The Grand Canyon has definitely earned its distinction as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but it’s not the only sight worth seeing in the area. If you’re planning a visit to the Grand Canyon and want to see additional natural wonders, there are several nearby that are also spectacular destinations.
In addition to the Grand Canyon, these sites are also well worth your time:
Located about 150 miles away from the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year. Experience a glimpse into an environment more than 200 million years old, with ancient conifers that have been petrified. The trees’ wood tissue has been replaced by rainbow-colored quartz that creates an amazing, colorful sight.
Cedar Breaks is over 10,000 feet above sea level, allowing you to look down into a gorgeous natural view half-mile deep. Depending on the season, you can visit the area and explore it on skis or enjoy walking through meadows of beautiful wildflowers.
It sounds like something from a science fiction movie, but Meteor Crater was formed when an asteroid traveling about 26,000 mph hit the earth approximately 50,000 years ago. The result is a huge crater, almost a mile wide and more than 550 feet deep. You can view the crater from three different lookout points and take a guided rim trail tour to learn and see more.
A bit further away is Mesa Verde, located in Colorado. The national park provides a look back into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived there from 600 to 1300 AD. More than 5,000 known geological sites are preserved within the park, making it will worth the trip.
You’ll have to hike about 1.5 miles to get to Timpanogos Cave, but the rise in elevation gives you amazing views before you even enter the three caves in this system. Tours are available, and guides will tell you about the history of the underground pools and other dramatic sights you’ll see in the caves. They’re only open seasonally, so plan to visit from mid-May through September and reserve tour tickets in advance.
A Maverick Helicopter tour enables you to see once-in-a-lifetime sights of the Grand Canyon, and there are many tours available from which to choose. Whether you’d like to see a particular area of the canyon or would prefer a longer, more encompassing tour, you’ll find one to suit your needs.