The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular and highly regarded tourist destinations in the United States (or the world, for that matter). However, sometimes it can be fun to go off the beaten path. Here, we present our list of the top 12 alternatives to visiting the Grand Canyon. If you’re planning a summer vacation and want to try something new, then this list just might inspire you. Check it out for yourself below!
Number Twelve: Todra Gorge
Todra Gorge is one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations and is located on the east side of the High Atlas Mountains. Be sure to check out the last 600 meters of the gorge, where the canyon becomes a narrow track with mesmerizingly smooth walls.
Number Eleven: King’s Canyon
Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, King’s Canyon is incredible to see in person. The canyon features domes, steep cliffs, and stunning views of the surrounding desert. This is a great spot for history buffs, too, as part of the canyon is actually a sacred Aboriginal site.
Number Ten: Taroko Gorge
Taroko Gorge is one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Taiwan. And for good reason, too – this canyon is big. It’s 19 kilometers long and features many hiking trails for both beginners and experts alike.
Number Nine: Copper Canyon
Though its name implies it’s one canyon, Copper Canyon is actually a collection of several canyons. Together, the canyons are significantly larger than the Grand Canyon. The most popular part of the canyon is called the “Chihuahua al Pacifico” Railway, which passes through 86 tunnels and over 37 bridges.
Number Eight: Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is home to the second-largest canyon in the United States and is just south of Amarillo, Texas. Visitors can drive into the canyon’s valley, where they can camp, hike, and bike through the mountains.
Number Seven: Colca Canyon
Located in southern Peru, Colca Canyon is not one to miss. Not only is this canyon more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, but its walls aren’t as steep, making it appear surreal in nature. The light reflected in the canyon during the day is an otherworldly shade of blue, and there are condors all around the canyon as well.
Number Six: Samaria Gorge
The Samaria Gorge is located in southwest Crete and is one of the top tourist destinations there. Many people choose to walk the gorge – more than one-quarter million people every year! The gorge is 16 kilometers long and walking it takes somewhere between four and seven hours in total.
Number Five: Waimea Canyon
Known as the largest canyon in the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is located in the western part of Kauai. The canyon is one of the world’s most colorful and stretches for 16 kilometers. At its deepest, the canyon measures 1,100 meters from bottom to top.
Number Four: Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a top destination for photographers, and there’s no wondering why. Photographers flock to Upper and Lower Antelope to see the gorgeous orange and purple hues and the smoothly shaped sandstone.
Number Three: Gorge du Verdon
Located in southeastern France, the Gorge du Verdon is largely believed to be the most beautiful gorge in Europe. Tourists often swim in the Verdon river in the gorge, which is a stunning emerald green in the summer months.
Number Two: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge might not feature any tigers, but it’s certainly fierce. The gorge is on China’s Yangtze River and stretches for approximately 15 kilometers. The mountains in the gorge can reach heights of 3,000 meters above the Yangtze and it’s thought to be the world’s deepest canyon.
Number One: The Best Grand Canyon Alternative – Fish River Canyon
Finally, number one on our list is Fish River Canyon, located in Namibia. The canyon is about 160 kilometers long and up to 27 kilometers wide. And because the Fish River is in the process of being dammed, most of the canyon is on display and there is very little water. Happy traveling!