On January 11th, 1908: Grand Canyon becomes a “national monument”

Grand Canyon

South Kaibab Trail at Cedar Ridge, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are indeed landscapes which make you stand speechlessly and in awe when you see them for the first time. And most certainly the Grand Canyon is one of these landscapes.

It took almost 2 billion years of geological history, and a lot of different natural events, till the Colorado river had cut this 227 miles long and, in parts, 6000 feet deep canyon into the Colorado plateau as we see it today. The exact way how this happened and its real age are still discussed (read an interesting NYT article about the age debate here and visit the NPS section about geology here).

On this day in 1908 Theodore Roosevelt made the Grand Canyon a “national monument” (read more about this here). The 105th anniversary of this event makes it a good time to indulge in the beauty of one of the most amazing natural wonders of the US.

Start your exploration of the Grand Canyon with a wonderful 360° Panorama View.

Of course there are thousands of wonderful pictures of the Canyon available on the web. Here are a few links to start with:

The biggest collection, featuring not only landscape photos, but also animals, artifacts, plants, history and much more can be watched at NPS’ Flickr Pool.

Here’s another stunning collection of 35 high quality pictures and a wonderful little collection of historical photos.

You can even hear how it sounds being at the Canyon here.

An amazing and very special view into the Canyon (at least if you don’t have any fear of heights) provides the Glass Skywalk, opened in 2007, that lets you look down 4000 into the Canyon.

If you want to visit the Grand Canyon yourself, this NYT article suggests a “36 hours at the Grand Canyon” tour.

But if you are more into historical sources, you might like to read this 1917 book “The Grand Canyon. An article giving the credit of first traversing the Grand Canyon of the Colorado to James White, a Colorado gold prospector, who it is claimed maide the voyage two years previous the expedition under the direction of Maj. J. W. Powell in 1869” by Thomas F. Dawson online.

There is also a wonderful historical footage from the 1920s out there:

The Grand Canyon is not only an amazing landscape but it was home to people for a long period of time. Take a virtual tour to the archaeological excavations from 2007 to 2009 here.

At last, learn about the curious story of egyptian artifacts said to be found in the Great Canyon.

And for your visual pleasure, two wonderful videos which take you flying over and through the canyon…

with clouds….

… and without clouds.

And if there remains still a bit of curiosity: These pages will provide you with loads of further information:

One of the best resouces about the Canyon is the NPS website, with many pages and high quality information.

There is also a nice site from the University of Arizona.

Finally this vast bibliography includes more than 5000 entries about the Canyon, including a list of NYT articles, Sources for vision impaired persons and fiction.

And if you eventually know everything about the Grand Canyon, you will easily be able to take this Quiz from National Geographic 😉