Lauren Gray and Lily Mirfakhraie's Grand Canyon Photo Journal.​

Water has worn away at this crevice

Hike on South Kaibab trail

The Grand Canyon was very cold, but pretty. It snowed and the fog was down in the canyon making it hard to see the bottom. We could still see the rock layers, in some areas. The hike took us to a monument dedicated to John Wesley Powell and his men. The view was spectacular. Our guide also pointed out the pinion trees and their expensive nuts. Only members of the Navajo nation are al
A beautiful view of the canyon
lowed to pick them. We also saw fossils of sea creatures in the limestone. At one time, the land we hiked on was under an ocean. She even told us the ways the canyon formed, the acronym DUDE. It stands for Deposition, Uplift, Downcut, and Erosion. We got a great surprise when we saw elk near the trail. They looked so content just eating there. We also went to the home of brother photographers. They were the first to shoot a movie about the canyon. Their house is a historic site, which means it cannot get torn down. Anything over 50 years old in a national park can not be knocked down or moved, even if it is a pile of rocks!

One of the wonderful birds we saw.
Monk Point, named by John Welsey Powell
River Trip on the Colorado River

It was warmer when we went on the river and no longer snowing. The water was still a chilly 47 degrees Fahrenheit because it is always taken from the bottom of Lake Powell. So it is this temperature year round, even in the summer. Our boats took us twelve miles into the canyon, around Horseshoe Bend. Along the way we saw layers of limestone and schist. We also saw birds and other wildlife. Fishermen were catching rainbow trout, though they are not native. They were added after Glen Canyon Dam was built and all the native fish died off because, as we said earlier, the water is much colder now. We stopped at an old Native American site, where pictographs were drawn on the walls of the canyon. We ended our trip at Lee’s Ferry, which used to be the only place you could cross the river for hundreds of miles. The most awesome part, though, was doing the boat races and went over other boats’ waves. We got soaked!!

A view of the "Big House"

Wupatki National Monument
Mitchel demonstrating the amphitheater.

It was very windy when we got to Wupatki. We soon started on a tour to what is believed to be the ruins of a large house, set up on a hill. We took shelter in what archeologists believe to be the garbage room of the house. We took a short walk to the amphitheater, where Mitchell showed us how well it worked. Even with the wind, we could hear him very well. The ball court was nearby, and our guide showed us the goals and told us the game they played was probably similar to lacrosse. Most experts believe that the Native Americans settled here because the soil was so fertile, due to the large amount of ash that Sunset Crater had spread when it erupted. The best was when we visited the blowhole. The blowhole was sucking in air that day. You could feel the warmth. They believe it is connected to a string of empty, underground taverns. In the summer it blows out ice cold air. Jacob found the only pictograph in the whole settlement, a snake that is almost at ground level. They believe more are buried underground.

One of the many lava tubes we saw on our hike.

Sunset Crater National Monument

It was much less windy here and about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. We first started off on a concrete side walk then our guide led us to an unpaved trail. In many places along the trail there were hardened pieces of lava. In fact, even our trail was covered in ash. We saw a lava tube that had caved in and the outside shell of a lava bomb. They were big! We found a cave which was covered completely in ice. It hadn’t melted yet because it hadn’t gotten any sun light yet. The soil supported lots of vegetation. They believed that sunset crater last erupted about 1,000 years ago. However, it is only a dormaint cinder cone volcano, it could still erupt today. It was so beautiful.
The leftover shell of a lava bomb that flew from the top of the volcano.