Category Archives: Grand Canyon

List of National Parks that are Open During the Shutdown

As most people are well aware at this point, the vast majority of the parks within the national park system are closed due to the government shutdown. A few states have worked with the government and they have decided to reopened a few parks with state funds. It’s important to note that just because a state has decided to reopen some parks within their state, that doesn’t mean that all of the national parks sites within their state are open. … Continue reading

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Grand Canyon Thanksgiving

By Kristen Lummis (enjoy her blog Brave Ski Mom, like her on facebook or follow her on twitter @BraveSkiMom) Like many families, we have a Thanksgiving tradition that we cherish. Every other year, we spend Thanksgiving at Grand Canyon National Park. Here’s how we do it. We take advantage of the four day weekend and make it a five day weekend, taking the boys out of school on Wednesday and driving through some of the most spectacular scenery in the … Continue reading

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Hopi Salt Mines Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

After passing by the Little Colorado River between miles 63.5 and 65 while rafting in Grand Canyon National Park, you begin to see white deposits against the red rock toward the bottom of the Colorado River canyon walls. These are the sacred Hopi Indian salt mines where the Hopi Indians would come to gather salt for seasoning and preserving their food. This area is considered sacred ground and river rafts are not allowed to stop to inspect the salt mines … Continue reading

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Humpback Chub Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

The Humpback Chub is a bottom feeder fish that thrived in the warm waters of the Colorado River before Glen Canyon Dam was built and turned the Colorado River into a much colder river that it is today. It was declared endangered in 1967 and has one of its last strongholds in the Little Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Since the Humpback Chub is protected from fishing, it has learned to recognize the bottoms of the river rafts … Continue reading

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Turquoise Mineral Pools Little Colorado River Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

The Little Colorado River is a breathtaking turquoise color due to the alkaline and minerals content of the water. In addition to creating the wonderful color of the Little Colorado River, the minerals settle in the Little Colorado River channel to create pools which the river cascades over on its way down the canyon: The turquoise waters of the Little Colorado River cascading over these mineral deposit pools makes it look like you have left Grand Canyon National Park and … Continue reading

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Little Colorado River Confluence Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

We spent our second night in Grand Canyon National Park along the Colorado River at a campsite called Above Little Colorado River. As its name implies, the campsite was located just upriver from the Little Colorado River. The Little Colorado River has a high alkaline and mineral content which gives the river a beautiful turquoise hue. This can readily be seen at the confluence where the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River meet: It was fascinating watching the color … Continue reading

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Rock Slide Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

One of the most interesting things I learned while river rafting down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park is that much of the Grand Canyon sandstone isn’t originally red. When you look from the rim of the Grand Canyon down toward the river and see the huge expanse of red sandstone walls, it isn’t difficult to assume that all that color is the original color of the canyon walls. In reality, much of the lower Grand Canyon walls … Continue reading

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Redwall Cavern Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

Located between mile 33 and 34 along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park (and just over a mile downriver from Vasey’s Paradise) Redwall Cavern is a giant symphony-sized amphitheater created by the river eroding away the limestone Grand Canyon walls. John Wesley Powell, upon seeing Redwall Cavern, guessed that 50,000 people would fit into it. Although it would be a perfect place to camp, it’s one of the sandbars along the Colorado River where it’s prohibited to camp … Continue reading

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Vasey’s Paradise Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

While it’s possible to hike to Vasey’s Paradise (also called Vaseys Paradise) from Stanton’s cave (only about 1/4 of a mile further away), I chose not to do so. There is thick vegetation at the bottom of Vasey’s Paradise includes the one area in Grand Canyon National Park where poison ivy is abundant, and getting poison ivy was not how I wanted to spend my grand canyon rafting trip. It’s also where the critically endangered Kanab Ambersnail lives. Vasey’s Paradise … Continue reading

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Stanton’s Cave Grand Canyon National Park Rafting

With the South Canyon hike thwarted, I decided to try and make my way to Stanton’s cave in Grand Canyon national Park. To make it to Stanton’s cave from our camping area was a short hike downriver toward Vasey’s Paradise after climbing up a rock ridge above the beach. A good pair of hiking shoes is definitely recommended if you want to attempt this hike. Stanton’s cave is quite large and many artifacts were discovered in it, but it is … Continue reading

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