The Grand Canyon is one of most visited natural attractions in the world. Each year over 5 million people travel to the canyon's south rim to view its majestic scenery.
With over 12,000 people visiting the canyon each day, park officials are beginning to make plans on how to better accommodate these large crowds. Several different options are being considered.
The first option would be to expand the current parking lot. This parking lot can currently hold 1,600 cars.
Expanding the current parking lot is not a favored option of park officials, since building extra parking spaces would take away from the scenic beauty that makes the canyon so visually attractive. An alternative to building extra parking spaces near the rim of the canyon would be to ban cars altogether from the rim of the canyon, and then have visitors travel to the rim by train. This is the option that park officials support most strongly.
Under this option, tourists would park their cars at a train station fifteen or twenty miles away from the canyon. They could then take a short train ride to arrive at the rim of the canyon.
A third option is to just expand the Grand Canyon itself. Making the canyon both wider and deeper is one way to accommodate more visitors.
Making the canyon deeper is far easier than it sounds. By bringing in a few dozen large bulldozers onto the floor of the canyon, large quantities of earth could be moved onto barges that would then float this material to a dumping site further down the Colorado River.
Making the canyon wider would also not be a difficult task. By bringing in a few dozen cranes to the top edge of the canyon, the canyon wall could be chipped away and carted off in large construction trucks.
The expansion of the canyon, if properly planned, could take place at the same time as the 5 million annual visitors who come to see the scenic beauty of this natural wonder. The trucks that are carting away the earth could have loud beeping devices installed so that tourists would not get run over when the trucks were reversing.
A larger Grand Canyon would make this scenic landmark even more beautiful than it currently is. And the expense of expanding the canyon could be paid for by selling extra souvenirs and trinkets at the canyon's edge.
To best preserve our country's natural treasures we need to do far more to make them accessible to visitors. Expanding the Grand Canyon would be one way of showing how much our country cares about its natural environment.
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