Map of National Park Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon, Arizona on the map. National Park Grand Canyon (Arizona state) on the map of US.
Below: The many-hued Grand Canyon presents a dazzling display of purples, pinks and browns.
Far right: Pima Point on the South Rim affords a spectacular view of the steep walls of the Canyon.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Established: 1919 Acreage: 1,218,375
Tn the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world... .Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it....'—President Theodore Roosevelt, 1903.
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is not only awe-inspiring in its depth and mind-boggling in its extent, but it has a dazzling, constantly changing display of colors, light and shadow. Amid this pageantry of color, the Grand Canyon offers panoramic vistas of sunrises and sunsets against the rugged cliffs. It is truly one of the most spectacular sights on the face of the earth. The canyon's statistics are equally amazing: it is about one mile deep; from rim to rim it ranges from 600 feet to 18 miles wide. Measuring all the twists and turns of the river, the canyon is 277 miles long. The canyon's two rims are a five-hour drive apart, but they are also linked by a narrow suspension bridge wide enough for a person and a mule. The North Rim is, on the average, about 1000 feet higher than the South Rim, and the weather is correspondingly cooler and wetter. The North Rim is largely a spruce-fir forest, while the South Rim is drier and its plant life adapted to these conditions.
For those who wish to go below the rim into the canyon itself, mule rides offer an exciting way to view the scenery. Trails along the rims and down into the canyon allow the hiker to experience the canyon from varying perspectives. The canyon can also be viewed from a boat trip on the river.
Four thousand years ago prehistoric Indians lived in the canyon and climbed up steep talus slopes with spears after their dinner of bighorn sheep, spending nights under rock overhangs. Around 500 AD the Anasazi Indians began to move in, hunting and gathering. As they adapted to the environment, they settled down into towns. This phase was called the Pueblo, distinguished by the pottery, granaries and above-ground masonry dwellings. When drought struck about 800 years ago, the Anasazi moved east. Their descen-dents, the Hopi Indians, now live east of the park.
Wildlife in the park includes part of the largest mule deer concentration in the United States, as well as mountain lions, bobcats, desert bighorn sheep, coyotes and badgers. At Phantom Ranch near the Colorado River are numerous ring-tailed cats. On the North Rim are Kaibab squirrels, and on the South Rim, the Abert squirrels. Both species are beautiful and interesting.