The Grand Canyon

One of Arizona’s most celebrated natural wonders is the Grand Canyon National Park, established on February 26, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson.

The Grand Canyon first gained federal recognition in 1893, when President Benjamin Harrison authorized the creation of the Grand Canyon National Forest. Park tourism began in 1901, when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad line brought visitors to the South Rim. In 1905, the El Tovar Hotel opened on the South Rim to meet the demand of increased tourism to the Canyon. Praised by President Theodore Roosevelt as, “the one great sight which every American should see,” the Grand Canyon remains one of Arizona’s most popular tourist attractions.

Learn more about the Grand Canyon National Park by checking out the resources available online through the Digital Arizona Library (DAZL).       

Grand Canyon ca. 1910

Colorized postcard of the Grand Canyon, circa 1910s


Arizona Digital Newspaper Project

“Powell’s Explorations,” Arizona Citizen, May 27, 1871 (p. 1, column 5)

“Government Plans to Improve Grand Canyon Park Soon,” Arizona Republican, Feb. 20, 1919 (p. 11, column 2)

“Carl Hayden’s View of the Grand Canyon Project,” The Holbrook News, April 14, 1922 (p. 5 column 3)


Arizona Memory Project

Boulder Canyon Project Questions and Answers (1931)

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company (A.T.&S.F.Ry.Co.) Collection Highlights, found in the Arizona Memory Project (AMP) Collection

“A Look Back,” Arizona Highways, November 2013 (pp. 16 – 33)

The Bass Photo Collection – Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau Lantern Slides, found in the Arizona Memory Project (AMP) Collection


Reading Arizona

First Through the Grand Canyon by Major John Wesley Powell, published in 1916

The Grand Canyon: Native People and Early Visitors by Kenneth Shields, published in 2000

Grand Canyon National Park by Thomas Alan Ratz, published 2009

Visiting the Grand Canyon: Early Views of Tourism by Linda L. Stampoulos, published in 2004