The canyon is 48 miles long. The National Park includes only 14 miles of the canyon. The 14 miles in the NP are the most
ferocious of the 48 miles. The reason the canyon is deeper than wide is
the Gunnison river's high rate of flow. The river drops more feet in the canyon then the Mississippi drops from it's headwaters
to it's end in the Gulf of Florida. The Mississippi drops an average of 0.58 feet per mile, the Colorado drops an average of
7 feet per mile, and the Gunnison drops an average of 95 feet per mile. At one point in the NP the Gunnison drops
480 feet in 2 miles. At that point it can carry a 5000 pound (4 foot diameter) rock with ease. Those rocks are what
has worn the canyon into the hard rock.
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