Grand Canyon National Park, located in Northern Arizona is one of the most
spectacular natural formations not only in the United States,
but all of the World. Grand Canyon
reaches a total length of 277 miles
(446 km) and a depth of 2,600 feet (800 m) carved by water and
air erosion. Grand Canyon
is protected by the Grand Canyon National Park
services. Grand Canyon
was formed by natural erosion of geologic formation by natural
flow of two rivers, Colorado river and Ualpay river, over a course of
millions years. Canyon cleft cut through many feet of geologic formation
that was laid over millennia. Grand Canyon National Park protects almost
five thousands square kilometers. The most visited area is the southern edge
of the Grand Canyon that contains most popular sightseeing points. The best
way to get the scale of the this magnificent canyon is by taking a
helicopter tour. In 2007 fully transparent bridge was opened to the public.
It hangs over a 1220 meter chasm, offering a breathtaking view below.
Discovery and European settlement
Spanish exploration Grand Canyon was visited by
the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado. The first European
to see the Grand Canyon of the Colorado was García López de
Cárdenas, who commanded a handful of men from the indigenous
population that the Spaniards called Quivira, a town inhabited by
the Zuñi Indians and supposedly one of the seven cities of gold of
the kingdom of Cíbola. This town of which at the moment its location
is ignored since the historians differ on it exact location; some
place Quivira in New Mexico, while others think he was in Kansas. It
should not be confused with a city located in New Mexico that
Spanish expeditionaries called, around the year 1600, Pueblo de las
Humanas and later it was known as Gran Quivira. After 20 days of
exploratory trip they found the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.
However, they could not go down to the river to get water, and after
several attempts to descend they started having water problems to
drink, so they decided to return.
The first European to touch
and navigate the waters of the Colorado River, but hundreds of
kilometers from the Grand Canyon, would be Fernando de Alarcón (who
participated in the exploration trip but by sea). Who discovered the
Colorado River was Francisco de Ulloa on September 28, 1539, taking
a hold in the the mouth of the river (he named it Ancon de San
Andres), for the benefit of the Spanish Crown.
exploration The first scientific expedition was led by the
commander of the United States Army John Wesley Powell in 1869.
Powell referred to the sedimentary rock found in the Canyon as "a
great history book."
Fees and permits
All private vehicles entering the Grand Canyon
must pay a $30 entrance fee, which is good for seven days.
Individuals on foot or on a bike must pay a $12 entrance fee, also
good for seven days.
There are several passes for groups
traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on
bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national
wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national
forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land
Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all
national parks including Grand Canyon:
The $80 Annual Pass
(valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by
anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person
at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC)
or Military ID. U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or
over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in
person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for
$90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age.
This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park
amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass. U.S.
citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can
obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person
at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for
$10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and
permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent
discount on some park amenities. Individuals who have volunteered
250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the
Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass. 4th
graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry
for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to
the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private
non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park
website is required. In 2018 the National Park Service will offer
four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15
(Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week),
September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans