The Paiutes initial contact with the federal government came in the form of geographer, explorer and Civil War veteran, John Wesley Powell. Powell surveyed the Colorado River and vicinity in 1869 and 1871, relying heavily on Indian informants. The Kaibab and other Paiutes were generous in providing guides. Of two Kaibab guides, Chuarumpeak and Shuts, Powell wrote:
It is curious now to observe the knowledge of our Indians. There is not a trail but what they know; every gulch and every rock seems familiar. I have prided myself on being able to grasp and retain in my mind the topography of a country; but these Indians put me to shame. My knowledge is only general, embracing the more important features of a region that remains as a map engraved on my mind; but theirs is particular. They know every rock and every ledge, every gulch and canyon, and just where to wind among these to find a pass; and their knowledge is unerring.