Las Vegas Grand Canyon Airplane

The Colorado River serpintines from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. In between, it carved the miraculous Grand Canyon, a chasm that's 270 miles long, 1 mile deep and up to 18 miles wide!

A Primer About The Colorado River

the colorado riverThe Colorado River is a long, meandering waterway that stretches from Colorado and traverses a number of U.S. states including Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California before emptying into northern Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

This particular waterway is a very important river that has played an critical role in the development of the southwestern United States. It begins in the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of over 9,000 feet and then drops down a mile or so in elevation before reaching the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The Colorado is not deep. Its maximum depth is only 20 feet but in it lie many holes that are about 90 feet in depth. There are other places where the depth is just six feet, and there are both rapids as well as stretches where the waters are very calm.

The "Grand Canyon River" is more than 6 million years old and it was around this time that it began carving the Grand Canyon. The result of this timeless, erosive force is a canyon that's 277 miles long, a mile deep and, on average, 10 miles wide. Most of the canyon lies in Arizona, where it is protected as a national park.

Going easterly out of the Park, the River feeds the Hoover Dam, which is 700 feet high and was built back in 1936. The dam is famous for generating hydroelectric power, but its most amazing feat is Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the U.S. The Dam, a National Historic Landmark, connects Arizona to Nevada and features a two-lane highway that's now only open to foot traffic ever since the Hoover Dam Bypass opened in October 2010.

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The Colorado River has an interesting and rich history that dates back to the time when nomads roamed the western United States. Circa 6000 B.C. there were the Hisatsinom, predecessors of the Puebloan tribes, who evolved as people close to the Four Corners area near the San Juan River. They were followed by Native American tribes including the Pueblo, Navajo and Anasazi, as well as the Hohokam Indians who inhabited the Colorado Plateau.

The River was first mentioned in official records in 1539 when Francisco de Ulloa, an explorer, set sail upon the Gulf of California. He reached the mouth of the Colorado and commenced rowing upstream. Over time, the Colorado's acquired several nicknames, including River of Embers and the Firebrand River. In 1921, Edward T Taylor, a U.S. representative asked the Congressional Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce to change the name of the Grand River to its present name.

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Happy Travels,

P.S. Unsure who to fly with? Read this canyon airplane tour review site where excursions are ranked according to quality, price and safe practices.