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The Grand Canyon

As the most visited of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a geologist's and photographer's dream come true.

With rocks exposed that put over half of the Earth's history on display, the Grand Canyon is a ideal location to study the mostly sedimentary rock layers that make up the Colorado Plateau.

Running 277 miles along the Colorado River in Northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon reaches depths of around one-mile and spans up to nearly 16 miles across from the North Rim to the South Rim. The Grand Canyon is truly the only place on Earth where the incredibles stories of upheaval and erosion can be found on such a massive scale.

The beauty of the Grand Canyon makes it a favorite setting for artists of just about every medium. The landscapes, color changes and shadowing seem to change from moment to moment as the sun moves across the sky.

The history and development of the Grand Canyon is equally as facinating as is the geology of the Canyon.

From the ancient Native American Indians and the first white settlers in the Grand Canyon to the early entrepeneurs like the Kolb Brothers with their amazing photography and films or Ralph Cameron, who widened the Bright Angel Trail and made it a toll road, there's a story just about everywhere you go when you visit the Grand Canyon.

As the Grand Canyon began to develop as a popular place for tourists (around the beginning of the last century), the Santa Fe Railroad and the Fred Harvey Company (and the infamous "Harvey Girls") made their mark by developing the Grand Canyon Village. The 5-star El Tovar Lodge was constructed for the elite visitors of the time, and the incredible architect Mary Jane Colter was commissioned to construct such wondrous landmarks as the Hopi House, Lookout Studio, the Geologic Fireplace in the Bright Angel Lodge as well as the awe-inspiring Watchtower Observatory on the National Park's East Rim at Desert View.

It's no wonder that when John Wesley Powell took in his first views of this magical area from the Colorado River that wrote that this must be the Grandest of all Canyons.

 

Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Geological Layers
Grand Canyon Layers

The Watchtower Observatory
Watchtower Observatory

 

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