Top Ten Canyons

Top Ten Canyons

The Grand Canyon1Canyons

  1. Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon, Tibet
    Yarlung Tsangpo CanyonYarlung Tsangpo Canyon1Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon2
    Many people think the Colorado Grand Canyon is the largest in the world. However, the American Geography Committee announced in 1994 that it was in fact the Great Canyon of Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River in the Tibetan Himalayas that claimed this title. The giant fissure descends to an astounding 5,382 meters at its deepest point and stretches for more than 496km.
    Links: Top Ten Tibetan Attractions,,
  2. The Grand Canyon, USA
    The Grand CanyonThe Grand Canyon1The Grand Canyon2The Grand Canyon3
    The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the US in the state of Arizona. It is contained within and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery. It is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 m). Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to its present-day configuration. For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon (“Ongtupqa” in Hopi language) a holy site and made pilgrimages to it.The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten US Attractions,
  3. Tara River Canyon, Montenegro
    Tara River CanyonTara River Canyon1Tara River Canyon2
    The Tara River Canyon, also known as the Tara River Gorge, is the longest canyon in Montenegro. It is 82 kilometers long and is 1,300 m at its deepest, making it the deepest river canyon in Europe. The Tara canyon is unique with significant depths averaging around 1,000 m, and in some places up to 1,300 m. The Tara River, at its end making confluence with Piva, becomes the Drina, and is some 150 km long. In its passage through the Tara National Park, the river has a mean fall of 3.6 m/km, making a host of waterfalls and cascades possible, thus creating with its uniqueness The Montenegrin Colorado. All along its flow, the Tara gets large quantities of water from numerous sources, and quite a few tributaries. The most important tributaries on the left bank of the Tara are Ljutica and Susica, and the most important tributaries on the right bank being Vaskovaska rijeka and Draga. The most important source is the source Bajlovica sige, a source placed on the left bank of the Tara river giving to the Tara a few hundred liters per second, where the water sourcing from the Bucevica cave falls into the Tara more than 30 meters high, and more than a 150 meters wide. The roar of the breathtaking Tara cascades can be heard on the very peaks of the canyon. There are more than 40 cascades, the most famous being: Djavolje lazi, Sokolovina, Bijeli kamen, Gornji tepacki buk and Donji tepacki buk. Because of the quality of its water, and because of its unique ecological system, Tara in 1977 was put into the program “Covjek i biosfera” (Men and Biosphere) and inscribed into the ecological biosphere reservations of the World, being thus protected under an internationally issued convention. There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon.
    Links: Top Ten Montenegrin Attractions, RiversTop Ten Rivers,,
  4. Copper Canyon, Mexico
    Copper CanyonCopper Canyon1
    Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre) is a group of canyons consisting of six distinct canyons in the Sierra Madre in the southwestern part of the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. The overall canyon system is larger and portions are deeper than the Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona. The canyons were formed by six rivers which drain the western side of the Sierra Tarahumara (a part of the Sierra Madre Occidental). All six rivers merge into the Rio Fuerte and empty into the Sea of Cortez. The walls of the canyon are a copper/green color which is where the name originates.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions,,
  5. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
    File:Fishriver-sat-1.jpgFish River CanyonFile:Fish River Canyon - Towards Wild Fig Bend.JPGFish River Canyon1File:Fish River Canyon from Main View Point.jpg
    The Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia. It is the second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 m deep. The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants. The river flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais is situated. Public view points are near Hobas, a camp site 70 km north of Ai-Ais. This part of the canyon is part of the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The other 90 km of this canyon are privately owned.
    Links: Top Ten Namibian Attractions,,
  6. Colca Canyon, Peru
    File:Colca Canyon Puno.jpgFile:Colca souvenirs.jpgColca Canyon
    Colca Canyon is a canyon of the Colca River in southern Peru, located about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Arequipa. It is Peru’s third most-visited tourist destination with about 120,000 visitors annually. It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US at 13,650 ft. (4,160 m) depth. The Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Inca roots, and towns founded in Spanish colonial times, still inhabited by people of the Collagua and the Cabana cultures. The local people maintain their ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions,,
  7. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX
    Palo Duro Canyon State ParkPalo Duro Canyon State Park1Palo Duro Canyon State Park2
    This Texas State Park is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide and a depth of 800 feet. It is the second largest in the United States behind the Grand Canyon, which is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a depth of 6,000 feet. The Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River carved Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It has a long way to go to catch up with Grand Canyon, but it is certainly making some headway. It was named Palo Duro meaning “hard wood,” because the early Spanish settlers noticed the abundance of mesquite and juniper trees in the area. It is truly a beautiful spot with colorful linear lines passing over the land, while being outlined by the trees of many years ago. Any geologist or enthusiast will find a home here. The early settlers knew how to find great real estate, and it turned out this ended up being the best Texas State Park.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, National Parks,
  8. The Slot Canyons of Arizona, USA
    Slot Canyons of ArizonaSlot Canyons of Arizona2
    America’s south-west is scored with numerous sleek slot canyons, narrow fissures in the rock eroded by water and wind over the millennia. The most striking is Lower Antelope Canyon, also known as the Corkscrew, located on Navajo land near Page. Its interior changes constantly with the sun’s rays bouncing down the whirling walls.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions,
  9. Pariah Canyon Rock Formations, Arizona and Utah, USA
    Pariah Canyon Rock Formations1Pariah Canyon Rock Formations2
    The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness is a 112,500 acres (455 km2) wilderness area located in northern Arizona and southern Utah, USA, within the arid Colorado Plateau region. The wilderness is composed of broad plateaus, tall escarpments, and deep canyons. The Paria River flows through the wilderness before joining the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona. The Colorado Plateau and its river basins are of immense value in the Earth sciences, specifically chronostratigraphy, as the region contains multiple terrain features exposing miles-thick contiguous rock columns geologists and paleobiologists use as reference strata of the geologic record.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, Top Ten Rock Formations,
  10. Sianok Canyon, Indonesia

    The Sianok canyon is located in Bukittinggi, Indonesia.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, Top Ten Primates,
  11. Kali Gandaki Gorge, Nepal
    File:Kaligandaki ghasa.jpg6backdownkggorge
    Links: Top Ten Nepali Attractions,
  12. Bonus: Valles Marineris Canyon
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    The Marineris Canyon is located on Mars and dwarfs any canyon on Earth. This vast system stretches over 4000 km across the Mars equatorial region east of the Tharsis Bulge. The full system is capable of stretching the entire length of the United States and reaches depths of 10 km in some locations. Valles Marineris (latin for Mariner Valleys) was named after the Mariner 9 orbiter (1971-72) which made the discovery.
    Links: The Universe, Top Ten Mars Destinations, Top Ten Exoplanets,
  13. Bonus: Ithaca Chasma, Tethys, Saturn’s Moon

    Ithaca Chasma is a valley (graben) on Saturn’s moon Tethys, named after the island of Ithaca, in Greece. It is up to 100 km wide, 3 to 5 km deep and 2,000 km long, running approximately three-quarters of the way around Tethys’ circumference, making it one of the longer valleys in the Solar System. Ithaca Chasma is approximately concentric with Odysseus crater. Ithaca Chasma may have originated when the water ocean inside Tethys froze. This would have caused the surface to crack in order to accommodate the resulting increase in volume. Another hypothesis is that Ithaca Chasma is the outermost ring of the Odysseus impact basin. The Chasma is 4 to 0.4 billion years old, and slightly older than Odysseus.
    Links: Top Ten Moons, Top Ten Greek Attractions,
  14. Links: Nature, Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World,

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