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.
In 1882 then Senator Benjamin Harrison introduced the first of several unsuccessful bills to establish the Grand Canyon National Park.
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 #45).
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 Hotel.
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 Powell.
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 canyon.
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
Colorado River (within the park)
Length = 277 miles
Plant and Animal Life
Birds = 287 species
Brady pincushion cactus
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
National Register of Historic Places
Individual structures = 3