A canyon, also referred to as a “gorge,” is a deep clove that has been formed as the result of millions of years of erosion or weathering. This process creates some of the most magnificent feats of nature in existence.
There are thousands of amazing and beautiful canyons on the planet, and in this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most famous canyons in the world!
Related: Check out some of the most famous rivers in the world!
Famous canyons in the world
1. Grand Canyon – United States
- Length: 277 miles – 446 kilometers
- Width: 18 miles – 29 kilometers
- Depth: 6,093 feet – 1,857 meters
The Grand Canyon is arguably the most famous canyon in the world. It’s located in the U.S. state of Arizona and was carved into the landscape by the Colorado River, one of the main rivers in the southwest of the United States. The process of creating the Grand Canyon took over 2 billion years and is considered to be one of the ultimate natural symbols in the country.
2. Fish River Canyon – Namibia
- Length: 100 miles – 160 kilometers
- Width: 16 miles – 27 kilometers
- Depth: 1804 feet – 550 meters
The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is located in the utmost southern part of the country and is the largest canyon in all of the African Continent. The canyon was formed by the Fish River, which floods in the late summer and dries up in the rest of the year to form multiple pools. The river has clearly cut its way through the plateau which turns the canyon into a fascinating sight to behold.
3. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – Iceland
- Length: 1.2 miles – 2 kilometers
- Depth: 330 feet – 100 meters
The Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is a fascinating canyon in the southeast of Iceland. Its formation started about 2 million years ago during the coldest periods of the Ice Age. Right now, the Fjaðrá river flows through it. There’s an observation platform on the western side of the canyon which provides a magnificent view of both the canyon and the waterfall which flows down its cliffs.
4. Waimea Canyon – Hawaii
- Length: 10 miles – 16 kilometers
- Depth: 3,000 feet – 900 meters
The Waimea Canyon is located on the island of Kauai, one of the islands of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Waimea translates to “reddish river” in the Hawaiian language and is a reference to the red soil of the canyon. It was formed because of the heavy rainfall on the highest mountain on the island called Mount Waiʻaleʻale. This allowed the Waimea River to cut through the landscape below.
5. Yarlung Tsangpo – Tibet
- Length: 313.5 miles – 504.6 kilometers
- Depth: 19,714 feet – 6,009 meters
The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is located in Tibet Autonomous Region, China, and is one of the biggest canyons in the world. It’s named after the river that runs through it called the Yarlung Tsangpo River. It originates near Mount Kailash, the most prominent peak of the Kailash Mountain Range, and runs all the way to the Indian border.
6. Verdon Gorge – France
- Length: 15.5 miles – 25 kilometers
- Depth: 2,296 feet – 700 meters
The Verdon Gorge is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in the southeast of France. It was formed by the Verdon River which runs through it and which got its name from its remarkable turquoise-green color. This magnificent canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, especially for people who love to hike or kayak in this amazing landscape.
7. Colca Canyon – Peru
- Length: 43 miles – 70 kilometers
- Depth: 10,730 feet – 3,270 meters
The Colca Canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru and one has not to think too much to understand why. This fabulous canyon in the southern part of the country was formed by the Colca River which turned it into one of the deepest canyons in the world. This provides some of the most amazing views you can ever get.
8. Echidna Chasm – Australia
- Depth: 656 feet – 200 meters
The Echidna Chasm is one of the many canyons located within the Bungle Bungles Range, a mountain range located entirely within the Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. This range is defined by various gorges and slot canyons which run up to 656 feet (200 meters) deep. It’s a truly magnificent feat of nature!
9. Itaimbezinho Canyon – Brazil
- Length: 3.5 miles – 5.8 kilometers
- Width: 1.24 miles – 2 kilometers
- Depth: 2,296 feet – 700 meters
The Itaimbezinho Canyon is a canyon located on the border of the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, about 105 miles (170 kilometers) from the major city of Porto Alegre in the southern part of the country. This canyon, which features a walking trail for visitors, is located within the Aparados da Serra National Park.
10. Blyde River Canyon – South Africa
- Length: 16 miles – 26 kilometers
- Depth: 2,500 feet – 762 meters
The Blyde River Canyon is the third-largest canyon on earth and is located within the Mpumalanga Province in the northeast of South Africa. It’s a remarkably green canyon that is dominated by tropical vegetation. It was formed by the Blyde River which runs through it and features the Kadishi Tufa waterfall. With a height of 660 feet (200 meters), this is the second-highest tufa waterfall in the world.
11. Copper Canyon – Mexico
- Size: 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers)
- Depth: 1 mile – 1.6 kilometers
The Copper Canyon is a collection of 6 different canyons which are located in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain Range in the southwestern part of the Mexican State of Chihuahua. These 6 separate canyons were formed by 6 different rivers which all drain in the Rio Fuerte which eventually drains into the Gulf of California. The Copper Canyon is one of the most famous canyons in the world!
12. Todgha Gorge – Morocco
- Length: 15 miles – 24.14 kilometers
- Width: 3,281 feet – 1,000 meters
- Depth: 1,312 feet – 400 meters
The Todgha Gorge is a series of marvelous river canyons that are located near the town of Tinerhir in the central part of Morocco in North Africa. These canyons were carved into the Atlas Mountain Range by the Todgha and Dadès Rivers and have created one of the most fascinating landscapes in the world. Therefore, Todgha Gorge has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Morocco.
13. Antelope Canyon – United States
- Length: 1,995 feet – 607 meters
- Depth: 120 feet – 37 meters
Antelope Canyon is one of the most famous canyons in the world because of the amazing scenic views it provides. The canyon is divided into two separate canyons referred to as the Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon and is located on land owned by the Navajo People just east of Page, Arizona. The erosion of the Navajo Sandstone was caused by flash flooding. This created fantastic flowing shapes which give the canyon its distinctive appearance.
14. Taroko Gorge – Taiwan
- Length: 11.8 miles – 19 kilometers
Taroko Gorge is one of the marvelous wonders of nature located in Taiwan, situated near the east coast of the island. It’s part of the Taroko National Park which was established in 1986 and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan. Taroko Gorge is one of its most fascinating features and the world’s deepest marble canyon.
15. Kings Canyon – Australia
- Length: 4 miles – 6 kilometers
- Depth: 330 feet – 100 meters
Kings Canyon is a fascinating canyon located in the Northern Territory of Australia and is part of the Watarrka National Park. The canyon was formed over a period of 400 million years and offers steep cliffs which serve as viewing platforms at a height of about 100 feet (30 meters). These allow you to get some of the most amazing views of one of the most famous canyons in the world!
This concludes our list with some of the most famous canyons in the world, an amazing collection of some of the most magnificent miracles of nature on the planet which took millions, or sometimes even billion of years to create!