Grand Canyon National Park: The first 100 years (give or take a few million)

The national park is celebrating its centennial

Grand Canyon National Park

(Gray News) – The Grand Canyon.

President Theodore Roosevelt liked it so much he made it a national park. Now’s it’s celebrating its centennial.

Officially, the park’s 100th anniversary was Feb. 26, but events are scheduled throughout the year.

The canyon, Roosevelt said, is “the one great sight which every American should see.”

And so, they have.

The Grand Canyon is the second-most popular national park, attracting nearly 6.4 million visitors in 2018.

Some take the mule trips to the canyon floor. Others splash their way through on a raft. Others stand along the edge and just enjoy the view.

It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It’s safe to say the U.N. agency is a big fan.

Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon (nearly 1,500 m deep) is the most spectacular gorge in the world. Located in the state of Arizona, it cuts across the Grand Canyon National Park. Its horizontal strata retrace the geological history of the past 2 billion years. There are also prehistoric traces of human adaptation to a particularly harsh environment.

The park’s vital statistics are impressive.

It covers 1,900 square miles.

The mighty Colorado River that cut the canyon over 6 million years is 277 miles long, up to 1 mile deep and up to 15 miles wide.

Scientists and visitors alike marvel at the millions of years of erosion have exposed the multicolored layers of the Colorado Plateau in its mesas and canyon walls.

A lot has happened over the last hundred years (and the 40,000 before).
A lot has happened over the last hundred years (and the 40,000 before). (Source: Grand Canyon National Park/National Park Service)

“Grand Canyon National Park will commemorate the past and inspire future generations to experience, connect with, and protect the park's unique natural, cultural, and historic resources,” the National Park Service said about the 100th anniversary celebration.

“Whether you are a regular visitor, a national park traveler or virtual explorer, Grand Canyon National Park hopes that you are inspired to experience and connect with a park that has inspired 100 years of stewardship and will continue to delight visitors and stewards for another 100 years!”

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