Published: September 12, 2019

Fun Facts About the Grand Canyon

The Auditorium Theatre’s 2019-20 National Geographic Live Series kicks off on September 24 with Grand Canyon explorers Pete McBride and Kevin Fedarko. In Between River and Rim: Hiking the Grand Canyon, filmmaker/photographer McBride and writer Fedarko share stories from their 750-mile thru-hike of the canyon, which took 71 days to complete. Get ready to hear their tales, accompanied by McBride’s stunning photos and videos, by learning more about the Grand Canyon!

  1. The Grand Canyon recently celebrated its 100th birthday as an official National Park, but no one knows how old the canyon really is. It was widely thought that the Colorado River began carving the canyon 6 million years ago, but a study published in 2012 suggested that the canyon probably started out as a series of smaller canyons 70 million years ago, according to the National Park Foundation.
  2. The canyon was recently designated as one of the world’s “darkest places,” certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. A good place to see stars!
  3. The entire canyon is bigger than the state of Rhode Island – clocking in at around 1,904 square miles, Rhode Island (at 1,212 square miles) could fit inside the canyon.
  4. It’s considered one of the “seven wonders of the natural world,” along with the Great Barrier Reef and Mount Everest, among others!
  5. Even though the Colorado River runs through the Canyon, there are only five species of fish that live in the Canyon today, including the humpback chub and the razorback sucker. These fish can ONLY be found in the Grand Canyon!
  6. The park is home to animals including bighorn sheep and Gila monsters, but the most dangerous animal is the rock squirrel – seriously. Dozens of visitors are bitten each year! Don’t feed the wildlife if you visit the park.
  7. Teddy Roosevelt loved the Grand Canyon. He declared it a national monument in 1908 to help protect the canyon from development, stating, “Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is.”