By Peggy L Henderson
Last month, I was on a week-long camping trip to the Grand Canyon, and missed my post. I stayed on the rim while my husband and several boyscouts backpacked into the canyon. Starting at the south rim, they covered about 50 miles in four days, hiking into the canyon, across and to the top of the north rim, then back down, across, and up the South Rim again.
This post was meant to go up last month while I was on this trip, but during the packing frenzy and getting ready, I forgot to actually hit “publish.” So, I missed my post last month, but this month, here are some interesting facts about the Grand Canyon:
1. The Grand Canyon is neither the world's longest or deepest gorge. It averages about a mile deep, and is roughly 277 miles long.
2. At its narrowest, the Grand Canyon is only 600 yards across. At its widest, it spans 18 miles.
3. On average, the canyon is only 10 miles wide from rim to rim, but crossing by foot takes 21 miles, and driving by car is a 251-mile, five-hour trip.
4. In the 1950s, passenger flights would sometimes detour over the Grand Canyon for a better view. On June 30, 1956, two planes flying from Los Angeles to Chicago, a United Airlines DC-7 and a TWA Constellation, had both asked for permission to fly into the canyon’s air space. They collided directly over the canyon, killing everyone on board. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was created in 1958 as a result of the crash.
5. There are six species of rattlesnake found in the Grand Canyon, one of has a pink hue that matches the rocks found there. The Grand Canyon pink rattlesnake is the most common snake in the park.
6. The Paiute Indian tribe calls the canyon Kaibab, which means "mountain lying down" or "mountain turned upside down."
7. One-armed war veteran John Wesley Powell, who charted the Colorado River's course in 1891 and 1892 in a wooden boat, was the first to consistently use the name "Grand Canyon."
Peggy L Henderson is a laboratory technologist by night, and best-selling western historical and time travel romance author of the Yellowstone Romance Series, Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Teton Romance Trilogy, and Blemished Brides Western Historical Romance Series. When she’s not writing about Yellowstone, the Tetons, or the old west, she’s out hiking the trails, spending time with her family and pets, or catching up on much-needed sleep. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Along with her husband and two sons, she makes her home in Southern California.