Portal:Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon

View of the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa; Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Tsékooh Hatsoh, Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).

The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological 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. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540. Read more...

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Grand Canyon National Park, located in northwestern Arizona, is the 15th site in the United States to have been named a national park. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Wonders of the World. The park, which covers 1,217,262 acres (1,901.972 sq mi; 4,926.08 km2) of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties, received more than six million recreational visitors in 2017, which is the second highest count of all American national parks after Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Grand Canyon was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

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Edward Fitzgerald "Ned" Beale (February 4, 1822 – April 22, 1893) was a national figure in 19th century America. He was naval officer, military general, explorer, frontiersman, Indian affairs superintendent, California rancher, diplomat, and friend of Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill Cody and Ulysses S. Grant. He fought in the Mexican–American War, emerging as a hero of the Battle of San Pasqual in 1846. He achieved national fame in 1848 in carrying to the east the first gold samples from California, contributing to the gold rush.

In the late 1850s, Beale surveyed and built Beale's Wagon Road, which many settlers used to move to the West, and which became part of Route 66 and the route for the Transcontinental railroad. As California's first Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Beale helped charter a humanitarian policy towards Native Americans in the 1850s. He also founded the Tejon Ranch in California, the largest private landholding in the United States, and became a millionaire several times over. He received appointments from five U.S. Presidents: Andrew Jackson appointed him to Naval School, Millard Fillmore appointed him Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California and Nevada, James Buchanan appointed him to survey a wagon road from New Mexico to California, Abraham Lincoln appointed him Surveyor General of California and Nevada, and Ulysses S. Grant appointed him Ambassador to Austria–Hungary.

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Did you know?

  • The Grand Canyon area has some of the cleanest air in the United States.
  • In 1956, the Grand Canyon was the site of the deadliest commercial aviation disaster in history at the time.
  • About 770 deaths have occurred between the mid 1800s and 2015.


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