The Grandest Canyons in America

Grand Canyon Sunrise

Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It stands out as the grandest canyon on the planet, not just the United States. Yet the US has many outstanding canyons, valleys, gorges, and gulches. So which are the grandest canyons in America?

Hells CanyonRafting in Hells Canyon

We set out to find the best of the rest. By evaluating their size (including depth and length), scenic value, what we consider the “wow factor,” and even accessibility for seeing them in the wild, we were able to find a large quantity of canyons that should be considered for this list. Then we narrowed it down to those that stand out above the rest.

Goosenecks State ParkGoosenecks State Park on San Juan River Canyon

Below is a list of the 25 canyons that we consider the grandest in America. These are not necessarily in the order of most grand to least grand, but some of largest and deepest canyons are listed near the top. Each one has a link to a topographic map and satellite images. Note that several of these canyons were more impressive before they became reservoirs, but they are still grand today.

Redwood Creek, Highway 180, Kings Canyon National Park, CalifornLooking up in Kings Canyon National Park

Here are the greatest canyons in the US

  1. The Grand Canyon (National Park – Colorado River), Arizona
  2. Hells Canyon (National Recreation Area – Snake River), Idaho & Oregon
  3. Black Canyon of the Gunnison (National Park – Gunnison River), Colorado
  4. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (National Park – Yellowstone River), Wyoming
  5. Salmon River Valley (National Wild & Scenic River), Idaho
  6. Canyonlands (National Park – Colorado & Green Rivers), Utah
  7. Pine Creek Gorge (Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania), Pennsylvania
  8. Grand Gulch (Bears Ears National Monument), Utah
  9. Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch (Wilderness), Arizona & Utah
  10. Rio Grande Gorge (National Wild & Scenic River), New Mexico
  11. Flaming Gorge (National Recreation Area – Green River), Utah & Wyoming
  12. Kings Canyon (National Park – Kings River), California
  13. New River Gorge (National River), West Virginia
  14. Glen Canyon (National Recreation Area – Colorado River), Utah
  15. Waimea Canyon (State Parks – Waimea River), Kauai, Hawaii
  16. Black Canyon (Lake Mead National Recreation Area – Colorado River), Arizona & Nevada
  17. Linville Gorge (Wilderness – Linville River), North Carolina
  18. Dark Canyon (Bears Ears National Monument), Utah
  19. Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne (Yosemite National Park – Tuolumne River), California
  20. Buffalo River Gorge (National River), Arkansas
  21. San Juan River Valley (Glen Canyon NRA, Bears Ears NM), Utah
  22. Badlands (National Park), South Dakota
  23. Palo Duro Canyon (State Park – Red River), Texas
  24. Bryce Canyon (National Park), Utah
  25. Little Colorado River Gorge (Navajo Nation), Arizona

Rainbow over Waimea Canyon in Kauai, HawaiiBeautiful Waimea Canyon in Hawai’i