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Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park



Location: Arizona  Map

Tel. (928) 638- 7888

South Rim: open year round




Description of Grand Canyon National Park

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.

American 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 Day weekend).





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