Pink cactus blooming in front of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Quotes: Awe-Inspiring Perspectives

From its incredible beauty to how small and insignificant we feel when we stand on its edge, these Grand Canyon quotes attempt to put into words the scenery that awaits when you visit this iconic spot in Northern Arizona.

Like Mount Everest, Victoria Falls, and the Great Barrier Reef, it’s easy to see why Arizona’s Grand Canyon is hailed as one of the natural wonders of the world. With craggy cliffs carved by the Colorado River now meandering a mile below its rim, the majestic canyon has inspired artists, fascinated scientists, and delighted visitors for centuries.

From Native American proverbs to modern musings, these Grand Canyon quotes bring this natural wonder to life. They share first impressions of the grandeur and beauty of the canyon, give you something to think about, and might even elicit a chuckle. And if you’re looking for Grand Canyon puns and short quotes for Instagram captions, I’ve got those, too!

Grand canyon quotes.


Table of Contents

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Have You Visited the Grand Canyon?

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Horseshoe bend in arizona.
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Quotes About the Beauty and Grandeur of the Grand Canyon

“It is a vast wilderness of rocks in a sea of light, colored and glowing like oak and maple woods in autumn, when the sun gold is richest.”
― John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist

“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, American author

“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, American geologist

“The Grand Canyon is too grand for a steady diet. It is so overwhelmingly impressive that you can not continue indefinitely on that exalted emotional level. In the parlance of the connoisseur of paintings, the Canyon is a “museum-piece.” Let the beauty-lover beware of going anywhere else on earth!”
― Robert Haven, American writer

“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, American geologist and NASA astronaut

“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, American author

We do not inherit from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

“I do not know, really, how we will survive without places like the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon to visit.”
― Barry López, American author

“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, author

“I can still remember my first experience standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon and looking into it. It was so awesome. It took a fair amount of restraint to prevent me from jumping into it, because I was certain I could fly.”
― Mark Goulston, UCLA professor of psychiatry

“The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself.”
― John Wesley Powell, American geologist

“It is a spectacular illusion – a deeply three-dimensional scene flattened onto an earthly canvas.”
― Stefanie Payne, author

“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, U.S. senator from Arizona

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.”
― Theodore Roosevelt, American conservationist and 26th president of the United States

“I had come to the canyon with expectations. I wanted to see snowy egrets flying against the black schist at dusk; I saw blue-winged teal against the green waters at dawn. I had wanted to hear thunder rolling in the thousand-foot depths; I heard the guttural caw of four ravens. What any of us had come to see or do fell away. We found ourselves at each turn with what we had not imagined.”
― Barry López, American author

“There will never be a photograph of the Grand Canyon that can adequately describe its depth, breadth, and true beauty.”
― Stefanie Payne, author

“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, American geologist

”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, author

“It’s not at all naturally human to see something like the Grand Canyon as beautiful.”
 David Roberts, American mountaineer and author

The grand canyon at sunset.
Photo Credit: Canva.

Inspirational Quotes About the Grand Canyon

“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, actor who played Luke Dunphy on Modern Family

“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, American actress and stand-up comedian

“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, Baptist pastor

“Life is supposed to be a series of peaks and valleys. The secret is to keep the valleys from becoming Grand Canyons.”
― Bernard Williams, English philosopher

The grand canyon in arizona.
Photo Credit: Canva.

Spiritual Quotes About the Grand Canyon

“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, American botanist and author

“I believe in a benevolent God not because He created the Grand Canyon or Michelangelo, but because He gave us snacks.”
― Paul Rudnick, American author

“The elements that unite to make the Grand Canyon the most sublime spectacle in nature are multifarious and exceedingly diverse.”
― John Wesley Powell, American geologist

“I believe in science and evolution. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon.”
― Bill Walton, professional basketball player and commentator

John mccann quotes - john mccann quotes - john mccann quotes.

“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, U.S. senator from Arizona

“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, Baptist pastor

“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in the old land.”
― August Frugé, American environmentalist

A river runs through the grand canyon in arizona.
Photo Credit: Canva.

Quotes About the Grand Canyon That Make You Think

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
― Native American Proverb

“Politicians wanted to mine the Grand Canyon for zinc and copper, and Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘No.’”
― Douglas Brinkley, American author

“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.”
― Zane Grey, American author

“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, American businessman and politician

“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, American author

“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, British philosopher and author

“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, British-born travel writer

“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, American writer

“Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”
― Theodore Roosevelt, American conservationist and 26th president of the United States

A group of people riding horses through the canyon with a quote.

“There’s not a single person in Arizona today who would say the Grand Canyon was a mistake”
― Stewart Udall, American politician

“If you are working, almost like with layers of the Grand Canyon, there’s history within those layers.”
― Leonardo Drew, American contemporary artist

“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, American astrophysicist

“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, spiritual teacher

“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, author

“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, American science writer

“Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an inner tube; there are some things one would rather have done than do.”
― Edward Abbey, American author and environmental activist

“Every season has its peaks and valleys. What you have to try to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon.”
― Andy Van Slyke, American baseball player

A group of people riding horses on a trail in the grand canyon.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Quotes About Visiting the Grand Canyon

“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, author

“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, American author

“It’s always been a luxury to be able to hop a plane to Paris, to Venice, to the Grand Canyon.”
― Nancy Gibbs, American writer

The grand canyon with pink cactus flowers in the background.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Funny Grand Canyon Quotes

“Sunsets remain synonymous with Arizona as saguaros, snowbirds, and the Grand Canyon.”
― Mark Nothaft, journalist, editor, and communications strategist

“Working with Jack [Nicholson] is sort of like standing in front of the Grand Canyon.”
― Diane Keaton, American actor

“I would rather stumble by chance on a tiny stream in the woods than plan a trip to the Grand Canyon.”
― Marty Rubin, author

“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, American humorist

“Publishing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo”
― Don Marquis, American humorist

“Crying – acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.”
― Ron Swanson, character on Parks and Recreation

Crying acceptable at funerals and memorials - ron savannah parker, parker ree.

”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, American political commentator and author

“With what you don’t know about me, I could just about fill the Grand Canyon.”
― Kevin Smith, American filmmaker

“You can’t say you’re going to jump the Grand Canyon and then jump some other canyon.”
― Evel Knievel, American stunt performer and entertainer

“I could throw 56-pound words clear across the Grand Canyon. As a matter of course, I went into politics.”
― Henry F. Ashurst, U.S. senator from Arizona

“I wish they’d build a ski jump at the Grand Canyon; it’d be fantastic.”
― Michael David Edwards (AKA Eddie the Eagle), English ski-jumper and Olympian

A woman is sitting on a ledge overlooking the grand canyon.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Grand Canyon Puns and Short Quotes for Instagram and Photo Captions

  • A date with nature
  • A day spent exploring the Grand Canyon is the best kind of therapy
  • A feast for the eyes
  • A gorge-ous view
  • A grand canyon for a grand country
  • A heaven-sized hole in the Earth
  • A majestic beauty
  • Always take the scenic route
  • As free as a bird
  • Beautiful views as far as the eye canyon see
  • Call of the wild
  • Canyon feel the love tonight?
  • Colors from heaven
  • Conquering my fear of heights at the Grand Canyon
  • Cry me a Colorado River
  • Digging the hues of dim purples and magical blues
  • Earth’s mighty crack
  • Everything the light touches
  • Feeling sedimental looking at these views
  • Flying over the Grand Canyon is a heli lot of fun
  • Follow me to the Grand Canyon
  • Gateway to wonder
  • Getting sedimental at the Grand Canyon
  • Grand Canyon state of mind
  • Have you camped at the Grand Canyon? It’s in-tents!
  • Having a Grand time in Arizona
  • Heaven on Earth
  • Heeding the call of the wild in the Grand Canyon
  • In a Grand Canyon state of mind
  • Inspired by the Grand Canyon
  • Just another day in paradise
Sunsets remain synonymous with arizona as saguaro, birds, and the grand canyon.
  • Leaving the Grand Canyon has me feeling vista-full
  • Let nature cleanse your soul
  • Let yourself be shaped by the flow ― like the Grand Canyon ― instead of drowned by it
  • Letting nature run its course
  • Life is one grand adventure
  • Live, love, explore the Grand Canyon
  • Living on the edge
  • Living that Grand Canyon life
  • Making memories of these wonderful moments
  • Moments of joy
  • Nature child
  • Nature’s work of art
  • Never take Mother Nature for granite
  • No caption grand enough for this view
Once you've been in the canyon and fallen in love with it, it never ends.
  • Oh to be as mighty as the Grand Canyon
  • Plateaus are the highest form of flattery
  • Seeing the Grand Canyon for yourself? Priceless
  • Standing at the edge of time
  • Taking in the mood of nature
  • The Grand Canyon is calling, and I must go
  • The Grand Canyon is just gorge-ous
  • The Grand Canyon: it will knock your rocks off
  • The Grand Canyon opens up before your very rise
  • The view from the top
  • This Canyon is right up my alley
  • Towering cliffs and deep gorges – absolutely gorge-ous!
  • Travel is about the delicious feeling of teetering in the unknown
  • Use caution near the edge
  • We’re having a Grand time
  • When your roots run deep, there is no reason to fear the wind
  • World’s prettiest rim job
  • Yes we Canyon!
  • You’re in fine landform today

What’s Your Favorite Grand Canyon Quote?

Have you visited the Grand Canyon? Do these quotes do it justice? Is there a sensational quote about the Grand Canyon missing from this list? What Grand Canyon quote do you love most? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article originally appeared on Everyday Wanderer.

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