When it comes to awe inspiring geography it’s usually mountains that come to mind, but the other extreme can be just as incredible. We’re talking about canyons. Whether they are deep and narrow or long and winding, canyons come in all shapes and sizes. Possibly the most famous is the Grand Canyon in the United States. In fact, that is one of the main things that visitors to the US go to see in the former wild west. So, what is it about canyons that makes them so impressive. Of course, knowing a little bit about the science behind the creation of canyons can definitely help, but unless you have actually visited one of these massive gorges it is hard to describe what exactly is so incredible about them. But today we are going to attempt to take you on a journey without ever leaving your comfortable couch (or wherever you are). Maybe you’ll get some inspiration from this to set out and see them yourselves. Maybe you’ll only be inspired to google a few images and read about them on Wikipedia. But either way, we’re sure you’ll enjoy this list of the 25 most awe inspiring canyons in the world!
Dadès Gorge (Morocco)
Home to many Berber villages, this valley was originally settled due to the fact that it provided natural defenses.
Mides Canyon (Tunisia)
If you’ve ever seen The English Patient then you’ll recognize this canyon as one of the filming locations
Charyn Canyon (Kazahkstan)
Found near the border with China, this canyon can reach depths of up to 300 meters
In the local language its name means “cut rock”
Zion Canyon (USA)
Found in Utah it is home to the world’s largest arch (Kolob Arch)
It’s also known as Fire Gorge and is the largest volcanic canyon on Earth
Blyde River Canyon (South Africa)
At nearly 760 meters deep this is the second largest canyon in Africa
Sumidero Canyon (Mexico)
Perfect for hiking, swimming, fishing, and numerous other outdoor activities this canyon gets neary 300,000 visitors every year
Spooky Gulch (USA)
Located in Utah this canyon got its name because so little sunlight could reach its bottom
Kali Gandaki Gorge (Nepal)
This gorge has served as a trade route between India and Tibet for hundreds of years and today it is extremely popular with hikers.
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon (Iceland)
This is almost certainly the most impossible to pronounce canyon in the world!
Bicaz Canyon (Romania)
Serving as a passageway between Transylvania and Moldova, the road winding through here is known as the most scenic drive in Romania
Indus Gorge (Pakistan)
It’s one of the deepest gorges in the world right next to one of the highest mountains in the world with one of the most famous rivers in the world (Indus River) flowing through the middle.
Grand Canyon (USA)
It’s not the longest or the highest canyon in the world but its colors, sheer drop, and surrounding landscape make for a memorable experience
Fish River Canyon (Namibia)
Second to only the Grand Canyon in sheer size and immensity, this canyon stretches for nearly 160 km
Tiger Leaping Gorge (China)
Situated along the Yangtze River the steep walls of this gorge make for some breath taking views
Gorge du Verdon (France)
Surrounding the Verdon River, this is considered Europe’s most beautiful canyon.
Antelope Canyon (USA)
Located in Arizona this slot canyon can actually be quite dangerous. Not long ago a flash flood swept through killing several tourists.
Waimea Canyon (USA)
Sometimes called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, this impressive canyon can be found on the Hawaiian island of Kauai
Samaria Gorge (Greece)
This 16 km long canyon is found on the Greek island of Crete and more than a quarter million people walk its length every year
Colca Canyon (Peru)
Although it has more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon its walls aren’t nearly as steep.
Copper Canyon (Mexico)
The best way to explore this massive valley is on the “Chihuahua al Pacifico” Railway which passes through more than 80 tunnels and crosses nearly 40 bridges.
Taroko Gorge (Taiwan)
With a mix of jagged cliffs and white water rapids this 19 km long gorge is one of the island’s must-see attractions.
Kings Canyon (Australia)
Part of this Australian canyon is a sacred aboriginal site so visitors aren’t supposed to do much wandering around
Todra Gorge (Morocco)
Found in the High Atlas Mountains this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco