Difference Between Red Rock Canyon and Grand Canyon

Canyons are formed by the flow of rivers, weathering, eroding, and tectonic action. A canyon is a deep, steep-walled, V-shaped valley carved out of the hard rock by a river.


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Such valleys are typical in the upper reaches of rivers, where the stream has a strong and quick current that rapidly digs its valley. Gorges are smaller valleys with a similar aspects.

Key Takeaways

  1. Red Rock Canyon, located in Nevada, covers 195,819 acres, whereas the Grand Canyon in Arizona spans 1,218,375 acres.
  2. The Grand Canyon, formed by the Colorado River, is deeper and older than Red Rock Canyon, which the Keystone Thrust Fault shaped.
  3. Both natural wonders offer various recreational activities, but the Grand Canyon attracts significantly more tourists yearly due to its size and prominence.

Red Rock Canyon vs Grand Canyon

The difference Between Red Rock Canyon and Grand Canyon is that the Red Rock Canyon is scenic in the vicinity of Las Vegas. Whereas, The Grand Canyon, on the other hand, is a national park. Red Rock Canyon resembles Utah, with its lowlands and mountains and its abundance of colour. Whereas the grand canyon is breathtaking at sunset, and the scale is unrivalled, there are only approximately three or four varied views along the south rim‘s 20 miles.

Red Rock Canyon vs Grand Canyon

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The history of Red Rock Canyon began approximately 300 million years ago, when sand and pebbles poured down from the original Rocky Mountains, forming alluvial deposits that eventually

created the cascade of sandstone on the outskirts of Manitou Springs. Red Rock Canyon is a geographical hotspot that attracts visitors from all over the world.

The geological formations, natural beauty, and vibrant hues of the rocks astonish both seasoned and novice geologists who visit Red Rock.

In cross-section, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is marked by stratified bands of red rock, representing millions of years of geological history.

Geological processes and degradation by the Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon.

It is one of the world’s most studied landscapes, with significant fossilized remains, various geologic characteristics, and a rich archaeological past.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRed Rock CanyonGrand Canyon
FormedFormed about 290-296 million yearsBetween 30 to 35 million years ago
Height3,000 feet2,000 feet to over 8,000 feet
Made of The Aztec SandstoneSandstone and mudstone
LocatedLas Vegas, NevadaArizona
Famous tourist spotsThe South Rim, Grand Canyon railways, Rim trail, etc.The South Rim, Grand canyon railways, Rim trail, etc.

What is Red Rock Canyon?

Red Rock Canyon is a long narrow piece of land that covers almost two hundred thousand acres; at its heart are the colossal piles of stones from which Red Rock was named; it’s a mecca for technical climbers.

Every morning before the desert sun starts to bake the rock face, many people come to this beautiful rock mountain to try and summit these amazing sandstone giants.

Millions of years ago, Red Rock Canyon and the entire Las Vagus valley were under an ocean basin; over time, the bones of sea creatures created layers of limestone rock on the seafloor.

When the water of that sea finally drained away, tectonic plates on the Earth’s crust pushed up the land into these towering forms.

Wind, rain, and erosion also exposed iron oxide and sandstone layers; eventually, it turned red with rust.

The brilliant colour and dazzling array of Red Rock are the significant part that lures millions of people to this site; it also creates a visually stunning backdrop for the climber as they work their way to the top.

Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is managed as part of the National Landscape Conservation System by the Bureau of Land Management. It is preserved as a National conservation area.

More than three million people visit the area yearly, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Las Vegas.

What is Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular wonders on Earth. It is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep into the Earth’s crust.

The Colorado River, which made its canyons, is only about 100 minutes wide; the oldest rock at the bottom of the canyon was named after the Hindu god Vishnu.

About 1.8 billion years ago, the area, not the Grand Canyon, was covered in mountains taller than the Himalayas. But over hundreds of million years, erosion wore them down into hills just tens of meters tall.

Ancient oceans filled this area of the Grand Canyon from a billion years ago to as recently as 80 million years ago.

This water would rise and fall continuously, depositing sand, mud, and even ancient seashells and finally compressing them into rocks, pilling layer upon layer, and creating this colourful Earth’s crust.

About 70-80 million years ago, the whole area of the Grand Canyon took a tectonic elevator ride straight up, pushing that ancient layer into a high plateau.

There were still no rivers, no canyon. In the Northeast of the Grand Canyon, the same uplift created the Rocky Mountains, covered in snow.

Melting snow began to flow and pool up in this area. Small rivers joined together to make a larger one, some pooled into lakes, some changed direction, and more than 5 million years ago, the Colorado River was born.

The Grand Canyon is still changing. It’s getting deeper and broader.

Main Differences Between Red Rock Canyon and Grand Canyon

1. Red Rock is only 30 minutes away from the strip, but the Grand Canyon is around 5 hours away.

2. Near Vegas, Red Rock is attractive, whereas the magnificent Grand Canyon is a national park.

3. The total area of Red Rock Canyons is 798.64 km2, whereas the area of the Grand Canyon is 4,926 km².

4. The Governing body of Red Rock Canyon is the Bureau of Land Management, whereas the Governing body of     

     Grand Canyon is a National Park Service.

5. Red Rock Canyon attracts almost 2 million visitors each year. On the other hand, the Grand Canyon has almost

    five million visitors each year.

Difference Between Red Rock Canyon and Grand Canyon
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X17303734
  2. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/11/4/958/132260
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