Anyone would love to visit a canyon as there are many to explore. Photographers and nature lovers love these places as they providing sweeping panoramas, ever-changing landscapes, and dramatic rock formations. Here are the 20 most awe-inspiring canyons on the planet from Utah’s dramatic sandstone gorges to the rugged rocks of Iceland’s Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon.
1.The Wave, USA
The premier photographic destination in the US Southwest is the Wave which is located in the Coyote Buttes North area of the Utah Arizona border. There are many other spectacular rock formations in addition to The Wave Coyote Buttes North.
If you want to see The Wave you need to have a permit issued by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There are only twenty permits per day (10 on-line and 10 walk-in) are available and demand far exceeds supply. They open up in three directions, to the north (the direction you came in on), to the east, and to the southwest. You can have a good photo with each of these.
2. Antelope Canyon, USA
Antelope Canyon is a magnificent slot canyon just east of Page in Northern Arizona. It is consisted with few geological formations as picturesque and awe-inspiring. It’s a monumental sandstone sculpture with tall winding walls. Its wave-like structure and the light beams that shine directly down into the openings of the canyon creates a supernatural appearance and photographers love it.
Antelope Canyon was created with millions of years of water erosion. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is “Tse’ bighanilini,” which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” The canyon now lies within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, and draws nature-lovers near and far for its remarkable, mysterious beauty which was once home to herds of pronghorn antelope. It climb 120 feet above the streambed which male it a cathedral of red-hued, swirling sandstone.
3. Itaimbezinho Canyon, Brazil
Itaimbezinho Canyon is the biggest canyon in Brazil lurks near the border of the southern states of Santa Catarina and the Rio Grande do Sul, inside the Parque Nacional dos Aparados da Serra. It is nearly 6 miles long and a mile deep. This is spectacularly beautiful or treacherously deadly. Itaimbezinho canyon – Itaimbe in Tupi-Guarani means “cut rock.” It is located in the Serra do Mar, Brazilian Highlands. Visitors can have incredible tour as it help to discover landscapes such as cliffs and waterfalls. There’s also a Visitor’s Center and guide service to welcome the tourists.
4. Zebra Slot Canyon, USA
Zebra Canyon is located in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It is a stunning and unique out-and-back canyon. This is also a very short slot canyon, named for its striped canyon walls. This might not be pretty as Antelope Canyon in Arizona. You can explore this on your own without a guide or tour group.
It can be a little tricky to hiking Zebra Slot Canyon. It is hard to find the entrance to the slot canyon can. So, you need to have good directions. You can find the beautiful pink and white striped pattern along the sides of the canyon wall while hiking.
5. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
The third-largest in the world and South Africa’s fourth most-visited tourist attraction is this canyon. This draws almost a million visitors a year. You can have a memorable experience with the canyon’s scale and beauty of it. Epic rock formations tower above the forested slopes and eagle-eye views abound at the dramatic meeting of the Drakensberg Escarpment and the Lowveld.
6. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland
This is situated close to Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the South East of Iceland. Fjaðrárgljúfur is a 2 km (1.24 mi) long canyon in the South-East Region of Iceland. The canyon is about 100 meters deep and through it runs a small freshwater stream. Justin Bieber was influential in introducing Fjaðrárgljúfur to other travelers, as he shot parts of his video “I’ll show you” in the canyon, and also in other beautiful locations in South-Iceland during his Iceland visit back in 2015. At the end of the last ice age, or about 9 thousand years ago Fjaðrárgljúfur is formed. A lagoon formed in the valley behind the canyon when the glacier retreated. Fjaðrárgljúfur is also known to be one of the most picturesque places in Iceland.
7. Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, China
The Yaluzhangbu (Chinese) Grand Canyon is located in Tibet and lies where the Himalayas, the Hengduan Range, and the Nyainqentanglha Range all come together. It is also known by its Tibetan name: the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon. The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in the Chinese Himalayas is regarded by many as the deepest canyon in the world from under the sea to the towering mountains of Tibet. This is one of the major tourist attraction, equal in wonder with the Potala Palace and Mount Everest.
8. Subway Canyon, USA
The most popular backcountry hike in Zion is the Subway. The Subway is one of the most diverse and beautiful canyons in a park of exemplary beauty. The Subway is a short, spectacular section of the Left Fork of North Creek. The canyon system is called the Great West Canyon, including both the Left and Right Forks. The Subway is managed under a quota system due to its popularity. They give the reservations by lottery several months in advance.
9. Samariá Gorge, Greece
When you are visiting the Greek island of Crete, you also need to hike Samaria Gorge. Samaria Gorge is located in Crete’s only national park at 16 kilometers and it is one of the longest gorges in Europe (some sources say the longest, others the second longest). This provides stunning views all day long. The Samaria Gorge hike starts at the Xyloskalo trailhead at an altitude of 1,250 meters in the midst of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) and ends in the coastal village of Agia Roumeli. Since the beginning of time, Samaria Gorge has been inhabited. There are remnants of Byzantine churches and Venetian castles. Families lived in the tiny village of Samaria in the shade of the soaring walls of the gorge until 1962. All human inhabitants of Samaria Gorge were relocated after the area was converted into a national park.
10. Taroko Gorge, Taiwan
The country’s premier scenic attraction, along with Alishan and Sun Moon Lake is the Taroko Gorge, Taiwan, sometimes called the Taiwanese Grand Canyon. If you can start the hikes early, you can enjoy many of Taroko Gorge’s attractions in relative silence. Get ready for some serious crowds if you visit Taroko Gorge during a long weekend or especially the latter half of the Lunar New Year holiday in Taiwan.
11. Weano Gorge, Australia
When you enter the chasm of Weano Gorge and follow the winding corridors of striking red rock through two billion years of the Earth’s history to inviting rock pools and waterfalls. A 2-hour flight from Perth will bring you to Paraburdoo or Newman, the closest airports to Karijini National Park, or a 15-hours drive from Perth, via the Great Northern Highway. Join a guided tour to experience the thrill of jumping down waterfalls and scaling the epic rock face at “The Centre of the Earth”.You also can have easy walk trails around the top of Weano Gorge. Camping is available 10 kilometers south of Weano Gorge – see Rock wallabies at dawn and dusk, plus some 133 varieties of birds and 92 species of amphibians and reptiles that call Karijini home.
Tourists have to check for alerts and road/park closures before commencing their travel on www.emergency.wa.gov.au and https://alerts.dbca.wa.gov.au
12. Al Siq, Jordan
The entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra is Al Siq Canyon. The Siq is a narrow canyon that is 1.2 kilometers long. So, the visitors need to walk through the 80 meter high cliffs to reach the sites at Petra. The Nabatean city of Petra is located in Jordan’s desert where visitors will see jaw-dropping sites including Al-Khazneh and Ad Deir. Every monastery and temple in Petra is carved from sandstone into the cliff faces. Only 15% of this ancient city is visible with an astonishing 85% still to be uncovered. It is a thrilling way to begin a trip to this world-renowned ancient site, the entrance to Petra through Al Siq Canyon.
13. Colca Canyon, Peru
One of the world’s deepest canyon is Colca Canyon, a river canyon in southern Peru. This is also well-known trekking destination. It’s a habitat for the giant Andean condor, on view from overlooks like Cruz del Condor. The canyon landscape comprises a green valley and remote traditional villages with terraced agriculture that predates the Incas. First-time visitors don’t realize that they are passing within a bus ride of the epic Colca Canyon and to Peru make a beeline for the ruins of Machu Picchu. Colca is the world’s second deepest canyon, approximately 3,400m at its deepest point — a shade shallower that the nearby Cotahuasi Canyon and nearly twice as deep as the US’ Grand Canyon slicing through the High Andes like a giant fissure for more than 100km.
14. Verdon Gorge, France
One of the must-see natural wonders of central Provence is the deepest gorge in France, Les Gorges du Verdon. There is a breathtaking circular “corniche” route around the rim of the gorge, and plenty of opportunities for boat and kayak hire on the lower end of the gorge and there is no road up the gorge. Its turquoise color which is not disappointing makes it more famous. The Gorges du Verdon (also known as the ‘Verdon Gorge’ in English).The bright blue hue comes from glacial minerals and is so striking in person. It’s best seen from the lookout and on the water. The Gorges du Verdon has the best viewpoints, renting a boat, and where to stay to make the most of your trip here.
15. Grand Canyon, USA
It is breathtaking and overwhelming at the same time. The Grand Canyon is 1.6-kilometer deep and 16-kilometer wide. It is a testament to 2,000 million years of geological history. Everyone would love to visit Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is arguably one of the USA’s most famous landmarks and encompasses nearly 5,000 square kilometers of plummeting canyons, multicolored rocks, dramatic cliffs, and stunning ravines.Mather Point and the Toroweap Overlook are some of the overlooks from which you can admire the view. There are many other ways to enjoy the park’s natural splendor even though the favorite activity at Grand Canyon is to stand on the edge and overlook the beautiful landscape. You also can take a mule ride along the South Rim trail or take a white-water rafting trip down the Colorado River.
16. Copper Canyon, Mexico
This is located in the northwestern state of Chihuahua. This system of canyons is both longer and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Copper Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is known for its spectacular landscapes and opportunities for outdoor adventure. El Chepe (Ferrocarril Barrancas del Cobre) is the most popular way to get around Copper Canyon. The train runs 418mi (673km) from Chihuahua to Los Mochis while making many stops along the way. You can make the most of your time in Copper Canyon by hopping on and off the train line.Many visitors start in Los Mochis and travel west to east. Sit on the right-hand side for the best views along the way.
17. Peekaboo Canyon, USA
Peek-A-Boo is also known as Red Canyon. It is an easy, short hike (0.7 miles round trip) into one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the area. You can have nice photographs with the stunning orange; sandstone walls. You will find ancient Moqui Steps climbing the canyon wall as well as logs balanced between the canyon walls above you in the canyon. It will be little bit hard with deep sand. Flash floods have pushed boulders into the Peek-A-Boo Canyon, creating drop-offs that may pose challenges for visitors in recent years. Floods deposit or wash away sediment and debris frequently and changed the height and difficulty of these obstacles.
18. Spooky Gulch, USA
Some of the finest slot canyons in the world located along Hole in the Rock Road just southeast of Escalante, Utah. Three of the dozens found off of Hole in the Rock Road are Peek-A-Boo, Spooky, and Brimstone gulches. These slot canyons started as mere cracks and fissures in the sandstone, but they became flash floods ripped into the cracks, creating the amazing and serpentine slot canyons that we now enjoy. They are nicely lined up in a neat row, which allows the hiking enthusiast to hike through all three in one afternoon
19. The Fish River Canyon, Namibia
The second largest canyon worldwide after the Grand Canyon in the USA is the Fish River Canyon. The Canyon forms part of the state-run Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfontier Park. The entrance of the Park is situated 10 kilometers from the well-known viewpoint of Hell`s Bend at the Hobas Restcamp.During the summer month the Canyon hike is closed due to the heat. The Fish River Hiking Trail can be conducted during the months April – September and can be completed within 4 to 5 days. It covers a length of 85 km and the descent into the Canyon is only allowed for hikers doing the trail. It is also said that the day-visitors are not allowed to climb into the Canyon.
20. Dadès Gorge, Morocco
The wind has a son who lives in Boumalne, and he rips down this valley to visit him in winter. The Dadès Gorge presents a dramatic landscape: ancient rust-red and mauve mountains stripped back to zigzagging layers of strata and knobbly rock formations sitting in the rain shadow of the Central Atlas. There’s a rush of springtime water puddles in the valley where irrigation channels siphon it off to fields of wheat and orchards of fig, almond and olive trees. You must visit the Dades Valley and the Dades Gorge in Morocco. The Dades River has formed beautiful old Kasbahs and spectacular red-colored canyons. There are many things to see inside the Dades Valley such as the breathtaking Dades Gorge, the spectacular winding road, and the monkey fingers.