Friday, January 11, 2013
The Grand Canyon was declared a National Monument on January 11, 1908, by President Theodore Roosevelt. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the canyon is 277 miles long and reaches a depth of more than a mile. For at least 17 million years the Colorado River and its tributaries have cut through nearly two billion years of the Earth's history, leaving a record of three of the four geologic eras. Native Americans have inhabited the area for thousands of years, including the Pueblo, who considered it a holy site. In 1540 Coronado’s explorers were the first Europeans to see the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell’s expedition made the first known passage through the Canyon down the Colorado’s rapids in four rowboats. Congress permanently protected the canyon as a national park in 1932. Pictured: From Powell Point, sun strikes Battleship Rock, with Brahma Temple and Zoroaster Temple beyond.