Mitchell and Jack's Grand Canyon Photo Journal

The Grand Canyon Hike

When we first arrived at the Grand Canyon, it was snowing. Hard. We could hardly see any part of the canyon, just the parts on our side of the rim. You could see the snow swirling around.
Every once in a while it would start to clear up, just a little bit, like in the picture below. However, it would just snow harder, and make the canyon invisible again.


Further along the hike, we found some elk next to the path. We saw about seven total elk on the hike. The elk were acting natural, almost like they didn't even see us.The guide said that the only reason he was letting us be so close was the barbed wire fence between us. Plus, he said that the elk's natural predator, the wolf, had been driven out of the canyon, so their populations were too high for the safety of some of the plants.


The snow coated all of the trees with a white layer, making it very beautiful when looking around the rim.

After the hike was over, the snow finally stopped, so we actually got to see the extent of the canyon! It seemed like it went on forever, with no end in sight.


The Grand Canyon was huge! From rim to rim, it was 17 miles across, and about 1 mile deep. While we were there, it was pretty much snowing the entire time. It wasn't sticking to the ground much at first, but then it really started to pick up, and the snow coated everything! You could see the swirling of the snow when it was backed by a canyon wall. Our hike was great, it was good exercise, we learned a lot and we got to hike around the beautiful Grand Canyon. The snow made our experience even more interesting. The snowfall was great especially because we never get it here in Tucson, however it made it tough to see the canyon and hike along the rim of it. We got to see elk. They were about 10 to 15 feet away from us! It was great, we were protected by the fencing so they didn't bother us and we didn't bother them and we even got to see them in their natural habitat. Although we enjoyed the view and had fun looking at the canyon, we also learned lots about it. Our tour guide was great, he gave us lots of information about the canyon and who and when it was discovered. The man who led the expedition that discovered the canyon was John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran. He and his crew faced the threat of starvation and the rapids on the journey. In the canyon, there are over 40 fault lines in the canyon, and you can occasionally feel tremors. The two dams on the river, the Hoover dam and the Glenn Canyon dam have affected the river dramatically. There are no longer any huge rapids, as the dams slow the river down by a lot. The dams have also caused many of the native fish to leave. The canyon was beautiful, even though it was hard to see the canyon itself because of all the snowfall. I had a blast learning about it and hiking along the rim and I hope that I would get the chance to see it in person again.

The Glenn Canyon dam was huge! While standing on the bridge, you could barely see the bottom!
The walls of Glenn canyon stood at about 1400 ft at there highest. Looking up, you had to strain to see all the way up.

Along the river, we stopped to go to the bathroom and look at some indian pictographs. They were pictures of animals and a man, as well as other unidentifiable objects.

Here are two of the horseshoe turns on the river. Apparently, the Colorado River is known for these turns. One minute you're looking one direction, the next you're looking the other way.

Here's a view of the river from up above on a bridge. It looks muddy, but it's actually pretty clear because of the dam. This was on our way towards Wupatki and Sunset Crater.

Glenn Canyon was amazing. The river was clear, cold, and dark because of the dam, which took water from down lower, making it colder and more clear than in front of the dam. Along the river in little sheltered areas, you would see ducks and other birds swimming and fishing. Near the beginning, we saw a heron! At one point, the air was literally filled with swallows. All along the walls you could make out shapes, like faces. One darker area of the wall looked like Pac Man eating a ghost. On the trip down the river, we would stop and look at the walls or the river. At one straight near the end, all the boat drivers would swerve in each others wakes, splashing all of the water onto us! It was a lot of fun. Glenn Canyon has 42 layers of rock, mostly sandstone. At one point, people would try to sell the land with a specific type of green rock that supposedly had gold in it. There was, but after 10 years, all they had gotten was abouy $69 worth of gold. The canyon was really cool, and if anyone wants to go to the Grand Canyon, I highly recommend the river trip.

Wupatki National Monument Wupatki National Monument was great. We got to see buildings constructed by the Indians. The Indians built many buildings. The had a circle for meetings, separate rooms in all their houses for different things and even a sports arena.


The Indians were very creative with their houses. All their buildings were made out of stone and brick. Some struggles that they had in their designs include, not enough space, not enough brick or unnecessary rocks that were not possible to move. They would use these boulders as part of their design instead.


These are some rooms that were once part of the building.


This is the blow hole. There is an underground lava tube somewhere beneath here, and depending on the pressure outside of the tube, it will either blow or suck air. While we were there, it was blowing, but not very strongly.

At Wupatki, the indian ruins were really cool. There was a sort of auditorium where they would gather, as well as a sports arena and a blow hole from a lava tube. The building was designed to use the environment to its advantage, using unmovable boulders as part of the wall, and building on what appeared to be a rock column. The buildings were made with flat stones held together by some sort of mortar. These was an awesome experience to look at the ruins and even go inside some of them. We learned a lot about the Indians and what they did and how they did it. They definitely had an interesting life style. We learned that wherever somebody died, that was where they were buried. the room was sealed off, and the body stayed there. We walked around the ruins, but we weren't able to touch them, because they were so fragile. Wupatki once had hundreds of people, and they were smart too, as is obvious if you look at their ruins, still standing today. The soil there is black, which makes sense, because when Sunset Crater erupted, it covered everything for miles under ash. We thought that Wupatki was really cool (mainly because of their really fancy vending machine). On one of the rocks, we even saw pictographs.

Sunset Crater

When Sunset Crater erupted, all the surrounding area for miles was coated in ash that turned the soil black.

This hill was made entirely of volcanic rock and lava that erupted from the volcano!
This is part of the lava flow that came from the mountain.

Most of the ground was filled with the ash. Even on the giant hills a ton of ash fills the ground. That means the ash must have erupted even over the small mountains and beyond! We took an exciting hike along Sunset Crater. It was great! The whole ground was covered in ash, so it made our walk interesting. We had to step over ash and over trees that the ash had destroyed. At many of the trees we would stop and smell them, as they were ponderosa pine, which smells like vanilla. Sunset Crater erupted hundreds of years ago. It spread ash and chunks of rock for miles. In fact, the explosion blew several thousand feet off the top of the mountain! We thought that Sunset Crater was the second best part of the trip, right behind the river trip. The volcano was amazing! Every direction you turned, you could see layers of black, volcanic rock stacked everywhere.