To walk the Grand Canyon can mean sweating in, freezing in and soaking in this natural wonder of the world. The journey can lead you through rocky ridges and amazing scenic trails where the National Park was essentially born 95 years ago.
In 1919, the Grand Canyon received National Park status. The same year, 44,173 people visited the park. Today, more than 5 million visitors enjoy the popular park annually.
Earlier this month, Arizona Public Service Co. donated $1 million to improve several trails at the Grand Canyon. According to Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, the donation will help reduce a backlog of trail maintenance that has topped $40 million. A large portion from the donation will benefit the popular Bright Angel Trail. The other remainder will be used to create an endowment for the canyon’s trail system.
Since hundreds of hikers tour the Grand Canyon on these trails daily, most get repaired on an emergency basis, with about one-third undergoing scheduled maintenance.
According to the National Park Service, 460 noncommercial river trip permits were awarded through the annual lottery last Tuesday. The coveted permits can be used for the 12-to 25 day trips in 2015.
In June 2013, daredevil Nik Wallenda brought even more attention to the Grand Canyon when he crossed a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon.
The largest part of the Grand Canyon is located in the Grand Canyon National Park.