The Grand Canyon is one of the natural wonders of the world. Rigid cliffs descend into incredible valleys of red, all carved by the slow movement of time and water. With so many layers of rock and dirt, people from all over the world come to study, hike, and explore one of the most notable sights in the United States. Upon seeing it, people wonder just how deep it truly is. Today, we are going to find out! Just how deep is the Grand Canyon below sea level?
How Deep Is the Grand Canyon Below Sea Level?
Incredibly, the Grand Canyon never passes below sea level.
In a rather tricky way, the Grand Canyon is incredibly deep, but it doesn’t ever pass below sea level. In total, it measures about 277 miles long and, in some spots, has a width of 18 miles! Still, even with all the impressive stats, the Grand Canyon doesn’t actually dip below sea level. The reason it can be deceiving is due to how far away from the coastline the Canyon is, plus how high the elevation of the states that it resides on.
What Is the Deepest Part of the Grand Canyon?
Although it isn’t technically below sea level, it’s still incredibly deep. At its deepest, the Grand Canyon reaches a depth of 6,000 feet, meaning that many parts of the Canyon are well over a mile in depth. The lowest point can be found near Phantom Ranch, a shelter that many people hike to as a hobby.
You can check out what lives at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
How Did the Grand Canyon Get So Deep?
As crazy as it sounds, the primary force behind the carving of the Grand Canyon is simply water and time. Around 5-6 million years ago, the Colorado River began cutting away at the rock layers it was flowing over. Through the millennia, that river eventually eroded down the plateau into the national feature that we recognize today.
What Is the Lowest Place Below Sea Level in the United States?
Although the Grand Canyon is deep, it isn’t the lowest point below sea level in the United States. That honor belongs to Badwater Basin, a salt flat located in Death Valley National Park, California. Death Valley National Park is home to a few records, one of which is being home to the lowest point in all of North America.
Badwater Basin is a salt flat that covers around 200 square miles. It’s a desolate landscape made up of salt, calcite, gypsum, and borax. Still, despite the high salinity of the surrounding region, wildlife thrives. Badwater Basin is recorded at 282 feet below sea level.