Canyons are natural wonders with astounding size and beauty. With their deep ravines, high peaks and narrow plateaus, tackling canyons on an adventure vacation can be a challenging experience. Most canyons are created from rivers and can be explored inside;
Arizona, USA – The Grand Canyon in Arizona, United States is 277 miles long and 18 miles deep. The splendor of the Grand Canyon can be seen the rugged contours and striated tones of gorges. See an excellent view from a glass bottom bridge called the Skywalk. The best time to visit is in May or the middle of September to the middle of October. Park lodges and camps fill up quickly so make your summer reservations early. And the Havasu Canyon is a side branch of the Grand Canyon. The beautiful blue water in the large pools and waterfalls is outstandingly beautiful as it flows over the red rocks. There are several caves and cliff dwellings. It’s best to visit April to May and September to November if you prefer cooler weather.
Mui Ne, Vietnam – An amazing sight in Vietnam is the Red Canyon which you can climb. If you have a local guide they can show you the best paths through the towering ruby spires. Reach one of the peaks and you’ll be rewarded with an awesome view over the landscape.
Hawaii, USA – Waimea Canyon is located on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. This beautiful natural wonder is nicknamed “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and is 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep. It’s a sight to behold with its exquisite changing colors. You can see this canyon from the road, a helicopter or hike into it on one of the trails.
South East France – Verdon Canyon or Gorge in France is called the “Grand Canyon of the Verdon” even though it’s smaller in size. This beautiful canyon is 13 miles long and 2,300 feet deep and is situated in south east France in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. It was created by the waters of the Verdon River which is one of the canyons most beautiful features. You can go exploring by following one of the walking trails. The best ways for car travelers is Crest route and Corniche Sublime.
Ecuador – Home of both the mighty Andes mountains and the Amazon River, Ecuador offers canyoning adventures. If you’ve got the adventure bug then try waterfall rapelling where you will descend a river canyon (the rock formations that begin the river formations) and try your hand at a blend of mountaineering, swimming and spelunking.
Utah, USA - Bryce Canyon in Utah, United States has gorgeous structures of tall thin rock that span up to 200 feet high. The limestone columns are different shaped hoodoos which are spires of rock. Up to 7,500 stars can be seen at night with the naked eye. The best time to visit Bryce Canyon is May to the middle of June or September to the middle of October.
Chihuahua, Mexico – Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico has a remote and beautiful landscape. It’s a series of 20 canyons that were formed by six rivers. A train ride on the Copper Canyon railway is a way to see fantastic views as the train goes along the cliff rims. You can also see the canyon by hiking, biking or driving. Hotels in the area can arrange for you to take horse rides into some areas of the canyon.
Cambodia – A few kilometres from Battambang in Cambodia lies the lush, deep Phnom Sampeau canyon. Pull on your hiking boots and uncover the centuries old canyon, smothered in vines, inquisitive bats and air roots.
Kazakhstan – Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan between Europe and Asia was carved by the Charyn River. Red rock formations that resemble castles can be seen along the sides of the dirt road on the Canyon floor and are called Valley of the Castles. The temperatures are cooler in the spring and autumn and a river crossing service is available. Charyn Canyon is in the area of the Charyn National Park. Some of the ways to get to this canyon are bus, helicopter or walking.
Cusco, Peru – Peru is home to Cotahuasi Canyon, the deepest canyon on earth at more than three and half kilometres deep! Explore Cotahuasi and wonder at the tumultuous waterfalls, rapid rivers and lush forests. Coropuna volcano sets an amazing backdrop with her snowy peaks.
By Julie Bowman