to the North Rim (or vice versa). The South Rim is by far the most popular spot for tourists and visitors but if you want to drive to the North Rim you have to go “up and around” which is 212 miles and takes about 4 ½ hours. Be aware that the North Rim is CLOSED from October 15th to May 15th so double check the website far in advance for any earlier or later closures.

How wide is it from the North Rim to the South Rim?

In the Grand Canyon National Park, the South Rim of the park is around 10 miles across from the North Rim. If you want to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim or vice versa it is a 212 mile drive around.

When is the best time to go to the Grand Canyon?

The best time to visit the Grand Canyon is between April and June.

Wisanu Boonrawd/Shutterstock.com

The best time to visit the Grand Canyon is between April and June. This is before the Arizona weather gets extremely hot and before families head to the Canyon for summer vacations. You also have lower rainfalls during this season so you can avoid a string of rainy days.

What kind of wildlife is in the Grand Canyon?

Some of the animals you might see in the Grand Canyon are:

Bull Elk in the Fall Rut
Rocky Mountain Elk are an animal commonly seen in the park.

Tom Tietz/Shutterstock.com

What is the most dangerous animal in the Grand Canyon?

Are Acorns Poisonous - Squirrel with Acorn
They may look cute but they can bite. You will probably see one of these rock squirrels at the Grand Canyon but keep your distance.

Vik93/Shutterstock.com

The Rock Squirrel is the most dangerous animal when it comes to the number of bites. They look friendly and when they are fed by people they can bite, intentionally or by accident. Elk are also dangerous animals and can charge quickly at people. They can roam near park buildings, parking lots and trails so always be aware of your surroundings. The National Park Service officials remind people to keep their distance from wild animals. For smaller animals, like the rock squirrel, it is best to stay 50 feet and from larger animals like elk or bighorn sheep, stay at least 100 feet away.

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness and suggesting actions we can all do to help wildlife. As a former elementary school teacher I have a love for learning and teaching. My goal is to get kids fired-up about animals. Learning about the animals we share this earth with makes life better. When I am not writing I am living the good life with my husband and six kids (we are down to two that are still at home...and our giant labradoodle, Tango!).

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