Thursday, January 8, 2009


Grand Canyon North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim
The Grand Canyon is immense. The 6 million year old Grand Canyon is made up of buttes, plateaus and mesas that cover two billion year old igneous and metamorphic rock. This Northern Arizona national park has earned its rightful place as one of the "seven wonders of the world." As one of our most popular national parks, the Grand Canyon is host to about four million local and international visitors each year. The canyon lands of Northern Arizona's Grand Canyon are nature's most well known and timeless creation. Human life is too short to notice the dramatic changes that have formed the canyon over the millions of years it has taken to carve the gorges, buttes and crevices of the Grand Canyon. The imposing massiveness of what is called "one of the seven wonders of the world," lures tourists to its rim by the thousands. Different from Zion National Park where you walk on the canyon floor and look up to see magnificent monoliths, at the Grand Canyon we stand above the rim and peer down into the enormous gap in the earth.
(© Copyright Zions Works)

image property of
Coming upon the Grand Canyon long ago, an old prospector is supposed to have said in amazement, “Something awful happened here.” The something appears to have started happening some 17 million years ago, geologists concluded in a study reported in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. By dating mineral deposits inside caves up and down the canyon walls, the geologists said they determined the water levels over time, as erosion carved out the mile-deep canyon as it is known today. They concluded that the canyon started from the west, then another formed from the east, and the two broke through and met as a single majestic rent in the earth some six million years ago. Previous theories had posited six million years as the earliest age for the beginning of the entire Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.Tests at nine sites established the ages of thick white and yellowish-orange calcite deposits lining walls of cave interiors, as a measure of lowering water levels as the canyon deepened. The results indicated that the erosion rate was much slower in the western canyon than in the eastern section, the geologists reported.
(By By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD Published: March 6, 2008, Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company)
Grand Canyon created by Colorado River cutting through rock for two billion years is a wonder of the world, amazing place of scenic beauty of giant proportions. Mountains on top of another mountains, rugged wilderness made accessible to a traveler and explorer. Rocks of red and other colors one mile deep, beautiful textures of nature, ageless stillness and peace.
Grand Canyon located 247 miles north of Phoenix Arizona, and is about 270 miles east from Las Vegas Nevada. Created by the Colorado River cutting through layer after layer of sediment for nearly two billion years Grand Canyon is about 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 0.25 to 18 miles (0.5 to 29 km) and has depth of more than a mile (1,600 m). It covers territory of 1,904 square miles.
The South Rim of Grand Canyon is part of the Coconino Plateau and the North Rim is the Kaibab Plateau. The North Rim is 1200 feet higher than the South Rim and has much higher precipitation levels, lower temperatures and different vegetation. The distance by road between the South Rim and the North Rim is 215 miles because there's no bridge or pass that connects both rims. South Rim is the most visited and North Rim is closed in the winter.
Grand Canyon attracts more than 5 million tourists each year. Most stay on the rims or fly over on airplanes or take helicopter tours. Some hike or take a mule ride down the canyon, and some canoe down the Colorado River.
The hike down the Canyon takes the whole day and is physically challenging. The temperature inside the rim reaches over 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40°C) in the summer and it can be extremely dangerous for an unprepared visitor. Many people have died from falling or heat exhaustion and hundreds are rescued each year from the bottom of Grand Canyon.

A panoramic view of the Grand Canyon
North Rim
Source Own work
Canon 10D and 17-40mm f/4L fireball
26th of September, 2004
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grand Canyon covered with snow
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Grand Canyon from Moran Point
Grand Canyon National Park
Photographed by Doug Dolde
June, 2008
Contax 645, 140mm, Leaf Aptus 75S
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sunset on the Grand Canyon
Source Own work by uploader
Date 1972
Author Guywets
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grand Canyon National Park
Photographed by Doug Dolde
November, 2008
Contax 645, 45mm, Leaf Aptus 75S
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A map of the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, circa 1908
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grand Canyon area map

Grand Canyon area map was prepared in 1907 by the National Forest Service, and published upon the proclamation of Grand Canyon National Monument on January 11, 1908

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Source Photo taken by (Luca Galuzzi)
Date 2007-07-21
Author Luca Galuzzi (Lucag)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nearly two billion years of the Earth's history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. Arizona, USA.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
Source Photo taken by (Luca Galuzzi)
Date 2007-07-21
Author Luca Galuzzi (Lucag)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The canyon, created by the Colorado River over 6 million years, is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 24 kilometers), and attains a depth of more than a mile (1.6 km).

Grand Canyon Image: Grand Canyon Arizona Photos
See: Grand Canyon Best Photos
Grand Canyon Gallery
Grand Canyon Sunset
Grand Canyon Full Moon
Grand Canyon Winter
Sunset at the Grand Canyon is the most popular time among visitors
(By imageKandi at

Throughout the past century, hundreds of authors have attempted to depict the enormous landscape that is Grand Canyon. Not surprisingly, words most often fail to invoke the sense of awe and wonder that many visitors experience. Edward Abbey, a noted Southwest author, once penned: “Those who love it call it the canyon. THE canyon. As if there were no other topographic feature on the face of the Earth”.
There are, of course, other canyons on the planet. Some are longer, others wider, and even some that are deeper. Canyon visitors are often surprised to learn that Grand Canyon sets no records for sheer size. It is, however, simply regarded by most as the “grandest” canyon of them all.
Geologically, the canyon extends from Lee’s Ferry near the Arizona/Utah border to the Grand Wash Cliffs near Las Vegas, a distance of 277 miles. It ranges in width from about a quarter mile to over 18 miles wide. In places the canyon is over a mile deep.
However, it is not the statistics that define this landscape as “grand”, but rather a combination of factors. The desert environment and a lack of herbaceous ground cover reveal a geologic story that is unparalleled. Surprisingly, the rock layers displayed at Grand Canyon show little sign of wear. The layers have been preserved almost perfectly, as though they were layers in a cake. Nowhere else on Earth displays so many volumes of the planet’s history in such pristine condition.
The resulting landscape provides visitors with some of the most magnificent and unsurpassed vistas on the planet.
In 1857 a U.S. War Department expedition was led by Lieutenant Joseph Ives to investigate the area's potential for natural resources, find railroad routes to the west coast, and assess the feasibility of an up-river navigation route from the Gulf of California. The group traveled in a stern wheeler steamboat named the Explorer.

The 54-foot paddle wheeler Explorer
From Legends of
After two months and 350 miles of difficult navigation, his party reached Black Canyon. In the process, the Explorer struck a rock and was abandoned. The group then traveled eastwards along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. A man of his time, Ives discounted his own impressions on the beauty of the canyon and declared it and the surrounding area as "altogether valueless," remarking that his expedition would be "the last party of whites to visit this profitless locality."
Attached to Ives' expedition was geologist John Strong Newberry who had a very different impression of the canyon. After returning, Newberry convinced fellow geologist John Wesley Powell that a boat run through the Grand Canyon to complete the survey would be worth the risk. Powell was a major in the United States Army and was a veteran of the American Civil War, a conflict that cost him his right forearm in the Battle of Shiloh.
(Copyright © 2003-2008, www.Legends of

John Wesley Powell's boat with chair attached
Banks of the Colorado River, 1872
From Legends of
In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell, a fearless, one-armed Civil War veteran, and his nine companions became the first men to journey 1,000 miles on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Equipped with four stout, wooden boats and meager rations (because so much was lost when the boats capsized), Powell and his party braved dangerous rapids, searing heat, sinking morale and the loss of three men to complete their remarkable feat. Powell's notes about the trip, and a second 1871—1872 trip provided invaluable information about one of the last unexplored parts of the United States. Like John Muir, Powell was one of a distinctive 19th-century breed. A self-taught Renaissance man, he traveled extensively, advocated wise use of water in the West and defended American Indian rights. He went on to found the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of American Ethnology, and to negotiate American Indian peace treaties with the government.
(© 2008 APN Media, LLC.)

Lee's Ferry across the Colorado River
Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1913
From Legends of
John D. Lee (of Mountain Meadows Massacre fame) was the first person who catered to travelers to the canyon. In 1872 he established a ferry service at the confluence of the Colorado and Paria rivers. Lee was in hiding, having been accused of leading the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857. He was tried and executed for this crime in 1877. During his trial he played host to members of the Powell Expedition who were waiting for their photographer, Major James Fennemore, to arrive (Fennemore took the last photo of Lee sitting on his own coffin). Emma, one of Lee's nineteen wives, continued the ferry business after her husband's death. In 1876 a man named Harrison Pearce established another ferry service at the western end of the canyon.
(Copyright © 2003-2008, www.Legends of
On March 31, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the legislation creating the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). During its nine-year existence, the CCC completed numerous conservation projects in state parks, national parks, and national forests, as well as other public lands across the USA. Four federal agencies worked together to make the CCC a success. The Department of Labor cooperated with local welfare agencies to select the most needy young men. The Department of War transported the men, supervised them in their barracks, and managed their pay, food and medical care. The Departments of Agriculture and Interior designated the projects and supervised the CCC boys while on the job. The Civilian Conservation Corps became FDR’s most popular Depression era program.
Grand Canyon’s first CCC company (Company 819) arrived on May 29, 1933 and continued on the South Rim until the end of the program in July, 1942. The men of Company 819 built the stone wall along the rim between El Tovar Hotel and Bright Angel Lodge, improved the Bright Angel Trail, landscaped the Grand Canyon Village area and, constructed the Community Building. During 1933-1936 Company 818 worked on the North Rim during the summer and moved to the canyon bottom for the winter. While camped at the bottom of the canyon, Company 818 completed the Colorado River Trail, the most difficult trail ever constructed at Grand Canyon! During those years, young men in five other CCC companies worked at Grand Canyon --- Companies 847, 2543, 2833, 3318 and 4814. Nationwide the accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees can be measured in several ways: more than three billion trees planted, 28,000 miles of trails constructed, and 63,000 buildings constructed.

Grand Canyon Forest Reserve proclaimed on February 20, 1893;
Grand Canyon Game Preserve proclaimed on November 28, 1906;
Grand Canyon National Monument proclaimed on January 11, 1908;
National park established on February 26, 1919. A separate Grand Canyon National Monument proclaimed on December 22, 1932.
Marble Canyon National Monument proclaimed on January 20, 1969.
All three units and portions of Glen Canyon and Lake Mead national recreation areas combined with additional lands as national park on January 3, 1975.
Designated a World Heritage Site on October 24, 1979.
(©2009, a part of The New York Times Company)

Polishing the Jewel: An Administrative History of Grand Canyon National Park
By Michael F. Anderson
(Copyright © 2000 by the Grand Canyon Association -- Monograph No. 11)
Becoming a National Park, 1882-1919
Foundations, 1919-1929
Ironic Golden Years, 1930-1941
World War and Its Wake, 1942-1945
Infrastructural Last Hurrah, 1956-1975
An End to Consensus, 1976-1999
Upshots and Prognosis
Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 (30kb PDF File)Annual Visitation to Grand Canyon National Park: 1919-1999Grand Canyon National Park Superintendents:1919-2000

Grand Canyon Railway
(From Grand Canyon Railway Home)

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