The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This 277 mile long (446 km) gorge (Beginning at Lees Ferry and ending at Grand Wash Cliffs) is more than 5,000 feet deep (1500 m) and 1/2 mile wide at its narrowest point and a maximum width of 18 miles (29 km). On the bottom the Colorado River weaves around the beautiful buttes, mesas and valleys that stand within this magnificent canyon. (Picture to the right shows in 1902 Dr. Lippencott, the first person to drive a car to the Grand Canyon, is in front of the Grandview Hotel.
The first known Native Americans to occupy the canyon were the Pueblo people from about 200 B. C. to 1200 A. D. They farmed corn, squash and beans for food and used Yucca plant leaves for sandals. It is believed that due to a long draught these people left the canyon. The Cerbat people, known to be the Havasupai people's ancestors, moved into the south canyon and the Pauite people seasonally hunted on the canyon's north side.
The first exploration to the canyon was the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. In 1540 he led an expedition from New Spain. (Today, we know this country to be Mexico.) Due to the harshness of this land, it wasn’t until over three hundred years later the next expedition team came to the canyon.
John Wesley Powell, known for his geological surveys of the Rocky Mountains and the first person to classify Native American languages, in 1867 – 1868 explored the Colorado River canyons. He did extensive studies of Native American languages that enabled him to publish the first classification and distribution maps of the American Indians.
Today, at the bottom of the canyon lives one of the most isolated and smallest Native American tribe, the Havasupai Indians. (Their name means “people of the blue green water.”) At the present with only about 547 tribe’s people, they have been able to preserve their culture – basket weaving, language and customs.
The Grand Canyon – one of the greatest geological features that makes the world seem larger with sunrises, sunsets and storms making a fascinating perspective against the grandeur of the canyon.