The Grand Canyon National Park: Kids Guide

The Grand Canyon is a huge network of gorges that run throughout the southwestern part of the United States. It was originally formed by the gigantic Colorado River, which ran through the area and slowly carved out the amazing red, yellow, and purple rock formations that you see today. It is 277 miles long and about four to eighteen miles wide, depending on which section you are near. Geologists believe it was formed slowly over time, and that a plate of the earth’s crust shifted and lifted up the various layers of rock. Some scientists believe it was originally formed about 17 million years ago. Native Americans once lived along the land all around the Grand Canyon. It was plentiful for fishing, farming, and hunting because of its size, location near water, and abundance of wildlife.

Americans first discovered the Grand Canyon in 1826. Today, it is one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, and is a popular tourist attraction, famous hiking spot, and a great place for the entire family to camp, fish, and explore. It is automatically recognized by people all over the world because of its stunning vastness and beauty. In 1908, President Roosevelt declared the site a US National Monument. Lots of cool animals live throughout the Grand Canyon including eagles, wolves, mountain lions, wild goats, rabbits, and many other species. There are many interesting aspects of the Grand Canyon, including different plant life, facts and statistics, and its amazing history. You can find much more information about this natural wonder by checking out some of the links below.

Grand Canyon Basics

  • Grand Canyon National Park – Check out the home page of the national park and where to get visitor information here.
  • Geology of the Grand Canyon – Find out more about how the rocks were formed, and what the layers consist of at this website.
  • Photos – Come to this website and see some fascinating and beautiful pictures of the Grand Canyon.
  • Monitoring & Research – This organization watches the Grand Canyon and researches its movement, changes, and history.
  • Maps – This site has lots of maps including historical ones of the Grand Canyon.
  • The Park – A site geared towards kids telling basic facts about the park, and resources to books about the Grand Canyon.
  • Grand Canyon Association – Donate to the park, buy books, and find out tons more about this national treasure here.

Canyon Critters

  • Wolves – This organization is dedicated to saving the beautiful wolves of the Grand Canyon.
  • Endangered Species – There are several endangered species in the Grand Canyon area; find more about them here.
  • Grand Canyon Wildlife – Here’s some examples and a few photos of commonly seen animals in the Grand Canyon.
  • Meeting the Natives – This brief article discusses the native animals that dwell in and around the Grand Canyon.
  • Environmental Threats – Some wildlife at the Grand Canyon is being threatened in various ways; this article explains the current dangers the Canyon faces.
  • Stuff for Kids – Become a ranger, explore wildlife, earn awards and much more with these programs.

Canyon Flora

  • Plant Guide – This guide gives photos and information about plants found along the South Kaibab Trail at the Grand Canyon.
  • Flowers, Ferns, and Trees – A comprehensive website with lots of information about flowers and other plants that can be found in CO and around the Grand Canyon area.
  • Grand Canyon Century Plant – Learn more about this amazing plant that can be found around the Canyon.
  • Common Plants – This site lists several commonly found plants along the Grand Canyon.


  • Puzzle – Have fun putting this puzzle of a satellite image of the Grand Canyon together!
  • Brain Teaser – See how much you know about the Grand Canyon by taking this interactive quiz!
  • Just for Kids – Here are lots of different activities designed just for kids to do when visiting the Grand Canyon.
  • Hiker’s Quiz – A fun quiz for those who have hiked or who want to hike the Grand Canyon.
  • Family Vacation – Why the Grand Canyon is a great place for a family vacation, what to do, and much more.
  • Video – Watch this interesting video that explains some of the geology of the Grand Canyon.

Lesson Plans

  • Stories Untold – A lesson plan focusing on the history and artistic focus of the Grand Canyon, for grades 7-8.
  • Lesson Plans – Several fun lesson plans focused on the amazing Grand Canyon.
  • Canyons – Several lessons about canyons in general, including a focus on the Grand Canyon.
  • Arizona Web Quest – This web quest takes you on a journey throughout the state of Arizona, including the Grand Canyon.
  • Natural Sounds – Learn about and listen to some of the many natural sounds you can hear at the Grand Canyon.
  • Travelin’ Trunk – This program for teachers and students helps them explore our world.
  • The West – These lesson plans focus on the western part of the US, particularly areas like the Grand Canyon.

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