Grand Canyon Facts
For those not bored by a bunch of numbers and raw facts, here are some courtesy
of Grand Canyon National Park and research published in the Grand Canyon Territorial
Times, Volume X (1998)...
- Split-twig figurines are left by Desert Archaic
Cultures (3,000-4,000 years ago)
- Prehistoric Pueblo Peoples are living in the
canyon (900 years ago)
- Hopi guides lead members of the Coronado Expedition
(the first Europeans) to the canyon in 1540.
- In 1869 Major John Wesley Powell leads the first
successful expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (a
record of this trip can be found on the More Info
- In 1882 then Senator Benjamin Harrison introduced
the first of several unsuccessful bills to establish the Grand Canyon National
- John Hance, the first non-native settler, starts
to promote mining and other ventures in 1883.
- Famous paintings by Thomas Moran for the Atchison,
Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in 1892 promote tourism.
- Grand Canyon was first set aside as a forest
reserve in 1893 by now President Benjamin Harrison (Presidential Proclamation
- In 1901 train service began between Williams
and the South rim.
- The next year (1902) the first automobile, a
Toledo Eight Horse, made it to the canyon.
- In 1905 the Santa Fe railway opened the El Tovar
- In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed
the Grand Canyon Game Preserve.
- President Theodore Roosevelt established Grand
Canyon National Monument by Presidential Proclamation #794 in 1908.
- Arizona becomes a state in 1912.
- Administration was under the United States Forest
Service until the establishment of Grand Canyon National Park on February
26, 1919. The actual administrative transfer takes place on August 15th.
- Some time in the 1920s the number of people
coming by automobile overtakes the number coming by train.
- In 1932 President Herbert Hoover established
another national monument west (downstream) of the park.
- In 1956 the Colorado River Storage Project Act
authorizes the Glen Canyon Dam upstream of the park. The gates of the dam
were closed in 1963, flooding the area upstream of the dam; forming Lake
- On January 20, 1969, just before leaving office,
President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed Marble Canyon National Monument.
This finally prevents efforts to create further dams that would have flooded
- The park was enlarged by the Grand Canyon National
Park Enlargement Act, passed on January 3, 1975. Marble Canyon on the west
and Grand Canyon National Monument on the east were added bringing protection
to the entire area between Glen Canyon to Lake Mead.
The Raw Numbers
- The Grand Canyon
- Length = 277 river miles
- Minimum at Marble Canyon = 600 yards
- Average rim to rim = 10 miles
- Maximum rim to rim = 18 miles
- Average depth = 1 mile
- Rim elevations
- South rim = 7,000 feet
- North rim = 8,100 feet
- Lake Mead boundary = 1,200 feet
- Colorado River (within the park)
- Length = 277 miles
- Average width = 300 feet
- Minimum width = 76 feet
- Average depth = 40 feet
- Greatest depth = 85 feet
- Average gradient = 8 feet/mile
- Elevation at Phantom Ranch = 2,400 feet
- Note: The Colorado River is 1,450 miles
long from its source in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Gulf
- Plant and Animal Life>
- Birds = 287 species
- Mammals = 88 species
- Fish = 26 species
- Reptiles and Amphibians = 58 species
- Plants = 1,500 species
- Biotic Life Zones = 5 (Lower Sonoran,
Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, Hudsonian)
- Endangered species
- Bald eagle
- Peregrine falcon
- Humpback chub
- Razorback sucker
- One "category-one"
- Twelve "category-two"
- Six "category-three"
- Brady pincushion cactus
- Sentry milkvetch
- Eleven "category-two"
- Twenty-six "category-three"
- Archeological and Historic Structures
- General: The oldest human artifacts
found are between 3,000 and 4,000 years old. The park has recorded
more than 2,700 archeological resources with an intensive survey
of about 5 percent of the park area.
- National Historic Landmarks
- Individual buildings = 4
- Districts (120 buildings) = 2
- National Register of Historic Places
- Individual structures = 3
- Districts (164 structures) = 4
- Current nomination forms list an
additional 142 buildings, 10 structures, and 5 trails.
- List of Classified Structures =
485 listings (the LCS is inclusive of the National Historic
Landmark and National Register Programs)
Comments? Please use the contact
Copyright © 2002
Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved