Information, Grand Canyon National Park
This can confuse the heck out of visitors to the Four Corners region.
Arizona is one of only two states which doesn’t observe daylight savings time. This means that from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November they run one hour behind the time in the bordering states of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
But to further muddle the matter, the Navajo Nation - which covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah - DOES observe DST so time in Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Chinle or other locations within Arizona reservation land is one hour AHEAD of time at the Grand Canyon and other parts of the state during the same period.
Now, to really mess with your head, the Hopi Nation - which has reservation land within the borders of the Navajo Nation, within the state of Arizona - does NOT observe DST so they’re on the same time as the Grand Canyon during the same period but not Monument Valley or Canyon de Chelly: remember that if the visiting First, Second or Third Mesa area.
This is really only a problem if you want to be at, say, Monument Valley before the scenic drive closes at 8:00 PM (summer months)? That would only be 7:00 PM in much of the rest of Arizona so allow for an extra hour or so to get there in time.
Make sense? I didn’t think so.
I'll mention this again in case you didn't read my "Where it belongs" review about trash.
The park does not sell individual bottles of water. Not any. Or not under a one-gallon size, anyway. Disposable plastic water bottles create a big litter problem for more than just our parks, and create tons of unnecessary trash besides.
Fresh, perfectly drinkable spring water is available for free from taps located at 10 locations on the South Rim, and 3 on the North so bring along a reusable bottle and fill 'er up.
Forgot your bottle? Pick one up at just about any gift shop or market in the park.
We Dutchies are very famous for the fact that we like things to get for free! LOL. The Grand Canyon Official Map and Guide is free but also very usefull. We recieved this one at the information centre and were glad to have one.
We took 2 of them and used one for our Diary of a madman and the other one was for the very useful information and maps. Here is a summary of the information found in the Grand Canyon Map and Guide:
* Information of facilities, services and programs;
* Warning about hiking;
* Detailed map of the region;
* Climate information;
* Park Programs;
* Wildlife information;
* Places to visit;
* Et cetera.
Take your Grand Canyon Official Map and Guide, because it's very usefull.
The rocks that make up the walls of the Canyon range from 250 million years old (Coconino Sandstone) at the top to over 2 billion years old (Vishnu Schist) at the bottom. Each layer of rock represents a distinct geologic period of the Earth's past, and no where else on the planet is such a large section of geologic time displayed so well. The rocks that are found in the Grand Canyon represent a full 1/3 of our planet's age and are composed of, for the most part sediments in the upper sections, and to a lesser extent metamorphic and volcanic rock in the lower reaches.
The south rim of the Grand Canyon is for the most part a desert. There is no surface water to be found anywhere in the area and there are few springs. The plants and animals that live on the south rim have, over millions of years, adapted to these conditions to present the flora and fauna that you see today. Trees like the Pinon Pine and Utah Juniper that require very little water and are very good at storing the little that happens to find their roots, do very well here. There are some groves of Douglas Fir scattered here and there along the south rim, most of these being in the area of the visitor center and along the East Rim Drive. Along with the conifers there is also a healthy population of cacti, agave and yucca plants on the south rim.
Some of the animals to be seen on the south rim include Mule Deer, Rock Squirrels, Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels, Ravens, Pinon Jays and a few Grand Canyon Bighorn Sheep.
All of the water that is used on the south rim comes from Roaring Springs, at the junction of Bright Angel and Roaring Springs Canyons on the north rim. The water flows through a pipeline from the pumping station at Roaring Springs, down Bright Angel Canyon, across the Colorado River, and up to Indian Gardens, from where it is pumped up to the south rim. Breaks in the pipeline are not uncommon and can raise havoc with the water supply on the south rim.
The first European to view the Grand Canyon was Captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas in 1540. Cardenas was sent north from Mexico by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola (Gold). Cardenas and his party spent three days at the Canyon, trying to get down to the river, until depleted supplies forced them to give up. It was some three centuries before the Europeans would return to the Grand Canyon, when in 1869 Major John Wesley Powell became the first person to explore the entire length of the Canyon.
The north rim of the Canyon is sometimes referred to as the 'other' Grand Canyon. It's a different world up there on the north side. The scenery is different, the climate is different, the plants and animals are different and even the people are different...the place is isolated folks!!!
From the south rim, as the crow flies, the north rim is only 12 miles away, but by automobile it's a long drive of 215 miles, and 5 hours to the other side. The normal hustle and bustle that the peak tourist season sees on the south side never really happens on the north side. To visit the north rim is to understand the meaning of the term "laid back."
It rains much more frequently on the north rim than the south and the winters on the north rim are much more intense with snowfalls of up to 25 feet (7.7 m) not being uncommon. Because of this damp climate the large conifers such as the Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine are the dominant trees.
Deciduous trees, such as the Birch and Aspen are also to be found in scattered groves. Some animals that can be found on the north rim are Mule Deer, Rock Squirrels, Kaibab Squirrels, Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels, Ravens, Pinon Jays, Steller's Jay, Wild Turkeys, Coyote, Lynx, Mountain Lion and Bear.
The north rim was not visited by Europeans until 236 years after the South Rim, when in 1776 Father Escalante became the first European to visit the north rim. Another reason for the north rim being so isolated is because it's ownership remained questionable well into the 20th century. Both Arizona and Utah claimed the territory and it wasn't until Arizona was granted statehood in 1912 that the issue was finally decided.
Hunting on the north rim was also very popular and one of the most notable hunters who frequented the area was president Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt eventually declared the area a Game Preserve and in 1919 persuaded Congress to protect the area by declaring it a national park.