A report on Colorado River and Grand Canyon

Image of the Grand Canyon and surrounding area taken from the International Space Station
Headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The Grand Canyon from an airplane, with the Colorado River visible
Colorado River in the Grand Canyon seen from Pima Point, near Hermit's Rest
Grand Canyon, Arizona, Nevada, Lake Powell to Lake Mead, June 27, 2017, Sentinel-2 true-color satellite image. Scale 1:450,000.
Satellite view of the Colorado River valley near Yuma, Arizona; interstate 8 runs from left to right just below center.
Diagram showing the placement, age and thickness of the rock units exposed in the Grand Canyon
Colorado River as it exits the United States into Mexico beneath the San Luis Colorado-Colonia Miguel Aléman Bridge (September 2009)
Rockfalls in recent times, along with other mass wasting, have further widened the canyon
The San Juan River near Mexican Hat, Utah
Ancestral Puebloan granaries at Nankoweap Creek
The Green River at Mineral Bottom, just north of Canyonlands National Park
La conquista del Colorado (2017), by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, depicts Spanish Captain García López de Cárdenas 1540 expedition
Annual Colorado River discharge volumes at Lee's Ferry between 1895 and 2004
William Bell's photograph of the Grand Canyon, taken in 1872 as part of the Wheeler expedition
Map showing the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basin, and adjacent areas supplied by Colorado River water.
Noon rest in Marble Canyon, second Powell Expedition, 1872
The Black Suspension Bridge crosses the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon at Phantom Ranch, Arizona.
Desert View Watchtower in 2004
Remnants of basalt flows from the Uinkaret volcanic field are seen here descending into the Grand Canyon, where they dammed the Colorado over 10 times in the past 2 million years.
1923-built steam locomotive No. 4960 at the Grand Canyon Depot
Navajo woman and child, photographed by Ansel Adams, c. 1944
Grand Canyon covered with snow
Pueblos and cliff dwellings such as this one in New Mexico were inhabited by people of the Colorado River basin between 2,000 and 700 years ago.
Smoke from prescribed fires on the South Rim, as seen from Yavapai Point, April 2007.
Two Mohave warriors beside the Colorado River in 1871
Natural fog sometimes fills the canyon, during temperature inversions
La conquista del Colorado, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, depicts Francisco Vázquez de Coronado's 1540–1542 expedition
Grand Canyon Climate Summary Chart (NPS)
Coronado Sets Out to the North, by Frederic Remington, c. 1905
A bighorn ram perched on a cliff in the Grand Canyon
Lithograph of Fort Yuma, c. 1875
A bighorn ewe at the Grand Canyon, 2008
Marble Canyon, one of the many gorges that Powell's expedition traversed
A California condor in flight, photographed from Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon, 2008. Wild condors are numbered to aid wildlife researchers. As of April 2009, there were 172 wild California condors known.
The steamboat Mohave No. 2 at Yuma, c. 1876
Red-tailed Hawk flying at the south rim of Grand Canyon
John D. Lee, date and photographer unknown. He established a permanent ferry across the Colorado.
An elk searching for water at Grand Canyon National Park in 2018.
Harrison Gray Otis, president of the Colorado River Land Company
Rafters in the Grand Canyon pass one of the rapids of the (mud-)"colored" Colorado River
Hoover Dam releasing water in 1998
Guano Point – a popular vantage point for tourists, situated on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, Hualapai Indian Reservation
The Grand Ditch, one of the earliest water diversions of the Colorado River, is still in use today.
Grand Canyon rescue helicopter, 1978
Hoover Dam under construction, 1934
Ribbon Falls, near the North Kaibab Trail, represents ground water reaching the surface.
The Imperial Dam (bottom right) diverts water into the All-American Canal (center) running towards Imperial Valley.
David Rust, ca.1910
Glen Canyon Dam, the largest dam of the Colorado River Storage Project
Railway Station and El Tovar Hotel, Facing WNW, Grand Canyon Village. 1994 photo, HAER
The main canal of the Central Arizona Project, crossing the Sonoran Desert
Fred Harvey postcard, The Towering Cliffs above Hermit Camp
Lake Mead in 2010, showing the "bathtub ring" left behind by low water levels
Vishnu rock, Trail of Time, Grand Canyon
Heavily forested banks of the Colorado River near Topock, Arizona
The Colorado was named for the reddish color caused by its natural sediment loads, but damming the river has caused it to acquire a clear green hue as seen here in lower Glen Canyon.
A rafting party on the Colorado River

The Grand Canyon (,, Bidááʼ Haʼaztʼiʼ Tsékooh, Southern Paiute language: Paxa’uipi, Gran Cañón or Gran Cañón del Colorado ) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States.

- Grand Canyon

Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, it flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border.

- Colorado River

18 related topics with Alpha

Overall

A map of the Colorado Plateau.

Colorado Plateau

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Physiographic and desert region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States.

Physiographic and desert region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States.

A map of the Colorado Plateau.
The Four Corners region and the Colorado Plateau. Click image to see state lines.
The Book Cliffs of Utah.
The Green River runs north to south from Wyoming, briefly through Colorado, and converges with the Colorado River in southeastern Utah.
MODIS satellite image of Grand Canyon, Lake Powell (black, left of center) and the Colorado Plateau. White areas are snow-capped.
The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah that makes up much of the famous prominent rock formations in protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park. From top to bottom: rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone; layered red Kayenta Formation; cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone; slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation; layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation; and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah.
Castle Gate rock formation in Carbon County, UT.
Navajo sandstone cliffs in Zion National Park.
Sunset in Ojito Wilderness, near Albuquerque, NM
Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper, UT.

About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its main tributaries: the Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado.

In the southwest corner of the Colorado Plateau lies the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.

1938 poster of the park

Grand Canyon National Park

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15th site in the United States to have been named as a national park.

15th site in the United States to have been named as a national park.

1938 poster of the park
Grand Canyon Quarter
Grand Canyon regional map
From Powell Point on the South Rim
Sunset at Cape Royal Point, North Rim. Wotans Throne featured.
From Toroweap Overlook on the North Rim
From Desert View on the South Rim

The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Wonders of the World.

Arizona

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Landlocked state in the Western United States, grouped in the Southwestern and occasionally Mountain subregions.

Landlocked state in the Western United States, grouped in the Southwestern and occasionally Mountain subregions.

La conquista del Colorado, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, depicts Francisco Vázquez de Coronado's 1540–1542 expedition
Mexico in 1824. Alta California is the northwesternmost state.
Geronimo (far right) and his Apache warriors fought against both Mexican and American settlers.
Children of Depression-era migrant workers, Pinal County, 1937
Eleanor Roosevelt at the Gila River relocation center, April 23, 1943
Köppen climate types of Arizona
The Grand Canyon
View of suburban development in Scottsdale, 2006
A population density map of Arizona
Extent of the Spanish language in the state of Arizona
A Navajo man on horseback in Monument Valley
The Spanish mission of San Xavier del Bac, founded in 1700
Arizona's Meteor Crater is a tourist attraction.
Entering Arizona on I-10 from New Mexico
The original Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix
Art Deco doors of the Cochise County Courthouse in Bisbee
Arizona teacher's strike and rally on April 26, 2018
The University of Arizona (the Mall) in Tucson
Arizona State University (a biodesign building) in Tempe
Northern Arizona University (The Skydome) in Flagstaff
View of Monument Valley from John Ford's Point
Standin' on the Corner Park and mural in Winslow, Arizona
State Farm Stadium in Glendale
A spring training game between the Cubs and White Sox at HoHoKam Park
Romaine, Yuma
Leaf, Yuma
Harvesting spinach during WW2
frameless
Broccoli seed crop, Yuma
Cauliflower seed crop, WW2
Volunteer, Pine

Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a colorful, deep, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River.

Lonely Dell Ranch at Lee's Ferry Recreation Area,

Lees Ferry

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Lonely Dell Ranch at Lee's Ferry Recreation Area,
Man fly-fishing on the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, AZ
Historic desert fruit orchard at Lee's Ferry Recreation Area.
Hiking trail along the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry Recreation Area.
View of the Colorado River from Lees Ferry
One of the surviving buildings at Lonely Dell, the settlement established by John D. Lee at Lees Ferry in 1870
Standing 467 ft above the river, the original Navajo Bridge (rear) superseded ferry operations at Lees Ferry in 1929. The second bridge was built in 1995 to accommodate modern traffic load requirements.
Map showing the Colorado River basin and some of its major reservoirs; Lees Ferry (slightly left of center) is located directly below Page, Arizona and Lake Powell.
Inflatable rafts lined up for launch at Lee's Ferry

Lees Ferry (also known as Lee's Ferry, Lee Ferry, Little Colorado Station and Saints Ferry ) is a site on the Colorado River in Coconino County, Arizona in the United States, about 7.5 mi southwest of Page and 9 mi south of the Utah–Arizona state line.

Today Lees Ferry is a well-known fishing and boat launching point, including for whitewater rafting trips through the Grand Canyon.

Glen Canyon Dam

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Panorama of Glen Canyon Dam showing Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam and Carl Hayden Visitor Center.
A boater on the river in Glen Canyon before damming, circa 1898.
Map showing locations of major dams in the Colorado River Basin, with Glen Canyon near the center of the basin.
Echo Park, looking south with the Yampa River (left) joining the Green River. The USBR proposed damming the Green a short distance downstream, behind the large cliff (Steamboat Rock) at right.
Near Music Temple in Glen Canyon during the 1870s
Glen Canyon damsite from the air in November 1957, prior to construction of the Glen Canyon Bridge
Architectural plans for the Glen Canyon Dam and ancillary structures
Glen Canyon Dam under construction, 1962
Lake Powell filling underway, 1965
Glen Canyon Dam releasing floodwater in 1984, testing repairs of the spillways which were heavily damaged in 1983.
The right spillway gates during 1983 flood, showing flashboards that were installed to increase the water level
Low water levels on Lake Powell in April 2006, seen from Hole in the Rock. The water is 107 ft below the top of the "bathtub ring" along the reservoir shore.
An aerial view of Glen Canyon Dam from upstream, showing the spillways to lower left and right, the Glen Canyon Bridge and the electric switchyard to the right of the bridge.
Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell
Francis turbine runner on display
A generator being repaired with rotor removed
View of the power plant and grass lawn
Inside the turbine hall at the Glen Canyon Power Plant
View of the Colorado immediately downstream of Glen Canyon Dam (right). The green, clear water is caused by the dam trapping sediment, which would naturally cause the river to have a reddish-brown color.
The Colorado River is now much calmer and colder than before the dam was built.
River outlet works are open during high flow experiment in December 2012.
Map of Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon NRA
Chart showing daily water volume observations for Lake Powell, from Jun 28, 1963 to October 11, 2021
Lake Powell surface area shrinkage

Glen Canyon Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River in northern Arizona, United States, near the town of Page.

The dam is named for Glen Canyon, a series of deep sandstone gorges now flooded by the reservoir; Lake Powell is named for John Wesley Powell, who in 1869 led the first expedition to traverse the Colorado River's Grand Canyon by boat.

John Wesley Powell's second expedition on a noon-day rest in Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon

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John Wesley Powell's second expedition on a noon-day rest in Marble Canyon
A panoramic view of Marble Canyon from Navajo Bridge.
Looking into Marble Canyon, Shinumo Altar in the distance.

Marble Canyon is the section of the Colorado River canyon in northern Arizona from Lee's Ferry to the confluence with the Little Colorado River, which marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon.

Little Colorado River

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The Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River, seen at peak flow in April
The Little Colorado River in its canyon
Navajo Indians crossing the Little Colorado River, ca.1900
The Little Colorado River (right)'s confluence with the Colorado River (center). Note that the Little Colorado is a light brown color caused by recent cloudbursts, while the Colorado is an emerald green. When Powell and his crew arrived here in 1869, it was this color of the river that they saw, while the Colorado's green color is caused by Glen Canyon Dam trapping sediment.
The St. Josieph Bridge a.k.a. the Lost Pratt Pony Truss Bridge built in 1912 over the Little Colorado River in Joseph City, Arizona
Aerial view toward Springerville, Arizona, and the region of the source of the Little Colorado River. Some farm land in the river bottom land is visible at the bottom.

The Little Colorado River is a tributary of the Colorado River in the U.S. state of Arizona, providing the principal drainage from the Painted Desert region.

The lower 57.2 mi is known as the Little Colorado River Gorge and forms one of the largest arms of the Grand Canyon, at over 3000 ft deep where it joins the Colorado near Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park.

Southwestern United States

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Geographic and cultural region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent portions of California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

Geographic and cultural region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent portions of California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

Panoramic view of the southwestern United States
The Chihuahuan desert terrain mainly consists of basins broken by numerous small mountain ranges.
Saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert.
The Delicate Arch at Arches National Park
Four Corners Monument
Ancestral Puebloans ruins at Chaco Canyon
Map of Paleo-Indians in the American Southwest and Mexico
Oraibi pueblo
Narváez expedition (1528–36)
1846 map: Mexican Alta California (Upper California) in pink.
United States 1849–1850
United States 1850–1853
1860 Colorado Territory map
Utah Territory evolution 1850–1868
Confederate Arizona (outlined in blue)
Split of Arizona and New Mexico territories, in 1866, after small portion ceded to Nevada
The second transcontinental railroad: the "Santa Fe Route" – 1891.
Sandia Peak Ski Area, New Mexico
Map of the Southwestern United States as defined by the Learning Center of the American Southwest
The Wigwam. A dwelling used by various Native American tribes among the Southwestern US.
Fanciful drawing by Marguerite Martyn in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of October 21, 1906, headed "Passing of the Country Store in the Southwest"
A Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia)
The High Plains in Eastern New Mexico, but also located in Eastern Colorado and West Texas
Desert bighorn sheep
Sonoran Desert terrain near Tucson
Chihuahuan Desert terrain near Carlsbad
Monument Canyon, some of the high desert lands found in Colorado
Grand Canyon from the South Rim
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
Little Finland in Gold Butte National Monument, Nevada
Runningback Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team
T. J. McFarland pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball team.
1. Phoenix (also the largest MSA)
2. El Paso (5th largest MSA)
3. Las Vegas (2nd largest MSA)
4. Albuquerque (also the 4th largest MSA)
5. Tucson (3rd largest MSA)

The two major rivers of the region are the Colorado River, running in the northern and western areas, and the Rio Grande, running in the east, north to south.

The most dramatic example is the Grand Canyon.

Francisco Vázquez Coronado in the Plaza Mayor de Salamanca

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado

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Spanish conquistador and explorer who led a large expedition from what is now Mexico to present-day Kansas through parts of the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542.

Spanish conquistador and explorer who led a large expedition from what is now Mexico to present-day Kansas through parts of the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542.

Francisco Vázquez Coronado in the Plaza Mayor de Salamanca
The Coronado Expedition (1540–1542) from Mexico north through the future U.S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Coronado Sets Out to the North (Frederic Remington, c. 1900)
The Coronado Expedition, 1540–1542 (DjVu format)
La conquista del Colorado, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, depicts Coronado's 1540–1542 expedition.
Episode from the Conquest of America by Jan Mostaert (c. 1545), probably Vázquez de Coronado in New Mexico

His expedition marked the first European sightings of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, among other landmarks.

The Latter-day Saints' Apostle to the Indians, scout, and colonist of American West

Jacob Hamblin

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Western pioneer, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and a diplomat to various Native American tribes of the Southwest and Great Basin.

Western pioneer, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and a diplomat to various Native American tribes of the Southwest and Great Basin.

The Latter-day Saints' Apostle to the Indians, scout, and colonist of American West
Location of Jacob Hamblin's home in the Mountain Meadows
Hamblin's home in Santa Clara
Hopi village of Oraibi
The Vermillion Cliffs near Lee's Ferry
Aerial photograph of Jacob Hamblin Park, Kanab Utah, spring 2017
Map showing Jacob Hamblin's documented travels from 1854-1878

He traveled southeast through Pipe Springs, crossed the Buckskin Mountain (Kaibab Plateau), and forded the Colorado River at the Crossing of the Fathers which is now under Lake Powell at Padre Bay.

In 1870 he also acted as an adviser to John Wesley Powell before his second journey through the Grand Canyon.