Grand Canyon From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the canyon in the southwestern United States. For other Grand Canyons, see Grand Canyon (disambiguation). The Grand Canyon is a very colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park — one of the first national parks in the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of conservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery. Christmas Day 2006, South Rim The canyon, created by the Colorado River over about 6 million years, is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 24 kilometers), and attains a depth of more than a mile (1.6 km). Nearly two billion years of the Earth's history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. During prehistory, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540. The Grand Canyon was largely unknown until after the U.S. Civil War. In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran with a thirst for science and adventure, made the first recorded journey through the canyon on the Colorado River. He accomplished this trek with nine men in four small wooden boats, though only six men completed the journey. Powell referred to the sedimentary rock units exposed in the canyon as "leaves in a great story book". Delicate Arch From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Delicate Arch is a freestanding natural arch located in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, USA. It is the most widely-recognized landmark in Arches National Park and is depicted on both Utah license plates and a postage stamp commemorating Utah's centennial anniversary of statehood in 1996. The Olympic torch relay for the 2002 Winter Olympics passed through the arch. Delicate Arch History Because of its distinctive shape, the arch was known as "the Chaps" and "the Schoolmarm's Bloomers" by local cowboys. It was given its current name by Frank Beckwith, leader of the Arches National Monument Scientific Expedition, who explored the area in the winter of 1933-1934. (The story that the names of Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch were inadvertently exchanged due to a signage mixup by the National Park Service is false.) The arch played no part in the original designation of the area as a U.S. National Monument in 1929, and was not included within the original boundaries; it was added when the monument was enlarged in 1938. In the 1950s, the National Park Service investigated the possibility of applying a clear plastic coating to the arch to protect it from further erosion and eventual destruction. The idea was ultimately abandoned as impractical and contrary to NPS principles.