While researching for an extended trip we hope to take in 2023, I Googled “Grand Canyon.” I’d hoped to find information about the Grand Canyon in Arizona. (The only Grand Canyon I thought existed!) Imagine my surprise when I found a map of the U.S. dotted with more Grand Canyons than I could count! Suddenly I’m not just planning a trip for 2023. I’m working on mapping out a route that includes many of the lesser-known “other Grand Canyons.” And we plan to see them soon!
Each canyon has its own special features. You might just have one in your home state ‘cause these beauties are in places from Maine to California and Louisiana to North Dakota! They’re (almost) everywhere!
Let’s look at just a few of the “other Grand Canyons” in the Midwest:
The Little Grand Canyon. Located in my current state of residence, Missouri! Grand Gulf State Park’s canyon was formed by a system of collapsed caves in the Ozark mountains. Located near the Missouri/Arkansas state line, this canyon extends for almost a mile in length and features walls as high as 130 feet. I’m hoping to hike the trails at the top, but Hubby (the more adventurous of our dynamic duo) may want to trek to the bottom.
Little Grand Canyon, Illinois. Located right smack dab in the middle of the Mississippi River’s floodplain is this Grand Canyon. A 365-foot climb will take you from the canyon floor to the top of this unexpected sight, and you’ll see sandstone cliffs all along the way. Looks good to me!
Arkansas’ Grand Canyon. Hoping to visit this one via motorcycle! Located in the northwestern part of Arkansas, this gem is in the heart of the Ozark National Forest. Formed by the Buffalo River, the canyon ranges from 3,500 to 6,000 feet from the rim to the bottom. The distance across the gorge is as wide as 15.5 miles in some spots, so there’s a lot to explore. I can’t wait!
Check out this Google Map to find even more Grand Canyons. You just might find one near you! Happy exploring!