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Master Index & Glossary

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

- A -

Admission Fee

The Anasazi was an ancient indian culture that inhabited various sections of the Grand Canyon between A.D. 700 to around A.D. 1150. The Anasazi followed or evolved from the Archaic or Desert culture which originally inhabited the Canyon between 2000 and 1000 B.C. Split twig figurines which have been found in many caves in the Redwall Limestone are among the oldest record left behind by the Desert Culture peoples.

The early Anasazi, dating from A.D. 1 to around A.D. 800, lived in pithouses in the area surrounding the Canyon, but they are not believed to have dwelt in the Canyon itself. They were primarily hunter-gatherers and had not yet developed a skill with pottery, but instead wove intricate baskets using the leaves of the yucca plant. This period is often referred to as Basketmaker.

Sometime around A.D. 800 the Anasazi are thought to have entered their building phase and as a result, this marks the beginning of the Pueblo period, pueblo being the Spanish word for town. Around this time the Anasazi also began making crude pottery which eventually evolved into a much more sophisticated craft. They also started to blend their hunter-gatherer traits with those of a more agricultural nature. Areas such as Unkar Creek Delta and Obi Canyon in the inner canyon and Walhalla Glades on the north rim have provided archaeologists with numerous agricultural features, such as irrigation ditches, granaries, and stone tools such as metates and manos.

Anasazi is a Navajo word that translates into English as meaning "enemy ancestor". The Hopi people are believed to be the modern descendants of the Anasazi.


Arizona Steak House

- B -


Backcountry Reservations Office

Backcountry Trails


Bass Formation

Bass Trail

Bass, William Wallace
William Wallace Bass came to the Grand Canyon in 1884 for health reasons. He spent more than forty years living at the Canyon and during that time did some prospecting, got married and became the first person of European descent to raise a family at the Canyon. He is credited with building a road from Ash Fork, Arizona to his camp, Bass Camp, on the south rim, a distance of some 70 miles. He is a also responsible for the construction of both the North Bass and South Bass trails, which he used to guide tourists into the Canyon and over to the north rim. The trail was also used to haul asbestos out from his mine and to tend his garden near Shinumo Creek.

The Bass Formation is named after William Wallace Bass.

Beamer Trail

Beauty & Barber Shop

Berry, Peter D.
One of the canyons most successful prospectors. Founded the Last Chance copper mine on Horseshoe Mesa and used the proceeds from that to build the Grandview Hotel at Grandview Point.

Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn

Bill Hall Trail

Bonfiglio, Robert
Founder of the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival


Boucher Trail

Bright Angel Campground

Bright Angel Canyon
Bright Angel Canyon is the largest tributary canyon of the Grand Canyon, running some 11 miles from the north rim to the Colorado River. There are two forces responsible for the creation of Bright Angel Canyon, the first being the Bright Angel Fault and the second being Bright Angel Creek. The fault is responsible for creating stress in the rocks which has in turn weakened them and made them more susceptible to erosional forces. Bright Angel Creek being a major erosional force has taken advantage of the situation to carve out the canyon and carry it away piece by piece down to the Colorado River.

Bright Angel Canyon in conjuction with its conterpart on the south rim is commonly referred to as "The Corridor" as it contains the primary north-south travel routes across the Canyon, those being the Bright Angel Trail, the South Kaibab Trail and the North Kaibab Trail.

Bright Angel Creek
Bright Angel Creek is the primary erosional force responsible for the creation of Bright Angel Canyon. It was given its name by Major John Wesley Powell during his first trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1869. It is said that he choose the name Bright Angel to counter a name given to another creek further up the Colorado River, that being The Dirty Devil.

Bright Angel Fountain

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Restaurant

Bright Angel Shale

Bright Angel Trail

Bryce Canyon National Park

Butchart, Dr. John H. "Harvey"

- C -

Cameron, Ralph
Ralph Cameron was one of the miners, during the 1890's, that improved the trail used by the Havasupai indians to reach their gardens at present-day Indian Garden. Later, when the trail fell into his control, he changed the name to the Cameron Trail and he operated it as a toll road into the inner canyon, charging $1 to anyone wanting to use it. The trail remained under his control until 1928, when after a number of legal battles, Coconino Country finally gained ownership of it. It was not until 1937 that the trail was renamed the Bright Angel Trail.

It is important to note that the other primary routes into the inner canyon, the South Kaibab Trail and the Hermit Trail, were constructed as a means to bypass the toll being charged by Mr. Cameron.

The town of Cameron, just east of the South Rim's east entrance, near Desert View, is named for Ralph Cameron.


Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon Food Mart

Cardenas, Captain Garcia Lopez de

Cave of the Domes
The Cave of the Domes is a cave that is located beneath Horseshoe Mesa.

These caves are composed of limestone and are still alive in that the formations within them are still growing. Many formations have been damaged, however, by careless individuals who have entered the caves and either unknowingly or maliciously broken pieces off of them. If you do decide to visit the caves please treat them with the respect that they are due. Growth does not happen quickly and many of the formations have taken thousands of years to reach their present state and once damaged will require at least that long to recover.

Click here to view some photos of the caves.

Contact the Backcountry Reservations Office for information on visiting the caves.

Abbreviation for "cubic feet per second" which is used as a measure for river flow rates.

Cheyava Falls
Cheyava Falls [photo], the highest waterfall in the Grand Canyon, is located on the north rim and cascades down from the rim just north of Honan Point on the southern end of the Walhalla Plateau. The falls are impressive in the springtime when the water from snow melt cascades down over the Redwall Limestone, but they are dry during most other times of the year.

Cheyava means "intermittent" in the Hopi language and the falls were named as such by Ellsworth Kolb.

The Clear Creek Trail was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s to allow guests staying at Phantom Ranch to visit the falls. The trip from Phantom Ranch to the falls is about 16 miles, one-way. The falls are located about 7 miles from the Clear Creek camping area.

Chuar Group


Clear Creek Trail

Coconino Sandstone

Colorado River

Colter, Mary Elizabeth Jane

Continental drift

Coronado, Francisco Vasquez de

Corridor, The
See Bright Angel Canyon.

Cottonwood Camp
Cottonwood Camp is a campground which is located on the North Kaibab Trail, about midway between Bright Angel Campground, at the river, and the North Kaibab trailhead, on the rim. A backcountry permit is required to camp here overnight.

All camping must be in designated sights, no at-large camping is permitted anywhere in the area.

Use limits for the summer is for 1 group, or 6 parties, or 40 campers.
Use limits for the winter is for 1 group, or 1 party, or 8 campers.

A party is defined as 2-6 people, and a group as 7-12 people.

Ribbon Falls is located about 1 mile south of Cottonwood Camp and Roaring Springs about 2 miles north.

Curios & Gifts


- D -

Deer Creek
Deer Creek is the primary drainage for the Esplanade and the western side of Surprise Valley.

Deer Creek is famous for two waterfalls and it's "Narrows" section [photo]. The first waterfall [photo] is actually not part of Deer Creek and is called Deer Spring or Dutton Falls. It is the tributary of Deer Creek that reaches up into the western end of Surprise Valley, and the falls occur right where Deer Spring spills over the cliff into upper Deer Creek. The second falls [photo] is definitely the more magnificent of the two and occurs right where the Deer Creek exits it's "Narrows" section and plummets down to the Colorado River.

Deer Creek Trail

Desert View Trading Post Fountain

Devil's Corkscrew
The Devil's Corkscrew [photo] is the name given to a section of the Bright Angel Trail that occurs about midway between the River Trail and Indian Garden. The section is so named because the switchbacks resemble an enormous corkscrew, when viewed from the top. The other part of the name refers to the heat that can often be experienced along this section of trail during the summer, which typically reaches or exceeds 130 degrees fahrenheit (54 degrees celsius). This is not a section of trail to be toyed with.


Dox Sandstone

Dripping Springs Trail

- E -

Desert View Drive

Eco-tourism at Grand Canyon

Edge Of The Cedars State Park

El Tovar Hotel

El Tovar Dining Room

Entrance Fee

Equipment Sales, Rental & Repair

Equipment Sales

Escalante, Father

Escalante Route

Esplanade, The
The Esplanade refers to a huge terrace that exists between Fishtail Mesa in the west, Bridger's Knoll to the east and Surprise Valley to the south, on the north rim. The terrace is composed primarily of Esplanade Sandstone and it's altitude varies from between 5600 and 5200 feet.

The Thunder River Trail crosses the Esplanade as it heads from the rim, down into Surprise Valley and on to Thunder River.

- F -


Film Processing

Fletcher, Colin
Colin Fletcher is credited with being the first man (of European descent?) to have walked the entire length of the Grand Canyon. He recounts this story in his fabulous book entitled The Man Who Walked Through Time. The trip was completed during two months in 1967.


Numerous fossils, most of which are the remains of ancient sea creatures can be found in the rock layers that comprise the Grand Canyon. Among these fossils are brachiopods, crinoids, trilobites and nautiloids.

Four Corners area

Fredonia, Arizona

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


- G -


General Store


Glen Canyon Dam
The Glen Canyon dam stands at the head of Lake Powell. It was constructed in 1963 at a cost of $70 million dollars. 10 million tons of concrete, approximately 5 million cubic yards, were used in its construction.

Click here to see a photo of the dam.

Grand Canyon, The

Grand Canyon Caverns

Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival

Grand Canyon IMAX Theatre

Grand Canyon Lodge

Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Trading Post

Grand Canyon Trust

Grand Wash Cliffs
The Grand Wash Cliffs mark the western end of the Grand Canyon and the beginning of Lake Mead.

Grandview Point
Grandview Point is the highest point on the south rim at an elevation of 7400 feet. This is also where the trailhead for the Grandview Trail, which goes down to Horseshoe Mesa, is located.

In 1895 Peter Berry built the Grandview Hotel at Grandview Point. This was the finest lodging at the Canyon until the Santa Fe Railroad came up to the Canyon in 1907 and began construction of other lodging around the village area.

Grandview Trail

Granite Rapids
Granite Rapids are the rapids that have been formed by debris being washed down Monument Creek. There is a very nice and very large beach area along the south side of the river and it has become a popular camping area for people hiking between along the Tonto Trail between the Hermit and Bright Angel Trails.

There is picture of the whole beach including the rapids here and another of the quiet section of the river above the rapids here.

Great Unconformity

Guided tour

- H -

Hakatai Shale

Hance, Captain John

Captain John Hance arrived at the Grand Canyon in the early 1880's and began mining asbestos in the vicinity of Asbestos Canyon on the north side of the Colorado River. In 1883 he constructed a trail down Hance Canyon to reach his mines, using an old Havasupai route as a base for the trail. In addition to his mining ventures John Hance also brought tourists down his trail and provided accommodations for them at his ranch in the bottom of Hance Canyon. In the late 1890's his trail degraded due to numerous washouts and he was forced to abandon it, at which point he constructed the New Hance Trail down Red Canyon to reach his holdings. The Old Hance Trail continues to elude all but the most experience canyoneers.

One of Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, a man by the name of Bucky O'Neil made an entry in the guest book at John Hance's ranch that reads "God made the cañon, John Hance made the trails. Without one, neither would be complete."

Harvey, Fred

Not much mention is made of Fred Harvey [photo from Heard Museum] in works about the Grand Canyon. This is something that I find very odd as the company that now bears his name is omnipresent on the south rim and no one can visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon without his or her life being touched in some way by the Fred Harvey Company.

Fred Harvey's claim to fame was the Harvey Girl concept, by which he made the Wild West a little less wild. His Harvey Girls were recruited from the eastern states and enticed by Mr. Harvey to move west to act as hostesses in his establishments. Upon arrival they were asked to sign a statement promising that they would not marry for a period of one year. This was necessary in those days as women were in very short supply and hence very great demand in the western states and Mr. Harvey needed to protect his investment. Harvey Girls were present at the El Tovar Hotel in it's heyday and were probably one of it's finest attractions.

The Fred Harvey Company is now the sole concessionaire for all establishments located within Grand Canyon National Park on the south rim. Anywhere you stay is operated by Fred Harvey. Anywhere you eat is operated by Fred Harvey. Just about anything you do from souvenir shopping to taking a mule to the bottom of the Canyon is controlled by Fred Harvey.

The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona is running a lecture series in early 1996 entitled Fred Harvey's Southwest, and a large number of items from the Fred Harvey collection will be on display in an exhibit entitled Inventing the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and Native American Art. This exhibit runs from September, 1995 through May, 1997 and will also be touring some other museums in the United States beginning in June, 1997.

Havasupai Indians
The Havasupai Indians are the only indigenous Canyon peoples that continue to live in Canyon today. They originally lived and farmed at present-day Indian Garden but were forced to leave this area when Grand Canyon achieved National Park status in the early 1900's. They now occupy a reservation that abuts the western side of the park and the village of Supai, on Havasu Creek is the tribal center.

The lifestyle of the Havasupai has remained almost completely unchanged since the Havasu Creek area was originally settled by their ancestors around A.D. 1300. Their name, Havasupai, means "People of the blue-green water" which describes the color of Havasu Creek.

Hermit Shale

Hermit Trail

Hermit's Rest Snack Bar

Hiking Trails


Hoffman, Clare
Founder of the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam stands at the head of Lake Mead. It was originally named Boulder Dam and was completed in 1935 with a final price tag of almost $50 million dollars. 6.6 million tons of concrete, 3.4 million cubic feet, were used in it's construction.

The Hopi peoples that inhabit the Grand Canyon area today can trace their ancestry all the way back to the Anasazi culture that occupied the Canyon between A.D. 1 and A.D. 1200. The Hopi Mesas to the west of the Grand Canyon are thought to have been established following the Anasazi departure from the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon holds a very special spiritual significance to the Hopi as this is where there legendary Sipapu, or place of emergency, is located. The Hopi believe that this is the fourth world and that they came to this world through the Sipapu after being forced to abandon the third world, the one directly below.

Horseshoe Mesa
Horseshoe Mesa is the the mesa that is located at the terminus of the Grandview Trail.

In the late 1800's a high-grade copper ore was discovered on the mesa by Peter D. Berry while he was prospecting there for gold. He named his mine the "Last Chance Mine" and the remains of it and of the mining camp it sustained can still be seen on the mesa.

There is also a cave called Cave of the Domes located beneath the mesa, which it is possible to explore.

Photos from Horseshoe Mesa can be found here.


- I -

Indian Garden
Indian Garden is a small oasis that exists about 3000 feet below the rim, on the Tonto Platform, at the junction of the Bright Angel and Tonto trails. The only reason for Indian Garden being where it is is the existence of Garden Creek, a perennial water source. Up until the early 1900's the Havasupai indians used to raise corn, squash and beans at Indian Garden and this is how it received it's name.

There is also a sizable campground located at Indian Garden. This is most commonly used by many people to break up the hike from the river to the rim into two days. A backcountry permit is required to camp here overnight.

All camping must be in designated sights, no at-large camping is permitted anywhere in the area.

Use limits allow for 1 group, or 15 parties, or 50 campers.

A party is defined as 2-6 people, and a group as 7-12 people.

- J -

Jacob Lake, Arizona
Jacob Lake is the gateway to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I'm not sure whether to call it a town, village or hamlet, but whatever it is it's very small, consisting of only a motel, restaurant, general store and gas station. Jacob Lake is approximately 60 miles north of the north rim.

Jacob Lake Lodge Coffee Shop & Dining Room

Jacob Lake Lodge

- K -

Kanab, Utah

Kachina Lodge

Kaibab (pronounced "ky-bab") is a Paiute word that means "mountains lying down".

Kaibab Limestone

Kaibab Lodge

Kaibab Lodge Dining Room

Kaibab National Forest
The Kaibab National Forest is the name given to the forest that surrounds the Grand Canyon.

Kaibab Shuttle

Kaibab Trail

Ken Patrick Trail


Kolb, Emery & Ellsworth
Emery and Ellsworth Kolb are best known for being the first men to make a motion picture record of the Colorado River throughout its entire course through the Grand Canyon.

Ellsworth arrived at the Grand Canyon in 1901 and took up work as a bellhop at the Bright Angel Hotel. Emery arrived at the Canyon in 1902 at his brother's urging and the promise of an employment opportunity at John Hance's asbestos mine. By the time he arrived at the Canyon, however, the mine had already closed.

Looking for something else to do, he came upon a photography business in Williams that was for sale. Having done some prior experimentation with photography he decided to purchased this business. He did so for $425 and moved the operation to the Grand Canyon where he and Emery went into business on their own photographing visitors who rode the Fred Harvey mule trains down the Bright Angel Trail and into the inner canyon.

The Camerons leased them some land near the trailhead, where they setup a tent studio. The business prospered and the tent was soon replaced by a more permanent wooden structure that was build upon a bench of solid rock that they blasted out of the rim.

In 1911, Emery and Ellsworth made their trip down the Colorado River. This trip started in Green River, Wyoming, the same place as the legendary Powell expedition. The trip required two months and took them down the Green River to the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon, and ended in Needles, California. When the trip was over they became famous and spent some time touring the country and showing their film. Ellsworth eventually completed the trip by rafting the remainder of the Colorado River between Needles and the Gulf of California after which he published his account of the trip in book form as Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico.

In 1915, the Kolb brothers began showing the film daily in their studio at Grand Canyon, having added an auditorium onto the structure for just this purpose. In 1924, Ellsworth lost interest in the endeavor and headed west to Los Angeles. Emery continued showing the film and providing narration for it up until his death in 1976, which made it the longest continuously-running motion picture ever.

Kolb Studio

- L -

Lake Mead
Lake Mead is the name of the lake that formed behind the Hoover Dam upon it's completion in 1935. The lake's capacity is 28 million acre feet.

Lake Powell
Lake Powell is the lake that formed behind the Glen Canyon Dam upon its completion in 1963. The lake is 186 miles long, has a shoreline of 1,960 miles, and is the worlds second longest reservoir. The lake was named after the first man to successfully navigate the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Major John Wesley Powell.

Laundry & Showers

Lee's Ferry
Lee's Ferry is recognized as being the beginning of the Grand Canyon. All mileages along the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon are based on Mile 0 at Lee's Ferry.

Lee's Ferry is named for John D. Lee, who was instructed by Brigham Young, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to build a ferry across the Colorado River above the Grand Canyon. Lee moved part of his family (two of his nineteen wifes and a number of children) to the area in 1871 and in the year following began construction of the ferry. The ferry operated until 1928, when a bridge was finally constructed across the Colorado River at Marble Canyon.

Little Colorado River
Named the Colorado Chicuito by John Wesley Powell, the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers [photo] marks the end of Marble Canyon and the beginning of the Grand Canyon. The pale bluish color of the Little Colorado comes from an abundance of minerals in the water. The Little Colorado River is also the home of the Hopi Salt Mines as well as the sacred Sipapu.


Lost Orphan Mine
The Lost Orphan Mine [photo], which is also referred to as simply the Orphan Mine, is a mine that is located a few miles west of Grand Canyon Village along the the Hermit Road. It began as a copper mine in 1893 when a man by the name of Daniel Hogan, discovered a vein of copper about 1100 feet below the rim and filed a claim to extract it. The mining site was accessed via a series of short trails connected by ropes and ladders, some of which still remain today.

In 1953, years after the copper ore had become too expensive to extract, uranium was discovered on the site and it was acquired by the Golden Crown Mining Company to be redeveloped. To make it easier to get the uranium ore to the rim the mining company constructed a tramway that lead from the rim to mine entrance. The headframe of the structure can still be seen on the rim today, out near Powell Point.

After years of controversy over the mine and the eyesore that it created, the site was finally purchased by the federal government. One condition of the sale was to allow the mine to continue to operate for 25 more years, but in 1988 the government finally took possession of the property, shut down the mine and, due to higher than normal radiation levels, fenced off the area. The controversy continues today over what should now be done with the property. It does require some clean-up because of the radioactive material but the Park Service does not have the necessary funding to accomplish this. Until it does the area will continue to be closed to public access.

Lowell Observatory

- M -

See metate.


Marble Canyon
Marble Canyon [photo] is the northernmost section of the Grand Canyon. It begins just below Lee's Ferry at mile 2 on the Colorado River.

Maswik Cafeteria

Maswik Lodge

Mather Campground


Medical Services & Pharmacy - Grand Canyon Village

Medical Services - North Rim

Mell, Ed - Southwestern artist

Mesa Verde National Park

A metate was a stone tool used by early native peoples who inhabited the Grand Canyon area. The metate used in conjunction with a mano was used to grind corn and beans into a powder or flour which could then be combined with water, molded into various shapes and cooked.

The metate was a slab of rock which was typically about 18 inches long and about a foot wide. A smooth trough was carved out of the slab by chipping away at the rock at the center. The mano would fit into the carved trough and would be pushed back and forth over the corn, beans or other plant material until it had been ground to the desired consistency.

Pictures of metates and manos found at an Anasazi site in the Obi Canyon area of the north rim can be seen here.

Meteor Crater

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Well National Monument

Monument Valley

Moqui Lodge

Moqui Restaurant

Muav Limestone

Mule Rides

Museum of Northern Arizona

- N -

Nankoweap Formation

Nankoweap Trail

Natural Bridges National Monument

The nautiloid [photo] was a sea dwelling creature of the Paleozoic and an ancient relative of today's chambered nautilus. Unlike the modern species, which has a coiled shell, the nautiloid's shell was cylindrical and tapers to a point at one end.

Nautiloid Canyon
Nautiloid Canyon [photo] is located at river mile 34.8 and is named because of the abundance of fossil Nautiloids that can be found in its walls and floor.

The Navajo are not native to the Grand Canyon area but rather migrated to the area from western Canada somewhere in the period from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1500. The Navajo were at that time a warlike poeple that settled in and around the area claimed by the Hopi and some of the lands that they hold are in dispute to this day.

The word that the Navajo use to refer to themselves is "Dineh" a word that translates into English as meaning "The People".

The Navajo Nation represents the largest population of aboriginal peoples that currently exists in the United States, numbering more than 200,000 people. Their reservations in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico consist of more then 2 million acres.

Navajo National Monument

New Hance Trail
see Red Canyon Trail.

North Bass Trail

North Kaibab Trail

North rim

- O -

Old Bright Angel Trail

Old Kaibab Trail
see Old Bright Angel Trail.

Over The Edge Theatre

- P -

Pearce Ferry
Pearce Ferry is recognized as being the end of the Grand Canyon and the beginning of Lake Mead. It is at mile 280 on the Colorado River, with all mileages along the Colorado River being based on Mile 0 being at Lee's Ferry. Pearce Ferry is the end of the trip and the take-out point for many river trips on the Colorado.

Pearce Ferry is named for Franklin Pearce who was the ferry's first operator, sent there by the Mormon Church in 1876. A stone building, which is now under the waters of Lake Mead, was built by Mr. Pearce, and his son, James, and was used to defend themselves against the natives who occupied the area.

Pearce is the correct spelling of the name and it is often misspelled as Pierce in books and on maps.

Pet Kennels

Petrified Forest National Park

Phantom Ranch

Photo gallery

Pinyon-Juniper forest
The Pinyon-Juniper, or as it is more commonly referred to as, the PJ forest, is the predominant form of vegetation on the south rim and down into the upper reaches of the canyon itself. The Pinyon Pine and Utah Juniper are both adapted very well to surviving in this, sometimes inhospitable, environment and many people have a difficult time telling them apart. From a distance the Pinyon Pine and the Utah Juniper look very much alike but upon closer examination they are actually quite different. The Pinyon Pine can be identified because it has needles and cones whereas the Utah Juniper has instead very tiny leaves and berries.

Both of these trees are very important to the wildlife that inhabits the forest and they were also very important to the native peoples that once occupied the area. The seed that is found in the cone of the Pinyon Pine is the favorite food of the Pinyon Jay and was also collected and roasted by the native peoples and then ground into flour to make bread. Pinyon nuts are now a delicacy. The berry (which is in actuality a very small cone) of the Utah Juniper was also eaten by the native peoples and is a favorite food of the Rock Squirrel. The native peoples also many other uses for these trees: the logs were used in construction of dwellings; the sap was used to waterpoof sandals and baskets, as well as an antiseptic dressing for wounds; the bark was used to make rope, which could then in turn be fashioned into sandals.

Plateau Point
Plateau Point is located on the very edge of the Tonto Platform, about 1.5 miles north of Indian Garden. Plateau Point is a common day hike for people coming down from the rim as well as people camping at the Indian Garden campground. The roundtrip distance from the rim, via the Bright Angel Trail and the Plateau Point Trail, is about 12 miles. This makes it somewhat long for a day hike, but anyone is good physical shape should not have a problem with it.

Plate tectonics

Post Office

Powell Expedition

Powell, Major John Wesley ( 1834 - 1902 )
Major John Wesley Powell [photo] is credited with being the first man to run the Colorado River through the full length of the Grand Canyon and explore its unknown depths. He completed this trip successfully in 1869 after a three month expedition which began at Green River, Utah on May 24, 1869 and ended at the Grand Wash Cliffs at the western end of the Grand Canyon on August 29, 1869. Powell tried to repeat the expedition again in 1871, to gather more knowledge about the region, but was forced to abandon the attempt.

Powell earned his rank as major during the Civil War. He enlisted into the Union army as private following the start of the war and rose quickly through the ranks. He lost his right arm during the battle of Shilo in 1862. Following the war, in 1865, he began teaching geology at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he stay for two years. In 1868 he decided to explore and map the Colorado River including the region that contained the Grand Canyon, which up until that point was a blank spot on all maps. The journal from his first expedition, The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons , provides some very interesting reading.

- Q -

Quality Inn Grand Canyon

- R -

Recommended reading

Red Canyon Trail

Red Feather Lodge

Redwall Cavern
Redwall Cavern [photo] is huge cavern which has been excavated from the Redwall Limestone by the Colorado River. It is located at river level at mile 33 a couple of miles south of Vasey's Paradise and Stanton's Cave. John Wesley Powell boasted that the cavern, if used as a theatre, could seat 50,000 people. This is somewhat of an exaggeration but the cavern can accommodate a number of simultaneous games of river baseball.

Redwall Limestone

Religious Services


Ribbon Falls
Ribbon Falls is a very lovely waterfall that is located just off of the North Kaibab Trail, about 6 miles north of Phantom Ranch, and one mile south of Cottonwood Camp.

There is a photo of the whole waterfall, here, and a close-up of the travertine formation at the base, here.

Roaring Springs
Roaring Springs is the source for all water used in the Grand Canyon, on the north rim and the south rim, at Phantom Ranch and at Bright Angel Campground. It is located off of the North Kaibab Trail, about 5 miles south of the trailhead and 2 miles north of Cottonwood Camp.

There is a photo of the waterfall as it cascades of its rocky cavern, here.

Rock Layers

Roosevelt, Theodore

Ross Wheeler
The Ross Wheeler [photo], located near Bass Rapid at river mile 108, is the last remaining boat of Charles Russel's second Colorado River expedition. The focus of the Russel expeditions was to make a movie of the Colorado River and the inner canyon which would be superior to the one made by the Kolb Brothers. All of their film and equipment was lost in another boat while running Crystal Rapid.

Royal Arch Route

- S -

Sedona, Arizona

Services available at the Grand Canyon

Service Organizations

Seven Mile Lodge

Sipapu is a Hopi word that refers to the place where they and all of the animals that now exist in this world emerged from the underworld beneath. The Sipapu is located at the bottom of the canyon near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, just south of Marble Canyon, and is off limits to visitation without the expressed written consent of the Hopi tribe.

Snack Shop

South Bass Trail

South Kaibab Trail

South rim

Split Twig Figurines

Squire Inn Restaurant

Stanton's Cave
Stanton's Cave [photo] is a cave in the Redwall Limestone that is located at river mile 31.8, between South Canyon and Vasey's Paradise. The cave is about 400 feet deep and was used by the Stanton river party to cache their supplies after abandoning their first 1889 expedition. The Stanton expedition was the first to follow the Powell Expedition and the purpose of it was to search for a rail route through the Grand Canyon. This cave was also used by the people of the Desert Culture and was found to contain split twig figurines and other artifacts that have been carbon-dated to 4,000 years old.

The Steakhouse At The Grand Canyon

Sunset Crater National Monument

Supai Formation

Supai, Village of

Surprise Valley
Surprise Valley is a valley, which lies just south of and below the Esplanade, that connects the Thunder River and upper Tapeats Creek areas with the upper Deer Creek area.

Access into Surprise Valley from the rim is via the Thunder River and Bill Hall trails. After descending into the valley, the Thunder River trail continues to the east towards Thunder River and the Deer Creek Trail heads west to Deer Creek.

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The tamarisk [photo] is non-native plant species that was introduced to the Southwest in the early 1900s by the Department of Agriculture to control erosion along irrigation ditches. It is an extremely prolific species and has now taken over the banks of all waterways in the southwest and has forced out the native plant species

Tanner Trail

Tapeats Creek
Tapeats Creek is the primary drainage for the Tapeats Amphitheatre. It is fed by Crazy Jug and Saddle Canyons in its eastern portion, Tapeats Spring in its mid-portion and Thunder River in its western portion. The creek is a perennial and runs like a raging torrent in the springtime, at which point you should not attempt to ford it. The majority of the water flowing down the creek to the Colorado River comes from Tapeats Spring and Thunder River, with a lesser amount coming from the Crazy Jug/Saddle Canyon area.

During the spring runoff, when it is not possible (not safe!) to ford the creek, you should use the optionally route of the Tapeats Creek (Thunder River) trail which follows along the western bank of the creek. When the flow rate in the creek is low enough you can use the normal route which requires a few creek crossings. It is normally possible to ford Tapeats Creek above its confluence with Thunder River.

Tapeats Sandstone


Temple Butte Limestone

Thunder River
Thunder River, on the Canyon's north rim, is a river, fall and cascade all rolled into one. It is famous first, for it's extreme beauty, second, for being the shortest "river" in the world, and third, for being the only river which is a tributary of a creek. Thunder River begins as a waterfall, gushing forth from the Muav Limestone and plunging to the rocks hundreds of feet below. It then cascades down these rocks as a seething, foamy torrent until it reaches it's confluence with Tapeats Creek a half mile away. Pictures can be found here and here.

Thunder River can be reached via the the Thunder River Trail alone, or by using a combination of the Bill Hall Trail and the Thunder River Trail. ONE WAY distance from rim to Thunder River via Thunder River Trail is 17 miles. ONE WAY distance from rim to Thunder River via Bill Hall and Thunder River Trails is 10 miles.

Thunder River Trail

Thunderbird Lodge

Tonto Group

Tonto Platform
The Tonto Platform, which sometimes also referred to as the Tonto Plateau, is a broad terrace which forms the major east-west route through the lower reaches of the Canyon. It is located approximately 3,000 feet below the Canyon's south rim and is composed primarily of Bright Angel Shale which has been eroded back to expose the underlaying layer of Tapeats Sandstone. The Tonto Platform begins near Red Canyon in the eastern Grand Canyon and runs to near Elves Chasm in the west. The Tonto Trail runs almost the full length of the Tonto Platform, beginning at Hance Rapids, at the mouth of Red Canyon and running 70 or so miles west to Elves Chasm.

Tonto Trail

Toroweap Formation

Trails, Hiking

Trans-Canyon Shuttle

Transept Canyon
Transept Canyon, also know more simply as The Transept, is a north rim tributary canyon of Bright Angel Canyon. The Transept is also the largest of these tributary canyons and it runs parallel to and just slightly south of Roaring Springs Canyon. It joins with Bright Angel Canyon slightly north of Cottonwood Camp which makes it a popular spot for day hikers from that area. There is no trail, maintained or otherwise, going up Transept Canyon, which makes good route finding abilities a must. There are two trails on the north rim that follow along the edge of the canyon, these being the Transept Trail, which follows along the its northeastern edge from the north rim campground to the Grand Canyon Lodge, and the Widforss Trail, which follows the head of canyon and southwestern edge from the Widforss trailhead to Widforss Point.

Transept Trail


Trip reports

Tusayan, Arizona

Tusayan Ruins
The Tusayan Ruin has been dated to approximately A.D. 1185 and was thought to be inhabited from around A.D. 500 to around A.D. 1200. The peoples that inhabited the site were of the Puebloan culture and have been linked to other Pueblo cultures in the area through the careful examination of the pottery remains found on the site.

The Tusayan Ruin and Museum can be found near the eastern end of the Desert View Drive, about 3 miles west of Desert View.

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Uncle Jim Trail

Unkar Creek
Unkar Creek is a drainage that comes down from the north rim. The delta that has formed where it joins with the Colorado River is famous for some very nice archaeological sites left by the ancient Anasazi culture. The delta is a restricted area because of its archaeological value and requires a special permit from the Park Service for visitation.

The Unkar Creek Overlook along the Escalante Route on the south side of the river, is a good place from which to view the site. Some foundations can be made out as well as some irrigation ditches. There is also an Anasazi ruin located on a ridge near the overlook. To visit the Unkar Creek overlook requires a trip of at least 3 days into the backcountry, for which a permit is required.

Photos of the area:

Unkar Group

USGS - United States Geological Survey

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Vasey's Paradise
Located at river mile 31.9, Vasey's Paradise [photo] is a waterfall that gushes directly from a cave in the Redwall Limestone. The abundance of water has provided a perfect habitat for a number of plant species, including, unfortunately, poison ivy. The name of Vasey's Paradise was given to the location by John Wesley Powell who named it in honor of botanist George W. Vasey who had accompanied him on a prior expedition in the Rocky Mountains some years before. Vasey's Paradise is located about one-tenth of a mile south of Stanton's Cave.

Vishnu Schist

Visitor Center

Vital statistics

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We Cook Pizza And Pasta


Hermit Road

What to see and do

Widforss Trail


Williams, Arizona
Williams, Arizona is the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon". It is located about 50 miles south of the Grand Canyon at the junction of Interstate-40 and Arizona state route 67, which can be used to reach the Canyon.

The Grand Canyon Railway operates a vintage steam engine that is used to transport passengers between the depot in Williams and Grand Canyon Village.

Wupatki National Monument

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Yaki Point
Yaki Point is most notably famous for being the trailhead for the South Kaibab Trail. It is also a very nice spot to watch either sunrise or sunset. Zoroaster Temple across the canyon, on the other side of the Colorado River, is one of the more dominant features.

Yavapai Lodge

Yavapai Point
Yavapai Point provides one of the most dramatic views of the inner canyon. The Yavapai Observation Station, which is also located there, has some very interesting geologic exhibits and offers a panoramic view of the Canyon through its large picture windows. The Grand Canyon Association also operates a bookstore here.

Yavapai Cafeteria

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Zion National Park

Zoroaster Temple
Zoroaster Temple is one of the more prominent geologic features of the Grand Canyon. It is located directly across the canyon from both Yavapai and Yaki Points, near the head of Bright Angel Creek, which makes it a popular landmark for most people visiting the Canyon. The image of Zoroaster Temple as seen from Yaki Point, is used on the home page of this document and other images of it can be found throughout the remainder Another very fine view of Zoroaster Temple is from the Clear Creek Trail, which passes directly in front of it on the north side of the Colorado River.

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Copyright © Bob Ribokas, 1994-2001, all rights reserved. This publication and its text and photos may not be copied for commercial use without the express written permission of Bob Ribokas.