Formed over millions of years by rivers or glaciers cutting their way through a long erosion process into a stone plateau, canyons tell a part of our planet’s turbulent history. Their bizarre shapes and enormous dimensions still amaze us today.
Canyons are more common in dry areas because erosion has less effect there than in humid areas. The surrounding plateaus of the canyon are therefore better preserved. Canyons usually form in resistant sandstone, limestone, or granite. Very narrow canyons are called slot canyons.
Canyons are also a popular travel destinations today, as they are often located in large National Parks where you can admire magnificent landscapes and rare flora and fauna.
Iceland has one of the most impressive landscapes on earth – Volcanic eruptions, glaciers, erosion, and black lava created bizarre formations like nowhere else. You will find picturesque waterfalls, geysers ejecting powerful fountains, and holes in the ground with boiling mud from which a foul scent of sulfur rises.
Only 20 miles south of the famous Vatnajokull National Park, which is named after the largest glacier in Europe, you will also find the Fjadrargljufur Canyon. Compared to the largest and deepest canyons in the world, Fjadrargljufur Canyon, with a depth of about 100 meters, is only a tiny dwarf.
However, it offers the viewer a breathtaking play of colors, which is beyond compare. The dramatically shaped cliffs are covered with lush green plants while the crystal clear glacier water winds its way through the rocks. In the background, the Atlantic Ocean is revealed.
Iceland is also the home of the Icelandic Sheep that was brought to Iceland by the Vikings already 1100-1200 years ago and is famous for its unique wool.
Because of these fairytale landscapes and the many legends and myths that are told about Iceland, it is also called the land of elves and trolls.
This 1,200-meter-deep valley between steep granite walls is the most precious jewel of the Yosemite National Park and is a geological wonder. Over the past 30 million years, the valley was formed as glaciers carved out the valley during several ice ages. Except for the Half Dome and El Capitan’s summit, all formations in the area have been completely covered by ice repeatedly.
Although there are impressive glacial valleys in other parts of the world, none can compare to Yosemite Valley! This is why the famous natural philosopher John Muir called it the “Incomparable Valley.”
The Yosemite National Park is also famous for its high waterfalls. In the winter month, the 190 m high Bridalveil is the most water-rich. The tripartite Yosemite waterfall is the highest waterfall in North America, with a total height of 739 m.
Apart from its scenic beauty, Yosemite Valley also provides a habitat for black bears, mule deer, chipmunks, chickaree, and Steller’s jay, only to mention a few. For about 7,000 to 10,000 years, Indians of different tribes have been living in the area of the valley, mainly a Miwok tribe, who called themselves Ahwahneechee.
Yosemite Valley has also become a center for extreme rock climbing; those less adventurous can try one of the dozens of marked hiking trails or ride a mountain bike along paved bike paths up to Mirror Lake.
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In 1984, Yosemite National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List – it attracts more than four million visitors annually. Most of them only visit the central part of the park, Yosemite Valley.
If you are an avid history lover coupled with the intoxication of adventure, your next destination should be Peru. This majestic country is lying in western South America and constantly invoking your inner spirit of an escapade to the Inca Empire’s land.
This country has so much to offer that Peru is not all about Machu Picchu. If we start unboxing Peru’s jewels, the epitome of the treasures must be Colca Canyon, a canyon of the Colca River, which is only 160 kilometers away from the twinkling white city and regional capital Arequipa.
On the way from Arequipa to the Colca Canyon, you will cross a plateau where the Pampa Cañahuas Nature Reserve is located. It is characterized by lush pastures, where you can see numerous alpaca and llama herds.
Also, inhabitants of this area are the so-called “Vicuñas.” They belong to the species of small camels without humps. Their wool is one of the most expensive natural fibers in the world.
This canyon is the embodiment of extraordinary beauty. It is the deepest canyon of South America, arguably the third deepest canyon in the world, reaching the depth of 3,210 meters, which is two times deeper than the Grand Canyon.
This place has fully bloomed its petals with breathtaking grandeur along with a tantalizing backdrop that beseeches the backpackers from all around the globe.
This is a gem place for the trekkers. Various trekking and touring packages are available here, ranging from one day tour to three days trekking. To quench your wanderlust, you need to buy permits (tourist ticket) legally to enter here.
While going to Colca Canyon, Chivay’s Breakfast-Stop is a place with rustic and organic charm and an excellent base for Colca Canyon hiking. Next, “Cruz Del Condor” will cast a spell on your eyes with the grace of the regal birds.
Spending a night in the Colca Canyon Oasis will surely give you goosebumps. The trekking really will sweat you out as the hiking is heavy-duty.
Read more about Trekking in the Inca Empire the Most beautiful Hikes in Peru!
You can visit this canyon throughout the year, but it would be advisable to plan your tour after the rainy season. There are some sightseeing places like an archaic church in Yanque and some more, but nothing stands in the same queue as Colca Canyon.
The moment we think of France, the Eiffel Tower picture floats before our eyes, but France is not only about Eiffel Tower. Instead, if you move towards southeastern France, an emerald green river – Verdon will surely snatch away your breath by her beauty. No, this is not the end of the awe-gasping elegance.
Verdon river will mesmerize you with her majestic creation of the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Europe, Verdon Gorge (in French, Gorge du Verdon), which is 25 kilometers long and the depth is up to 700 meters, lies In between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var departments, casting charms all over the place.
This crystalline turquoise river’s child, Verdon Gorge, takes its regal form in between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, as here, the river oozes through the limestone mass, making an abyss of 700 meters deep.
This canyon beseeches the tourists from the nook and corner of the globe, offering various adventures, ranging from world-class hiking to climbing, paragliding to kayaking, and canoeing, to river-rafting, and the list never ends.
Verdon Gorge’s backdrop, the limestone walls, magnets the rock-climbers for its high walls, propounding a magnificent platform for multi-pitch climbing (having 1500 climbing routes).
The view of Verdon Gorge from Pont du Galetas bridge is enthralling as you witness the heavenly crystal water passes lazily with plenty of boats hovering on it. Geroge du Verdon road trip is also very famous among globetrotters, as it gives them a glimpse of the captivating landscapes where the Verdon River shines in the background.
Verdon Gorge is busted with tourists all over the year, but this place sells like a hot cake in the summertime. So if you plan to head in summer, it’s better to start your day early. There are several routes to reach this gem; it’s better to use GPS. Restore your couple of hours to explore the exquisite Lac de Sainte-Croix. And certainly do not forget to paddle a boat and clicking upon reaching your alluring destination Verdon George.
Waimea Canyon, also known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” is on the fifth of our tailored list of the world’s most spectacular canyons. This geological wonder, Waimea Canyon, which is positioned on the southeast part of the “Garden Island” of Kauai, in Waimea, Hawai, is almost 16 kilometers long.
Waimea Canyon has a depth of up to 900 meters; the canyon’s mother, the Waimea River’s cavernous notch resulting from the heavy rainfall on Kauai’s central peak, Mount Wai’ale’ale, is the reason behind the incubation of this spectacular canyon.
This kaleidoscopic land of reds, browns, and greens has arrested the hearts of many globetrotters. It is said that Mark Twain was the person who rendered the name “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” to it.
The canyon’s tall red and brown walls are a stark contrast to the island’s velvet greens, which makes a picturesque topography of the area. Here, Mother Nature has brushed a multi-hued canvas where light and shadow fabricates an unending show.
The entire way to Waimea Canyon is full of panoramic views; you can halt anywhere on the rim of the canyon and gaze at the quaint view as long as you want. Some famous lookouts are Waimea Canyon Lookout, Puu Hinahina Lookout, and Kalalau Lookout.
Once you have reached your destination, the reddish volcanic walls will welcome you with their magnificent beauty, vibrant color, and a wide range of adventurous activities. This place offers you hiking, the most celebrated activity over here, with unending hiking trails, of which some are Awaawaputhi Trail, Pihea Trail, and Cliff Canyon and Black Pipe Trail.
If you are into sightseeing, Kokee State Park, Kokee Natural History Museum, Kokee Lodge Cabins, and Campground are the ones you need to head towards. Never forget to behold the grandeur sight of wide arched rainbows.
Get a lot of useful information about Hiking in Hawai on our Hawai Hiking Guide!
It is advisable to visit Waimea Canyon during the summertime as the rainy season will disrupt you to drench yourself with the beauty of the place by clouding the views, and the colder days will not allow you to have water sports. Start your day as early as possible to inhale the breathless beauty.
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