Grand Canyon National Park World Heritage Site
Parc national du Grand Canyon, United States
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Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States' oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,902 mi2 (4927 km2) of unincorporated area in Coconino County and Mohave County.
Most visitors to the park come to the South Rim, arriving on Arizona State Route 64. The Highway enters the park through the South Entrance, near Tusayan, Arizona, and heads eastward, leaving the park through the East Entrance. All park accommodations are operated by the Xanterra corporation. Park headquarters are at Grand Canyon Village, a short distance from the South Entrance, being also the center of the most popular viewpoints. Some thirty miles of the South Rim are accessible by road. A much smaller venue for tourists is found on the North Rim, accessed by Arizona State Route 67. There is no road connection between the two within Arizona except via the Navajo Bridge, near Page, Arizona, entailing a five-hour drive. Otherwise, the two rims of the Canyon are connected via Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Hoover Dam.
The rest of the Grand Canyon is extremely rugged and remote, although many places are accessible by pack trail and backcountry roads.
The area around the Grand Canyon became a national monument on January 11, 1908, and was designated national park on February 26, 1919. The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) In 1979, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site.
The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.
The Grand Canyon Association (GCA) is the National Park Service's official non-profit partner raising private funds to benefit Grand Canyon National Park. It operates retail shops and visitor centers within the park, and provides educational opportunities about the natural and cultural history of the region. It was founded by naturalist Edwin D. McKee in February 1932 as the Grand Canyon Natural History Association.
In October 1994, the association's board of directors approved changing the name of the association from Grand Canyon Natural History Association to Grand Canyon Association, in part to emphasize an expanding list of services, books, and products focusing on cultural history, thus not always fitting the bill of "natural history."
In 2010, Grand Canyon National Park was honored with its own coin under the America the Beautiful Quarters program.
GCA publishes 3 to 5 books on average annually. Topics of their books include original research on the Grand Canyon, scientific monographs, American Indian history, and guidebooks.
In association with Grand Canyon National Park, GCA copublishes the park's newspaper, The Guide, with translations in many languages, including Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Korean, and Italian. Grand Canyon is one of America's major attractions.
A 1938 poster of Grand Canyon National Park.
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
A view from the South Rim.
A rockfall as seen from the North Rim.
La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site
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