Hiking Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’

Reminiscent of a southwestern US landscape, Providence Canyon State Park’s colorful, sculpted canyon walls carve deep through a sandy, stream-filled landscape near Columbus, Georgia. Soft-bedded, sandy hiking trails wind and weave through vibrantly-colored carved canyons, exploring an ever-evolving landscape of loose sandstone and trickling water.

The park’s unusually sculpted, serpentine canyon walls have earned its nickname as Georgia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’ – and though the Arizona giant dwarfs these canyons, this hike is a unique adventure unlike any other in Georgia. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most unique of Georgia’s State Parks, and one of the three canyons in Georgia that are undeniably hike-worthy.

The park offers over 10 miles of fantastic hiking trails, including the white-blazed Canyon Loop Trail that treks the canyon’s floor and rim, and the red-blazed backcountry backpacking trail. This hike on the white-blazed Canyon Loop offers outstanding views of the sculpted sandstone canyon walls from above, and up-close views within the depths of the canyon. The trail winds through vibrant orange, white, pink and deep purple sandstone walls in nine numbered canyons before circling the rim. It’s a moderate hike, but majorly scenic and ultra-photogenic.

The hike follows stream beds on the canyon floor, a nearly-continuous flow of water and sand between the canyon walls. Grain by grain, sand has flowed away from the canyon’s walls, creating the spectacular rock formations and pinnacles that tower nearly vertically over the trail. Each canyon is unique, carved by water and exposing dramatic, flowing shapes of sandstone carved by continuously moving water.

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