GRAND CANYON

The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest spectacles on the face of the earth. 

Grand Canyon was made by a river! The waters of the Colorado River cut out this great gorge in thousands of years. When you consider that it was cut out of solid rock in many places, you begin to appreciate the tremendous force of these waters.

 

Even now, year by year, the rushing Colorado continues to cut deeper into the bottom of the gorge.

 

In certain places, the gorge of the Grand Canyon is more than a mile deep, and it is from four to 18 miles wide. As the river cut deep into the plateau to form the canyon, it laid bare on the rock walls of the canyon the story of hundreds of millions of years of the earth’s history.

Down at the bottom of the gorge beside the river, ancient, crystalline rock is exposed. This is the buried remnant of an ancient mountain range that was folded back on itself and was worn down by weather and water. The rise and fall of this mountain range millions of years ago is revealed only by the erosion of the Grand Canyon.

 

 

On the base of this buried mountain range are beds of quartzite, sandstone, and limestone. They were formed as age followed age, as ocean waters from the east and the west flooded the section, and as whole mountain ranges rose and disappeared. Proof of the fact that great seas once rushed over these rocks is to be found in the fossils that turn up here. There are fossil remains of seaweed, sea shells, and fishes!

 

 

The first white man to see the Grand Canyon was a Spanish explorer, Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, who discovered it in 1540. Today, the Government has taken the most beautiful and interesting section, 1,009 square miles in area, and set it aside as Grand Canyon National Park. Thousands of visitors come every year to marvel at it, and it is even possible to go by mule down to the Colorado River at the bottom.

GRAND CANYON

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