The Grand Canyon features a diverse and majestic geological extravaganza. It stretches for 277 miles, measures from four to 18 miles in width, and averages a mile in depth.
Covering more than 1.2 million acres, the semi-arid canyon consists of raised plateaus, steep-walled canyons, desert basins at lower elevations and forests at higher elevations. Canyon walls provide wide-ranging fossil specimens, a vast array of geological features and rock types, and numerous caves.
Not surprisingly, remnants of the past are scattered all over the canyon, serving an eerie reminder of what once existed. Exploring ghost towns is a fun way to experience the vast Grand Canyon history.
West of the Grand Canyon Caverns along Route 66, the historic roadway crosses into the lands of the Hualapai Indians, a reservation that covers more than a million acres, and 108 miles of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.
Located 12 miles west of Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs and is reservation’s tribal headquarters.
The Hualapai Indians have lived here from more than 1,400 years. The canyon’s earliest visitors reached the Colorado River below from the Haulapai’s west rim.
The railroad established a water station here in the early 1880s and named it Peach Springs because numerous peach trees were spotted around a spring that fed water to the steam engines.
The settlement grew, and several saloons opened along with a stagecoach line,, a restaurant and shops.
The arrival of Route 66 brought more growth to Peach Springs. Cafes, motor courts and tourist-related businesses sprouted to cater to travelers.
Today, there are few reminders of the grand Route 66 era, but Peach Springs serves as an access point to one of the last undeveloped sections of the Grand Canyon.
The Hualapai River Runners office, which is the only Indian-owned and operated river rafting company in the Grand Canyon, is near the intersection of Route 66 and Diamond Creek Road. Situated at the west rim of the Grand Canyon, Diamond Creek Road is the only known existing road that leads to the bottom of the canyon.