Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Canyon at Granite Gorge
The Grand Canyon is a mile-deep, 277-mile-long steep-sided gorge in Arizona, formed over millennia by the Colorado River.
The Grand Canyon lies in the southwestern part of the United States, in the southwestern portion of the Colorado Plateau. The main path of the canyon courses from the mouth of the Paria River, near the boundary of Arizona and Utah, to Grand Wash Cliffs, near Nevada’s state line.
The deepest and most visually dramatic section of the Grand Canyon is 56 miles long and lies within the central part of Grand Canyon National Park. Here the canyon’s striking strata are on full display, in colors ranging from browns to blues to reds and pinks. The North Rim sits about 8,500 feet above sea level, 1,200 feet higher than the South Rim.
Geology and History
Erosion or low volumes of material deposition have erased millions of years from the canyon’s geologic history. Despite this, it remains the most significant location on earth for its long and measurable geologic record.
Human artifacts found in the canyon suggest the presence of prehistoric settlers from the last Ice Age. Ancestral Pueblo people also lived in the canyon, followed later by Paiute, Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi tribes, as well as the Havasupai who still claim the land today. The first Europeans to visit the canyon were Spanish explorers in the 1540s. In the centuries that followed, U.S. expeditions explored and mapped the area and studied its geology and ecology.
Early settlers saw the profit in tourism, which began in earnest after 1901. In 1908, the Grand Canyon was proclaimed a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt, and in 1919 it became a National Park. Today, over 5 million tourists from all over the world visit the canyon each year.
Learn more about the Grand Canyon through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Now National Monument, proclamation signed by President Teddy Roosevelt Thu, Jan 23, 1908 – Page 6 · Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comSome objections raised to making Grand Canyon a National Monument, 1908 Tue, Feb 4, 1908 – 3 · () · Newspapers.comEditorial description of the Grand Canyon as shared in 1909, mentions Powell and Spanish Explorers Tue, Nov 2, 1909 – 15 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut) · Newspapers.comPhoto of John Wesley Powell, first known explorer to travel by boat through Grand Canyon Sun, May 14, 1916 – Page 15 · The Decatur Herald (Decatur, Illinois) · Newspapers.com1916 article describes the Grand Canyon's walls as a great study of earth's geology Thu, Sep 7, 1916 – Page 6 · The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) · Newspapers.comGrand Canyon to become a National Park in 1919, some history shared (excerpt) Fri, Jan 31, 1919 – Page 1 · The Coconino Sun (Flagstaff, Arizona) · Newspapers.comSmithsonian receives geologic records, fossils, samples from walls of the Grand Canyon Fri, Jun 11, 1926 – Page 4 · The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) · Newspapers.com1950 correspondent article about the Havasupai people living in the Grand Canyon since the 12th C. Mon, Jun 26, 1950 – Page 23 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comMap of Grand Canyon National Park including best viewpoints, entrances, campsites Sun, Oct 27, 1996 – Page 173 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comPhoto of President Theodore Roosevelt descending the Grand Canyon Sun, Oct 4, 1998 – 220 · The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comArizona's Grand Canyon National Park, carved through the Colorado Plateau, is a top US attraction Sun, Jul 4, 2004 – Page T004 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comView of the Grand Canyon's peaks, valleys, and layers of multicolored stone Thu, Aug 21, 2008 – Page 29 · Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) · Newspapers.com