The Grand Canyon Of Arizona: How To See It
George Wharton James
Author of "In and Out of the Old Missions," "The Wonders of the Colorado Desert," "Through Ramona's Country," etc.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company
Kansas City: Fred Harvey
PREFACE TO REVISED EDITION
Because of the completion of a new driveway along the Rim of the Grand Canyon, and of a new trail to the Colorado River, a second edition of this book is deemed necessary.
These improvements, which have recently been made by the Santa Fe Railway, are known as Hermit Rim Road and Hermit Trail. The first, said to be the most unique road in the world, is nine miles long on the brink of the Canyon, and the other, a wide and safe pathway down the south wall.
The contents of the volume has been revised, and descriptions of Hermit Rim Road and Hermit Trail have been added. There are also new portions describing the drives and trips that may be taken through the forest on the Rim and in the Canyon itself, each carefully planned so that the traveler may devote to sightseeing whatever amount of time he desires.
With these additions and alterations, the original plan to provide a convenient handbook for all travelers to the Grand Canyon is more complete.
Upwards of ten years ago I sat on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and wrote "In and Around the Grand Canyon." In that book I included much that more than a decade of wandering up and down the trails of this great abyss had taught me. At that time the only accommodations for sightseers were stage lines or private conveyance from Flagstaff and Ash Fork, and, on arrival at the Canyon, the crude hotel-camps at Hance's, Grand View, Bright Angel, and Bass's. The railway north from Williams was being built. Everything was crude and primitive.
Now the railway is completed and has become an integral part of the great Santa Fe System, with at least two trains a day each way carrying Pullman sleepers, chair cars and coaches. At Bright Angel, where the railway deposits its passengers at the rim of the Canyon, stands El Tovar Hotel, erected by the railway company at a cost of over a quarter of a million dollars, which is equipped and conducted by Fred Harvey. Yet El Tovar is more like a country club than a hotel, in many respects, and, to that extent, is better.
Hence while nothing in the canyon itself has changed, and while my book, "In and Around the Grand Canyon," is still as helpful to the traveler and general reader as ever, there has been a growing demand for a new book which should give the information needed by the traveler who comes under the new conditions, telling him how he may best avail himself of them. This book is written to meet this demand. It therefore partakes more of the character of a guide book than the former volume, so it has been decided to make it lighter in weight and handier in form, so that it can be slipped into the pocket or handbag, and thus used on the spot by those who wish a ready reference handbook.
Used in connection with the earlier volume or alone for it is complete in itself in all its details—it cannot fail to give a clearer and fuller comprehension of this "Waterway of the Gods,"—the most incomparable piece of rugged scenery in the known world.
George Wharton James El Tovar, Grand Canyon, September, 1909.
I. THE GRAND CANYON OF ARIZONA
II. ON THE GRAND CANYON RAILWAY TO EL TOVAR
III. EL TOVAR AND ITS EQUIPMENTS
IV. THE GRAND CANYON AT EL TOVAR
V. THREE WAYS OF SPENDING ONE DAY AT THE CANYON
VI. HOW TO SPEND TWO TO FIVE DAYS AT EL TOVAR
VII. HOW FULLY TO SEE AND KNOW THE GRAND CANYON REGION
VIII. FROM EL TOVAR DOWN THE BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL
IX. TO GRAND VIEW AND DOWN THE GRAND VIEW TRAIL
X. A NEW "RIM" ROAD AND TRAIL INTO THE SCENIC HEART OF THE CANYON
XI. FROM EL TOVAR TO BASS CAMP AND DOWN THE BASS TRAIL
XII. ACROSS THE GRAND CANYON TO POINT SUBLIME
XIII. HOW THE CANYON WAS FORMED
XIV. THE CANYON—ABOVE AND BELOW
XV. THE HOPI HOUSE
XVI. VISITING INDIANS AT EL TOVAR
XVII. THE NAVAHO AND HOPI BLANKET WEAVERS
XVIII. PUEBLO AND NAVAHO POTTERY AND SILVERWARE
XIX. THE HOPIS AND THEIR SNARE DANCE
XX. AN HISTORIC TRAIL ACROSS THE GRAND CANYON COUNTRY
XXI. THE NAVAHO AND HIS DESERT HOME
XXII. FROM EL TOVAR TO THE HAVASUPAI INDIANS AND THEIR WONDERFUL CATARACT CANYON HOMES
XXIII. THE FIRST DISCOVERERS AND INHABITANTS OF THE GRAND CANYON
XXIV. EL TOVAR AND CARDENAS AND THE MODERN DISCOVERY OF THE GRAND CANYON
XXV. FRAY MARCOS AND GARCES, AND THEIR CONNECTION WITH THE GRAND CANYON
XXVI. POWELL'S AND OTHER EXPLORATIONS OF THE GRAND CANYON
XXVII. INDIAN LEGENDS ABOUT THE GRAND CANYON
XXVIII. THE COLORADO RIVER FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA
XXIX. CLIMATE AND WEATHER AT THE GRAND CANYON
XXX. THE GRAND CANYON FOR PLEASURE, REST AND RECUPERATION
XXXI. THE STORY OF A BOAT
XXXII. THE GRAND CANYON A FOREST RESERVE, GAME PRESERVE AND NATIONAL MONUMENT
CHAPTER I. The Grand Canyon Of Arizona
Only One Grand Canyon. The ancient world had its seven wonders, but they were all the work of man. The modern world of the United States has easily its seven wonders—Niagara, the Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Natural Bridge, the Mammoth Cave, the Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon of Arizona—but they are all the work of God. It is hard, in studying the seven wonders of the ancients, to decide which is the most wonderful, but now that the Canyon is known all men unite in affirming that the greatest of all wonders, ancient or modern, is the Grand Canyon of Arizona. Some men say there are several Grand Canyons, but to the one who knows there is but one Grand Canyon. The use of the word to name any lesser gorge is a sacrilege as well as a misnomer.
Not in the spirit of carping criticism or of reckless boasting are these words uttered. It is the dictum of sober truth. It is wrong to even unintentionally mislead a whole people by the misuse of names. Until made fully aware of the facts, the traveling world are liable to error. They want to see the Grand Canyon. They are shown these inferior gorges, each called the Grand Canyon, and, because they do not know, they accept the half-truth. The other canyons they see are great enough in themselves to claim their closest study, and worthy to have distinctive names bestowed upon them. But, as Clarence Dutton, the eminent geologist, has well said in his important scientific monograph written for the United States Geological Survey: "The name Grand Canyon repeatedly has been infringed for purposes of advertisement. The Canyon of the Yellowstone has been called 'The Grand Canyon.' A more flagrant piracy is the naming of the gorge of the Arkansas River 'The Grand Canyon of Colorado,' and many persons who have visited it have been persuaded that they have seen the great chasm. These river valleys are certainly very pleasing and picturesque, but there is no more comparison between them and the mighty chasm of the Colorado River than there is between the Alleghanies and the Himalayas.
Sublimity of the Grand Canyon. "Those who have long and carefully studied the Grand Canyon of the Colorado do not hesitate for a moment to pronounce it by far the most sublime of all earthly spectacles. If its sublimity consisted only in its dimensions, it could be set forth in a single sentence. It is more than two hundred miles long, from five to twelve miles wide, and from five thousand to six thousand feet deep. There are in the world valleys which are longer and a few which are deeper. There are valleys flanked by summits loftier than the palisades of the Kaibab. Still the Grand Canyon is the sublimest thing on earth. It is so not alone by virtue of its magnitudes, but by virtue of the whole its tout ensemble."
What, then, is this Grand Canyon, for which its friends dare to make so large and bold a claim?
It is a portion—a very small portion—of the waterway of the Colorado River, and it is so named to differentiate it from the other canyons of the same river. The canyon system of the Colorado River is as vast in its extent as is the Grand Canyon in its quality of sublimity. For it consists of such a maze of canyons—the main canyons through which the river itself runs; the canyons through which its tributaries run; the numberless canyons tributary to the tributary canyons; the canyons within canyons, that, upon the word of no less an authority than Major Powell, I assert that if these canyons were placed end for end in a straight line they would reach over twenty thousand miles! Is it possible for the human mind to conceive a canyon system so vast that, if it were so placed, it would nearly belt the habitable globe?
Impression on Beholders. And the principal member of this great system has been named The Grand Canyon, as a conscious and meaningful tribute to its vastness, its sublimity, its grandeur and its awesomeness. It is unique; it stands alone. Though only two hundred and seventeen miles long, it expresses within that distance more than any one human mind yet has been able to comprehend or interpret to the world. Famous word-masters have attempted it, great canvas and colormasters have tried it, but all alike have failed. It is one of the few things that man is utterly unable to imagine until he comes in actual contact with it. A strange being, a strange flower, an unknown reptile, a unique machine, or a strange and unknown anything, almost, within the ken of man, can be explained to another so that he will reasonably comprehend it; but not so with the Grand Canyon. I had an illustration of this but a few days ago. A member of my own household, keenly intelligent and well-read, who had heard my own descriptions a thousand and one times, and had seen photographs and paintings, without number, of the Canyon, came with me on her first visit to the camp where I am now writing. As the carriage approached the rim at Hotouta Amphitheatre and gave her the first glimpse of the Canyon, she drew back terrified, appalled, horror-stricken. Subsequent analysis of her emotions and the results of that first glimpse revealed a state of mind so overpowered with the sublimity, vastness, depth and power of the scene, that her impressions were totally inadequate, altogether lacking in detail and accuracy, and at complete variance with her habitual observations.
Whence came so utter a confusion of the senses? The Canyon is its own answer. It fills the soul of all responsive persons with awe. Explain it as one will, deny it if one will, sensitive souls are filled with awe at its superb majesty, its splendor, its incomprehensible sublimity. And in these factors we find the great source of its attractiveness, for, in spite of the awe and terror it inspires in the hearts of so many at first sight, it allures, attracts and holds those who have once gazed into its mysterious depths. Indeed, is it not to its very vastness, mystery, solitude and awe-inspiring qualities we owe its power over us? The human mind is so constituted that such qualities generally appeal to it. Hence the never-ceasing call the Canyon will make to the soul of man, so long as a susceptible mortal remains on earth.
Its Physical Features. Seen at any time it is bewildering and appalling to one's untrained senses; but especially in the very early morning, during the hours of dawn and the slow ascent of the sun, and equally in the very late afternoon and at sunset, are its most entrancing effects to be witnessed. At midday, with the sun glaring through into its depths, the reds and chocolates of the sandstones (which are the predominating colors) are so strong, and the relieving shadows so few, that it seems uninteresting. But let one watch it as I did last night, between the hours of seven and ten, and again this morning from five until eight of the clock. What revelations of forms, what richness of colors; what transformations of apparently featureless walls into angles and arches and recesses and facets and entablatures and friezes and facades. What lighting up of towers and temples and buttes and minarets and pinnacles and ridges and peaks and pillars of erosion! What exposures of detached and isolated mountains of rock, of accompanying gorges and ravines, deep, forbidding, black and unknown, the depths of which the foot of man has never trod! Turner never depicted such dazzling scenes, Rembrandt such violent and yet attractive contrasts. Here everything is massive and dominating. The colors are vivid; the shadows are purple to blackness; the heights are towering; the depths are appalling; the sheer walls are as if poised in mid-air; the towers and temples dwarf into insignificance even the monster works of man on the Nile. Here are single mountains of erosion standing as simple features of the vast sight spread out for miles before you, that are as high as the highest mountains of the Eastern States. A score of Mt. Washingtons find repose in the depths of this incomprehensible waterway, in the two hundred and seventeen miles of its length. In width it varies from ten to twenty miles, and at the point where I now sit writing, where the Canyon makes a double bow-knot in a marvelous bend, the north wall (which, in the sharp bend of the river, becomes the south wall of the reverse of the curve) is completely broken down, so that one has a clear and direct view across two widths of canyon and river to a distance of from thirty-five to forty miles. Who can really "take in" such a view? I have gazed upon the Canyon at this spot almost yearly, and often daily for weeks at a time, for about twenty years, yet such is the marvelousness of distance, that never until two days ago did I discover that a giant detached mountain, fully eight thousand feet high, and with a base ten miles square, which I had photographed from another angle on the north side of the Canyon, stood in the direct line of my sight and, as it were, immediately before me. The discovery was made by a peculiar falling of light and shadow. The heavens were filled with clouds which threw complete shadows on the far north wall. The sun happened to shine through the clouds and light up the whole contour of this Steamboat Mountain (so called because of its shape), so that it stood forth clearly outlined against the dark field behind. In surprise I called to my companion and showed her my discovery. Yet, such is the deceptiveness of distance that, to the unaided eye, and without being aware of the fact, even my observant faculties had never before perceived that this gigantic mass was not a portion of the great north wall, from which it is detached by a canyon fully eight miles wide.
No one can know the Grand Canyon, in all its phases. It is one of those sights that words cannot exaggerate. What does it matter how deep you say—in hundreds or thousands of feet—the Canyon is, when you cannot see to the bottom of it? Strict literalists may stick out for the exact figures in feet and inches from rim to river—elsewhere given as the scientists of the United States Geological Survey have recorded them—but to me they are almost valueless. Its depth is beyond human comprehension in figures, and so is its width. And the eye of the best trained man in the world cannot grasp all its features of wall and butte and canyon, of winding ridge and curving ravine, of fell precipice and rocky gorge, in a week, a month, a year, or a lifetime. Hence words can but suggest; nothing can describe the indescribable; nothing can picture what no man ever has seen in its completeness.
What Men Have Said of the Canyon. Men have stood before it and called it "an inferno, swathed in soft celestial fires;" but what is an inferno? And who ever saw the fires of heaven? Words! words! words! Charles Dudley Warner, versed in much and diverse world-scenery, mountain-sculpture, canyon-carvings, and plain-sweep, confessed: "I experienced for a moment an indescribable terror of nature, a confusion of mind, a fear to be alone in such a presence. With all its grotesqueness and majesty of form and radiance of color, creation seemed in a whirl." When the reader thinks of grotesqueness, what images come to his mind? A Chinese joss, perhaps; a funny human face on the profile of a rock, but nothing so vast, so awful, so large as this. The word "majesty" suggests a kingly presence, a large man of dignified mien, or a sequoia standing supreme over all other trees in the forest. But a thousand men of majesty could be placed unseen in one tiny rift in this gorge, and all the sequoias of the world could be planted in one stretch of this Canyon, and never be noticed by the most careful watcher on the rim.
Another, reaching the Canyon at night, declared that she and her companions seemed to be "standing in midair, while below, the dark depths were lost in blackness and mystery." Again mere words! words! For whoever stood in mid-air?
Still another calls it "the most ineffable thing that exists within the range of man," and later explains when he stands on the brink of it; "And where the Grand Canyon begins, words stop." Yet he goes on and uses about four more pages of words, and pictures after words have stopped, to tell what he felt and saw. And the remarkable thing is that his experience is that of all the wisest men who have ever seen it. They know they cannot describe it, but they proceed to exhaust their vocabularies in talking about it, and in trying to make clear to others what they saw and felt. And in this very fact what a wonderful tribute lies to the power of the Canyon; that a wise and prudent man is led to strive to do what he vows he will not do, and knows he cannot do.
One well-known poet exclaims: "It was like sudden death." yet she is still alive. Again, after breakfast, she wrote: "My courage rose to meet the greatness of the world." Then she "crawled half prostrate" to the barest and highest rocks she could find on the rim, and confessed: "It made a coward of me; I shrank and shut my eyes, and felt crushed and beaten under the intolerable burden of the flesh. For humanity intrudes here; in these warm and glowing purple spaces disembodied spirits must range and soar, souls purged and purified and infinitely daring." Yet here I have heard the wild brayings of hungry mules and the worse ravings of angry men—none of them impressed as was the soul of the poet.
One money-making business man declared that he went to the rim at night-time, and when he and his friends reached the spot they put forth their hands and found—"an absolute end. We clutched vainly at black space. To fathom this space we thrust over a big stone. No sound came back. The pit was bottomless—the grave of the world. The mystery fascinated, the void beckoned. We scarcely knew why we did not obey the summons—why we did not abandon the present, and, by following the big stone, escape to the future." And yet he had no urgent creditors bothering him. His financial position was secure and unquestioned. His family relations were all that could be desired. Wonderful, indeed, that a mere feature of natural scenery could have led him to wonder why he didn't leave all the luxuries and certainties of life, and leap into the unknown future! Yet that is just the way the Canyon affected a sober business man of steady judgment.
A well-known writer declares: "It is a paradox of chaos and repose, of gloom and radiance, of immeasurable desolation and enthralling beauty. It is a despair and a joy; a woe and an ecstasy; a requiem and a hallelujah; a world-ruin and a world-glory—everything in antithesis of such titanic sort." I agree with him, and regard his expressions as indicative of my own sensations.
Yet, when a reverend gentleman calls it a "delirium of nature," I cannot agree with him. The delirium might be in his own mind, but there is no delirium here. Neither does it seem to me that a certain university president expresses things with any more wisdom or effectiveness, when he says that it "impressed him with its infinite laziness." Lazy? When once, in the far-distant past, after rising from the primeval sea, it sank back again and deposited twelve thousand feet of strata, then lifted them out into the sunshine, carved eleven thousand feet of them away, and sent them dashing down the river to fill up the Gulf of California and make the Mohave and Colorado Deserts? Lazy? When, after that was done, it sank again, and allowed a thousand feet of Cambrian to be deposited; then two thousand feet of Carboniferous; then Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, until the three thousand feet were increased to two miles of deposits. Then it began to lift itself up again. Lazy? When lifting up two miles' thickness of strata for the clouds and their children to carve away? And it lifted and lifted, until it destroyed a vast Eocene lake, which covered as large an area as perhaps half a dozen Eastern States, and at the same time carried away about twelve thousand feet of strata. Lazy? When you consider that from north to south, for a hundred or more miles, the whole region has been heaving and tossing, curving and buckling, arching and crumpling its strata, faulting by rising, faulting by sinking, until the geologist who would study the faults finds, in the area of one half-mile, near the mouth of Shinumo Creek, his work for a lifetime cut out for him.
No! No! Mr. College President! You must look more fully. You must guess again! The Canyon is not lazy. It is merely a gigantic natural representation of yourself. You are the embodiment of energy of body, mind and soul; yet you are never seen hurried or disturbed. You have the serenity of genius. So with the Canyon. It has done and is doing great things. It has been a persistent worker during the millions of years of its existence, but it has the calm serenity of consciousness of strength. What you took to be laziness is the restfulness of divine power.
When First Seen. These are some of the effects the Canyon has upon men. I once walked up to the rim with a lawyer, who to-day is one of the foremost figures of the San Francisco bar, a man of lion-like courage and almost reckless bravery. At the first glimpse he fell on his knees, clasped me around mine, and begged me to take him away, declaring that a gift of all Arizona would not lead him to take another glimpse into its awesome depths.
I know of one lady who, for weeks afterwards, would wake up almost every night, and feel herself falling into the fathomless gorge.
Yet the next day the lawyer went with me down to the river, and to this day declares it was the "most memorable trip of his life;" while the timid lady, to my own knowledge, has made over five trips to the Canyon.
Those of less susceptible nerves cannot conceive the effect the first sight of the Canyon produces upon such supersensitive natures as these to which I have referred. I have seen strong men fall upon their knees. I have seen women, driven up to the rim unexpectedly, lean away from the Canyon, the whole countenance an index of the terror felt within, gasp for breath, and though almost paralyzed by their dread of the indescribable abyss, refuse either to close their eyes or turn them away from it. Some few remain away for a day or two until their nerves become more steady. Yet I have never known one of these susceptible observers, these keenly sensitive natures that, on due consideration, has not been thankful for the experience, and in every case has either returned to fully enjoy the Canyon, or has longed to do so.
But, you ask, what is the Canyon for? The answer is simple, and reveals a very humble task as the main work of this vast and gorgeously-colored abyss. It merely acts as the home of a great river, that for hundreds of miles does not serve a single useful purpose to man.
Yet purely material uses are of the lowest kind. The Grand Canyon has a far higher mission than that I have spoken of, and others that are suggested in various chapters of this book. The Grand Canyon is God's greatest gift of His material handiwork in visible form on our earth. It is an expression of His divine thought; it is a manifestation of His divine love. It is a link, a wonderful connecting link, between the human and the Divine, between man and his Great Creator, his Loving Father, Almighty God.
CHAPTER II. On The Grand Canyon Railway To El Tovar
History of the Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon Railway leaves the main line of the Santa Fe at Williams, Arizona. It is an integral part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway System, that operates its own lines between Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Though surveys had been made years ago from Ash Fork, Williams and Flagstaff, it was left for the Tusayan Development Company of New York, who owned a group of copper mines located twenty miles south of the head of Bright Angel Trail, actually to build the railway part way to the Canyon. It was later extended to the rim by the Santa Fe, and afterwards practically rebuilt. The original purpose was to reach the mines referred to and convey the ore to Williams, where the smelter then erected is to be seen on the hillside east of the town.
The promoter of the mines and railway was "Bucky" O'Neill, a prominent Arizona citizen, at one time mayor of Prescott, who became world-famous by his tragic death during the charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill.
The First Four Miles. Striking due north, the railway passes over masses of malapais, or lava float, until, four miles out, it crosses Havasu (Cataract) Creek. If the rains are just over, the rough rocks will be entirely covered and hidden by a gorgeous growth of sunflowers and lupines, the yellows and purples making a carpet that, in the brilliant sunlight, fairly dazzles the eye. Here and there a band of sheep may be seen, with straggling herds of cattle and horses. In the winter time it is not unusual to find snow covering the plateau, for it must not be forgotten that it has an elevation of nearly seven thousand feet. During the early summer, before the rains, it is often barren and desolate.
Yet at all seasons the slopes of Williams Mountain are charming and beautiful. The tender and vivid tones of the evergreen trees that cover it render it a restful and attractive feature of the landscape.
Havasu Creek. Havasu Creek flows above ground for several miles, then disappears to make a subterranean stream, which finally emerges in wonderful volume, in a thousand springs, in the heart of Havasu Canyon, just above the village of the Indians of the same name. Crossing it, four miles from Williams, the railway enters a belt of cedars and junipers, passes Red Lake,—a volcanic sink-hole, which, at rare intervals, is filled with water.
Deer and Antelope. For a dozen miles the road passes through a series of charming parks, where deer and antelope are sometimes seen. While driving his train through one of these parks, early in December, 1907, S. O. Miller, one of the engineers of the Grand Canyon Railway, saw a majestic black-tailed deer running a little ahead of his engine. Suddenly the beautiful creature turned, tried to cross the track, and was instantly killed. Stopping the train, Miller got help, and it took four men to lift the dead animal and place it on the engine. The skin and head were mounted. The animal is so perfect and royal a specimen that the owner says a thousand dollars could not purchase it from him.
Miller rather enjoys the distinction of being the only known deer hunter of the West who has chased his game and killed it with a locomotive.
Surrounding Mountains. One should not fail to look back, as the train journeys along, for fine, full views of the Volcanic Mountains,—the San Franciscos, Kendricks, Sitgreaves and Williams. The two former are sharp, pyramidal-shaped masses, towering from nine thousand to twelve thousand feet into the blue, while the two latter are well wooded and rounded, though volcanic,—Williams Mountain having seven distinct crests at different altitudes.
When about ten miles out, Mount Floyd, another volcanic pile, rises above the plain on the west. Two sharp peaks come in sight, and later, long ridges of deep blue stretch away to the north. These are the Blue Ridge, and are formed of lava which has flowed from Mount Floyd.
Ant-Hills. To many it is a novel sight to see the ant-hills that dot the plain all the way along. These tiny creatures build their homes underground, carrying out all the small pieces of rock that are in their way. By and by they build up quite a mound of these stones, and, it is on these that the Navaho Indians often find the garnets, rubies and peridots they offer for sale. Around the mounds the ground is stripped bare by the busy ants, who remove every particle of vegetation in a radius of two or three feet.
Desert Rains. If it is early summer when you ride over this region, do not be deceived by the barrenness of the thirsty country (as you leave the cedars), and the dry, cloudless sky, and imagine that it never rains. I have been here in the midst of such rain storms as I have rarely experienced elsewhere. When the showers do fall, they often come with a fullness that is as distressing as is the want of water during the dry season.
Red Butte. Twenty-nine miles out, near the station of Valle, is the big bridge, some fifty feet high and three hundred feet long, over a branch of the Spring Valley Wash; and here Red Butte becomes a prominent landmark on the right. This is known to the Havasupai Indians as Hue-ga-da-wi-za, the Mountain of the Clenched Fist, for this is its appearance when seen at certain angles. It is a remnant of the Permian sandstone that once covered the whole Grand Canyon region, and its brilliant red, when illuminated by the vivid Arizona sun, explains why for so many years it has been a prominent landmark of the plateau. It stands boldly forth on the eastern edge of what was undoubtedly once a portion of the vast Eocene lake, the drainage way of which helped to cut down the Canyon we are so soon to see.
Interesting stories might be told of Red Butte and its region. The Havasupais have a tradition that many years ago a large spring of water flowed from near its base, but in the great convulsion of nature which changed the current of the waters of Havasu Creek the spring disappeared, and never has been seen since. The presence of a number of quaking aspens in the region, however, denotes that water is still there. It also has been claimed that documents on file in Tucson prove that silver mining was extensively carried on here as early as the year 1650.
Prehistoric Lake. At the twenty-eighth mile post, we have left the cedars behind, and until we strike Anita junction only a few scraggly, solitary trees are to be seen. We are on the edge of the great prehistoric lake. The country is seamed with small, rocky gorges, which we cross. They are sometimes lined with scrub-brush, and made beautiful by many colored flowers. All these "draws" are tributary to Havasu (Cataract) Creek, but it is interesting to remember that most of them convey the drainage water away from the rim of the Grand Canyon until, by the subterranean channel before referred to, the stream is taken back to the Havasu Canyon and soon, deep, deep, deep down, some five thousand feet below the rim, is ejected into the muddy Colorado River.
The First Sight of the Canyon. A glance out of the right window will now show one a portion of the north wall of the Canyon. It is a fairly level stretch of wall running east and west, though there is a break in it, and then an uprising curve, as if the crust here had received a lateral thrust strong enough to break and then "buckle" it up from east to west.
Crossing the Red Horse Wash, known to the Havasupais as Ha-i-ga-sa-jul-ga, the line reaches Anita Junction. Here a spur three miles long connects the main line with the copper mines of the Anita Consolidated Company, for which the railway originally was built. The grade of the spur was so engineered that the loaded cars of ore from the mine (when in operation) are brought down by gravity.
Coconino Forest. A few miles further on, the railway enters a country of pine and juniper, a stately prelude to the majesties and grandeurs of the Kohonino (Coconino) Forest. Here it seems as if one were suddenly transported to England, and were passing through a succession of landed estates, without, however, finding the accompanying mansions. Aisles of stately trees, nature planted and grown, yet as perfectly in line as if set with mathematical precision, lead the eye into open glades where deer and antelope move to and fro, and where one looks instinctively for the bold facade of an historic building, or the battlemented towers of some romantic castle.
Arrival at El Tovar. Now, bearing off in a westerly direction, the railway leaves the Kohonino Wash, and soon crosses a divide beyond which, to the left, may be seen the house at Bass. This is a flag-station for Bass Camp. A mile or so further, and a wash opens to the left. This leads to Rowe's Well (Ha-ha-wai-i-the-qual-ga), where the chief ranger of the Forest Reserve has his home. Another four miles of steady upgrade, and the whistle of the engine denotes that Grand Canyon is reached. Here, in addition to El Tovar, Bright Angel Camp, the powerhouse, and the buildings of the transportation department, are a postoffice, photograph gallery and several buildings for employees of the railroad, rangers, etc., so that there is quite a little settlement.
The main attractions, however, are the Canyon and El Tovar, the hotel itself being so unique and picturesque as to require a separate chapter for its description.
CHAPTER III. El Tovar And Its Equipments
Location of El Tovar. The West has several unique and picturesque hotels, but I question whether it possesses one more so than that bearing the name of the gallant Spanish cavalier, Coronado's lieutenant, the Ensign Tovar. Built upon the very edge of the Canyon, in latitude 35 degrees 55 minutes 30 seconds, it is the arc of a rude curve of an amphitheatre, the walls of which are slightly higher than the elevation of the hotel. Its location affords the most intimate views of the great gorge, attracting spectators from all over the civilized world. Indeed, were it not for these visitors, El Tovar would never have been built. Its existence came out of a crying necessity. It was built by the Santa Fe Railway, and furnished and equipped by Fred Harvey, whose hotel and dining service for over a quarter of a century has made the Santa Fe noted as giving the best food service of any railway system in the world.
The Building. And what of the building itself? Stand away a little distance —say half a mile or more, for it is large enough to be seen and well described that far away—and it presents the appearance of a three-storied bungalow, though later you find that in some points it is four stories high. Its base is of solid, native limestone rock, well built up and continued in the massive outside chimneys, one of which stands at each end of the dining-room. The first story is of solid logs, brought from faraway Oregon, and the upper stories are of heavy planking and shingles, all stained to a rich brown or weather-beaten color; that harmonizes perfectly with the gray-green of its unique surroundings. It is pleasant to the eye, artistic in effect, and satisfactory to the most exacting critic. Its width, north and south, is three hundred and twenty-seven feet, and from east to west, two hundred and eighteen feet. The main building and entrance face the east.
Architecture. Its lines are in harmony with the simplicity of the surroundings. The architect has followed, in admirable proportions, the Swiss chalet and the Norway villa. Here are expressed a quiet dignity, an unassuming luxury, and an appreciation of outing needs. Not a Waldorf-Astoria—admirable as that type is for the city but a big, country clubhouse, where the traveler seeking high-class accommodations also finds freedom from ultrafashionable restrictions. You may wear a dress suit at dinner or not. You may mix with the jolly crowd, or sit alone in a quiet nook. You may lunch at almost any hour of the day or night. You may dine with other guests, or enjoy the seclusion of a private dining-room. Good fellowship perhaps best expresses the motto of El Tovar.
The hotel contains more than a hundred bedrooms. Ample accommodations are provided for two hundred and fifty guests, and more can be comfortably housed in the annex, at Bright Angel Camp. Outside are porches and roof gardens, from which one has wide views in every direction. The inside finish is mainly of peeled slabs, wood in the rough, and tinted plaster, interspersed with huge wooden beams. Triple casement windows and generous fireplaces abound. Indian curios and trophies of the chase are used in the decorations. The furniture is of special pattern.
El Tovar is more than a hotel; it is a village devoted to the entertainment of travelers. Far from the accustomed home of luxury, money has here summoned the beneficent genii who minister to our bodily comfort. Merely that you may have pure water to drink, it is brought from a mountain spring ninety miles away! And that is only one of the many provisions for unquestioned excellence of shelter and food. The hotel is conducted on the American plan. The rates are four dollars a day and upwards.
The Rendezvous. Leaving the train at the station, a short distance from the hotel, you proceed up a winding road to the main entrance, a hasty glimpse through low cedars revealing the far canyon wall.
Above the wide steps, and in front of the Norway gable, hospitably swings the Tovar coat-of-arms. On the broad porch are numerous rocking-chairs and small tables, with a push-button handy for ordering light refreshments. The porch corners are of solid rough masonry, built in old mission style, the arches wide and low. The first impression is one of good cheer. Once inside, the traveler will willingly linger a few moments in the Rendezvous or Nimrod's Cabin. This is a large room, forty-one by thirty-seven feet, notable for uneven walls of dark stained fogs and bulky rafters. In a huge corner fireplace, pine knots burn cheerily when the air is chilly. Electric lights are placed in log squares, swinging from the low roof at the end of long chains. Gray Navaho rugs cover the brown floor. There are cosy tete-a-tetes and easy chairs. On an upper shelf repose heads of the deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep, and buffalo, mingling with curiously shaped and gaudily tinted Indian jars from the southwest pueblos. An old-fashioned clock ticks off the hours. Several small escritoires remind you of letters to be written to the home people. Recessed window-seats, partly hidden by red curtains, complete the picture.
What wonder that every morning and evening most of the guests gather in this room—the ladies to read and gossip; the gentlemen to smoke and tell of their latest adventures. Few country clubs have as pleasant a meeting place; yet it is only one of El Tovar's many allurements.
The Office and Ladies' Lounging Room. Cross the western edge of the Rendezvous, and you are in the rotunda, the centre of the hotel's many activities and its very necessary hub. Whether bound for dining-room or parlors, for guest chamber or amusement room; whether attracted by the click of billiards below, or the brightness of the roof-garden above,—all paths here intersect.
On the first floor is the office. A story above, reached by an easily ascended stairway, is the ladies' lounging room, nestled around an octagonal open space that extends from the office to the roof.
Just beyond are the art rooms, containing paintings and photographs of the Canyon; on the walls hang paintings of southwest scenery from the brushes of noted American artists, including some of Thomas Moran's masterpieces. Yellow hangings and electric lights brighten the dark tones of the woodwork.
The Sleeping-Rooms. There are more than a hundred of them. They are found on all four floors. The Arizona sunshine generously enters each one at some hour of the day. Steam heat (automatically regulated), electric lights and office telephones are provided—willing servants quickly to do your bidding.
On the first and second floors are forty-two rooms en suite. There are twenty-one commodious bathrooms, white as snow and kept spotlessly clean.
On the office and first floors are two private parlors en suite. The furniture is mostly of arts and crafts design.
Dining-Room. When travel stains are removed, you are directed to the dining-room. It is quadrangular in form, ninety feet long by forty feet wide, arched overhead, the roof supported by six huge log trusses. Walls and trusses and roof are all finished in rough wood, and are as brown as a coffee berry. The two fireplaces are built of gray sandstone.
A dozen electroliers of rustic pattern hang from the ceiling. Electric wall lights and candelabra for the side tables complete the lighting.
Through any of the many triple windows may be seen the large-eyed stars; for here the sky seems to bend closer to earth than in lower altitudes.
The tables are adorned with glass, silver and flowers. You also notice old brass dishes, antique Dutch and English platters, and Indian ollas, displayed on the plate rail.
Well-trained waitresses, in white uniforms, deftly serve the meal, which is Harvey's best. While you are leisurely dining, it is pleasant to look around and see who your neighbors are. They have come here from every section—perhaps a New York or Chicago banker, a Harvard professor, an Arizona ranchman, an English globe-trotter, and a German savant. Pretty women and lovely children complete the picture.
The dinner itself is prepared under the direction of a capable Italian chef, once employed in New York and Chicago clubs. He presides over one of the most complete and up-to-the-minute hotel kitchens in the United States.
On the right of the main entrance is a small breakfast room, tastefully decorated in fifteenth century style. On the left is a private dining-room, whose wall decorations mainly consist of Indian deer hieroglyphics, reproduced from old pictographs in Mallery Grotto.
The Music-Room and Solarium. At the end of the north wing, on the office floor, fronting the Canyon's abyss, is a spacious room devoted to refined amusements. The wall decorations are of gold, trimmed in old ivory, imitating fifteenth century leather. Sunshine streams in from numerous windows. The music-room is so admirably located and so daintily furnished, that it is a favorite resort for lovers of music, cards, and dancing.
Where the south wing terminates, and on the office floor, is a sunny, glass-enclosed nook, open on three sides and sheltered from cool north winds. It is called the solarium or sun-parlor. To this retreat come the ladies, with sewing baskets and books. It is quite the fad to take a sunbath here.
On the top floor, and out of doors, are two roof gardens, where light refreshments are served.
The Amusement Room and Clubroom. On the ground floor, easily reached from the office and from the rim pathway, is the amusement room, fitted with billiard, pool, and card tables, and shuffle-boards. Adjacent is the clubroom.
Water Supply. For fire purposes, there is a Knowles high-duty underwriter's fire pump, which is regularly used for the transportation of water to the high steel water-tank, capable of holding three hundred and twenty thousand gallons. Pure spring water is hauled in tank cars from Bellemont, ninety miles away, about seven cars a day being required for all purposes. Every drop of water, before entering the hotel, passes through two quartz filters, and drinking water is distilled twice and then aerated.
Sewerage. The sewerage system of a large hotel is a matter of primary importance. At El Tovar the matter was given more than usual care and foresight. An antiseptic system was installed, at a cost of over twenty thousand dollars. The sewage is conveyed by underground pipes a long distance to solid concrete tanks, where the solids are disposed of by natural processes. The liquids pass through eight filter beds, and then enter the ditch colorless and odorless.
Bright Angel Camp. To accommodate those desiring less expensive quarters, Bright Angel Camp—old Bright Angel Hotel remodelled—is operated on the European plan. Rooms are one dollar a day each person; meals are obtained at Harvey cafe. The lodgings and fare here are of a much simpler kind than at El Tovar, but clean, wholesome, and thoroughly comfortable.
This Camp supplements the higher class service at the big hotel.
Transportation Facilities at El Tovar. Travelers who visit the Grand Canyon will be pleased to find an up-to-date livery service maintained in connection with El Tovar Hotel and Bright Angel Camp. They are thus able easily and comfortably to take pleasant sightseeing tours away from the hotel to obtain different views of the Canyon. Most visitors here do not realize that the granite gorge district of Grand Canyon alone is about seventy miles in length, ranging from ten to fifteen miles in width, and that from every accessible point along the rim a different outlook may be had, each unsurpassed of its kind. The transportation department is only one of the many pleasing details provided for the comfort of those who come to the Grand Canyon. It is thoroughly organized and equipped.
Trips to Take. At both El Tovar and Bright Angel, throughout the day and evening, will be found an agent representing this department. By means of telephonic communication between the hotels and the stables, these agents can provide in a surprisingly short time saddle-horses for a ride down one of the many bridle-paths, turnouts for a drive along the shady roads near the rim, or sure-footed animals for a descent into the Canyon on Hermit Trail (now nearing completion), or Bright Angel Trail.
The Buildings in Detail. The several buildings of the transportation department, which are located among the trees a short distance from the hotel, across the railroad track, are all new and well built, being models in design and construction, and are thoroughly systematized for rapid service.
That portion of the stables where the animals are kept, and which accommodates about one hundred and fifteen head, is thoroughly equipped with the most approved methods for the care of the stock, including a complete system-for drainage and cleanliness; vermin proof, zinc-lined storage bins, and automatic self-recording feeding apparatus. Other departments are a blacksmith, carpenter and paint shop; harness, storage, and repair rooms, offices for the stable manager and his assistants; and a large wagon-room where the carriages, wagons, and other conveyances are housed. Visitors to this part of the stables will note an interesting feature in the painting of the vehicles, namely, that each is in the El Tovar colors, the body being dark yellow, and the wheels lighter yellow, striped with red. Each coach bears, in addition to the coat of arms of Pedro del Tovar, an individual name, selected from tribes of the Southwest Indians. For instance, visitors will recall having driven to various points on the rim in stages named "Navaho," "Supai," "Walpi," etc.
A large corral provides for the turning out of stock not in use.
Employees' Quarters. There is also a building devoted to the accommodation of the employees of this department, comprised of kitchen and dining-rooms, sleeping quarters, and a smoking, reading and recreation room.
The grounds around the employees' building, commonly called the mess house, are laid off into walks and gardens. Owing to the quantity and quality of the soil being superior to that around El Tovar (which is near the rim and therefore on almost naked rock), the grass, and the domestic and wild flowers, which are cared for by the men, thrive abundantly.
The Mallery Grotto. This is a small and rather insignificant cave just under the rim, to the extreme left (west) of El Tovar amphitheatre, wherein a number of interesting Indian pictographs are to be seen. The overhanging rock makes a rude cave or grotto, and it has been named Mallery Grotto, after Garrick Mallery, the great authority on the pictographs of the North American Indians. His latest monograph takes up the whole of one of the large volumes of the United States Bureau of Ethnology, and in its nearly eight hundred pages there are one thousand two hundred and ninety illustrations. To this illuminating book, therefore, the curious student is referred for further information regarding the pictographs themselves.
Trail to Mallery Grotto. Leaving El Tovar, the visitor can easily walk to and from Mallery Grotto in half an hour: Keeping on the rim, he passes the old Bright Angel Hotel, and all the buildings, about as far past the log house as, that is from El Tovar. There, in a slight depression, he will see the foot-trail leading down from the rim to the Grotto. It is a place about forty to fifty feet long, and with an overhanging wall of from five to fifteen feet high, and ten to twenty feet broad. The shelf upon which one walks is narrow, but I have slept there many a time in cold and rainy weather.
The pictographs are mainly in a rich brownish-red, and are of deer, mountain-sheep, men and women, serpentine lines suggesting the course of rivers, rain-clouds, lightning, and many-legged reptiles,—or what seem to represent these things. They were here, exactly as one now sees them, when I first camped here with some friendly Havasupais, nearly twenty years ago, and I was then informed that some of the designs represent great hunts, in which their ancestors had been successful.
Of the genuineness of the pictographs no one need have the slightest question. They afford a good opportunity to those who have never before seen such specimens of aboriginal art, to examine a fairly representative lot of them.
CHAPTER IV. The Grand Canyon At El Tovar
If guests at the Canyon will take this book in hand and, line by line, read this chapter, just as they would listen to the talk of a friend in whose knowledge they confide, they will leave the Canyon with fewer erroneous conceptions than are quite common now.
El Tovar Amphitheatre. The first thing to be observed is that El Tovar rests in the centre of the curve of a wide crescent, named El Tovar amphitheatre, the arms of which extend out into the heart of the Canyon, and shut in the scenery from the east and west, concentrating the view. These arms afford an excellent opportunity for seeing the various carboniferous deposits. The topmost is the cherty limestone, the layers of which lead the eye to the crossbedded sandstone, a creamy buff in color, and composed of a soft, sugary sand. Each of these walls is from five hundred to six hundred feet high, though in some parts of the Canyon they are reduced to not more than four hundred feet.
Maricopa and El Tovar Points. El Tovar is six thousand eight hundred and sixty-six feet above sea level; the highest part of the point on the left is seven thousand and fifty feet, and on the right seven thousand feet. The point to the left, Maricopa Point, is a portion of the great promontory known as Hopi Point, to which all Canyon visitors should go. That to the right is El Tovar Point.
Heights and Depths. The height of the lime and sandstone walls can readily be measured by looking down upon the rudely carved mass of red sandstone slightly to the left, which has been called the "Battleship." The top of this is five thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven feet above sea level. Now look up to the Maricopa Point above, seven thousand and fifty feet. The difference is one thousand, one hundred and eighty-three feet, which is practically the height of these two strata.
Bright Angel Creek. Almost at the first glance, the attention is arrested by the break in the north wall, slightly to the right of where we stand, which makes a wide lateral gorge running at right angles to the main course of the river. This is Bright Angel Gorge, showing the course of Bright Angel Creek, which flows between its lower walls. It received its name from Major Powell, when he and his party descended the river. Earlier in their explorations they had ascended a side stream, and one of the men had declared it to be a dirty devil of a river; and for many years it bore the name "Dirty Devil River," until Powell changed it on the map to Fremont River. When, later, this exquisitely pure and beautiful side stream was reached, the great explorer determined that as one stream had been named after the prince of the powers of darkness, he would name this after the bright and beautiful powers,—hence the name "Bright Angel."
A reference to the chapter "How the Canyon was Formed," will explain how this side gorge came into existence, and also account for the great upthrust of the granitic rock at its mouth, for the most casual observer cannot fail to note the presence of this rock much higher than it is seen elsewhere.
The North Wall. Before paying particular attention to the vast forms that crowd the interior of the Canyon, let us follow the "build" of the massive wall on the north side. This is part of the great Kaibab Plateau, the highest wall of the whole Canyon system. Its elevation is eight thousand three hundred, as against six thousand eight hundred and sixty-six feet at El Tovar, and it is thirteen miles in an air line from the south rim, where the hotel is located, to the north rim.
The reason for this difference in elevation is explained in the chapter "How the Canyon was Formed." In brief, it is that, during a process of " faulting," the north wall was thrust up above the level of the south wall.
Features above Bright Angel Creek. In any other region but here, this Bright Angel Gorge and the massive figures of rock that sentinel and guard it would be regarded as a scenic marvel, but here it is a mere trivial incident in the greater scenery of the greater Canyon. Yet it is well to note the massive red sandstone points that are lined up on either side on the plateau, above the darkest recesses of the gorge, reminding one of the rows of sphinxes that guard the entrances of some of the Egyptian temples.
Up Bright Angel Creek. Occasionally parties cross the river (either by boat or in an iron cage suspended by a cable), and ascend to the north rim by means of a rude trail up Bright Angel Creek. As the trail for a part of the way ascends the floor of the gorge, down which the stream flows, and as it is exceedingly narrow and without any way of escape in case of severe rain or flood, it is not always safe. To one, however, who loves a rough and adventurous trip, the ascent of this gorge will probably give great satisfaction. A little more than a third of the way up, a waterfall is passed, called "Ribbon Falls." The trail winds and twists with the course of the stream, and finally reaches the summit at an elevation of eight thousand five hundred feet, not far from Greenland Spring. From here one may go east over the Walhalla Plateau to Niji Point, and overlook the Chuar Valley at the mouth of Marble Canyon, where Dr. Walcott spent a winter studying the Algonkian strata of that region. To the west is Point Sublime, Powell Plateau, and other scenery of an unusually majestic character.
Features of the North Wall. But let us now return to the main north wall before us. The green tufts, that at this distance appear as grass or shrubs, partially covering the top of the wall and descending the slopes into the Canyon, are in reality great trees, mainly pines and black birches, from twenty-five to over one hundred and one hundred and fifty feet in height. The forest that covers the Kaibab Plateau contains many majestic trees, and some of these have wandered over the rim to peep into the depths of the abyss below. The cherty limestone strata are thus largely covered, but the next stratum is the clear band of cross-bedded sandstone, which corresponds to the second member of the geological series seen in the arm of the amphitheatre at Maricopa Point, and is from five hundred to six hundred feet wide.
Then the eye rests upon slopes of talus, which reach down to the red strata of varying thicknesses, which are deposited above the red-wall limestone, the widest member of the whole Canyon group. These walls are cut and recessed into all kinds of shapes and forms, angles, promontories and recesses, which, especially in the early morning and late afternoon, cast shadows of inexpressible beauty.
The Red-Wall Limestone. We now come to the red-wall limestone nearly six hundred feet in thickness. What a striking, massive wall it is, and how impressive, when seen even at this immense distance. This wall is red only because it is stained by the color washed down by the rain from the red strata above. In reality, it is a rich creamy lime, but only where the red strata above have been degraded and washed away does the natural color of this wall appear.
The Plateau. Below the red-wall limestone, there are several strata of red and gray and olive rocks that slope to the plateau. This plateau is not quite so wide on the north side as on the south, owing to El Tovar being located in the recess of a great amphitheatre. It is from these plateaus that the finest views of the real Canyon can be obtained. The visitor, sitting on the porch or on the rim at El Tovar, cannot realize that below his feet, as it were, there is an almost exact duplication of the wall and slopes of talus, the thrilling precipices, the alcoves, recesses, promontories and the like, that he sees on the north side. And yet a trip down the trail on to the plateaus reveals these stupendous facts in a manner that is surprising even to those who, for years, have been familiar with them. How much more, then, is such an experience to a tyro. I have met men who were world-wide travelers, and who were visiting the Canyon for the first time; some of these were expert geologists, yet they refused to go down the trail, with the excuse that they could fully grasp the scenery from the rim. But that is impossible. The human mind cannot realize the effects of vastness and power this Canyon scenery produces, except when one stands below the cliffs and looks up. And where the opportunity is given of looking both up to towering walls, and down over beetling precipices, the effect is enhanced.
The Tonto Sandstones. Below the plateau, slight slopes lead the eye to the last of the stratified rocks, the Tonto sandstones of the Cambrian period. These are readily distinguished, mainly by their deep buff color and the fact that generally they are found resting on the archaean or unstratified rocks, locally though incorrectly termed the granite, which makes the Inner Gorge through which the river runs. This "granite" is in the main a blackish gneiss.
The Algonkian Strata. Though the Tonto sandstones usually occupy the location named, there is a deviation from this in the presence of some remnants of strata of the Algonkian period, directly opposite El Tovar. This deviation is discussed in the chapter "How the Canyon was Formed." These remarkable rocks occur to the left (west) of Bright Angel Creek, and lie immediately above the gneiss. Their brilliant red reveals them, and they can be followed up under the base of the Cheops and to a small wash to the left of Osiris. At the mouth of Bright Angel, they rest upon the archaean, with the Tonto sandstones above them, but just in front of the Battleship a break in the gneiss occurs, and on the portion nearest us the Algonkian strata totally disappear, for the Tonto strata rest directly upon the gneiss.
Zoroaster, Brahma and Deva Temples. Now, in turn, let the eye rest upon the temples, towers and buttes that stand in the heart of the Canyon, more or less detached from the main wall. To the right of Bright Angel Creek, striking buttes keep guard. The nearest is an angular mass of solid, unrelieved rock, sloping in a peculiarly oblique fashion. It is Zoroaster Temple, seven thousand one hundred and thirty-six feet in elevation. Close behind it is a more ornate and dignified mass, Brahma Temple, named after the first of the Hindoo triad, the supreme creator, to correspond with the Shiva Temple, soon to be described, on the right. Shiva, the destroyer; Brahma, the creator. The one controlling the forces that have destroyed the strata; the other dominating the powers that have brought these structures into existence. Brahma is seven thousand five hundred and fifty-four feet in elevation. Behind Brahma is another butte, which, however, cannot always be dissevered from the main wall. It has no cap of cherty limestone. It can be readily discerned, therefore, by its flat-topped appearance. It is Deva Temple, seven thousand three hundred and forty-four feet above sea level.
Buddha Temple and Cloister; Manu Temple. To the left of the Bright Angel Gorge, quite an assemblage of buttes awaits inspection. The dominating pile almost opposite Brahma—across Bright Angel—is Buddha Temple, and below it is Buddha Cloister. Beyond this is another butte, which, however, at times, can scarcely be detected from the main walls of the Kaibab. Yet it is a separate butte of great proportions, and is named Manu Temple, after the great law-giver of the Hindoos. Buddha's elevation is seven thousand two hundred and eighteen feet, while Manu's is seven thousand one hundred and ninety-two.
Cheops Pyramid. To the left of Buddha Temple, and nearer to us, is a massive though less ornately carved monument than Buddha. It is Cheops Pyramid, a detached mass of the red-wall limestone, which, however, is rapidly losing its red color, owing to the disappearance of the red strata from above. Cheops is five thousand three hundred and fifty feet in elevation, and is of a peculiar shape, as of some quaint and Oriental device of symbolic significance.
Isis and Shiva Temples. Just above, and farther to the left, is a peculiar temple, resting upon sloping taluses of the red strata beneath, its cap formed of alone, narrow ridge of cross-bedded sandstone. It has two great cloisters in front, and is named Isis Temple, after the feminine god of the Egyptians. Isis has an elevation of seven thousand twenty-eight feet, and is the eastern support of the gigantic rock mountain which towers over all the lesser structures. This is Shiva Temple, a solid mass, sliced off from the main Kaibab. The elevation is seven thousand six hundred and fifty feet, and it is thus described by Dutton, who named it: "It is the grandest of all the buttes, and the most majestic in aspect, though not the most ornate. Its mass is as great as the mountainous part of Mount Washington. The summit looks down six thousand feet into the dark depths of the inner abyss, over a succession of ledges as impracticable as the face of Bunker Hill Monument. All around it are side gorges, sunk to a depth nearly as profound as that of the main channel. It stands in the midst of a great throng of cloister-like buttes, with the same noble profiles and strong lineaments as those immediately before us, with a plexus of awful chasms between. In such a stupendous scene of wreck it seems as if the fabled 'Destroyer' might find an abode not wholly uncongenial."
Horus Temple. Guardian temples to the west of Isis are Horus and Osiris. The former is nearer to the river. It is capped with the white sandstone, and is so closely sculptured that white fragments have fallen upon the sloping red talus beneath. The whole appearance is not unlike a giant hat of an Arab, with its streaming folds of white reaching far over the neck down the back. It rests upon a massive block of the red-wall limestone, which presents a bold face to the east. Its elevation is six thousand one hundred and fifty feet.
Osiris Temple. Behind Shiva is Osiris Temple, with an elevation of six thousand six hundred and thirty-seven feet. At the proper angle it is seen to be as prominent before Shiva as is Horus, but our angle of vision gives it the retreating effect. It is a gracefully domed temple in the cross-bedded sandstone, and clearly reveals its five hundred feet superior height over Horus.
The walls seen behind Osiris are not those of Point Sublime, as some suppose. This massive promontory on the north side is hidden by the nose of Maricopa Point. The walls are a portion of the Kaibab Plateau, leading towards Point Sublime, but not a part of it.
Ra Pyramid. In front of Horus is the tower of a symmetrically constructed pyramid in the red strata, far more like Cheops than is the structure of that name. It is five thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven feet above the level of the sea,—a memorial of the great Ra, far greater than any temple erected by human hands.
The Maiden's Breast. At the end of Maricopa Point is a majestic structure bigger than many national capitols combined, yet so small here as hitherto to have passed unnoticed. It is crowned, however, with a small nipple in red sandstone, to which the Havasupais give a name signifying the Maiden's Breast. It is five thousand four hundred and fifty feet high,—quite a height for any earthly maiden.
Miles of Walls of Varying Lengths. As we look at these wonderful walls, a new idea dawns upon us. The engineer tells us that the Canyon is two hundred and seventeen miles long. That, however, is only the length of the river, as it runs its winding way along. But the walls cannot thus be measured. Take the red-wall limestone and follow it on its devious way, in and out of deeply alcoved recesses, up side gorges and down again, around the curves of cloisters and along the bases of the great buttes. The aggregate distance followed will be many thousands of miles. The strata that have the longer course, on account of their greater extent of terracing, are those that make an eight-hundred-feet-wide band of gray and bright red sandstone, which rests above the red-wall limestone.
Angel Plateau and Indian Garden. Now let the eye fall upon the plateau beneath. This is named Angel Plateau. The green near its centre has the first claim. This green patch is called Indian Garden, for in past years, before the white man wrested his possessions from him, a certain family of the Havasupais used to farm in a crude way on this spot. When I first visited this plateau, some seventeen or more years ago, the remnants of the old Indian irrigating ditches could be seen. Now it is cultivated by the white man to good effect, and delicious watermelons and cantaloupe as well as tasty vegetables grow in abundance. This is called half-way down to the river in distance. The elevation is three thousand eight hundred and seventy-six feet, so that from our six thousand eight hundred and sixty-six feet we gaze down two thousand nine hundred and ninety feet. Many who go down the trail do not go below this plateau. A point can be seen, also the line of the trail leading to it, from which an excellent and extensive view of the raging river, with some of its rapids, may be had.
CHAPTER V. Three Ways Of Spending One Day At The Canyon
There are many who can take only a hasty trip to the Canyon. This is to be deplored, as the Grand Canyon is one of the sights that cannot be fully comprehended in a day; and yet, if one has but a day, to get merely one good long glimpse at it is worth all the effort and expense that it may cost, even to the least wealthy of its visitors. And while it cannot be too strongly urged that all who come prepare themselves to stay at least a week—a month is far better—I offer a few practical suggestions to those who have less time, and wish to use it to the fullest possible advantage.
Three Suggestions to the "One-Day" Visitor. To those who have but one full day, a choice is offered of three courses; first, and best of all, to drive to the head of Hermit Trail on the new Hermit Rim Road, and to visit Yavapai and Hopi Points; the second, to drive to Grand View; the third, to ride down Bright Angel Trail.
First Trip—An Afternoon on Hermit Rim Road to Head of Hermit Trail. To the less strenuous visitor who wishes to see all he can in one day without the fatigue of the trail trip, two courses are open, both of which include driving to prominent points on the rim and sightseeing in their vicinity. One is to drive out on Hermit Rim Road, which drive will give a variety of scenery unequaled by any other trip to be made on the rim. This trip, giving panorama views to the west of El Tovar, can be made in one half of the day, let us say the afternoon, leaving the morning for a drive to Yavapai Point, which gives corresponding panoramas to the east, though Yavapai is only three miles from the Hotel.
It is nine miles west of El Tovar to the head of Hermit Trail on the new Hermit Rim Road, and about three and one-half hours are required for the trip in addition to whatever time is consumed in sightseeing at the various points on which stops are made.
The road passes Maricopa, Hopi, Mohave and Pima Points, and some time is spent on each, as there is some special appeal in the buttes and the cliffs and the depths as seen from each, but all along the route the gigantic panorama of Grand Canyon stretches for miles and miles—a world of beauty; all along the route the attention is claimed by some surprising feature,—the precipices of the opposite wall, the great interior rock temples, and side canyons, and everywhere the incomparable colors.
A picturesque shelter house is to be constructed at the end of the road, which is near the head of Hermit Trail, where visitors driving on the Rim Road may rest before returning to El Tovar or before starting down the trail.
On the return journey the scene is entirely different, owing to the magic of the sun's shadows, which have changed the aspect of every wall and chasm and temple—whether in the gorge below, or across the river and up the side canyons to the Kaibab Plateau on the north rim, and from October to May, during the shorter days, if the return is made late in the afternoon a stop will be made at Hopi Point, one of the best points on the south rim from which to watch the glories of the setting sun.
A chapter describing the Hermit Rim Road and Hermit Trail will be found in this book, but from no description can one comprehend the magnitude and the silent grandeur of the Canyon as they are impressed upon the senses from this highway and from this trail.
A Morning Trip—To Yavapai Point. Though Yavapai Point is but three miles away, the drive and the time required for sightseeing occupy about two hours. Leaving El Tovar, the road plunges among the trees at once on passing the railway. Here are pines, pinions and junipers, with a sprinkling of scrub oaks, and the flowering bush with white flowers and long velvety tendrils locally known as the cinchona. Here and there a yucca baccata thrusts out its bayonets from the ground, as if in warning, and a score or more of flowers give variety of color to the greens of the trees, in due season.
Outlook from Yavapai Point. Arrived at Yavapai Point, the river can be clearly seen at two different places; before us, directly across the Canyon, is the Bright Angel Gorge, with a full view of Zoroaster, Brahma and Deva Temples. To the right, the nearest promontory is Yaki Point. Below the point, its continuation terminates in a butte of great massiveness, which has been named O'Neill Butte, after the Arizona pioneer who was slain during the charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill. Beyond Yaki Point, in the far-away east, two other great promontories arrest the attention. These are way beyond Grand View and the old Hance Trails, and are Pinal and Lipan Points, leading the eye to a "wavy" wall, slightly to their left. This wall, topped with a series of curves, is the western wall of the Little Colorado River; and the smoother wall beyond, to the left, is the further or eastern wall. Here this tributary river and canyon connect with the Grand Canyon, from a general southeasterly course. It will be recalled that transcontinental travelers cross the Little Colorado River at Winslow. From that point it flows in a northwesterly direction, through the sands of the Painted Desert, its banks bearing many and large cottonwood trees.
Wotan's Throne. Two majestic buttes in the heart of the Canyon, to the east, have been demanding our attention for some time. They are both towering mountains of rock, that stand out even more strikingly than do the temples near at hand. The flat-topped mass is Wotan's Throne (once Newberry Terrace), and is as massive as Shiva Temple, seen to the west. Its elevation is seven thousand seven hundred feet.
Vishnu Temple. The more ornate and sculptured of the buttes is Vishnu Temple, a solid mountain of rock carved into a majestic form by centuries of erosion. Wherever one stands, at the eastern end of the Canyon, whether on the north or the south, on the promontories at the rim or on the plateaus beneath, it is the dominating and eye-compelling object. It is, without doubt, the most stupendous mass of nature's carving in the known world. It is seven thousand five hundred and thirty-seven feet above sea level, and over five thousand feet above the Colorado River, which practically laves its base.
In front of Wotan's Throne, and a trifle nearer the river, is the Angel Gate, described in the chapter on Indian Legends.
Indian Garden. Now let the eye fall upon the Bright Angel Plateau. The tents at Indian Garden are clearly to be seen as well as any trail party that may happen to be crossing the plateau. The insignificant size of the horses and mules and their riders can scarcely be believed. On the rim the elevation is seven thousand and eighty-one feet. At the Garden the elevation is three thousand eight hundred and seventy-six feet, so we are looking down four thousand two hundred and five feet, over three-fourths of a mile.
Immediately below us, to the right, we see the rugged gorge of gneiss in which flows Pipe Creek. The left fork of this (to the west) is Garden Creek. A small break from Angel Plateau will be observed, where Garden Creek curves to enter Pipe Creek. Here is a beautiful mass of green, and not far away the trail that leads from the plateau to the river is in sight.
El Tovar Point. A quarter of a mile west from Yavapai Point is El Tovar Point (formerly called Grandeur Point), so named because it is the end of the right arm of the amphitheatre in which El Tovar is located. Its elevation is seven thousand feet.
Coconino Forest and Angel Plateau. To the west and south is the Coconino Forest; beyond is seen the dry bed of the ancient Eocene lake, and the blue ridge, where the lava-flows from Mount Floyd shut in the view. It is a glorious expanse of over a hundred miles, and on a clear day every object is plainly discerned. Here even better views of the Angel Plateau may be obtained than from Yavapai Point, and an excellent outlook over the narrow break in the great wall, where the shattering of the strata and the deposition of talus and vegetable matter made possible the building of the zigzag portion of the trail near the top. The faulting of the strata is clearly seen, and the observer will not fail to note that the strata of the left arm of El Tovar Amphitheatre are thrust up some one hundred to two hundred feet above the level of the same strata upon which El Tovar itself stands. This is one line of the Bright Angel fault, which extends across the river, and accounts for the carving out of the Bright Angel Gorge as described in the chapter "How the Canyon was Formed."
How exquisite is the rich beauty of the greens of the Douglas spruces, and the vegetation on the upper part of the trail, contrasted with the reds and grays and creams and buffs of the rocks around!
The round trip from El Tovar to Yavapai Point is about six miles. A foot-path has been cut from El Tovar to El Tovar Point, so that visitors may walk to and fro between these so diverse and yet equally attractive outlooks over the Canyon.
Many visitors, however, after the drive to Yavapai Point, go to Hopi Point. And, while this point is passed on the Rim Road drive, it is also very popular as a morning drive.
Drive to Hopi Point. This point is three miles to the west, and is just beyond Maricopa Point, which is practically the left arm of El Tovar Amphitheatre. The round trip is about six miles, taking in both points, and occupies from an hour and a half to two hours. Those who go in private conveyances generally stay longer, and make a three-hour trip of it.
Leaving El Tovar, the road turns southwest for a short distance, and then enters the forest to the north. It is a restful drive over a section of the well-made Hermit Rim Road.
View at Hopi Point. The first impression when one arrives at Hopi Point is of the nearness of the buttes, and the sheer precipitousness of the place upon which he stands. Both are owing to the fact that Hopi Point is thrust far into the heart of the Canyon. Its elevation is seven thousand and forty-nine feet.
Dana Butte. Immediately facing the visitor, a continuation of Hopi Point at the five thousand and twenty-five foot level, is a butte that would dwarf into insignificance the most stupendous of all the world's city sky-scrapers, yet here it is hardly noticeable in the wealth of more massive and majestic structures. It is Dana Butte, so named after the great geologist. Across the river, which here can be seen in five different places, are the temples to the right or east of Bright Angel Gorge, while Buddha and Manu on the left (west) are equally in evidence. But right before us is the dominating mass of Shiva Temple, with Isis Temple and Cheops Pyramid guarding it on the right. To the left, new architectural forms and masses come out into clearer view, two of these being stupendous structures of great beauty and majesty that guard the approach to Shiva Temple. These are Osiris and Horus Temples, the latter being in front.
Tower of Set. Just before Horus is a smaller but massive structure, known as the Tower of Set. The elevation of Osiris above sea level is six thousand six hundred and thirty-seven feet, that of Horus six thousand one hundred and fifty feet, and of the Tower of Set five thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven feet. Beyond these, to the west and north, are Confucius and Mencius Temples, the latter being the nearer. These are respectively at an elevation of seven thousand one hundred and twenty-eight feet and seven thousand feet. The eye now rests on Point Sublime, the spot where Captain Dutton indited his vividly descriptive accounts of the Great Canyon.
Marsh Butte. On this side of the river, nearly opposite Mencius Temple, is a butte of singularly beautiful structure, of an elevation of four thousand seven hundred and thirty feet. This is named Marsh Butte, in honor of the great paleontologist, the rival of the equally great Cope. In the far-away distance is Havasupai Point, the most notable of all the points of the south rim, because of its great projection over the river.
Dutton Point. Across from Havasupai Point, on the north side, is the mass of Powell Plateau, the "nose" of which, facing this way, is named Dutton Point, after the poet-geologist. Beyond, in the faraway distance, is to be seen the curve of the Canyon wall, at the great bend of the river, where the granite disappears from the Inner Gorge, and, resting upon the paler blue of the horizon, is the line of the Uinkaret Mountains in Southern Utah, about sixty-five miles away. What a wondrous outlook it is!
On returning, a short stop is made at Maricopa Point, where the views are much the same, but changed by the new angle of vision. It is one of the great charms of the Canyon that each point of view, even though not more than half a mile away, reveals new and interesting features of the stupendous wonder.
Second Trip—Drive to Grand View. This is a fourteen-mile trip, over a fairly good road, made in comfort in two and one-half hours. One may stay from two to four hours, observe all he wishes to see, and return to El Tovar in another two and a half hours, thus making twenty-eight miles for the round trip. The drive is through the Coconino Forest, by narrow canyoncitos (little canyons), washes, and through grassy glades and royal parks, where one need not be surprised at any moment to see deer or antelope bound before him. A full description of this trip is found in the chapter devoted to Grand View and its trail, the scenery being too varied and important to be hastily described.
If one has but one day, and he wishes to spend it on the rim, the Grand View trip may be made with a limited amount of time devoted to sightseeing at that point, so that on the return the drive may be taken to Hopi Point in time to view the sunset. This, however, can usually only be done in the summer months, when the sunset is late enough to afford time.
Third Trip—Down Bright Angel Trail. To an ordinarily well person, there is neither danger nor serious fatigue in this trip, but it is not to be ignored that riding down, down, down, for four thousand four hundred and thirty feet (the difference in elevation between the rim and the river) puts a pressure upon certain generally unused muscles, so that one returns tired. But it is a healthful fatigue, and invariably benefits all who experience it. To go down the trail and back is enough to accomplish in one day, unless the visitor is very "strenuous," although not a few do take the drive out to Hopi Point and see the sunset, upon returning from the trail trip. Those who take this ride down the trail, after arriving on the morning train, do not go as far down as the river. They visit the Indian Garden, and are then taken out to a prominent point of Angel Plateau, and there obtain a fine view of the river. From the scenic standpoint, this is much to be preferred to going down to the river itself, especially when time is limited. The trail to the river is down a side gorge, where one's view is materially obstructed, and while there is great satisfaction in standing immediately before the river itself, and seeing it roll along between the gloomy walls of the Inner Gorge, one does not see as much of it, or in so striking a setting, as from the plateau, one thousand three hundred and twenty feet above.
If one is determined to go to the river, however, it will be necessary for him to arrange for a special guide, and push along down the trail with vigor, for the regular trail party for the river leaves at 8:30 A.M., while the train does not arrive at El Tovar until about 9 o'clock, and one may wish to take breakfast before starting. Hence the start is seldom accomplished until after ten o'clock, two hours beyond the allotted time.
Sunrise and Sunset at Hopi Point. It already has been pointed out that this is the strong scenic point near to El Tovar, for both eastern and western canyon scenery, though the eastern is not so fully revealed as from Yavapai Point. Regular conveyances take visitors out to this point both morning and evening. The scenic effects are heightened in the Canyon a hundredfold by the presence of the morning and evening shadows. In the glare of the midday sun, the temples, towers, walls and buttes lose their distinctiveness, while in the shadows of either early morning or the late afternoon, they stand forth as vividly as a profile cameo cut in black on a light ground. As the hours of sunrise and sunset vary, the drives are so planned as to reach the points at the proper time, so as not to weary the visitor by too long waiting, or lose the enchanting effects by too late arrival. As the sun sinks, the shadows lengthen and deepen, bringing out into bold relief features hitherto unobserved, and giving a sublimity to the vast scene that it did not possess in the full blaze of the sun. If clouds obscure the direct rays, all the better, for then other and even more startling effects of beauty and color are produced. At times the whole Canyon seems filled with a luminous mist, in which the temples float into individual prominence in a remarkable manner.
Then, as the vision is turned to the east, one may see the shadows gradually, and, at the last, rapidly rise and shut off the peach glows, the vermilions, the absolutely fiery lights, that often blaze in lingering affection on the peaks they love so well to illumine. No two nights are the effects the same. One can never grow weary of watching them. Sometimes the tones are soft and tender. Again the vividness of the flaming colors is as if the god of color were declaring his power, and demanding special homage. From the soft tint of rose-ashes to the fiery red of a blinding sun, the whole gamut of colors and effects is used. The afterglow is by many considered more alluring than the sunset itself.
The Canyon Before Sunrise. An exquisite effect is seen by those who watch the Canyon before sunrise. A soft flood of reddish purple fills the vault, and rests in perfect harmony upon the great north wall. Little by little the darker tints are subdued, every moment adding to the charm of the changing effects, until suddenly the sun bursts over the horizon, floods the plateaus with light, or casts dark and richly purple shadows, and this sets wall and recess, mountain butte and deep abyss in startling contrasts.
Returning in Time for Trains. One thing should be noted about these rim or trail trips. They are all planned so as to afford ample time for meals before and after making them and also to insure the catching of trains. The Fred Harvey system runs in harmony with the Santa Fe Railway system, so that no matter how nervous the visitor, he may rest perfectly contented that when he goes on any of these trips he will always be back "on time," both for meals and trains.
CHAPTER VI. How To Spend Two To Five Days At El Tovar
Suggestions for Two Days. Suppose the visitor to the Canyon arrives in the morning on an early train and must leave the next night; how can he best fill in his time?
In the morning of the first day he should take the popular drives to Yavapai and Hopi Points, and the afternoon can be spent in driving out on the Hermit Rim Road to the head of Hermit Trail, with a stop, returning, to view the sunset from Hopi Point.
The second day can be well spent in going down Bright Angel Trail.
Suggestions for Three Days. If the visitor has three days at his disposal, let him spend the first day on Hermit Rim Road; the second day he can drive to Grand View and enjoy the eastern end of the Canyon. These trips will give him a general outlook over the Canyon from all the salient near by points on the rim, El Tovar, Yavapai and Grand View on the east, and Maricopa, Hopi, Mohave and Pima west on Hermit Rim Road, and an extensive panorama stretching many miles from the end of the road.
The next day the Bright Angel Trail trip may be made, and at the end of the third day on returning from this trip, the traveler will be able to assert with truthfulness that he has gained a reasonably comprehensive view of Grand Canyon.
Suggestions for Four or Five Days. If one can spend four or five days, and wishes to fill every hour with travel and sightseeing, he can take one or all of the day's experiences already suggested.
To the Boucher Trail. Then let him plan either to ride a saddle animal or be driven to the head of the Boucher Trail (about six thousand five hundred feet elevation) through the forest to the west, by Rowe's Well, a distance of ten miles. This trip can be made in about two hours. If one has been driven to this point, the harness is removed from the horses, saddles substituted, and the descent of the trail begun.