geomorphological formation as narrow and deep ravine between cliffs
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Travel topics > Natural attractions > Canyons and gorges

Canyons and gorges are impressive geological wonders characterized by deep, narrow valleys with steep rocky walls that were carved out by the flow of a river or stream and erosion over time. The unique and dramatic landscape offered by each and every canyon and gorge makes them popular natural attractions all over the world.

Destinations edit

Map of Canyons and gorges

Africa edit

Asia edit

Europe edit

Oceania edit

North America edit

  • 9 Grand Canyon, United States.    
  • 10 Linville Gorge, United States. A rugged nature preserve off the tourist trail in North Carolina.    
  • 11 Canyon de Chelly, United States. Not far from the Grand Canyon, this national monument is smaller but at least as beautiful as its more famous cousin. It's also home to ancient ruins left by the Ancestral Puebloans.    
  • 12 Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre), Mexico. A group of six canyons formed by six different rivers. The walls of the canyons have a copper-green color, which is the source of the name.    
  • 13 Cañón del Sumidero (Sumidero Canyon), Mexico. This canyon is best explored in a boat ride on the Grijalva River.    

South America edit

  • 14 Colca Canyon, Peru. This canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, though its walls are not as steep.    
  • 15 La Paz, Bolivia. A city built in a canyon, resulting in beautiful urban landscapes and unique city planning decisions like a public transit system based on aerial cable cars.    

Stay safe edit

On a boat trip in the Sumidero Canyon in Mexico

Many canyons are found in arid and semi-arid climates. See arid region safety for tips on staying healthy in such environments. Also refer to packing for a week of hiking.

If hiking down into a canyon and back, be careful not to overtire yourself. On a typical hike up a mountain, the downhill second half is less tiring than the uphill first half, and your hiking intuitions are probably accustomed to this. A canyon is different: the first half down into the canyon is easy and the second half may be much more tiring. If you rely on your instincts to decide when to turn around in a down-and-up canyon hike, you might end up too tired to keep going on the climb up out of the canyon. This is a common problem for visitors to the Grand Canyon!

Flash floods are a particular risk in canyons because a lot of water may be funneled to the narrow area at the bottom. Seek expert advice, always have an escape route, and be careful where you camp.

See also edit

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