The Grand Canyon is a place that truly defies words.
Its expanse is mind-boggling. Its colors defy even the most colorful pallette you’ve ever seen. And everywhere you look, there are layers upon layers of history and geology to uncover.
It’s truly a place that makes you feel small in all the best of ways.
If you’ve been to the Grand Canyon and you’re having trouble putting your experience into words… you’re not alone. I love literature and quotes, and I’ve curated this list of the best Grand Canyon quotes that sum up this beautiful, unique part of the world in just a few short sentences.
Here are some quotes about the Grand Canyon you can use for journaling, Grand Canyon Instagram photos, social media statuses, and anything in between.
Funny Grand Canyon Quotes
“Crying. Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon”
— Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation
“I believe in science and evolution. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon”
— Bill Walton
“If you’re ever thinking ‘Oh, but I’m a waste of space, I’m a burden’ remember, that also describes the Grand Canyon.”
— Maria Bamford
“I would rather stumble by chance on a tiny stream in the woods than plan a trip to the Grand Canyon.”
― Marty Rubin
“Myths that need clarification: “No matter how many times you see the Grand Canyon, you are still emotionally moved to tears.” False. It depends on how many children the out-of-towners brought with them who kicked the back of your seat from Phoenix to Flagstaff and got their gum caught in your hair.”
— Erma Bombeck
“It’s not at all naturally human to see something like the Grand Canyon as beautiful.”
— David Roberts
“I believe in a benevolent God not because He created the Grand Canyon or Michelangelo, but because He gave us snacks.”
― Paul Rudnick
“When visiting the Grand Canyon, make sure you hike into the canyon. And be careful not to fall or step in mule poop.”
― McKenna Shay
“Majestic doesn’t appeal to us. We [Americans] like the Grand Canyon better with Clarence and Arlene parked in front of it, smiling.”
— Garrison Keillor
“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.”
— George Will
“Working with Jack [Nicholson] is sort of like standing in front of the Grand Canyon.”
— Diane Keaton
“The big, blazing truth about man is that he has a heaven-sized hole in his heart, and nothing else can fill it. We pass our lives trying to fill the Grand Canyon with marbles.”
— Peter Kreeft
“With what you don’t know about me, I could just about fill the Grand Canyon.”
— Kevin Smith
“You can’t say you’re going to jump the Grand Canyon and then jump some other canyon.”
— Evel Knievel
“I could throw 56-pound words clear across the Grand Canyon. As a matter of course, I went into politics.”
— Henry F. Ashurst
“When the last living thing has died on account of us, how poetical it would be if Earth could say, in a voice floating up perhaps from the floor of the Grand Canyon, “It is done.” People did not like it here.”
— Kurt Vonnegut
Famous Quotes about the Grand Canyon
“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in the old land”
“Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.”
— Theodore Roosevelt
“There will never be a photograph of the Grand Canyon that can adequately describe its depth, breadth, and true beauty.”
― Stefanie Payne
“There’s not a single person in Arizona today who would say the Grand Canyon was a mistake”
— Stewart Udall
“If you are working, almost like with layers of the Grand Canyon, there’s history within those layers.”
— Leonardo Drew
“We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self.”
— John Piper
“But to carve the Grand Canyon, Earth required millions of years. To excavate Meteor Crater, the universe, using a sixty-thousand-ton asteroid traveling upward of twenty miles per second, required a fraction of a second. No offense to Grand Canyon lovers, but for my money, Meteor Crater is the most amazing natural landmark in the world.”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. A flower is beautiful. But this is beautiful the way that a person is beautiful- terrifying with its jagged edges, yet seductive with its crevices that hide so many secrets.”
― Jeri Smith-Ready
“The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.”
— John Piper
“The Grand Canyon is living evidence of the power of water over a period of time. The power may not manifest immediately. Water can be very powerful, like a tidal wave.”
— Frederick Lenz
“What can be more soul shaking than peering through a 100-inch telescope at a distant galaxy, holding a 100-million-year-old fossil or a 500,000-year-old stone tool in one’s hand, standing before the immense chasm of space and time that is the Grand Canyon, or listening to a scientist who gazed upon the face of the universe’s creation and did not blink?”
— Michael Shermer
“Well, once you’ve been in the Canyon and once you’ve sort of fallen in love with it, it never ends…it’s always been a fascinating place to me, in fact I’ve often said that if I ever had a mistress it would be the Grand Canyon.”
— Barry Goldwater
“The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself.”
— John Wesley Powell
“If there is a point to being in the canyon, it is not to rush but to linger, suspended in a blue-and-amber haze of in-between-ness, for as long as one possibly can. To float, to drift, savoring the pulse of the river on its odyssey through the canyon, and above all, to postpone the unwelcome and distinctly unpleasant moment when one is forced to reemerge and reenter the world beyond the rim-that is the paramount goal.”
― Kevin Fedarko
“Occasionally we glimpse the South Rim, four or five thousand feet above. From the rims the canyon seems oceanic; at the surface of the river the feeling is intimate.”
― Barry López
“The Colorado River did not form the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was formed as the flood went down.”
— Kevin Hovid
“The glories and the beauties of form, color, and sound unite in the Grand Canyon – forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop, from cataract to bubbling fountain.”
― John Wesley Powell
“You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths.”
— John Wesley Powell
“The astonishing sense of connection with that river and canyon caught me completely unaware, and in a breath I understood the intense, protective loyalty so many people feel for the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. It has to do with truth and beauty and love of this earth, the artifacts of a lifetime and the descant of a canyon wren at dawn.”
― Ann Zwinger
“The Grand Canyon which yawns between the writer’s concept of what he wants to capture in words and what comes through is a cruel abyss.”
— Fannie Hurst
“Life is supposed to be a series of peaks and valleys. The secret is to keep the valleys from becoming Grand Canyons.”
— Bernard Williams
“I once met a man who said he had visited every exotic place from the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall, but when I questioned him closely I discovered he hadn’t seen the songbirds in his own backyard.”
— Richard Bode
“I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.”
— John McCain
“The glories and the beauties of form, color and sound unite in the Grand Canyon – forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop; from cataract to bubbling fountain.”
— John Wesley Powell
“The elements that unite to make the Grand Canyon the most sublime spectacle in nature are multifarious and exceedingly diverse.”
— John Wesley Powell
“It doesn’t have to be the Grand Canyon, it could be a city street, it could be the face of another human being – Everything is full of wonder.”
— A.C. Grayling
“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.”
— Theodore Roosevelt
“He meant the Grand Canyon was only a mood of nature, a bold promise, a beautiful record. He meant that mountains had sifted away in its dust, yet the canyon was young. Man was nothing, so let him be humble. This cataclysm of the earth, this playground of a river was not inscrutable; it was only inevitable—as inevitable as nature herself. Millions of years in the bygone ages it had lain serene under a half moon; it would bask silent under a rayless sun, in the onward edge of time.”
― Zane Grey
“I do not know, really, how we will survive without places like the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon to visit. Once in a lifetime, even, is enough. To feel the stripping down, an ebb of the press of conventional time, a radical change of proportion, an unspoken respect for others that elicits keen emotional pleasure, a quick intimate pounding of the heart. The living of life, any life, involves great and private pain, much of which we share with no one. In such places as the Inner Gorge the pain trails away from us. It is not so quiet there or so removed that you can hear yourself think, that you would even wish to; that comes later. You can hear your heart beat. That comes first.”
― Barry López
“It’s always been a luxury to be able to hop a plane to Paris, to Venice, to the Grand canyon.”
— Nancy Gibbs
“I dont believe that anyone can see the Grand Canyon area for themselves and not know that we have to do everything we can to protect it for future generations.”
— Nolan Gould
“It’s like trying to describe what you feel when you’re standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it’s like.”
— Harrison Schmitt
“Anybody who travels knows that you’re not really doing so in order to move around – you’re traveling in order to be moved. And really what you’re seeing is not just the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall but some moods or intimations or places inside yourself that you never ordinarily see when you’re sleepwalking through your daily life.”
— Pico Iyer
“Publishing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo”
— Don Marquis
“Like every American, you carry a deed to 635 million acres of public lands. That’s right. Even if you don’t own a house or the latest computer on the market, you own Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and many other natural treasures.”
— John Garamendi
“The Grand Canyon is carven deep by the master hand; it is the gulf of silence, widened in the desert; it is all time inscribing the naked rock; it is the book of earth.”
— Donald C. Peattie
“I don’t believe that anyone can see the Grand Canyon area for themselves and not know that we have to do everything we can to protect it for future generations.”
— Nolan Gould
Anonymous Grand Canyon Captions & Short Quotes
Always take the scenic route.
Gateway to wonder.
Everything the light touches.
Call of the wild!
When the root is deep there is no reason to fear the wind.
Just another day in paradise.
Seeing the Grand Canyon for yourself? Priceless.
Heaven on Earth.
The view from the top.
Letting nature take its course.
Living on the edge.
Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.
Earth’s Mighty Crack.
Not sure if you want to visit the North Rim or the South Rim of the Grand Canyon? Read this first.