The Park is 270 miles east of Las Vegas, or 225 miles north of Phoenix.
The Birth: From Wikipedia:
Grand Canyon National Park was named as an official national park in 1919, but the landmark had been well known to Americans for over thirty years prior. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt visited the site and said: “The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world… Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”
Despite Roosevelt’s enthusiasm and his strong interest in preserving land for public use, the Grand Canyon was not immediately designated a national park. The first bill to create Grand Canyon National Park was introduced in 1882 by then-Senator Benjamin Harrison, which would have made Grand Canyon National Park the nation’s second, after Yellowstone National Park. Harrison unsuccessfully reintroduced his bill in 1883 and 1886; after his election to the presidency, he established the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Further Senate bills to establish the site as a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911, before the Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.
It Happened Here: From National Parks Traveler:
Three-hundred hikers. Well, not quite 300, but almost, according to Grand Canyon National Park rangers. And they all descended on the park last October 19 in a bid to hike from the North Rim to the South Rim. In one day. Read more….
Size: 1,217,262 acres
# Visitors: 4,564,840 visitors in 2013, the 2nd highest annual attendance ever. Peak attendance was in July; the lowest was in January.
Animals: From the Park website:
Of the 34 mammal species found along the Colorado River corridor, 15 are rodents and eight are bats. River otters may have disappeared from the park in the last decade and muskrats are extremely rare. However, an increase in the population size and distribution of beavers has occurred seen since the construction of Glen Canyon Dam.
The three most common amphibians in the Grand Canyon are the canyon treefrog, red-spotted toad, and Woodhouse’s rocky mountain toad.
Choices: From the Park website:
A 277 mile long (446 km) canyon separates the park into South and North Rims. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a mile-deep, (1.6 km) and creates a barrier that bisects the park. Even though the average distance across the canyon is only 10 miles/ 16 km, be aware that it is a five-hour drive of 215 miles/ 346 km between the park’s South Rim Village and the North Rim Village.
Fees: $25 for a 7-day pass for a private vehicle.
Staying There: From Gorp.com:
Inside the park on the South Rim are two campgrounds. Mather Campground in Grand Canyon Village has more than 300 campsites. Reservations are available for stays between April and November. Desert View Campground is 26 miles east of Grand Canyon Village and does not accept reservations. There are 50 sites available from mid-May through October.
The North Rim Campground is located north of Grand Canyon Lodge and has 75 campsites open mid-May through October. Reservations are available up to five months in advance.
Contact Info:P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 General Visitor Information: (928) 638-7888
Current Issues: You can run in the Grand Canyon Half Marathon on May 9, 2015 … just don’t expect to run in the Park. The entire race course is outside the Park.
In the battle between raccoon and sandhill crane, it appears we have a winner.
A raccoon attempts to snag an easy meal at one of the feeders set up to supply the Mississippi sandhills with extra calories during the nesting season at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. The two adult cranes decide that this will not happen on their watch and begin to display defensive behavior — the raccoon rethinks his strategy and decides to find lunch elsewhere! A juvenile crane (the drab colored individual) watches and learns in the background.
(Photo USFWS Camera Trap). Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 7/25/14.