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Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: https://www.grandcanyonguide.net

The Canyon Contains A Lot of Earth’s History

Scientists have said that the Grand Canyon contains about 40% of the planet’s history. Examination and studying of the rock formation have revealed that rocks are dating back as far as 1.75 billion years ago, almost half of the planet’s age. Understanding the language of these rocks will tell us just what was taking place on Earth at that time and would help uncover a lot of the history that was taking place then.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: History

There aren’t very many places on Earth that can boast this kind of geological history that’s easy to see with one’s own eyes. Although it would take a skilled hand and expert eye to decipher the different parts of the Grand Canyon, it’s easy for anyone to see how deeply historical its features are. Keep reading to discover more amazing facts about the Grandy Canyon.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: https://pixabay.com

A View From Above

Before technology, if you wanted to get a view of the canyon from above, you’d have to rent a helicopter for a costly ride. Now, technology has made that more accessible and a little cheaper for tourists. The Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped steel frame with a see-through glass floor, suspended 70 feet above the ground. The Hualapai Tribe maintains it since the Skywalk resides on their lands. Since it’s construction, it has become one of the most famous attractions of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Westend 61

The Skywalk Bridge cost $30 million to construct since it took 100 million pounds of steel to erect. It was a partnership between the Hualapai Tribe and David Jin, a Chinese-American businessman. The Skywalk aimed to give visitors the perspective of being an eagle soaring effortlessly over the Grand Canyon and seeing all of the wonders that it held. It is a marvel of form and function existing with nature.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: grandcanyonwest.com

It Contains a Failed Poop Business

Because there are many caverns in the Grand Canyon, it is home to many bats. Moreover, because bats eat such a rich diet of insects, their guano is prized as being an excellent fertilizer for plants. So much that in the late 1950s, miners tried to extract it. In fact, they tried to get at least 1,000 tons of bat guano out of a single cave. They wanted to sell it to farmers and gardeners. It probably would have made them much money if they’d been successful.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Y Travel There

Unfortunately, the venture failed. There are remnants of the mine remaining in Grand Canyon West, including the terminus of a tram. No one has tried to monopolize the guano business since, but that’s probably for the best. That could have resulted in more devastation of the Grand Canyon’s natural habitat.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: Funerals360

You Can Have Your Ashes Spread There

It’s not unheard of for people to sprinkle the ashes of a loved one in an important place that can be visited in the future. The Grand Canyon is no different; it allows people to spread ashes as long as specific rules are observed. Human ashes can be scattered within the National Park as long as it is away from any roads, campgrounds, or buildings. That means that you’re going to have to go off-road to spread the ashes of your loved one.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: My Grand Canyon Park

Another rule is that the ashes cannot have any teeth, bone fragments, or recognizable remnants within them. That is likely to minimize tourists and hikers finding the remains and notifying the authorities. Visitors cannot place markers where ashes have been sprinkled to keep the Grand Canyon as pristine as possible.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: Treasured Memories

There are Rules for Being Buried Nearby

The Grand Canyon has its own Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery. However, only an elite few are allowed to be buried there, so there’s no point in trying to buy out a lot or wait for a burial reservation. The rules state a person must have worked in the park for at least three years to be buried there. Also, they must have made a significant contribution to the appreciation or understanding of the canyon itself.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Some of the people buried there are pioneers, administrators of the national park, and the Grand Canyon Village residents. John Hance, believed to be the first non-Native American resident of the Grand Canyon, was the first person buried there. The unidentified victims of the 1856 plane crash are also buried there. The cemetery is closed to new burials, but it is still open to visitors.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: Wikipedia

The Only National Park with a School District

Because people live in the park, it is the only national park in the country with its K-12 school district. It is now known as the Grand Canyon Unified District. The first elementary school was established in 1911. A loan provided the building, which was located south of the Bright Angel Trail’s present head. The country circuit judge back then even acted as a superintendent for some time.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Williams News

A few years later, lumber and labor were provided to build another school building that included a classroom and quarters for the teacher. The following year, the school opened with a total of twenty-nine students. A third building was added, using county funds, in 1916, and the location of the building was determined by the proximity to water and sewer lines. Today, the school district now serves up to 300 students every year.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: Visit Arizona

The Grand Canyon Provides for Wayward Hikers

Near the North Rim, there is a small guardhouse that is kept unlocked during the winter. That is because the park doesn’t close during the winter, allowing visitors and hikers to traverse the trails if they so wish. The guardhouse is stocked with food and water for those who need emergency shelter. That’s very thoughtful of the people who work within the park.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Democrat And Chronicle

Otherwise, there is a skeleton crew living at the North Rim during the winter months. When the snow falls, the residents move their cars down to Jacob Lake. However, then how do they get around when they need to? The answer is snowmobiles. They can go pretty fast through the snow, allowing the park workers to get to where they need to go.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: National Park Service

The Grand Canyon is Full of Lightning

You wouldn’t think that a gorge would be prone to lightning strikes, but don’t forget that the canyon is above sea-level. In a given year, the Grand Canyon can have as many as 25,000 lightning strikes within it. Visitors and tourists are presented with warnings throughout the year. Those who choose to see the canyon for themselves need to follow them. Some include checking the weather forecasts before hiking.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Reddit

It’s a good idea to know where the emergency phones are along the trails. Take note of where the closest buildings and vehicles are for people to seek shelter. If your hair suddenly stands on end, then there is a lightning strike coming. One should avoid open areas immediately and seek shelter away from lone trees, poles, railings, and bodies of water. If there is no shelter close by, look for lower ground that is not near water. Go into a crouched position in an open area. Have the feet of your heels touching and your hands over your ears with your head down.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: Wilderness River Adventures

You Have to Get a Permit to Float on the Colorado River

Many people think that because it’s in a national park, they can go to the river whenever they want and bring a floating ring. Nevertheless, that is not the case. One option is to reserve a commercial rafting trip, but you have to wait at least a month or so for an opening. People usually take this as an incentive to skip the wait, but they could end up with very hefty fines.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Wsj

Private rafting permits are the second option, and they are not easy to obtain either. They are issued based on a weighted lottery. Some people may wait as long as five years before they can even get a permit. That is because the park authorities only allow about 503 launches onto the Colorado River every year. That sounds like a lot, but when you consider the number of people who visit the park every year, that is a small handful of people.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: OARS

Many People Are Never Prepared for the Hike

Although the canyon can be quite beautiful and tempting, it shouldn’t be an invitation for anyone and everyone to consider hiking it. Only the fittest and experienced people should attempt it, and even then, they could end up being in big trouble. The park nationals’ most significant problem is that hikers never bring enough water on their hiking trip. Most people aren’t aware of the 20-degree temperature difference between the top of the canyon and the bottom.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Sunset

In fact, as many as 250 people have to be rescued within the canyon every year, either because they didn’t bring enough water or they wore the wrong footgear to hike in. It takes much effort to get back up to the top, almost twice as much as going down, so it shouldn’t be attempted by those who aren’t fit for strenuous exercises.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Credit: Canyonology Treks

Millions of Grand Canyon Stamps were Destroyed

One would think that government itself wouldn’t get basic facts wrong. Think again. In 1999, stamps were released bearing the image of the Grand Canyon. So what was the huge problem? Why did they have to be destroyed? It turns out that the 100 million stamps said that the Grand Canyon was in Colorado instead of Arizona, where it is located.

Grand Facts that Celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 6 Millionth Birthday
Photo Credit: Vintage Postage Stamps

Thankfully, they were reprinted, but not without another hiccup. The image used on the stamp has been flipped, meaning that it was a mirror image of the canyon’s realistic view. However, there was no plan to recall or destroy these stamps, so they went out into circulation. To think if they had just faxed the stamp’s image to the photographer who took the picture, he could have corrected the problem.

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