Series: Grand Canyon Centennial Stories

Learn about Grand Canyon's history, including events such as the first flight over Grand Canyon and the construction of the iconic Bright Angel Trail, in preparation for the park's 100th birthday.

  • Grand Canyon National Park

    Article 1: 1899 - An Adventure in Beaver Canyon

    Waterfall falling over dark rocks into clear blue pool.

    I have had many a perilous adventure in my ten years of exploring in the canyons of the Colorado River, but none so peculiar as one I passed through this year (1899). Read more

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    Article 2: 1902 - Breaking A Trail Through Bright Angel Canyon

    Black and white historic photo of a side canyon with a creek between towering cliffs.

    The adventure of the first party to cross from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other by pack train in 1902 have never been told. Here follows a brief statement of the circumstances. by F. E. Matthes, U.S. Geological Survey. Read more

  • Grand Canyon National Park

    Article 3: 1914 Metz Car

    Driver of a Metz peers into Grand Canyon.

    To the bottom of the Grand Canyon by automobile was probably the most strenuous undertaking ever carried out in the annals of American motoring. To make that trip and to return to the plateau thousands of feet above, all on the car's own power, negotiating deep sand arroyos, frightfully steep grades, great boulder filled gorges and slimy mud flats, is a feat extraordinary. Read more

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    Article 4: 1922 - Into the Grand Canyon and Out Again by Airplane

    Old fashioned biplane with pilots standing nearby.

    Most aviators, I venture to say, would have been content to fly down into the canyon and make a safe landing. But not so Thomas. He was not satisfied with his performance until he had climbed back up again without landing and then dropped over the rim in a long tail-spin, which carried him nearly to the bottom, five thousand feet below... Read more

  • Grand Canyon National Park

    Article 5: 1925 - Building the Kaibab Trail

    Man in wide brimmed hat overlooking grand canyon.

    The Chimney, Ooo-Ahh Point, Windy Ridge, the Red & Whites, the Tip-Off, the TrainWreck…For those who know and love the Kaibab Trail, the recitation of these names conjures up images that are the stuff of longing, wonder, and enchantment. Read more

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    Article 6: 1928 - A Bridge Worthy

    Bridge attached to two rocky cliffs spanning a river, text reads

    Construction of the suspension bridge across the Colorado river. Read more