History of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the earth’s most magnificent nature sites. Countless tourists from all over the world visit the site every year, to bask in its beauty. The history of the Grand Canyon is just as remarkable as what we see today, in the state of Arizona. 

Archaeological findings show that human life in the Grand Canyon dates back to 12,000 years ago, during the Paleo-Indian period. Human settlement in this area; however, only dates back 4,000 years. The Paleo-Indians were not the only Indians to pass through and/or settle in the Grand Canyon, other Native American groups believed to have settled there are: the Archaic, the Hopi, and the Navajo.

The Spanish were the first Europeans to find and explore the Grand Canyon; they arrived in the area in September 1540. The Hopi Indians helped guide the group of thirteen Spaniards along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Spaniards were in desperate need of water, and though they saw and incorrectly estimated the size of the river below, were unable to reach it, partly because the Hopi were reluctant to lead them there.

The history of the Grand Canyon most certainly does not end there. James Ohio Pattie and his group are believed to be the next Europeans, and first Americans to reach the Grand Canyon, they arrived in 1826, however, There is a very small amount of actual proof of this.

The first ferry service in the history of the Grand Canyon was established in 1872, by John D. Lee. The ferry system, however, did not compare to the first railroad transportation, which was completed in 1882. Tourism was slow at first because of the high cost and long trip, but greatly increased in 1901. Automobile competition emerged around half a century later, and the railroad was closed down in 1968, but was restored and reintroduced for transportation, with great and to-date success, in 1989.

The Grand Canyon is like no other, with its vast area that you can see for miles, the roaring Colorado River at its bottom, and the many accommodations it offers will leave you breathless. It truly offers history that cannot be compared, and is full of life, and with the daily tours the National Park has running, is waiting for you to come see for yourself.  

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