The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania may not be as deep as the real Grand Canyon, but it certainly is a geological treasure for the state. The listed elevation of 1,100ft. is for the bottom of the canyon. The walls rise about 800 feet and more in an almost vertical fashion at certain points. The mountains above the canyon rise to over 2,200 feet, which for PA, is a pretty decent size. The canyon abounds with trails and is a PA hiker's paradise. Common tourist viewpoints exist at Colton Point and Harrison Point on the west and east sides of the canyon. From here the views are stunning, but you'll find that if you decide to hit the trails, there is plenty more where that came from.
The Grand Canyon stretches for 47 miles in a north/south direction located in northern PA's Tioga County. The most famous town in the area is Wellsboro and provides many opportunities for fun and liesure. It is a very historic little town as well and everything is based around the canyon. The canyon rests within the Leonard Harrison and Colton Point State Parks. The southern part of the gorge rests within Tiadaghton State Forest. Cut by the Pine Creek, steep walls offer many vertical challenges to all skill levels of hikers. One of the most famous trails in the canyon is the Turkey Path which heads east west and crosses the canyon, descending and reascending on both sides. Another name for The Grand Canyon is Pine Creek Gorge. We Pennsylvanians prefer the name Grand Canyon, because it is one of the grandest geological features our great state has to offer. Wonderful views and scenery are everywhere and you won't have any problems finding a trail to suit your needs.
The most common way of entry is to the East Rim of the canyon from Wellsboro.
• From points north and south:
Get on highway 15 which goes to New York, and follow the signs for Wellsboro, PA. Wellsboro is approximately 60 miles from Williamsport, PA on route 15. Follow the signs for Wellsboro on 15 and you will eventually be on state road 660. From here it is about 10 miles to the canyon and you'll see signs everywhere.
• From points east and west:
Highway route 6 is the best way to the canyon. From route 6 get onto the exit for state highway 362 and this will take you to the gorge. There will be signs for the canyon all along the roadway.
There are no permits required for hiking in the area and the only fees you'll encounter are for parking. Last time I was there, the fees were 5 dollars for the day. For conservation and safety, always follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” program and you'll be fine. If you have questions about it, feel free to leave me a line.
When To Climb
Hikes in the canyon can be done all year round, but in winter conditions, you'll need all of your snow and ice gear depending on the trail. If you're planning to hike a trail on the canyon walls in winter conditions, you'll definately need snow and ice gear such as crampoons and an ice axe for good measure.
There is camping available in The Grand Canyon for RV's and tent sites. The campgrounds are open from the second Friday in April to the third Sunday in October. This applies for the two campgrounds at Colton Point and Harrison Point.
For current weather conditions in Wellsboro, PA and the PA Grand Ganyon go to: weather.com
Tioga County Tourism This page has information on Tioga County's recreational activities including The Grand Canyon of PA.