This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
  • 1910
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

below the rim, of Buddha Temple (seven thousand two hundred and eighteen feet) is obtained. It is to the left of Bright Angel Creek. Now look carefully at the ridge that leads the eye from Buddha Temple to Bright Angel Creek. It appears to be a portion of the main wall of the Kaibab Plateau. In reality it is three miles from the Kaibab wall, and, under suitable conditions, may be seen as a massive temple, which has been named Manu Temple (seven thousand one hundred and ninety-two feet), after the great law-giver of the Hindoos.

Indian Garden and Cheops Pyramid. At the base of the red-wall limestone, the trail opens up a little, and permits easier breathing by the tyro on horseback; from now on to Indian Garden (three thousand eight hundred and seventy-six feet) we ride in a boulder bed, where large blocks of rock of every conceivable shape lie as they fell from the strata above. Small shrubs and plants abound, and tiny lizards and inquisitive swifts dart to and fro. Nearer to us is Cheops Pyramid (five thousand three hundred and fifty feet), a massive monument, though less ornately carved than Buddha.

Isis and Shiva Temples. Above it and farther to the left, is Isis Temple (seven thousand and twenty-eight feet), the cap of which, at this angle, presents the appearance of two acorn-like structures resting upon their cups, the taller of which is carved out of the cross-bedded sandstone. It is the eastern supporter of Shiva Temple (seven thousand six hundred and fifty feet), of which Captain Dutton, who named it, wrote eloquently and vividly.

Brahma and Zoroaster Temples. Now turn the eye away from Shiva, across to the east of Bright Angel Creek. There, outlined against the sky, are two noble-profiled buttes. The rear one is Brahma Temple (seven thousand five hundred and fifty-four feet), named after the first of the Hindoo triad, the Supreme Creator. The smaller butte, an angular mass of solid, unrelieved rock, sloping in a peculiarly oblique fashion, is Zoroaster Temple (seven thousand one hundred and thirty feet), thus adding to the Hindoo pantheon a fane for the founder of the religion of the Irano-Persians.

Deva Temple, Obi, and Komo Points. Behind Brahma can be seen, when at the right angle, a flat-topped detached mass (seven thousand three hundred and forty-four feet) named Deva Temple. Behind and above it are two points, Obi (eight thousand feet) to the right, and Komo, about the same height, to the left. These are the salient points on Walhalla Plateau, overlooking the Ottoman Amphitheatre, the chief temples of which I have already named.

Indian Garden. Passing now through the fertile Indian Garden, Angel Plateau is reached. The spring at Indian Garden is large enough to irrigate a small tract of ground. Experience has demonstrated that not only can vegetables of every kind be grown here, but all kinds of fruits, even oranges, lemons and grapefruit. For two miles after leaving the Garden, we ride over a fairly level plateau to its edge, where it overlooks the Granite Gorge. Here, standing on the Tonto sandstone (three thousand seven hundred and eight feet), we look down into the dark recesses of the inner gorge, and picture the events described by Major Powell, when he and his brave band of intrepid explorers passed through.

O’Neill Butte. Now looking back to the rim at Yaki Point, we see beneath it, and corresponding to the Battleship, an imposing structure. It has been named O’Neill Butte, in honor of “Bucky” O’Neill, one of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, who was slain during the heroic charge at San Juan Hill. He it was who interested Eastern capitalists in the Anita Mine, and was therefore indirectly responsible for the building of the Grand Canyon Railway.

Pipe Creek. Those who wish to go to the river now retrace a portion of the way to the Indian Garden, and then turn off eastward by the old-time Indian corn-storage houses. Here one obtains a fine view of the wild chaos of metamorphosed rocks of Pipe Creek. It is a veritable Pluto’s workshop, where the rocks are twisted, burned, and tortured out of all semblance to their original condition. They are made into cruel and black jagged ridges, which seem eager to tear and rend you.

Falls of Willow Creek. In these forbidding rocks the Devil’s Corkscrew Trail has been cut, winding and twisting down, down, twelve hundred feet, passing by a split in the rocks where the waters of Willow Creek make a waterfall of over two hundred feet.

The Colorado River. At last the Colorado River is reached, and we are but two thousand four hundred and thirty-six feet above the sea. El Tovar, above, is six thousand eight hundred and sixty-six feet, and we have thus descended four thousand four hundred and thirty feet, nearly a mile, from rim to river. And what a river it is! No one can form any idea of it, unless he stands on the very brink, almost deafened by the sound of its sullen roar and turbulent rapids. It is hungry, insatiable, murderous, cruel. Many a foolish mortal has had the breath dashed from his body by these powerful waves. Those who wish to cross to the other side can defy danger in the cable crossing, but only a skilled boatman should attempt to row across.

Colorado Salmon. Fish are caught in the river here at times. The chief variety is a scale-bearing fish, of silvery appearance, commonly known to the local dwellers as Colorado salmon. Specimens have been caught two feet eight inches in length, and sixteen inches in circumference, and a fortunate fisherman brought one up to El Tovar, which was nearly three feet in length.

Camping at the River. It is a delightful experience to remain over night and sleep on the river sand, especially if the moon be at its full. Then one sees great walking shadows–moving, living, palpable entities. Towers and buttes and temples take on new qualities under the softer luminary of the night.

Here, too, one gets to know the Canyon in a new phase. He is in the trough between two ranges of mountains. To the north and to the south are towering peaks. You forget that you have ridden down, down, to reach this spot. You are in a new country. A majestic range of glorious peaks soars away above you to the north. Now, by merely turning in the other direction, you see another and entirely different range, with peaks, canyons, ravines, gorges, points, ridges all its own.

The Return to El Tovar. Riding back to El Tovar, with thoughts like these, the visitor imagines himself riding to a City Celestial. He reaches the plateau, studies for a while the unique coloring of the Algonkian strata just above the Granite Gorge, and sees where the faulting has raised them above the Tonto sandstones. Then, steadily looking upward, he rides forward, climbing slowly but surely to the peaks above. Tired though he is, he feels a constant thrill of satisfaction as he rises higher and higher, and when, at last, his animal lifts him to the level of El Tovar, and he stands once more in his room at the hotel, he feels an exaltation vouchsafed only to those who have dared and done an unusual thing. And this the Canyon is! No matter how often the trip is made, the interest of it never tires; the wonder of it never grows less.

CHAPTER IX. To Grand View And Down The Grand View Trail

To Grand View. One may go by regular stages or by private conveyance from El Tovar to Grand View. The distance to the hotel is fourteen miles. The drive is through the glens and winding roads of the Coconino Forest, with junipers, pines, sage-brush, atriplex and the beautifully flowered Cowania Mexicana, or mountain mahogany, commonly known as the quinine tree, abounding on every hand. Though comparatively close to the Canyon, one seldom catches a glimpse of it, for the country slopes away from the rim. The ride is through a thickly forested region of giant pines.

Varieties of Flowers and Shrubs. During the season of flowers one will be surprised at the great diversity presented. There are varieties of artemisia or sage-brush, antennaria, columbine, the barberry, spiraea, Russian thistle, eriophyllous, chrysothamnus, plantago, dandelions, lepidium, chaenactic, linum, hosackia, cirsium, astragulus, ambrosia, euphorbia, pleustemon, achillea millefolium, erodium, or stork’s bill, orthocarpous, vilia, solidago, lactuca, helianthus, erigeron, brickellia, malvastrum, ptelea or a desert hop-tree, polygonum, sphedra, lupines, castilleia, lathyrus, verbena and a score of others. I merely name those I saw on one day’s drive to and from Grand View, so that the botanist, amateur or professional, may know the rich treat there is in store for him. For, under the peculiar climatic conditions here, many of these more common plants present singular variations.

When about half the distance is passed, the road enters Long Jim Canyon, so named after a well-known sheepherder of the early days who used to wander here with his sheep.

Pompey’s Pillar and Thor’s Hammer. Shortly before reaching Grand View Point, the road passes not far from the rim, where it curves into a small amphitheatre in which are two striking columns of erosion, Pompey’s Pillar and Thor’s Hammer.

Grand View Hotel. Grand View Hotel is directly upon the rim, and commands a fine outlook over the open portion of the Canyon at its very beginning. The hotel was built by and is under the management of P. D. Berry, whose homestead is near by. Mr. Berry was one of the discoverers of the mine below and one of the locators of the Grand View Trail.

Grand View Point. Grand View Point (elevation seven thousand four hundred and ninety-five feet) is about a mile from the hotel. It affords the most extensive view possible of this part of the Canyon. The highest point, too, is at the eastern end of the Canyon, being two hundred and eleven feet higher than Zuni Point (seven thousand one hundred and fifty-seven feet), one hundred and twenty-five feet higher than Pinal Point (seven thousand three hundred and seventy feet), and thirty feet higher than Navaho Point, all of them salient points to the east.

Cliff Dwellings. There are a number of cliff dwellings in this vicinity, which take from half a day to a day to visit. The best preserved of these are in the gulches of the Coconino Forest, on the rocks of which are also some interesting pictographs. There are remains of dwellings on Moran’s Point, and at various places along the rim of the Canyon. A few miles to the east of Grand View Point is the junction of the Little Colorado with the Colorado River, as it flows out of the Marble Canyon into the Grand Canyon. Here, for nearly a score of miles, the strata have been shattered and carried away, so that the Canyon is opened up, as it were, more than in any other place. A vast number of pillars of erosion stand revealed in wonderful variety.

It should never be forgotten that the Canyon is so diversified that each point and each trail has its own distinctive charms, and he is wise, in the Canyon study, who sees it from as many points of vantage as he can.

The trip from Grand View Hotel to the plateau overlooking the Granite Gorge, three thousand five hundred feet below, and return, is made in one day. The old Grand View Trail leaves the rim about a mile from the hotel, winding its way down from one stratum to another, around points which command extensive outlooks.

Grand View Trail. A new trail from Grand View Point, one and a half miles north of the hotel, joins the old trail about a thousand feet below the rim, and continues to the top of what is locally known as the “blue limestone,” two thousand five hundred feet below the rim, to the Horseshoe Mesa, where the Canyon Copper Company mine is located. Here also are the bunk-houses and boarding-houses of the miners, the corral for the burros used in packing ore to the surface, and several small sleeping cottages for travelers. The distance from the rim to the camp is three miles on the old trail, and about half a mile less by the new trail. To the mouth of the mine is another half mile. The trail was begun in June, 1892, and the first ore pack-train went over it in February, 1893. In 1901 the interests of Berry and his partners were bought by the Canyon Copper Company. The distinctive charm of the Grand View Trail is the wide and unobstructed outlook which one gets here nearly all the way down. It is not boxed in.

Horseshoe Mesa. The start from Grand View Hotel is generally made after lunch, so that one arrives at the camp of the Canyon Copper Company in time for supper, and lodges there over night. After supper, a visit is made to the edge of the Horseshoe Mesa for the sunset view. This is one of the more extended views afforded only from such a mesa or plateau thrust well out into the heart of the Canyon. Up, down, and around, there is scenic attraction. The river flows on in the deep Granite Gorge below. The best time, too, for seeing and knowing the Canyon is at the sunset (or sunrise) hour. Then the shadows are long, and the various objects stand out distinctly.

Grand View Caves. The following morning a visit may be made to the limestone caves or the Copper Company’s mine. The former were discovered in 1897 by the camp cook, Joseph Gildner, and are well worthy an extended visit. The first cave is some three hundred feet long, and varies in height from ten to eighty or ninety feet. The second cave has about the same length, but is much higher and contains a far more diversified collection of stalactites, stalagmites and sheets of calcareous deposits, that hang like curtains before the more solid side walls. While appearing in the red-wall limestone, the rock of these caves is all of a creamy white, thus demonstrating that the formation itself is white, but that the exposed walls are stained by the red washed over them from the strata above.

Copper Mine. The mine is equally interesting, and to those who have never seen the operations of tunneling, stouping, driving shafts, winzes and the like, and the removal of the ore, it is an experience well worth while. (At this writing the mine is temporarily closed.)

A Fine Trip. From the Horseshoe Mesa, one may descend to the Lower Plateau on horseback, and then to the river on foot. Those who wish a more extended trip should ride from the camp, across the old Hance and Mineral Canyons into Red Canyon, stay over night at the river, at the foot of the Red Canyon Trail, and then return up the latter trail to the hotel. The trail is fairly good, and the three different side canyons traversed reveal a wonderful variety of rock scenery.

To Hance Canyon. To take this trip, the trail passes the mine, eastward, down a steep break in the red-wall limestone, zigzagging back and forth. Passing under overhanging cliffs, it leads down until the plateau is reached, where twenty years ago I saw bands of mountain sheep. From this plateau, the descent is steep into Hance Canyon, and the student of the dynamic forces of nature can here see (when about half-way down) a wonderful example of the shattering of the earth’s crust. Here the immense mass of the “red-wall” has been shaken up, and is now rapidly disintegrating, to be washed down by the storms of succeeding years into the great river which will ultimately deposit it in the Gulf of California.

By and by Vishnu Temple, the grandest of the rocky structures, comes into sight, and a little further on one can see, at the base of Vishnu, and above the granite, the red tilted strata of the Algonkian.

The descent into Hance Canyon reveals a fine view of Ayer Peak, and as we look down we can see the peculiar shattering of the Tonto sandstones that Thomas Moran named the Temple of Set. It takes but a few minutes to ride or walk down to the temple, which is one of the distinctive features of the Hance Trail, down which most of the early visitors to the Canyon used to come.

Angel Gate. The ascent is now made on the eastern side of Hance Canyon, to the summit of the Tonto sandstones, and from this point a fine view of Angel Gate is to be had, its rich reds contrasting agreeably with the grays and olives of the Tonto series.

Mineral and Red Canyons. On the plateaus separating Hance Canyon from Mineral Canyon, and the latter from Red Canyon, one can see the rare Algonkian strata to fine advantage. Numerous faultings and flexurings may be observed, and on the last mile before reaching the foot of Red Canyon, the trail leads through a great boulder bed along the brink of the gorge immediately overhanging the river. Camp is made here at night.

The return ride up the Red Canyon Trail is made enjoyable by the brilliant colorings, the faultings and nonconformities of the strata, which are apparent even to the most undiscerning layman. Here the conglomerate appears above the blue limestone, while ordinarily it is found below it. The Algonkian also is largely in evidence. Across the river one may see the location of the asbestos deposits.

Moran Point. Grand View Point and the points east are all reached from the Grand View Hotel. The first of these is Moran Point, seven thousand one hundred and fifty-seven feet elevation, five miles east. The trip may be made in a vehicle, over a road from which the Canyon is not visible until the point is reached; or in the saddle, over a trail, the last two miles of which are along the rim. This is a unique trail, from the fact that it overlooks Hance Creek, and further along, gives commanding outlooks down Red Canyon.

Zuni Point. From Zuni Point, two miles further east, a still more extensive view is obtained. The trip to these two points may be made in half a day, but many prefer to give a full day.

Navaho Point and Desert View. Ten miles from Grand View is Navaho Point, over seven thousand feet elevation. The ride thither, after leaving Zuni Point, is through the Coconino Forest, without a trail. It is necessarily a saddle trip. The outlook is especially attractive, as it presents portions of the Painted Desert and the mouth of Marble Canyon.

Comanche Point, seven thousand and seventy-nine feet, and Cape Solitude, six thousand one hundred and fifty-seven feet, are respectively about seventeen and twenty miles east of Grand View, and may be visited in the saddle during a camping-out trip of two days. They both command views of the amphitheatre where the Colorado River makes an almost right angle curve from Marble Canyon into the Granite Gorge. The walls are precipitous to three thousand five hundred feet below, and the outlook afforded is about seventy miles in either direction, up and down the Canyon. In addition to the Canyon outlook, Cape Solitude, which might well be called Desert View, commands a fine expanse of the Painted Desert, extending a hundred miles in either direction, the colorings of which are especially dazzling at sunset. The Little Colorado River flows through this desert, one thousand five hundred feet below Cape Solitude, in a gorge of about two thousand five hundred feet in depth. From the narrow canyon of the Little Colorado, the desert rises to the east in three successive, gigantic steps of about one thousand feet each. This affords a panorama of glorious colorings at sunset, while the view in the opposite direction glows best in the early hours of dawn.

To those who wish to camp out, sleeping in the open for two or more nights, the trip may be extended to the Canyon of the Little Colorado. In this excursion, one gets a fine breath of the desert, a sight of the narrow and boxed-in Little Colorado Canyon, and extended desert views, passing by Cedar Mountain, one of the few spots where fragments of the almost vanished strata of the Permian age are still visible.

Tuba City and Moenkopi. Tuba City, sixty miles east of Grand View Hotel (a four days’ saddle and camping-out trip), is situated in the Painted Desert, and is the headquarters of the Navaho Indians of this locality. Here also is located the United States Government Indian School, where the children of several tribes are being civilized. Two miles away is Moenkopi, a Hopi village, or pueblo, of some thirty homes, where this pastoral and home-loving people may be found engaged in their quiet agricultural pursuits, the women also busy at basket-making and the fashioning of pottery. At Tuba City there are many Navahos living in their hogans, where the rude silversmiths are at work creating their “arts and crafts” ware, and the looms of the blanket-weavers are incessantly busy.

Crater Mountain. Crater Mountain, thirty-nine miles south of Grand View Hotel, is an extinct volcano with one side eroded, leaving a sheer wall five hundred feet high in circular form, with a variety of pillars standing high above the bottom of the amphitheatre. Its red, yellow and black colors combine in a peculiar harmony, and novel effects are witnessed at sunset, or by moonlight. To enjoy this trip aright, one should drive there, and arrange to sleep in the amphitheatre, returning on the following day.

Extinct Volcanoes. Or, if a more extended trip is desired, one can drive on to the many cinder cones and extinct volcanoes that lie to the north and east of the San Francisco Mountains, including Sunset Crater and O’Leary Peak, and then into Flagstaff.

CHAPTER X. A New “Rim” Road And Trail Into The Scenic Heart Of The Canyon

Large corporate bodies do not always move with the same rapidity as do personal enterprises where one man controls. Many minds and many interests often have to be consulted. When, however, the way is clear, a corporate body, with its vast power, can accomplish in a short time what individuals could never compass in several successive lifetimes.

These remarks are exemplified in the action of the Santa Fe Railway Company at the Grand Canyon. It has taken several years for things to properly shape themselves for adequate development, so that all classes of travelers visiting the Grand Canyon could be suitably provided for. In hotel accommodations, El Tovar, and the equally well conducted but cheaper Bright Angel Camp, leave nothing to be desired. In transportation facilities, both on the railway and for drives, riding or the descent of the trails, provision is made to meet the most exacting demands.

Hermit Rim Road and Trail. These imperative necessities met, attention has been given to a further opening up of the scenic portions of the Canyon. In furtherance of this policy the Santa Fe Railway has built a new roadway from El Tovar and Hopi Point along the south rim of the Canyon to the head of Hermit Trail, nine miles west of El Tovar. It is called Hermit Rim Road.

This roadway is thirty feet in width, with a central driveway, fourteen feet wide, of crushed stone rolled hard and sprinkled with crude oil. It is so wide, so well macadamized, so level and so dustless that it may well be likened to a city boulevard in the wilderness.

The road ends at the head of Hermit Trail, a new pathway now being built down the south wall of the Canyon. Though this trail is being completed, it will not be opened for regular trail service until the summer of 1912. It leads down into the very heart of the Canyon and reveals innumerable scenic wonders and surprises.

Hermit Rim Road to Hermit Basin. Hermit Rim Road closely follows the rim from Hopi Point to the head of Hermit Basin and the top of Hermit Trail, –not too near the brink, but in and out among the trees, affording wonderful vistas of the Canyon and the cliffs of the opposite wall. Hermit Rim Road is perhaps the most unique highway in the world, for there is no other roadway on the brink of such a tremendous gorge. Startling views reveal depths of the Canyon on one side, and on the other are quiet scenes down long forest lanes. In places there is a sheer drop of 2,000 feet within a rod of the traveled track, and another drop almost as far below that, but there is no danger, so perfectly have the engineers of the road done their work.

Leaving El Tovar, the road quickly ascends El Tovar Hill, giving a view of the San Francisco Peaks and neighboring mountains standing high above the Tusayan Forest, and purple colored with the haze of seventy-five miles of distance. Then, down into Coconino Wash, up Tusayan Hill, past Maricopa Point, and Hopi Point, long noted for its unrivaled sunset view, is reached.

About a mile beyond Hopi Point is Mohave Point, standing in sheer and awful precipices above Monument Creek, and leaving that, a huge curve on top of Hopi Wall is traversed, and opposite this place the granite gorge is deepest.

Rounding Mohave Point on the next leg of the journey three and four-fifths miles to Pima Point, is the greatest curve on the road, and along this section there is much to claim the attention. First one and then another of the great interior rock temples seems to command the eye; the side canyons reaching far back into the Kaibab Plateau on the north, and that everywhere enter the main gorge, show depths of startling distance; the predominant colors–vermilion, blue, green, buff, and gray–are incomparable; and the wild river, roaring and tumbling, may be seen from different points, though from the roadway it seems but a mere ribbon of brown. At Pima Point the road curves to the southwest and continues for more than a mile on the rim of Hermit Basin, until the head of Hermit Trail is reached. Wide outlooks across the Cataract Canyon country and unusual views of the river are afforded on the final mile. The road ends where Hermit Trail, a new trail, like the road, wide and safe, begins.

Hermit Trail. The new trail is being built on the most approved engineering lines. It is four feet wide all the way, with a low protecting wall of rock on the outside, and is most carefully laid out. Cuts in the solid rock, likewise heavy stone walls built up as a support, are used wherever necessary for greater safety. It descends by easy grades and long zigzags for nearly five hundred feet to the top of the red limestone, where from wide shelves views may be obtained safely of the narrow cleft far down in which Hermit Creek flows. Further descent is made by easy steps to a level stratum, which is traversed by the trail on its way to the river; and the Canyon on either hand seems rapidly to open out, revealing wonders of scenic beauty. The northern extremity of the red sandstone under Pima Point is thus reached and on both sides of the river such a stupendous panorama is at once opened up that even superlatives cannot describe it. Under Yuma Point, on the left, an ornately sculptured butte, already seized by Moran, Leigh and other discerning artists as a piece de resistance, compels the eye.

On this point one may linger for hours, if time permits, and as the changing lights bring into prominence different mural features, or the moving clouds cast their revealing shadows on first one, then another, of the temples and towers, the reverent beholder feels that he is on holy ground. It is indeed superlative in color, in shadow, in form, in majesty, in variety and in general effect.

On the Plateau. The trail from this point descends to the plateau and continues to the river. A rest house is to be established providing ample accommodations both for eating and sleeping. This will be the first provision near the river for all travelers,–those who wish hotel luxuries and comforts as well as those who desire the experience of camp equipment.

All the way down, the strong scenic features of the Canyon remain in evidence, and the depths traversed by the trail but enhance their glory and beauty, as their outlines are projected against the perfect turquoise of the Arizona sky. Before returning to the rim one may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to spend some hours exploring for himself the foot of the greatwalls near by, or studying the geological formations.

Mountain Sheep. Perchance, also, one may see a band of mountain sheep, for now that they are so strictly preserved, a heavy penalty being exacted both by the state and federal governments for killing one, they are increasing in numbers. One of their usual haunts for years has been in the canyons and ravines north of Shiva Temple. It is not unreasonable to anticipate that they will often roam into view of visitors so near by on the other side of the river.

Hermit Trail Loop. On the return journey, provision is to be made for a choice of several routes, viz: up the Boucher Trail, which is on the other side of Hermit Basin; along the Tonto Trail just above the river, westward to Bass’s and up the Bass Trail; or eastward to the Indian Garden, and up the Bright Angel Trail which route is known as the Hermit Trail Loop.

CHAPTER XI. From El Tovar To Bass Camp And Down The Bass Trail

Bass Station and Bright Angel Wash. Leaving El Tovar (elevation six thousand eight hundred and sixty-six feet), the road winds for over, five miles through the Coconino Forest, mainly following the railway track until Bass Station appears (elevation six thousand four hundred and seventeen feet). The road now enters a narrow defile known as the Bright Angel Wash, giving one a fine opportunity to learn the singular drainage system of the Canyon plateau, which, as has been explained elsewhere, is away from the Canyon for many miles. The Wash is picturesque and rugged, the side walls occasionally appearing as bare masses of rock, and again covered with fertile soil on which grow great pines, also ferns, mosses and flowers. The road is fairly easy, and the horses travel well. Six and a half miles away, the Coconino (Kohonino) Wash is passed on the left. A little further on, the Canyon widens somewhat, and a rude meadow, occasionally filled with rich and luscious natural grass, is crossed, after which the road makes a slight ascent to the plateau, and more open country is reached.

Over the Plateau. From this point, the ride is diversified. There are no steep hills, but the road aims directly for its objective point, taking the visitor through growths of pinion,–from which the Indians gather the delicious pine nuts,–juniper,–from the crushed berries of which they make a sweet and refreshing drink,–and over levels where rich grama grass grows side by side with the cactus, the amole and the yucca, brightened and vivified by the Indian paintbrush, sunflowers, lupines and scores of other gorgeously colored flowers.

Midway between Bass Station and Bass Camp, ten miles each way, the road passes a United States Geological Survey monument, which records the fact that here the plateau is six thousand three hundred and seventy-two feet above sea level.

The Surrounding Mountains. On the journey, glimpses are had of the San Francisco peaks, and Mounts Sitgreaves, Kendricks, and Floyd, while, in the far-away west and south, the blue ridges of the plateau, descending to the lower levels, are clearly discernible. To the north and west, Mounts Emma and Trumbull and other peaks of the Uinkarets appear like deep blue clouds on the horizon. They lie on the further side of the Canyon, and are seen more distinctly from Bass Camp.

Hotouta Amphitheatre. When fifteen miles from El Tovar, the first gaze into the Canyon is afforded at Hotouta Amphitheatre, a deep indentation in the walls of the south rim. The road here runs close to the rim. This amphitheatre receives its name from Hotouta, the son of Navaho, the last great Havasupai chief. Hotouta was an enlightened Indian, friendly to the better class of whites, clear-headed and honorable in his dealings with them.

The Cisterns. Thence to Bass Camp the drive is entirely through pinions and junipers. About a mile before the destination is reached, the road passes “The Cisterns,” where the horses are watered.

Bass Camp. Bass Camp consists of one small central building, containing a dining-room, sitting-room, kitchen and several bedrooms. Around are tent-houses and tents for the further accommodation of guests, with stable and saddle-house, etc. Almost immediately in front of the main building the trail begins.

Powell Plateau and Dutton Point. Taking a seat at the head of the trail, let us now give our undivided attention to the scene spread out before us. The predominating feature is the great uplift of the opposite wall, and the aggressiveness of its salient promontory. Here is a break in the continuity of the wall of the Kaibab Plateau. This break affords an immediate view of the highest portions of the Canyon’s walls. To the right of the break is the Kaibab Plateau, its highest portion being eight thousand three hundred feet above sea level. To the left is Powell Plateau, seven thousand six hundred and fifty feet elevation. The great point, nearest to us, was named Dutton Point, after the poet-geologist, whose monograph on the Canyon will ever be a memorial to his love of the place, his scientific accuracy of observation, and his poetic eloquence of description. It is between Kaibab and Powell Plateaus that Bass’s Trail to Point Sublime climbs its circuitous and winding way,–this portion being called “The Saddle.” The dark growths which crown the plateaus are in reality pine trees, which, on the north rim of the Canyon, attain immense size. They, and lesser tree growths, descend to the bottom of the second mass of talus.

The Rocks of the North Wall. The rock bands on the opposite walls, a large part of the way down, are like those found on the same north wall seen from El Tovar. First there is the band of cherty limestone, from which a sloped talus leads to the creamy sugary sandstone. Immediately below this begins the “red,” which descends in strata of varying width and color down to a rather narrow-appearing slope of red talus, which leads the eye to the widest member of all the Grand Canyon strata. This is the so-called red-wall limestone. All these strata, from the rim down, are said to be in the Upper and Lower Carboniferous Systems.

Below this majestic wall appear the variegated strata of the Cambrian, in grays, buffs, olives, greens and yellows.

The Tilts. Now we see a large exposure of the nonconformable strata, which, on account of their very markedly tilted condition, have been named “The Tilts.” Below this is found the Archaean rock.

It is hard for any but the well-trained observer to realize that practically the same conditions that exist on the north wall, exist on the south wall, directly under his feet, except that the Algonkian is absent. The talus shuts off the view, and it seems impossible that there can be such great precipice walls as the opposite mural face reveals. It is not as high, however, on this side as it is on the other, by fully one thousand six hundred and fifty feet. The difference is caused by the great upthrust in the earth’s crust, which detached Powell’s Plateau from the Kaibab Plateau.

One may approximately estimate the various strata of the wall of the Kaibab as follows:

Colorado River, say. . . 2400 feet above sea level Archaean . . . . . . . . 1000 ” thick
Algonkian . . . . . . . 1100 ” “
Cambrian . . . . . . . . 1000 ” “
Carboniferous . . . . . 2750 ” “
Total level above sea. . 8250

Bass Tomb or Holy Grail Temple. The great north wall is not featureless. There are a number of architectural forms, of wonderfully varied shape, resting upon bases of massive solidity. The most striking of these is a squarebased monumental mass,–Holy Grail Temple, formerly Bass Tomb,–on which rests a well-shaped pyramid, crowned with a red and white circular shaft. The whole butte is well proportioned, having a base of sixteen square miles, and rising to a height of six thousand seven hundred and ten feet.

King Arthur Castle. Slightly to the east of it is another majestic butte, inferior only in size. The crowning shaft is missing here, but a castellated structure of red rock suitably dominates it. It bears the name King Arthur Castle, and is seven thousand three hundred and fifteen feet elevation.

Guinevere Castle. Still further to the east a winding ridge of rock, standing over one of the many oblique gorges within the main gorge, leads up to a third dominating figure of rock sculpture. This is Guinevere Castle, seven thousand two hundred and fifty-five feet.

Huethawali. Now let the eye rest upon the objects immediately before it, and more in the center of the Canyon. The chief object is an almost detached mountain, crowned with irregular cross-bedded layers of white sandstone. The Indians call this mountain Hue-tha-wa-li, (the final “i” being pronounced as “e,”) which signifies White Rock Mountain. This is now the name they give to Bass Camp, and the Havasupais at El Tovar, who are starting for their Canyon home, will often remark: “We go Huethawali tonight.” Its elevation is six thousand two hundred and eighty feet.

Darwin Plateau. The main plateau before us is named Darwin Plateau, after the learned evolutionist. Take this plateau as a rude and misshapen hand, imagine the thumb and little finger gone, and it will be seen that the other three fingers radiate from Darwin Plateau in the shape of three irregularly contoured, but fairly level plateaus, Huethawali resting like a great wart upon the base of the middle one of the three. To these plateaus have been given the following names: the one to the right is Grand Scenic Divide, the middle one is named Huxley Terrace, and the one to the left (the west) is Spencer Terrace.

For a few moments let us look at each of these plateaus, and grasp such features as the eyes may observe.

Grand Scenic Divide and Dick Pillar. Grand Scenic Divide was so named because it is the point where the granite of the Inner Gorge disappears from the Grand Canyon, and this disappearance makes as vast and wonderful a difference in the Canyon scenery as it is possible to find in its whole two hundred and seventeen miles of length. To the right of the Divide, looking eastward, where the granite is still in evidence, one can see the temples, buttes and towers that make the view from El Tovar and Grand View Points so interesting. Looking westward, the whole aspect changes, so markedly, indeed, that one scarcely can believe it to be the same Canyon. Hence the appropriateness of the name. At the extreme end of this plateau, a detached rocky pillar stands peering down into the deepest recesses of the Inner Gorge. This bears the name Dick Pillar, from Robert Dick, the baker-geologist of Thurso, Scotland, who gave such material assistance to Hugh Miller in his studies of the Old Red Sandstone.

Huxley Terrace. Huxley Terrace is the center plateau. At its end is an eroded mass of red sandstone, to which the name of the noted naturalist and evolutionist, Wallace, has been attached. Still nearer the end, and belonging to the marble wall, is a pagoda named Tyndall Dome.

Spencer Terrace. Spencer Terrace is the most western of the plateaus, and is where the Mystic Spring used to be, which for many years gave its name to Bass’s Trail–the Mystic Spring Trail.

These three plateaus vary in width from a quarter of a mile to over a mile wide; they are dotted with what seem to be patches of grass, but which in reality are juniper and pinion trees from ten to forty feet in height.

Terraces of the Explorers. About a quarter of a mile to the west of Bass Camp is the amphitheatre in which my earlier book, “In and Around the Grand Canyon,” and a large part of the present book were written. From this restful spot I have looked out thousands of times across the great bend of the river and Garnet Canyon to the five terraces named after the early-day Spanish explorers, Marcos, De Vaca, Tovar, Alarcon, and Garces.

Points of the Explorers. To the west stands out Chemehuevi Point, six thousand six hundred and twenty-six feet, while across the river, terminating Powell Plateau, are Wheeler Point, six thousand seven hundred and fifty feet, and just beyond it Ives Point, six thousand six hundred feet.

To the north of Ives Point, but hidden from view, are Beale Point, six thousand six hundred and ninety-five feet, Thompson Point, six thousand seven hundred and thirty feet, and Newberry Point, six thousand seven hundred and fifty feet, all named after early Arizona explorers and geologists.

Conquistadore Aisle and Steamboat Mountain. The dark chasm of the river itself, where it moves almost due west, has been named Conquistadore Aisle, in honor of the men whose names are attached to the terraces above. Here the river again curves, and its course is seen to be to the northeast, as if doubling behind Powell Plateau. It then turns back upon itself, and goes to the southwest. If the conditions are favorable, one may see, to the left of Ives Point, a majestic butte, detached from the further wall of the Canyon, and generally known as Steamboat Mountain. It is an object of great interest, when seen from the saddle on the north rim by those who have crossed the Canyon and are journeying to Point Sublime.

The Scenic Divide. Now let the observer compare the view to the left with that which he has carefully examined on the right. There, in the latter view, are towers and buttes, detached monuments, and a perfect bewilderment of scenic features; here, to the left, save for the aisles, terraces and further wall, there is little to attract attention. The view, comparatively, is uninteresting. The reason for this is clear. The granite of the Inner Gorge has disappeared. Here is the Scenic Divide, the natural line of demarcation between two distinctive portions of the Canyon, the scenery of which is markedly diverse. Where the granite is in evidence, the stratified rocks resting upon it are carved into varied forms: Where the river flows through the stratified rocks, and no granite appears, there are few or no buttes, no towers, no monuments. Nowhere else, in the accessible portions of the Canyon, is this difference seen, for at Grand View, the head of the old Hance Trail, the Red Canyon Trail, Boucher’s and the Bright Angel Trails, the outlooks are over areas where the granite has thrust itself out of the bowels of the earth.

Bass’s Cable Crossing. The ride down Bass’s Trail is an interesting one, passing on the way two prehistoric water-pockets and several cliff-dwellings. On the plateau below, forty miles of trail riding, almost on the level, may be indulged in, before one descends the narrow Canyon to Bed Rock Camp and the river. Here a ferry and cable crossing have been established, the former for use during low water, while, after the flood season begins, the latter enables travelers and stock to make a safe passage in the cage suspended from the cable.

CHAPTER XII. Across The Grand Canyon To Point Sublime

Point Sublime. Point Sublime is one of the most important promontories on the north rim. It was here that the geologist-poet, Clarence Dutton, wrote many of his descriptions of Canyon scenery. He says: “The supreme views are to be obtained at the extremities of the long promontories, which jut out between the recesses far into the gulf. Sitting upon the edge we contemplate the most sublime and awe-inspiring spectacle in the world. The length of canyon revealed clearly and in detail at Point Sublime is about twenty-five miles in each direction. Towards the northwest the vista terminates behind the projecting mass of Powell’s Plateau. But again to the westward may be seen the crests of the upper walls reaching through the Kanab and Uinkaret Plateaus, and finally disappearing in the haze above Seventy-five miles away.

“The space under immediate view from our standpoint, fifty miles long and ten to twelve wide, is thronged with a great multitude of objects so vast in size, so bold and majestic in form, so infinite in their details, that as the truth gradually reveals itself to the perceptions, it arouses the strongest emotions.”

Several times I had started to Point Sublime, but there were difficulties about the trail. Sometime before 1900, Mr. Bass completed a trail on the north side of the river, up under the shoulders of Powell Plateau and out to the desired location.

Starting for Point Sublime. In August, 1901, a party was arranged, consisting of Mrs. J. B. Gayler, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, a learned doctor from St. Louis, Mr. Bass and myself. On Sunday, September 1st, after loading three pack animals with provisions and bedding needed for the trip, we set out down the trail, headed for Point Sublime. To the ferry nothing of particular interest occurred.

From this point on I shall use the diary of Mrs. Gayler as the basis of my descriptions, adding thereto or condensing when necessary. It is written in the present tense, which will be preserved throughout.

At the River. She says: “The sight of the river rouses me to a considerable pitch of enthusiasm. How dirty and muddy a river it is, and how it roars and rages. There is a great rapid a quarter of a mile above where we cross. While we are to cross in still water, the current is strong and bears one on to the worst rapid in the whole river. It is named Stanton Rapid, for at that point one of his boats was dashed to splinters. He numbered it No. 241.

“We part with our animals near a little shelter at the top of the Archaean rocks and scramble down a slippery trail.

Crossing the River. “With some trepidation I enter the boat; a few articles are thrown in, Dad takes the oars, some one pushes us off and we are fairly on the stream. The boat soon strikes the sandy landing on the other side, a considerable distance below, and Dad hands me out with care and courtesy. I occupy myself looking at the structure of the rocks. There are many curious faults and flexures. The river very strange; walls black, gloomy and precipitous. The landing on the south side was solid rock, here a bit of sandy beach between bars of rock. The Doctor is already here. He makes a fire of driftwood near the wall of black rock under which is the stretch of sand. I pick out my sleeping place and begin the making of my bed.

“James, Bass and Dad go back and forth across the river many times to bring our stuff, and daylight is entirely gone long before the job is completed.

Supper on the Sand. “I try to help in carrying things up the bank but am too tired to be of much use. Gather wood for fire. The men had prepared supper by firelight, which we take crouching, sitting or lying down on the sand. The air is mild and soft.

Moonlight. “Monday, Sept. 2, 1901. 3 A.M. Writing by moonlight. The roar of the rapids is constant. One hears it even in sleep. There are occasionally little swirling, flapping noises. What a wonderful place for me–a quiet, New Jersey woman–to be sleeping in.

To the Shinumo. “When Mr. Bass awakes he shows me a large pool of river water in the rocks. It has settled and is clear and cold. After breakfast, the doctor and I scramble up the rocky trail to the plateau above, mount two of the burros and start for the Shinumo Camp. It is 6:30 when we start–quite early I should call it–and we reach camp at 8.00 A. M. A stiff climb nearly all the way.

“What a clear mountain torrent the Shinumo is. It is like our Eastern creeks. Its rocky sides are lined with willows or other green trees and it comes splashing and dashing down as pure and sweet as can be.

Shinumo Camp and Garden. “The camp is a novelty to me. Part tent, part wood, part rock,–part indoors, part outdoors. The fireplace is of stone and out of doors, and the table is a great slab of red sandstone resting on two heavy rock supports. It would hold a ton. There are two good beds. Across the stream a little way down is the Shinumo garden. It seems incredible that there can be a garden here with excellent melons, cantaloupes, radishes, onions, corn, squash, beans, and with fair-sized peach and other trees. They tell me it is a prehistoric garden and that it was discovered by following the ruins of ancient irrigating ditches down to the spot. In the wall beyond are several small cliff-dwellings and storage houses for corn and other vegetables. There are tremendous tilts and flexures in the rock walls on each side.

“Mr. Bass and Dad go off to hunt for the horses and mules we are to use on the trip. The burros will not travel fast enough, though they are going to put me on a large burro they name Belshazzar.

“After lunch each spends the afternoon as he chooses. Mr. James invites me to come and visit a snuggery that he has established, where I find him writing. He reads what he has written, also part of Browning’s ‘Rabbi Ben Ezra.’

“Tuesday, Sept. 3, 1901. At and preparing to leave Shinumo. The magnitude of the undertaking appalls me. It is so much more tremendous than I anticipated.

The Start. “The saddling and packing of the animals occupies much time. We start about nine o’clock with nine animals, six burros, two horses and one mule. My Belshazzar is slow but very sure. Mr. James rides the mule, a red creature, very nervous and excitable and which they tell me is not well broken and does not like to be ridden.

Ascending the Trail. “We go up a long trail over a ridge, with loose soil, quite barren. The ascent is not very steep but the hillside across which the trail passes slopes down to canyons and precipices which suggest unfathomable depths. At one place the trail, for about fifty feet, is over ashes or some exceedingly loose material that allows the animals to slide very quickly down towards the deep precipice on the right and the sight is most trying to my nerves, but Belshazzar’s deliberate walk and sure-footedness soon restore my usual equanimity.

“From this we pass into a canyon or series of canyons where one can plainly see that in the remote past a torrent has poured down, tearing away the soil and tossing huge boulders about. Many naked rocky ledges show, and my burro is occasionally required to carry me up stone steps.

Muav Canyon. “Presently we enter a narrow canyon through which flows a clear, cool stream. Walls of red rock on both sides with, much gray stone. Many large sycamores, cottonwoods and alders, grass and flowers, with maidenhair ferns on the rocks. We stop for lunch under a big cottonwood tree. About four thousand five hundred feet elevation. We leave this lovely spot and go up the canyon which makes a sharp turn to the left. This is Muav Canyon.

Climbing Higher. “After a little distance we emerge from this canyon and leave the stream. Then begins a tremendous climb which I accomplish by clinging to the coat tails of the guide with one hand and sometimes with both hands, he holding tight to the burro’s tail ahead of him. Belshazzar accepts this–to me–novel situation with accustomed cheerfulness and does his best to haul us up the mountain, stopping occasionally to recover his breath. Finishing this part of the ascent, we come to a fertile plateau with trees in great number and variety. At an angle of the canyon below, nearly opposite the steep trail up which we have just climbed, is the eroded terminus of a great promontory, carved into a high and slender pedestal upon which stands a rude figure not unlike one of the wooden statues seen in the old Franciscan missions of California. Below this the rock strata are curved and twisted into all kinds of shapes. In one place there is a fold where the strata seem to have been curved and forced almost into a circle.

“On this plateau we still see the canyon with its perpendicular gray stone walls. It falls below our trail and we ride along the brink of it and down in the bottom see the black entrance to a cave. Then we come to the dry bed of a stream which we follow until we come to water. The quantity is small but it is sweet and pure. We camp here; elevation six thousand one hundred feet.

“The canyon walls are steep and the bottom narrow. We are in a heap together,–rolls of bedding, camp-fire, burros, horses, mules, men, kyacks containing food, saddles and packs, myself, etc., all in a very small space.

The Charm of the North Side. “The north side of the canyon is much more beautiful and diversified than the other, and no one can really know the canyon who does not cross and climb to the summit on this side. There is a greater variety of fine views, a good proportion of fertile country and a far better opportunity for studying the geological formation.

“Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1901. We have had a very cold night and though my bed was most comfortable I awake feeling rather miserable. My courage almost fails and I talk of giving up, but after awhile feel better and decide to go on.

“A discussion goes on as to the time we shall spend on the trip and the determination is finally reached that, if possible, we shall return to this spot from Point Sublime in four days.

“The little stream, which failed in the night, now runs freely, the result of condensation of moisture in the atmosphere above. We start again and ascend a steep, loose trail in the manner of yesterday. The trail is very pleasant here, springs of excellent water coming out from under the cross-bedded sandstone and trees of considerable size shadowing the way.

The Saddle. “At the Saddle there is a long pause for repacking the burros. I am started up the next and last steep climb on my burro. After a little the trail becomes very steep and dangerous looking and I am ordered to dismount and finish the climb on my feet with the aid of Belshazzar’s tail. He is in a hurry and sometimes very unceremonious with me.

On the Kaibab. “We are now on the top of the north side,–really on the summit of the Kaibab Plateau. Dutton Point, the great salient promontory of Powell Plateau, seen so clearly from Bass Camp on the south rim, is close before me, and views and vistas in every direction are glorious and sublime. We ride on to Swamp Point. The views are magnificent, but who shall attempt to describe them? We soon enter a pine forest. Tall pine trees and Douglas spruces are the principal trees, with many beautiful groups of white aspen. Rich grass and wild oats and great quantities of beautiful flowers. We see many deer. We stop for lunch and some photographing is done.

Kanab Unats. “After lunch we start for Kanab Unats and pass through many grassy valleys leading into one another with many windings. We have some difficulty in keeping the right trail. Mr. Bass has an excellent general knowledge of the right direction but he has had to wander to and fro in his desire to find water and dare not leave us, so we have to accompany him in his searches. The result is we cannot reach Kanab Unats to-night. We go up one very picturesque part of the trail where a deep gulch lies on the right filled with old pine trees and many fallen ones, a true specimen of the primeval forest. We see a small band of cattle grazing. After luncheon I attempt to walk alone in the forest and immediately lose my sense of direction. After some yelling on my part the men come to my rescue. We start on again, the doctor putting the saddle on Belshazzar for me. When I dismount, the result of unskilled effort appears, for, as soon as I throw my weight over to the left, the saddle turns and I am dumped upon the ground. We camp at an altitude of eight thousand feet; short of water.

Short of Water. “Thursday, Sept. 5, 1901. Near Kanab Unats. 6 A. M. Very cold. Breakfast is prepared. I am allowed two tablespoonfuls of water for toilet purposes. I help a little with the cooking. We are to a thick wood. It is a fine, clear, sunny day, but a chilling wind is blowing.

Off for Water. “We make a late start, and go on to Kanab Unats where we expect to find water. We arrive there about ten. Soon afterwards three cattlemen come by. A conference with them is held. They talk doubtfully about water, but tell where they think it may be found. They are much surprised to hear that I have crossed the Canyon. With their consent I kodak them. After they depart Mr. Bass and Mr. James start off for water, Mr. Bass with one horse and all the canteens to a spring he knows of where fine water is to be had, and Mr. James with all the animals to a place where water fit for stock may be found. They both return in about two hours, pack the animals, and we start again about 3:20 P.M. for Point Sublime. We go through several grassy, well-wooded ravines, very nearly on a level, through much fallen timber and thickets. Then we cross several of them. I scramble down off Belshazzar and down a very steep hill. Mount again and go on by myself, zigzagging up a steep hill. This is mostly through an oak thicket without a trail. Over another ravine and I am sure now we are near the end of our journey. Up another slight ascent and we come in sight of the Canyon. We have left the tall trees and the thick grass, and now have only mesquites, cedars, yucca and cactus. But we have a good trail.

On Point Sublime. “At last we are on the Point itself. So ardently desired, and with only an hour of daylight left, we begin to study the wonderful panorama. I am photographed rounding up the burros. I am given a sheltered place under a juniper tree for my bed, and make an arrangement with my canvas to keep off the wind. A very comfortable bed. This Point runs out far into the chasm, is narrow for a considerable distance, sides very precipitous and the edges describing a very irregular line. Very near the extreme end is a clump of cedars, with trunks and lower branches so densely matted together as to form a good shelter on two sides from the wind (which blows furiously). It is in this shelter that I place my bed, making with my canvas a protection against the wind on the third side so that my sleeping place is as cozy and warm as can be.

“Friday, Sept. 6, 1901. At Point Sublime. I sleep well and wake refreshed. Many photographs are taken. The men go to explore another point not far off and I stay in camp. I rest as well as I can in the face of such a stupendous spectacle. Dutton’s descriptions are wonderfully vivid and accurate–yet words, do not convey ideas to those whose imagination is not large enough to realize the full meaning of the words.

On the Return. “We start on the return at eleven o’clock having spent about seventeen hours on the Point. At first we follow the trail by which we came. Then our leader disregards the trail and makes our course in a more direct line. We go over ridges, some of them terribly steep. We go through several lovely valleys with the ridges that overlook the canyon on our left. The air is still and cool down where we are, but we can see the tops of the trees that show above the ridges tossed about in a violent wind and can hear its roaring through the forest. We camp about three-quarters of a mile from a spring, and by orders I sleep under a tree in company with many beetles. It is very cold. Camp-fire is comforting.

Into the Canyon Again. “Saturday, Sept. 7, 1901. We leave camp at 8:20. I put out fire while men are packing. Find track of small five-toed animal on the trail. We go by cattle-trails a short cut to Swamp Point through the forest, over ridges, through thickets and some of the grassy valleys. Out on Swamp Point again I am shown Bass Camp on the south rim. It is scarcely discernible even with glasses, the distance is so vast. We all walk down the steep descent from this Point and make quick time to the place where we camped Sept. 3. We descend one thousand nine hundred feet in one hour and twenty minutes. After lunch, the men then cache much of the remaining provisions and cooking outfit for future use, and we go on riding as fast as possible down the dry bed of the stream. Then out of this, through a narrow canyon, past the gray-rock walls and gulch with black cave at bottom and slide in the talus above, over the fertile plateau, long descent on foot, where as I zigzag I see the men and the burros what seem to be hundreds of feet below.

“On down another dry stream bed, many stony descents in a shut-in canyon. Out of this into more open country, but over ridges, up and down. We come down to that part of the trail which I feared most in daylight and now we have only the starlight to enable us to descend. Mr. Bass takes me in charge and Mr. James goes up over the ridges to round up the burros which have been left to their own devices. A torch of sage-brush is lighted to find the trail. At last we reach the bottom. The men throw some blankets on the ground for me and I fall upon them. They go down to the Shinumo, which is only a few yards away, prepare supper and bring a cup of hot coffee for me. I return with them, make my bed, eat a hearty supper and then fall asleep with the roar of the Shinumo in my ears. My bed is comfortable and I have a feeling of perfect safety and confidence.

Watermelons in the Canyon. “Sunday, Sept. 8, 1901. We are on the Shinumo, and only half an hour’s ride above the camp. What a beautiful stream it is; cataracts, still reaches, rapids, sandy shoals, deep pools, and the water so pure, blue and clear. We cross and re-cross many times, through thickets of willow and mesquite. I am many times scratched and my hat is forcibly snatched from my head. At camp I feed watermelon rinds to Belshazzar who receives them as gratefully as I did the melons. How strange to find them growing here,–so ripe, rich and delicious. I feel very weary but deeply regret having to leave this lovely place. We start for the river. When the others arrive the packs, etc., are taken across in three loads. The four of us go over in the last load. Scramble up the Archaean by myself and sit in the shade, near the shelter tent, until I am put on the burro Joe and started off with the doctor.

Back at Bass Camp. “Dad had brought the burros here to receive us, all the animals we had ridden to Point Sublime having been left on the north side. At Bed Rock Camp we all have
lunch; and then at 4:00, the others with the burros having gone on ahead, we follow. I remain on my burro all the way up, save at three places, where Mr. James deems it best for me to dismount. At last, we make the final ascent, I see the tent above my head, then the roof of the house at Bass Camp, and in another moment or two the most memorable and wonderful trip of my life is over.”

CHAPTER XIII. How The Canyon Was Formed*

* This chapter, while in manuscript, was read by Dr. Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and formerly Director of the United States Geological Survey, and also by Professor Matthis, of the Survey. It may therefore be accepted as a fairly accurate and authoritative presentation of the geological conditions existent at the Canyon, with their explanations, as accepted by the leading scientists of to-day.

The beginning of land. In the long ago centuries, when the world was “without form and void,” waters covered the face of the earth, and darkness brooded over the waters. As the earth’s crust began to shrink under the water, in the process of cooling, the first masses to crumple up, to wrinkle, were the first to arise above the surface of the vast, primeval, shoreless ocean. They appeared as tiny islands, pinnacles, or ridges thrust up, exactly as we see them sometimes on the coast,–hidden at high tide; appearing again at low tide.

The Laurentian Hills. Nature had plenty of time before her, so she did not hurry her work, and it took long centuries before there was any large amount of land thrust up out of the bosom of the sea. The scientists are able to tell us, with some definiteness, which came forth first. They say that on the continent of America the earliest born land was a mass of granitic rock in Canada,–the Laurentian Hills. The next to peer above the surface and feel the warmth of the sun were peaks and ridges that made islands of themselves, in what are now known as the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians. Now, at last, the great waves of the sea and the resistless storms had something to play with, and they pounced down upon the land as with tooth and claw. They rubbed and pounded, raged and smashed for a thousand years, and then another thousand, and still another, while Mother Earth uneasily thrust forth her rocky children out of the ocean into the light of day. Surprised at such treatment by the storms and seas, the newly born earth masses began to crumble and “weather.” The detached fragments slipped back, or were washed back, into the deeper or shallower parts of the ocean, and were there tossed back and forth, pounded and ground into sand and silt, into pebbles and boulders, while more land was slowly being thrust out for the angry sea to work upon. Layer by layer, the ground-up masses were deposited in the inner ocean bed, parts of which were now practically shut off from the vast ocean beyond. How many centuries of centuries this process continued geologists do not tell us. Time is so vast, so long, that they cannot divide those early days into weeks, months and years, as we now do.

The Continent is born. After many millions of tons had been thus ground up and tossed about and mingled with the waters of the seas, the earth, in a fit of fiery anger, turned and baked them, with intense heat, out of all semblance to their former appearance. These baked masses, in the course of time, were thrust up out of the seas, mashed and macerated once more, again deposited as sand, silt, pebbles and boulders, and again burned. These processes followed each other, how many times we do not know, the earth all the while keeping up her steady uplift of the children of her bosom out of the great sea. Higher and higher came the land. Further and further receded the sea, until, in due course, the sun shone upon a vast area of land that was the rude skeleton of what is now the continent of North America.

It would have taken a keen eye, however, to have imagined from that which we see to-day what was there. The Gulf of California reached far up, even into Nevada, and covered what are now the Mohave and Colorado Deserts; there was no California Coast Range; the Gulf of Mexico was vastly larger than it is to-day, covering all Florida, and reaching up the Mississippi Valley half-way to the Great Lakes.

The First Strata. It was just preceding the last uplift of this epoch that the era of deposition of rock debris was so prolonged that twelve thousand feet of strata were washed into the bed of the sea, in the region now known as the Grand Canyon Country. It was at the time when life was beginning to dawn, for in the remnants of the strata are found fossils of the earliest known life. These strata, therefore, are of immense interest to the geologist, as they are the first known rocks containing life to emerge from the primeval sea. Within the last few years, they have been called the Algonkian Series, and later I shall speak of them more freely.

Prior to the deposition of these Algonkian strata, the Laurentian rocks (the granite) upon which they rest were subject to a long period of “planation,”–as the grinding down and leveling of rock surfaces is termed. After this planation was complete, a subsidence occurred; the whole area became the bed of an inland sea, and upon the planed-down granite, the debris that formed the Algonkian strata was washed.

While they were being deposited, the whole region was the scene of several seismic and volcanic disturbances, for great dykes and “chimneys” of lava are found, showing clearly that, by some means or other, the strata were broken and shattered, cracked and seamed, and that through these cracks the molten lava oozed–forced up from the interior of the earth. It spread out over the Algonkian rocks in small sheets or blankets, which here and there are still to be found to-day.

Tilting of the Algonkian Strata. Slowly this twelve thousand feet of strata emerged into the sunlight. In the uplifting processes, the surface of the earth, where they were, became tilted, and these strata therefore “dipped” or “tilted” away from the perpendicular. As they emerged, weathering and erosion began. It is most probable that this process of degradation began and continued while the topmost strata were at or near sea level, so that it was a simultaneous process with the uplift.

Erosion of the Algonkian. How many centuries this weathering and washing away process consumed no one knows. At the close of this epoch, however, the Algonkian strata had been eroded almost away, owing to its tilted condition, so that in some places even the surface of the Archaean was exposed, and suffered the planing-down process. Figure 1 on plate facing page 98 is a suggestion as to the possible appearance of the rocks at this time.

Even then, in those far-away, early ages of history, if one had been present to measure these strata, he would have discovered the astounding fact that, although he had measured them and found twelve thousand feet before they began to emerge from the ocean, there were but about five hundred feet of them left. This is one of the interesting facts in geology,–that an observant reader can deduce so much from so little.

The twelve thousand feet deposit. “But,” asks the layman, “I cannot possibly see how, if only five hundred feet of strata are left, any one could ever tell that there were once twelve thousand feet. If eleven thousand five hundred feet are gone, how do you know they ever existed?”

A very reasonable question and one very easily answered. Refer to the sketch. Let the bracket on the right show the present width of the remaining strata, viz: five hundred feet. Now observe the tilted condition of the remnants. To get the original height of the depositions begin with No. 1, the stratum nearest the Archaean and measure that. Suppose it gives us five hundred feet. No. 2 gives two hundred feet; No. 3, five hundred feet; No. 4, one hundred and seventy-five; and so on up to No. 14. As these strata were deposited horizontally, all we have to do is to mentally replace them in their horizontal position. Throw the tilted strata back again into their original condition, and by this method of measurement it is seen that the twelve thousand feet can be made up. Figure 2, facing page 98.

Another interesting question here arises: “What became of the vast quantity of sand and silt and pebbles that formed and were carried away during such a gigantic process? For, think of it, eleven thousand five hundred feet of strata, or rock, two miles high, almost three times as high a mass as the present distance in vertical height from El Tovar to the river! Where has it all gone?”

Naturally an answer to these questions is mere conjecture, as only from a study of the facts revealed underneath the present strata, can any comparative knowledge be gained of the conditions existent at that prehistoric age. There may have been one river, or a score, or any number between, and it is probable one or more rivers carried the Algonkian debris westward and deposited it, as the Colorado River (not brought into existence until centuries later) is now doing with the debris of the existent strata.

Another Subsidence. Now, a new era is about to dawn. Planed and smoothed off as they are, the Algonkian and Archaean masses are to be submerged once more in the ever receptive ocean. A period of subsidence occurs, and the whole area is soon hidden under the face of the sea. But, all around these are masses, some day to be mountain peaks, that refuse to sink again into the sea. Then the forces of the air assail them. If they cannot be drowned, they shall be gnawed at, smitten, cut and worried by the air, the chemicals of the atmosphere, the storms, the rain, the hail, the frost, the snow, and thus made to feel their insignificance. Slowly or rapidly, they yielded to this disintegrating process, and as the rocky masses broke up, they were washed by the rills and streams into the bed of the sea, where they soon rested upon the tilted ends of the Algonkian strata and exposed surfaces of the Archaean masses, waiting for them.

The Deposition of the Tonto Sandstones. The wise men tell us that this ocean was a salt sea, and that it was quite shallow while these new sediments were being deposited. Little by little one thousand feet of the sediments of this epoch were washed down, so that it is very likely that the tilted strata upon which they rested slowly sank lower and lower to accommodate them. Then, for some reason or other, there was a rest for a while–a few hundreds or thousands of years–and the masses of sediments became cemented into sandstone and shale, which we call the Cambrian formation, or the Tonto sandstone. This is to be seen resting both upon the Archaean and Algonkian from the porches of El Tovar. It is composed of strata of dull buff, very different from the brilliant reds–almost crimsons–of the Algonkian, and the bright reds of the strata which later were to rest above them.

Geological Terms. What an audacious science this geology is! How ruthlessly it wrests aside the curtain from the mystery of the past, and how glibly it deals with thousands, millions of years, tying them up into packages, as it were, and handing them out labeled “eras” and “periods.” As usual, the names made by the wise men are hard to pronounce, and seemingly hard to understand. But a few minutes will take away the difficulty. They divide the eras into four, viz.: 1, Proterozoic; 2, Paleozoic; 3, Mesozoic; 4, Cenozoic. All these “zoics” have to do with life. Proterozoic means before life, and signifies the rocks that contain no fossils indicative of life; Paleozoic signifies the most ancient forms of life; Mesozoic signifies “middle life” or those between the most ancient and the Cenozoic, or recent forms of life. The periods are lesser divisions of the eras. In the Proterozoic, there are two periods, viz.: the Archaean and the Algonkian. The Paleozoic has six periods, viz.: the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian. The Mesozoic era has three periods, the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, while the Cenozoic era names five periods,–the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene.

Absence of Certain Strata. To shorten our story, let me at once say that during the periods that the Ordovician, the Silurian and the Devonian were forming, the Grand Canyon region was either above water so that it received none of these sediments, or, if any were deposited, they were almost entirely removed by the weathering processes before described, ere the region again sank into the ocean to receive the deposits of the Carboniferous epoch.

The Carboniferous. During this latter period, more than three thousand feet of strata were deposited. These are the most striking in appearance of all the Canyon strata, for they reach from the Tonto shales to the rim, and consist of three principal strata (with many smaller ones in between). The largest is the red-wall limestone, which constitutes the base of nearly all the architectural forms found in the Canyon, and is the thickest of all the strata. It presents the “tallest” wall of the series. The two separate walls, one above the other, on the top of the Canyon, as seen in the arms of the amphitheatre at El Tovar, are the other two wide members of this Carboniferous period. The lower is the cross-bedded sandstone, and the upper the cherty limestone. There is a remarkable difference in the appearance and the material of which these Carboniferous strata are formed, and those of the East and Europe. We generally think of coal-beds–carbon when this period is mentioned. Here there are none. In the East, in England, and in other parts of Europe, vast marshes existed in this period, and the rank vegetation of these marshy areas formed the coal-beds, with which the Carboniferous there abounds. It is only by the fossils found that the periods to which the various strata belong are determined, and the fossils, millions of which abound in the upper limestone, are clearly of the Carboniferous epoch.

As these strata and this period bring us to the “rim” of the Canyon, it might be easy to imagine that the processes of uplift and subsidence, and deposition of more strata, as far as the Canyon region is concerned, now cease. Such, however, is not the case.

Later Strata. As we go away from the Canyon, either north or east, we find thousands of feet more of the later depositions, and the geologists affirm that many of these at one time may have overlaid the Canyon region. There is circumstantial evidence, amounting almost to proof, and Figure 3 of plate facing page 99 suggests what that evidence is. It should be carefully noted that the Canyon has been cut through the highest portions of a ridge, which runs generally from east to west, and the slopes of which, therefore; were north and south from the ridge. As one travels north from the Canyon, he finds all the way along, for hundreds of miles, that he goes on a down slope for a number of miles and then suddenly comes to the jutting edges of slightly tilted strata (only 2 degrees) which make a cliff up which he must climb. Arrived at the top of this, the downward descent begins again, until another ridge of these slightly tilted strata appears, see Figure 3 of plate facing page 99. Thus he continues up into Utah, and south and east into Arizona.

Now, in imagination, restore these cliffs of Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and even Cretaceous strata over the whole Canyon platform. Figure 4 of plate facing page 99.

Red Butte, which is the prominent landmark seen from the railway on the right, when going from Williams to the Canyon, is said to be a remnant of the Permian.

Deposition of Strata in Shallow Water. It is, I believe, generally accepted by the geologists that the accumulation of much of the sediments of the Cambrian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods took place in shallow water, and that the sea bottom slowly sank under the weight of the increasing deposits. Hundreds, thousands of years must have elapsed during the process, for the indications are that the sinking did not exceed a few inches every hundred years! As carefully measured, these sediments then amounted to about two miles. Imagine, then, these Cambrian rocks, that at El Tovar are clearly seen above the “granite” or Archaean, sunk in the ocean, to the depth of two miles, and covered over with the various strata, the topmost of which was barely above sea level at periods of low tide.

Cretaceous Uplift. Then began another epoch of uplift. Slowly the Cretaceous rocks emerged from the sea, and were subject to the fierce attacks of nature that produce erosion. Now we have to grope blindly for a while, as the wise ones do not have facts enough upon which to speak with definite certainty. But it is assumed that a great warping of the earth’s crust took place, and that in this revolution some of the plateau sank,–supposedly the northern part, though it certainly extended across the Canyon nearly as far south as Williams and Ash Fork, and other parts–the edges–arose, and thus formed a basin which became another vast inland sea.

Eocene Lake. We know this was an inland sea, and had no connection with the ocean, for all the fossils and sediments deposited in it reveal that they are fresh-water organisms. In this sea, as in the earlier oceans, vast deposits of sediment were made in the early Eocene period, and another period of subsidence occurred. Then the great lake was drained, and the uplift began, slow and sure; then, and not before, were the conditions existent that have made the Canyon country as we see it to-day. Peaks and islets received the rainfall, tiny rivers were formed that grew larger and cut their way in deeper, as the uplift continued. The principal stream, which was then born, was the Colorado. It is supposed, from various evidences, that the rainfall was very much more abundant then than now, and consequently the rivers had greater flow, and more eroding and carrying capacity. The uplift continued, and the geologists tell us it did not cease until about fifteen thousand feet, deposited since Cretaceous times, were thrust up into the air. As almost all this mass of deposition has disappeared from the immediate Canyon region, we are compelled to believe that it has been swept away down the Colorado River to join the sands of the Carboniferous and later periods in the Colorado Desert, the Salton Basin, the great low region of Lower California, and the Gulf itself.

Less by Erosion in the Canyon Region. Now figure out for a few moments the results of these different erosive periods. Eleven thousand five hundred feet of Algonkian gone; a small amount of erosion in the Cambrian epoch, the depth of which is unknown; and then the great denudation of the Eocene period sweeping away upwards of fifteen thousand feet of strata, give us a total of twenty-six thousand five hundred feet that have totally disappeared from the Canyon region. A vertical mile is five thousand two hundred and eighty feet. Mount Washington is about six thousand five hundred feet above the sea,–a trifle higher than Mount Lowe, near Pasadena, California. Take off from this six thousand five hundred feet, say one thousand five hundred feet, for the level of the country at the base of these two mountains, and then imagine a region five times as high as both of them, covering an area of country of possibly thirteen thousand to fifteen thousand square miles, slowly planed off by the erosive forces of nature.

Formation of River Beds. How was it done? I have spoken of the peaks and islets that first emerged from the Eocene Sea, and received the rains. Down their slopes ran the earliest watercourses, first as rills, then as creeks, finally as rivers. The higher the peaks ascended, the more the accompanying land was lifted up, and therefore the longer and deeper became the rivers. The course of a river once established, it is exceedingly difficult to change it–hence the law that geologists call “the persistence of rivers.” By and by, the uplifted country appeared as one vast area of river valleys, separated by stretches of plateau. Little by little, working by laws that are pretty well understood, the swift flowing avers cut downwards. When their velocity ceased, the widening of the river courses began, and progressed with greater rapidity, so that, in time, the divides that intervened between the rivers were worn away,–a process rudely shown in Fig. 5 A. B. C. and D. of plate on page 110.

The Formation of the Canyon. Now, in imagination, let us hark back to the day when this plateau was in the condition thus described. Nearly everything in the way of strata has been planed down to the Carboniferous rocks. The plateau is about at sea level. One great river already exists, with two arms, now called the Green and the Grand, the main river some day to be known as the Colorado. Slowly the uplift begins. It is a fairly even process, and yet there is slightly more pressure brought to bear under the southern portion, so that the whole mass has a slight tilt to the north. Professor Salisbury found certain beds of rock at seven thousand eight hundred feet above sea level at the base of the San Francisco Mountains near Flagstaff. Forty-five miles north, at the Grand Canyon, these same beds are only six thousand four hundred feet above sea level, while at the Vermilion Cliffs, another forty-five miles to the north, they are but four thousand four hundred feet above the sea.

Yet in spite of this northward tilt, when the eye ranges over the country to the south and west, from the upper porch of El Tovar, a large area of depression can clearly be seen, showing that surface erosion has planed away much of the upper crust.

The Plateau Region. Now we are ready to take a look at the borders of the plateau region. On the north, it extends into Utah, where still higher plateaus bound it. To the west, it extends by gigantic steps into the desert region. The main step is along the Grand Wash, near the one hundred and fourteenth meridian. To the south, there is one glorious step, known as the Mogollon Escarpment (locally the Red Rock Country), some three thousand feet high, which extends for a number of miles east and west, and then breaks down. This step and broken levels lead to the irregular lands of Central and Southern Arizona. On the east, the plateau extends to the Echo Cliffs beyond Marble Canyon, and as far as the ridge of the Continental Divide, where the Santa Fe crosses the Zuni Mountains, east of Gallup, N. M.

Present Conditions. With this general view of the great plateau in our mind’s eye, we are prepared to examine present conditions at any given spot in the Canyon. Let us, therefore, take a seat at El Tovar, and try to read a few pages of the stone book of Creation as opened there. Suppose all this vast region at about sea level, and the uplift just beginning. The course of the Colorado River is already well defined. As the uplift continues, the cherty limestone and possibly the cross-bedded sandstone are both cut through, as the plateau slowly emerges. Whether the process of uplift is slow or rapid, as soon as a stratum emerges, it becomes subject to the influences of weathering, and the uppermost strata appearing first, they are weathered most. Hence the recession of the uppermost cliffs is greater than that of the cliffs lower down. The differences in hardness and resistance to weathering are alone responsible for the step-like profile of cliffs and terraces. The lower platform owes its width entirely to the rapid weathering and recession of the soft shales, which overlie the Tonto sandstones. The red-wall limestone, on the other hand, remains standing out as a cliff because of its exceeding durability.

The Faults. During the final uplift, the river cut through the Cambrian and Algonkian strata, and into the Granite Gorge as we find it to-day, and the process is still slowly going on. During these various periods of uplift, there were other changes occurring. Sometimes the uplift was uneven, certain parts of the plateau being lifted more rapidly than other parts; then occurred breaks in the strata, called faults. There are a great number of these faults in the plateau country, most of them crossing the Canyon from north to south. This faulting, as is readily seen, would produce cracks, and as the uneven uplift continued; the strata on one side of the crack would be lifted higher than the strata on the other side. Or, the strata on one side of the crack would be uplifted, while the other would subside.

Bright Angel Fault. El Tovar rests directly upon the strata affected by the Bright Angel Fault line. On going down the Bright Angel Trail, one cannot fail to see, as he passes the tap of the cross-bedded sandstone, the break in the strata. To the left it is fully one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet higher than it is on the right. The same depression may be observed in driving out to Hopi, Point, or returning. The stratum on which the road is made should be at the same level as the stratum on which El Tovar rests.

Fault at Bass Camp. This fault is but one of a score or more on the plateau. At Bass Camp there was a fault which displaced the strata on each side of the “break” to the extent of four thousand feet. Later, another fault occurred, which readjusted the displacement somewhat, and reduced the difference to two thousand feet, yet left the evidences of the former wide divergence. It was also during these uplift periods that the volcanic mountains of the region came into existence, as the San Francisco Range, Mounts Kendricks, Sitgreaves, Williams and Floyd on the south, and the Uinkarets–Mounts Trumbull, Logan, Emma–on the north.

Lava Flows. In one place, south of Mount Emma, Powell’s party saw where vast floods of lava had flowed from it into the river. They declare that “a stream of molten rock has run up the Canyon three or four miles, and down, we know not how far. The whole north side, as far as we can see, is lined with the black basalt, and high up on the opposite wall are patches of the same material, resting on the benches, and filling old alcoves and caves, and giving to the wall a spotted appearance.” All these volcanic mountains can be seen from Hopi or Yavapai points, near El Tovar.

The Algonkian Strata. The Algonkian strata of the Grand Canyon are by far the most interesting; Major Powell was the first to call attention to their existence in his report of explorations of 1869-1872, and he discusses their origin and history as far as was possible with the small amount of data he had at hand. Later Dr. Charles D. Walcott, his successor as Director of the United States Geological Survey, and now the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, spent a full winter in the heart of the Canyon, especially studying the unique formations. Unique they are, for, though found elsewhere on the earth, they are exceedingly rare, and, up to this time; had received little study and were unknown and unnamed. The area studied by Walcott lies at the very entrance to the Grand Canyon, near where the Marble Canyon and Little Colorado Canyon join the main one. While the series cross the river and are a fine feature of Red Canyon Trail, the main study was done on the north side. Dr. Walcott thus locates the site of his studies: “This area, between 35 degrees 57 minutes and 36 degrees 17 minutes north latitude, and between 111 degrees 47 minutes and 112 degrees west longitude, is in the valley portion of the Canyon, between the mouth of Marble Canyon and a point south of Vishnu’s Temple, a little west of where the Colorado River changes its course from south to southwest. It is wholly within the greater depths of the Grand Canyon, east and southeast of the Kaibab Plateau. The intercanyon valleys of this portion of the Grand Canyon extend back from three to seven miles west of the river, and are eroded in the crest of the Monoclinal fold that forms the eastern margin of the Kaibab Plateau.”

There are also interesting remnants of Algonkian directly opposite El Tovar to the west of the Bright Angel Creek. They are easily discernible by their brilliant geranium or vermilion color. They extend for a mile or more westward, and rise above the Tonto sandstones, which properly belong above them.

The most remarkable deposit and exhibition of Algonkian strata in the Canyon, so far as known, occurs directly east of the great Kaibab Plateau, opposite the Little Colorado River. Here there must be several, possibly five or six thousand feet of these interesting strata, which Nature has allowed to remain up to our day. Geologists are now investigating them more thoroughly than ever before, and we may expect, when they publish the reports of their labors, that our geological knowledge of the Algonkian epoch, and possibly of other puzzling matters, will be much increased by the light they will throw upon them.

CHAPTER XIV. The Canyon–Above And Below

The Canyon Rim. There are several rather remarkable and surprising points of difference between the Canyon on the rim, and the Canyon in its depths. Above, the whole Canyon region, save during the rainy season, is waterless, and while not barren, owing to the growths made possible by winters’ snows and summers’ rains, it is a veritable desert as far as water, whether in streams, creeks, rivulets or springs, is concerned.

Drainage of the Canyon. On both sides of the Canyon, all the surface water of the rains drains away from the Canyon for miles, and not until it has flowed, perhaps from within a few feet of the edge of the abyss itself, from twenty to a hundred miles, does it empty into the drainage channels which, burrowing down into the earth, reconvey the water back, by circuitous routes, into the depths of the Canyon, there to add to the flow of the Colorado.

Rain at El Tovar. Take rain that falls, for instance, at El Tovar itself, within sight of the Canyon. After a heavy storm, the visitor may see it dashing down the Bright Angel Wash (up which the railway runs) to Bass Station, where it turns and enters the narrower section of the Wash. It flows in a general southwesterly direction, and enters the Coconino Wash, which discharges into the open plain, once the bed of the great inland Eocene Sea. Here it disappears.

An Underground Stream. In this plain are some breaks in the rocky bed, which allow the water to flow down to join the underground current of the Havasu (or Cataract) Creek, which runs on the northern slope of Bill Williams Mountain. This underground stream (as explained in the chapter on Havasu Canyon) emerges at the head of the village of the Havasupai Indians, in a thousand springs, and then flows on, over several precipices, to the lower levels, thus making the exquisite waterfalls that have rendered this Canyon world-famous. It finally reaches the Colorado some fifteen miles away, where its clear blue waters are soon lost in the muddy flood of the “Red.”

Water in the Canyon. After one has ridden in the hot summer sun over this waterless region, and seen the waterwagons of the miners and sheep men, and the great train of water-tanks being hauled for the guests at El Tovar, it is a surprise and a wonder to find below, in the heart of this rocky-walled Canyon, a mighty river dashing its headlong way to the west. Many a time, after a week of riding horseback on the plateau above, until every particle of moisture seemed to have evaporated from my body, have I gone down the trail to the river and camped there, enjoying a swim several times a day, and rowing up and down one of the quiet stretches, between the rapids, where boating is not only possible but reasonably safe. In the Bright Angel and the Shinumo on the north side, and the Havasu on the south side, one may swim, or at least soak and paddle, in cooling waters, where waving willows, giant sycamores, and green cottonwoods sway above the streams, and rich verdure of great variety lines their banks. What a wonderful contrast,–above and below!

Difference between the Rim and the River. Another remarkable difference, or surprise, is found when one leaves the rim above, where the weather is lovely and there is not a sign of rain, and go below to the river, which gives evidence of a great rise. How can the river rise without rain? Yet it seems to, and one almost doubts the evidence of his own senses.

Experience on the River. Engineer Stanton tells of an experience as his party went through the river: “About 2:30 P. M. we heard a deep, loud roar, and saw the breakers ahead in white foam. With a great effort we stopped upon a pile of broken rock that had rolled into the river. When we went ahead to look, much to our surprise, the whole terrible rapid that we had expected to see had disappeared, and there was only a rushing current in its stead. While we stood wondering, there rose right at our feet those same great waves, twelve to fifteen feet in height and from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet long across the river, rolling down stream like great sea waves, and breaking in white foam with terrible noise. We watched and wondered and at last concluded that this was the forefront of a vast body of water rolling down this narrow trough from some great cloud-burst above. (We learned afterwards that there had been such a cloud-burst on the head-waters of the Little Colorado.) Believing that discretion was the better part of valor, we camped right there on that pile of rocks, fearing that, although our boats would ride the waves in safety, we might be caught in one of these rolls just at the head of a rapid, and, unable to stop, be carried over the rapid with the additional force of the rushing breakers.”

High and Low Water. The piles of driftwood found on the rocks in the Canyon reveal a difference of upwards of two hundred feet between high and low water. This, however, does not refer to the general condition of high water, but to exceptional cases. As, for instance, I myself once saw a mass of rock, the whole face of the cliff, containing doubtless millions of tons, fall into the trough of the stream. The whole course was at once dammed up, and the river rose sixty feet in one hour before the principal mass of rock was made topheavy by the power of the flood. Then it rolled over with the force of the millions of tons of water behind it, and crumbled as it rolled. The mighty wave dashed on, carrying everything before it. In less than another hour the rock mass had disappeared, and the water had resumed its normal level. A rise of fifty to seventy feet is not so very unusual in the heart of the gorge, where it is narrow and the waters would necessarily pile up. To see such a rise, without any evidence of a rain above, is a wonderful experience that one occasionally enjoys.

Snow on the Rim. Another remarkable contrast is observed by winter tourists. On the rim at El Tovar, Grand View, or Bass Camp snow may fall during December, January and February, and sometimes in March, though it quickly disappears. This is not surprising when one considers the high altitudes. The weather is then sometimes quite frigid, but it is a dry cold which rapidly yields to the warm midday sun. Do not imagine from this general statement that winter, as we know it in the East, is the usual thing at the Canyon. Quite the reverse. There are more sunshiny, warm, windless, stormless and no-snow days than otherwise, taking one year with another. Real winter weather often stays away until well into January. Some years it is a negligible quantity. At no time need it be feared by the traveller.

Trails in Winter. The trails for half a mile, or even a mile, down into the Canyon, during a part of the winter, are sometimes covered with light snow. As soon as the snow line is passed, the climate begins to change. The cold is less penetrating, and by and by one enters what might be called a temperate zone. Warmer and more comfortable it becomes, until, on reaching the river, the word “delicious” alone conveys the rich sense of satisfaction that one feels all over the body in the delightful sensation experienced. No time is so agreeable for a long stay in the depths of the Canyon as in the heart of winter. A semi-tropical climate below, while above, within three hours easy ride, a snowy winter may be reigning supreme!

Winter in the Canyon. Robert Brewster Stanton, who made his successful trip through the Canyon in wintertime, comments on this as follows: “It has been the fortune of but few to travel along the bottom of the great chasm for a whole winter, while around you bloom the sweet flowers, and southern birds sing on almost every bush, and at the same time far above, among the upper cliffs, rage and roar, like demons in the air, the grandest and most terrific storms of wind and snow and sleet that I have ever witnessed, even above the clouds among the summit peaks of the Rocky Mountains.”

Change in the Flora. This climatic diversity above and below is noticeable all through the year to the man or woman of sharp eyes, in the difference of the flowers, the shrubs, and the trees. Above are the pines, the cedars, and junipers of the cooler climes. The further down one goes, the greater the change becomes. The pines drop out, then the cedars and junipers, and when one reaches the patches of growth in the lowest depths, the agave, and other plants and flowers that we find only in semi-tropical climates here grow profusely.

Indian Garden. Another difference between the “above” and the “below” is found in the fact that a garden is almost unknown on the rim, and that there are many down below. On the Bright Angel Trail is the Indian Garden, where, for many years, the Havasupais used to cultivate their corn, beans, onions and melons. Along the Shinumo, on the north side, Mr. Bass has a garden where all these things grow; where peaches, plums, grapes, and apricots have thriven abundantly, and where now he is planting figs, lemons, oranges and grape-fruit. The Havasupais, in the depths of their Canyon, grow the finest, largest and most tender corn in the world, peaches and figs galore, and all the ordinary vegetables. Boucher also has fruit and vegetables on the level near the river, on his trail. At Lee’s Ferry also, Elder Emet has his gardens and orchards, as well as fine alfalfa fields. Nothing is more delightful than to come, after a hot journey down the trail, to these unexpected oases in the heart of the canyons.

Soil on the River and in the Canyon. The soil of the “above,” too, largely differs from the soil of the “below.” On the plateaus above, there are millions of acres, most of which careful examination shows to be covered with disintegrated rock and comparatively little vegetable soil, except below the surface. The winds and rains have carried away the softer and lighter soil, and allowed the heavier and harder rocks to remain. This process goes on all the time. In the depths of the Canyon, however, except on the steeper slopes, the soil remains.

The Silence on the Rim. A remarkable contrast between the rim and the Canyon is sometimes found in the absolute silence above, and the roar of the river below. It often occurs that not a sound of any kind can be heard on the rim but one’s breathing and the beating of his own heart. One morning I lay for an hour before I arose, and during the whole of that time, though I listened again and again, not the slightest sound reached my ears save the two named.

Song of the River. Now descend to the river and, day or night, early or late, June or December, hot or cold, wet or dry, fair or stormy, the roar and rush, fret and fume of the water is never out of one’s ears. Even when asleep it seems to “seep” in through the benumbed senses, and tell of its never-ending flow. After a few weeks of it, one comes away and finds he cannot sleep. He misses it and finds himself unable to sleep away from the accustomed noise.

The Wind. In nothing is the difference of “above” and “below” more marked than in the wind. Last night on the rim the wind blew almost a gale. The pines sang loudly, and one could hear their roar for miles. A dozen times I awoke and listened to their weird music. If you go outdoors, the wind plays with your hair, and tosses garments to and fro with frolicsome glee, or even, at times, with apparent angry fury. There are times when the wind comes toward you, on the rim, with a rapidity and force that are startling. Every one has had the experience of hearing a military band approaching from a distance.

As it comes nearer, the sound grows louder and louder, and if it approaches with great rapidity, as for instance, in an automobile or a speeding electric car, the music assails the ear with an increasing force that is a surprise. It is just so with the noises of the wind at the rim of the Canyon.

Now leave the rim and walk down the trail a couple of rods. All is quiet and still. The change is startling m its suddenness. The wind may be blowing far above you, and if you listen, you will hear its effect in the trees, but here, where you stand, you are protected and sheltered.

Diversity of Color. Perhaps the greatest difference between the rim and the interior of the Canyon is found in the diversity in color and feature between them. While there is a fascination to the long, wide stretches of plateau on the rim, and the forest has its attractive points, there are not many prominent features (looking away from the Canyon) that would occupy the attention of travellers. There is little striking in color, in scenery, in rocky contour. Plains, trees, sky, clouds, sunset,–and nearly all is said. But immediately one stands on the rim and looks below, all is changed. Here is feature after feature that compels not only attention but reverent homage. Color such as is seen nowhere else in the world on such a grand scale; massive walls that have no counterpart; rock forms that dazzle and bewilder; and an unfoldment of the stone book of creation that is alike a joy and a pain, a delight and a sorrow, a something seen at a glance, and that requires a lifetime to comprehend.

CHAPTER XV. The Hopi House

The Harvey Collection at El Tovar. In the Hopi House, opposite the El Tovar entrance, is installed one of the most interesting Indian collections of the world,–a collection that would grace the National Museum of Great Britain, France or Germany. The more intelligent the visitor to the Grand Canyon, the more he will find he can learn in this wonderful storehouse provided for his instruction and recreation.

The Hopi House. The building itself is a perfect model of a block in the village of Oraibi, one of the seven Hopi pueblos. It is three stories high, and contains many rooms. The original is supposed to accommodate forty-five families. It is built of the chips of sandstone and other rock in accordance with Hopi custom, rudely and irregularly laid in mortar. It is of the terraced style of architecture, each story receding from the one below it, so that the “second story front” finds a ready courtyard on the roof of the “first story front,” and the “third story front” on that of the “second story front.”

Houses that were Forts. In the old houses, found when the white man first visited the pueblos, there was no means of entrance to the first stories save by means of the ladders which stood outside against the walls, and thence through hatchways made in the roofs. This was for the purpose of defence against hostile tribes, who were constantly warring with these home-loving Indians in order that they might steal from them the fruits of their persistent labor and thrift. The ladder, during times of expected attack, could be lifted upon the second story, out of reach, and thus these houses became the forts of their inhabitants. Nowadays entrances are provided on the ground floor, and this house at El Tovar follows the modern custom, as well as the later innovation (which of course is essential in this building) of using glass for windows. For convenience and safety, another anachronism is tolerated in the electric light. In practically everything else, the building is a true model of a Hopi community house. With these people, the women are generally and mainly the builders of the houses, the men merely assisting in the heavier work.

Quaint Stairways. In addition to the quaint ladders, quainter steps, cut into flat or round trunks of cottonwood trees, are used. Stone steps connecting the two upper stories, are also built outside in the partition walls. The chimneys are constructed, in true pueblo fashion, of pottery water ollas, the bottoms of which have been broken out. Three or more of these, fastened with cement or mortar, are placed one above another. On the roofs are wood piles, as at Oraibi, and also picturesque strings of red peppers drying in the sun.

Navaho Silversmith. The entrance doorway is low, and the steps lead one down into the first room, in true Oraibi style. This room is occupied by the Tinne peshlikai, or Navaho silversmith, and Navaho blanket weavers. The smith, though using some modern tools, still follows the time-honored methods of his brother craftsmen. The silverware he makes will be more fully described in the special chapter devoted to the subject, as will also the blanket weaving of his wife and children.

Details of Construction. In this room there are several features of interest. First notice the construction of the building. The roof is supported by a massive upright, in a crotch, or V, on which the cross rafters rest. Lesser poles are placed upon these at right angles, which in turn support arrow-weed, willows, and other light brush. In the genuine Hopi construction, mud is then plastered or laid thickly over these willows; but as these rooms contain valuable collections of goods, a modern roofing has been used, which, however, does not in any way detract from the “realness” of the building.

Fireplace. In the corner is one of the quaint hooded fireplaces, with the raised hearth, exactly similar to several I have sat before in Oraibi, while my hospitable hostess prepared some Hopi delicacy or substantial food to tickle the palate or appease the hunger of her welcomed guest.

Mealing Stones. On the left is a quartet of corn-grinders, walled in from the floor by stone slabs laid in cement. In every pueblo house, a “battery” of these mealing stones is to be found, and it is one of the commonest of sights to find the women and girls on their knees, with the grinder in hands, rubbing it briskly up and down with the swing of the body, while every few moments, with a deft movement of the hand, the grain is thrown between the grinder and the stone beneath. The motion reminds one much of that required over the washing board. While thus at work, the Pueblo women sing some of their sweetest songs.

Hair Dressing. Occasionally when a Hopi mother, whose daughter has reached maidenhood, is located in the Hopi House, one may chance to find her engaged in turning the heavy black hair of her “mana” into the big whorls on the side of her head which are the Hopi emblem of maidenhood and purity. The mother herself wears her hair in two pendant rolls. These are the symbols of fruitfulness and chastity.

It is interesting also to see them make piki, a process elsewhere fully described.

Various Baskets. In the various rooms on the ground floor, the observing and curious will find quite a number of quaint architectural devices. The chief attractions to most visitors are the various Indian goods. There are baskets made by every Indian tribe in North America, Navaho wedding baskets made by Paiutes and used also by Apaches as medicine baskets; Havasupai, Pima, Hopi, and Katchina plaques; Hupa and Poma carrying baskets; Haida, Makah, Mescalero, Apache, Mission, Chimehuevi, Washoe, and a score of others. Here are pinion covered water-bottles of Navaho (tusjeh), Havasupai (esuwa), and Apache (tis-ii-lah-hah). Note the vast difference in the native names for practically the same thing.

Hopi Katchinas. The Hopi Ethnologic Collection (on second floor) is the best in the world, with the exception of the collection in the Field Columbian Museum, Chicago. In this collection are a large number of katchina dolls. Of these katchinas much might be written. They are ancient ancestral representatives of certain Hopi clans who, as spirits of the dead, are endowed with powers to aid the living members of the clan in material ways. The clans, therefore, pray to them that these material blessings may be given. “It is an almost universal idea of primitive man,” says Fewkes, “that prayers should be addressed to personations of the beings worshipped. In the carrying out of this conception men personate the katchinas, wearing masks, and dressing in the costumes characteristic of these beings. These personations represent to the Hopi mind their idea of the appearance of these katchinas or clan ancients. The spirit beings represented in these personations appear at certain times in the pueblo, dancing before spectators, receiving prayer for needed blessings, as rain and good crops.”

Powamu and Niman: The katchinas are supposed to come to the earth from the underworld in February and remain until July, when they say farewell. Hence there are two specific times which dramatically celebrate the arrival and departure of the katchinas. The former of these times is called by the Hopi Powamu, and the latter Niman. At these festivals, or merry dances, certain members of the participating clans wear masks representing the katchinas, hence katchina masks are often to be found in Hopi houses when one is privileged to see the treasures stored away. In order to instruct the children in the many katchinas of the Hopi pantheon, tihus, or dolls, are made in imitation of the ancestral supernal beings, and these quaint and curious toys are eagerly sought after by those interested in Indian life and thought. Dr. Fewkes has in his private collection over two hundred and fifty different katchina tihus, and in the Field Colombian Museum there is an even larger collection.

Katchina Baskets. For use in the katchina dances, katchina baskets are made, and if one were to start a collection of all the katchina baskets of the Hopi, he could look forward to possessing, in time, as large a number as Dr. Fewkes has of katchipa dolls.

Indian Pottery. Hopi, Acoma, Santa Clara, Zuni and, other pottery abounds side by side with Navaho blankets, war clubs, bridles, quirts, moccasins, Sioux beadwork, pouches, and baby-carrying baskets. Not only can the Navaho women be found weaving blankets, but, what comparatively few white persons have ever seen, in one of the rooms is a Hopi man weaving a blanket, which I question could be told from a Navaho, even by an expert, unless he saw it woven. In another room, the Hopi’s wife is making pottery.

During the day, time, when required, the attendants will gladly show visitors the collection of rarer curios on the second floor. An anachronism introduced here, to meet modern requirements, is the indoor stairway, but one excuses it for the sake of the interesting, symbolic, katchina figures that have been painted on the staircase walls.

Mexican Antiques. Here one room is devoted to Mexican antiques,–candlesticks, crucifixes, paintings, tapestry, bells, incense-burners, wooden plow, a model of the ancient caretta, chairs, daggers, etc.

Alaska Room. The Alaska Room contains models of totem poles, carvings on ivory and wood, boats, snowshoes, shields, baskets of several varieties, Haida hats, etc.

Ancient Blankets. The Old Blanket Room contains an assortment of the rarer and older Navaho, Mexican and Chimillo blankets, some of which are in the exquisite old colors used before modern aniline dyes were known. Scattered about also are some rare pieces of ancient pottery in black and white, dug out from ruins in Arizona and New Mexico.

Hopi Altar Room. By far the most interesting room in the house to the thoughtful inquirer is the Hopi Altar Room. Here are two reproductions of altars made by the ethnologist, Rev. H. R. Voth, who was led to his study of the Hopi while a Mennonite missionary to the Oraibi pueblo. These altars are thus described by him:

Tao Altar. One of the fraternities among the Hopi Indians of Arizona is the Tao or Singer Society. Such altars are erected in connection with the sacred and secret ceremonies in underground rooms or kivas in the different Hopi villages. Around these altars the priests arrange themselves, squatting on the floor, during their ceremonies, and engage in singing, sprinkling of sacred meal, smoking, asperging of sacred water, etc. Here they prepare their prayer offerings, utter their prayers, and practise numerous other religious rites. Of the slabs and sticks in the ridge of the altar those of a zigzag form represent lightning, which is supposed to emanate from clouds, which are represented by the terraced parts on top of the slabs. The flat slabs symbolize stalks of corn, with ears of corn carved on them. The thin sticks are supposed to represent the departed members of the society. In front of the slabs are seen four bahos or prayer sticks, composed of two short sticks, a turkey feather, two kinds of herbs, and corn-husk pocket containing sacred meal and honey. The object to the right, and in front of the ridge, is the tipone or sacred badge of the society. It usually consists of an ear of corn, wound with cotton twine, and having on its top feathers of different birds; to its sides are tied sundry pieces of shell, turquoise, and other objects.

In front of the altar stands a medicine bowl, which is surrounded by six ears of corn,–a yellow one on the north side, a dark bluish one on the west side, a red one south, a white one east, a black one on the northeast (representing above), and sweet corn ear on the southwest (representing below). From this bowl, sacred water is asperged, and from a meal tray sacred meal is sprinkled on the altar during ceremonies.

Powamu Altar. In the centre of the Powamu Altar is the framework. The four scenic circles on and over the head-piece represent clouds, and the symbol on the uprights blossoms, clouds, falling rain, etc. The larger of the idols within the framework represents Chowilawn, the God of Germination and Growth, the smaller one, Sotukonangwun, the God of Thunder, and the small, black figurine to the left of the framework is the representation of Pookong, the God of War. Between these idols stand numerous slabs, the zigzag formed representing lightning, the straight ones stalks of corn, etc. On each side of the altar proper stands a large wooden tablet, on which is drawn a picture of the Hiv Katchina, a personage that figures conspicuously in the ceremony on the sixth day, in which children are initiated into the Katchina order. On this occasion masked and gorgeously dressed men, who are supposed to be represented by these pictures, flog these small candidates for initiation.

In front of the altar may be seen a square, sand picture, containing cloud symbols, prayer offerings, blossoms, etc. Between this sand mosaic and the altar proper are rattles, a medicine bowl, ears of corn, meal trays, eagle feathers, and other objects.

The large object at the extreme left, consisting of a terraced tablet at the top, several zigzag sticks, and a stand at the bottom, represents clouds and lightning. The tablet and also the drawing in the upper part of it represent clouds, the crooked sticks lightning, and the two circular drawings, in the lower part of the tablet, symbolize blossoms. The small idol between two of the sticks is a figurine of Chowilawn.

The symbol to the right of the altar on the back wall, consisting of several semicircles, is that of towering rain clouds, with two rays of lightning emanating upward from it. The small, black lines on the lower border represent rain. To the left of the altar, on the same wall, appears the typical Hopi sun symbol, and on the left side wall that of the mythical water serpent, Balolookang. All of these wall pictures, however, are not an essential part of the altar.

This altar, like the one of the Tao Society, was reproduced by Mr. Voth. One of the subjects of his study was this altar and the various ceremonies connected with it, and while he was making these studies he succeeded in obtaining the photographs, drawings, measurements, notes, etc., from which he reproduced this elaborate piece of sacred Hopi ceremonial paraphernalia.

Hopi Door. The door itself leading into this Altar Room is an interesting antique. It is a real Hopi door, brought from Oraibi, and supposed to be not less than one hundred and fifty years old. Its quaint method of swinging, the way it is put together and fastened with nothing but rawhide thongs, reveals, as few things could, the interesting inventions of necessity. Prior to their knowledge and use of doors, which they undoubtedly gained from the Mexicans, their doorways were closed by slabs of rock, as described in the chapter on “The First Discoverers and Inhabitants of the Grand Canyon.” Those who have read that chapter will find many things of especial interest in this fascinating house.

Value of Hopi House. The Hopi House is in itself a liberal education in the customs, arts, history, mythology, religious ceremonials, and industries of not only one, but many tribes of Indians. It is not only a good business investment, but a place of benefit to which one should go prepared intelligently to study. Such an one will come away with a keen appreciation of the incomparable ethnological advantages this building affords him, and he will not grudge any purchase, however large, the attractiveness of the display has led him to indulge in.

Dances in the Hopi House. Every evening throughout the year, when a sufficient number of visitors are present to justify it, the Indians of the Hopi House give a few brief dances and songs, which faintly suggest the style of some of their more elaborate ceremonials.

CHAPTER XVI. Visiting Indians At El Tovar

It is seldom that the traveler will find less than three Indian tribes of distinct family represented at or near El Tovar. In the Hopi House, as is shown, there are Hopis and Navahos, and in their camp near by,there will generally be found a band of Havasupais from Havasu (Cataract) Canyon,