The Romance of the Colorado River
by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
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By Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

Member of the United States Colorado River Expedition of 1871 and 1872

NOTE: List of the maps, graphs, photos, and paintings scanned from The Romance of the Colorado River by Dellenbaugh. Fewer than half of the pictures in the book were scanned to accompany the etext.

Page/.jpg file number Description

000front. Frontpiece. Looking Up the Bright Angel Trail. Moran.

000glyph. Tail-piece of Preface. Sketch of a picture-writing.

000xvii. The Steamer "Undine."

00prefmap. Preface. Map showing Relation of the Canyons of the Green and Colorado to the Surrounding Country.

015. Alarcon's Ships Struggling With the Great Bore of the Colorado—1540.

026. The Colorado at the Junction of the Gila.

030. Cocopa Tule Raft.

037. Map. The Grand-Marble Canyon Region.

041. The "Hole in the Wall" near Fort Defiance, Arizona.

041. opp. Relief Map of the Grand Canyon Region.

043. Looking Down Upon Glen Canyon.

052. Gray's Peak, Torrey's Peak.

055. Outline Sketch of the Grand Canyon from Point Sublime.

057. Profile of the Colorado Through the Grand Canyon.

079. Across the House Tops of Zuni.

081. Ruin Called Casa Grande, Arizona.

083. In the Grand Canyon. Kolb Expedition 1911.

093. In the Moki Town of Mishongnuvi, Arizona.

095. The Canyon of the Little Colorado.

098. A Zuni Home.

099. The Governors of Zuni.

101. Pai Ute Girls, Southern Utah, Carrying Water.

109. Map. Green River through the Uinta Mountains 1871

113. Ashley Falls, Red Canyon, Green River, inset with Ashley's rock signature.

129. A Portage in the Canyon of Lodore.

137. Las Vegas, Southern Nevada, on the Old Spanish Trail, 1876.

159. Robinson's Landing, mouth of the Colorado river.

161. The Steamer Explorer in which Lieut. Ives in 1858 Ascended the Colorado to Foot of Black Canyon.

163. Looking Down on the Grand Canyon from the Mouth of the Kanab.

178. A Glen of Glen Canyon.

180. In Cataract Canyon.

185. John Wesley Powell, about 1876.

195. Red Canyon—Green River. Upper portion. Looking up stream.

197. Canyon of Lodore—Upper part of Disaster Falls.

201. Canyon of Lodore. Looking down at Triplet Falls.

203. Echo Rock on Right, from which Echo Rock Takes its Name.

205. The Canyon of Desolation—Sumner's Amphitheatre.

206. The Canyon of Desolation—Low Water.

214. The Crags at Millecrag Bend, foot of Cataract Canyon.

215. The Music Temple Alcove, Glen Canyon.

217. The Depths of the Grand Canyon at Sunset.

219. The Grand canyon. The "Sockdologer" Rapid.

223. In the Midst of a Grand Canyon Rapid.

225. The Grand canyon—Granite Buttresses.

229. The Basket Maker. Old woman of the Kaibab Pai Utes.

231. Brother Belder's—Virgen City. A typical frontier Mormon home.

242. Ready for the Start, U.S. Colorado River Expedition, Green River, Wyoming, 1871.

243. Portraits of all by Two Members of the Boat Party of the U.S. Colorado River Expedition of 1871.

267. A Halt for Observations.

275. The Butte of the Cross, between Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons.

285. Cataract Canyon, Right-hand Wall Near Lower End.

289. Glen Canyon Wall.

290. Glen Canyon.

302. The Crew of the "Trilobite."

308. Major Powell and a Pai Ute. Southern Utah, 1872.

315. Major Powell in the field, 1872.

321. Marble Canyon.

326. F.S. Dellenbaugh, 1872. The exploring costume.

329. Running the Sockdologer, Grand Canyon.

333. What May Happen Anytime. Boat punctured.

335. A Capsize in the Grand Canyon.

345. In Marble Canyon.

352. One of the Julien Inscriptions. D. Julien—1863—3 Mai.

360. The Grand Canyon. In the First Granite Gorge.

365. Looking up the Grand Canyon, at the Foot of Toroweap, Uinkaret Division, 1875.

366. The Grand Canyon—Lava Falls.

367. On the Bright Angel Trail.

374. John Wesley Powell. 1834-1902. 1901 portrait.

388. Appendix. The canyons, valleys, and mouths of principal tributaries of the Colorado, in order, page 1.

389. Appendix. The canyons, valleys, and mouths of principal tributaries of the Colorado, in order, page 2.

392. In the Grand Canyon Opposite Shinumo Creek.

The Romance of the Colorado River: The Story of its Discovery in 1840, with an Account of the Later Explorations, and with Special Reference to the Voyages of Powell through the Line of the Great Canyons.

"No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms: This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath For the fiend's glowing hoof——" Browning

To my friends and comrades of the Colorado River Expedition of 1871 and 1872 in grateful remembrance.


Early in 1871, when Major Powell* was preparing for his second descent through the canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers, he was besieged by men eager to accompany him; some even offered to pay well for the privilege. It was for me, therefore, a piece of great good fortune when, after an interview in Chicago with the eminent explorer, he decided to add me to his small party. I was very young at the time, but muscular and healthy, and familiar with the handling of small boats. The Major remarked that in the business before us it was not so much age and strength that were needed as "nerve," and he evidently believed I had enough of this to carry me through. Certainly in the two-years, continuous work on the river and in the adjacent country I had some opportunity to develop this desirable quality. I shall never cease to feel grateful to him for the confidence reposed in me. It gave me one of the unique experiences of my life,—an experience which, on exactly the same lines, can never be repeated within our borders. Now, these thirty years after, I review that experience with satisfaction and pleasure, recalling, with deep affection, the kind and generous companions of that wild and memorable journey. No party of men thrown together, without external contact for months at a time, could have been more harmonious; and never once did any member of that party show the white feather. I desire to acknowledge here, also, my indebtedness to Prof. A. H. Thompson, Major Powell's associate in his second expedition, for many kindnesses.

* I use the title Major for the reason that he was so widely known for so long a period by it. He was a volunteer officer during the Civil War, holding the rank of Colonel at the end. The title Major, then, has no military significance in this connection.

When his report to Congress was published, Major Powell, perhaps for the sake of dramatic unity, concluded to omit mention of the personnel of the second expedition, awarding credit, for all that was accomplished, to the men of his first wonderful voyage of 1869. And these men surely deserved all that could be bestowed on them. They had, under the Major's clear-sighted guidance and cool judgment, performed one of the distinguished feats of history. They had faced unknown dangers. They had determined that the forbidding torrent could be mastered. But it has always seemed to me that the men of the second party, who made the same journey, who mapped and explored the river and much of the country roundabout, doing a large amount of difficult work in the scientific line, should have been accorded some recognition. The absence of this has sometimes been embarrassing for the reason that when statements of members of the second party were referred to the official report, their names were found missing from the list. This inclined to produce an unfavourable impression concerning these individuals. In order to provide in my own case against any unpleasant circumstance owing to this omission, I wrote to Major Powell on the subject and received the following highly satisfactory answer:

Washington, D. C., January 18, 1888.

My Dear Dellenbaugh: Replying to your note of the 14th instant, it gives me great pleasure to state that you were a member of my second party of exploration down the Colorado, during the years 1871 and 1872, that you occupied a place in my own boat and rendered valuable services to the expedition, and that it was with regret on my part that your connection with the Survey ceased. Yours cordially, J. W. Powell.

Recently, when I informed him of my intention to publish this volume, he very kindly wrote as follows:

Washington, January 6, 1902.

Dear Dellenbaugh: I am pleased to hear that you are engaged in writing a book on the Colorado Canyon. I hope that you will put on record the second trip and the gentlemen who were members of that expedition. No other trip has been made since that time, though many have tried to follow us. One party, that headed by Mr. Stanton, went through the Grand Canyon on its second attempt, but many persons have lost their lives in attempting to follow us through the whole length of the canyons. I shall be very glad to write a short introduction to your book. Yours cordially, J. W. Powell.

In complying with this request to put on record the second expedition and the gentlemen who composed it, I feel all the greater pleasure, because, at the same time, I seem to be fulfilling a duty towards my old comrades. The reader is referred to Chapter XIV., and to pages 368-9 for later data on descents. Notwithstanding these the canyons remain almost terra incognita for each new navigator. There have been some who appear to be inclined to withhold from Major Powell the full credit which is his for solving the great problem of the Southwest, and who, therefore, make much of the flimsy story of White, and even assume on faint evidence that others fathomed the mystery even before White. There is, in my opinion, no ground for such assumptions. Several trappers, like Pattie and Carson, had gained a considerable knowledge of the general course and character of the river as early as 1830, but to Major Powell and his two parties undoubtedly belongs the high honour of being the first to explore and explain the truth about it and its extraordinary canyon environment. If danger, difficulty, and disaster mean romance, then assuredly the Colorado of the West is entitled to first rank, for seldom has any human being touched its borderland even, without some bitter or fatal experience. Never is the Colorado twice alike, and each new experience is different from the last. Once acknowledge this and the dangers, however, and approach it in a humble and reverent spirit, albeit firmly, and death need seldom be the penalty of a voyage on its restless waters.

I have endeavoured to present the history of the river, and immediate environment, so far as I have been able to learn it, but within the limits of a single volume of this size much must necessarily be omitted. Reference to the admirable works of Powell, Gilbert, and Button will give the reader full information concerning the geology and topography; Garces, by Elliott Coues, gives the story of the friars; and the excellent memoir of Chittenden, The American Fur Trade of the Far West, will give a complete understanding of the travels and exploits of the real pioneers of the Rocky Mountain country. I differ with this author, however, as to the wise and commendable nature of the early trappers' dealings with the natives, and this will be explained in the pages on that subject. He also says in his preface that "no feature of western geography was ever discovered by government explorers after 1840." While this is correct in the main, it gives an erroneous impression so far as the canyons of the Colorado are concerned. These canyons were "discovered," as mentioned above, by some of the trappers, but their interior character was not known, except in the vaguest way, so that the discovery was much like discovering a range of mountains on the horizon and not entering beyond the foothills.

For the titles of works of reference, of the narratives of trappers, etc., I refer to the works of H. H. Bancroft; to Warren's Memoirs, vol. i. Pacific Railroad reports; and to the first volume of Lieut. Geo. M. Wheeler's report on Explorations West of the 100th Meridian. The trappers and prospectors who had some experience on the Green and the Colorado have left either no records or very incomplete ones. It seems tolerably certain, however, that no experience of importance has escaped notice. So far as attempts at descent are concerned, they invariably met with speedy disaster and were given up.

In writing the Spanish and other foreign proper names I have in no case translated, because such translations result in needless confusion. To translate "Rio del Tizon" as Firebrand River is making another name of it. Few would recognise the Colorado River under the title of Red River, as used, for example, in Pattie's narrative. While Colorado means red, it is quite another matter as a NAME. Nor do I approve of hyphenating native words, as is so frequently done. It is no easier to understand Mis-sis-sip-pi than Mississippi. My thanks are due to Mr. Thomas Moran, the distinguished painter, for the admirable sketch from nature he has so kindly permitted a reproduction of for a frontispiece. Mr. Moran has been identified as a painter of the Grand Canyon ever since 1873, when he went there with one of Powell's parties and made sketches from the end of the Kaibab Plateau which afterwards resulted in the splendid picture of the Grand Canyon now owned by the Government.

I am indebted to Prof. A. H. Thompson for the use of his river diary as a check upon my own, and also for many photographs now difficult to obtain; and to Dr. G. K. Gilbert, Mr. E. E. Howell, Dr. T. Mitchell Prudden, and Mr. Delancy Gill for the use of special photographs. Other debts in this line I acknowledge in each instance and hence will not repeat here. I had hoped to have an opportunity of again reading over the diary which "Jack" Sumner kept on the first Powell expedition, and which I have not seen since the time of the second expedition, but the serious illness of Major Powell prevented my requesting the use of it. F. S. Dellenbaugh. New York, October, 1902.

NOTE.—Since the last edition of this work was published, the inquiries of Mr. Robert Brewster Stanton have brought to light among some forgotten papers of Major Powell's at the Bureau of Ethnology in Washington the diary of Jack Sumner and also that of Major Powell himself. Both begin at the mouth of the Uinta River.

Major Powell, because of his one-armed condition, had the only life-preserver. The preserver was rubber of the inflating type and is in the Smithsonian Institution, presented by Mr. Stanton who obtained it from one of the survivors in 1907.


IN THE BASIN OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND ADJACENT TERRITORY (Except where otherwise stated journeys were on horseback.)

1871—By boat from the Union Pacific Railway crossing of Green River, down the Green and Colorado to the mouth of the Paria, Lee's Ferry. Numerous side trips on foot. Lee's Ferry to House Rock Valley, and across north end of the Kaibab Plateau to the village of Kanab.

1872—Kanab to House Rock Valley and Paria Plateau. To Kanab. To southern part of Kaibab Plateau. To Kanab via Shinumo Canyon and Kanab Canyon. To Pipe Spring. To the Uinkaret Mountains and the Grand Canyon at the foot of the Toroweap Valley. To Berry Spring near St. George, along the edge of the Hurricane Ledge. To the Uinkaret Mountains via Diamond Butte. To the bottom of the Grand Canyon at the foot of the Toroweap. To Berry Spring via Diamond Butte and along the foot of the Hurricane Ledge. To St. George. To the Virgen Mountains and summit of Mt. Bangs. To Kanab via St. George. To the Aquarius Plateau via Potato Valley. To and across the Henry Mountains. To the Colorado at the mouth of Fremont River. By boat to the mouth of the Paria. To Kanab and return across the Kaibab. By boat down the Colorado to the mouth of the Kanab. To Kanab via the Kanab Canyon. To the Uinkaret Mountains. To Kanab via Pipe Spring.

1873—To Salt Lake City, via Long Valley and the Sevier River.

1875—To terminus of Utah Southern Railway, about at Spanish Forks, by rail. To Kanab via Sevier River and Upper Kanab. To the Kaibab Plateau, De Motte Park, and the rim of the Grand Canyon. To the bottom of the Grand Canyon via Shinumo and Kanab Canyons. To Kanab via Kanab Canyon. To the Uinkaret Mountains via Pipe Spring and the Wild Band Pockets. To the Grand Canyon at the foot of the Toroweap.

1876—To St. George across the Uinkaret Plateau. To Las Vegas, Nevada, via Beaver Dam, Virgen River, the Muddy, and the desert. To St. George, by the desert and the old "St. Joe" road across the Beaver Dam Mountains. To the rim of the Grand Canyon, via Hidden Spring, the Copper Mine, and Mt. Dellenbaugh. To a red paint cave on the side of the canyon, about twenty-five hundred feet down. To St. George via same route. To Ivanpah, California, via the old desert road, the Muddy, Las Vegas, and Good Spring. To St. George via same route. To Kanab via Short Creek and Pipe Spring. To the Uinkaret Mountains via Pipe Spring and Antelope Valley. Across to the Shewits Plateau and to Ambush Waterpocket south of Mt. Dellenbaugh.* To the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the east side of the Shewits Plateau. To St. George via Mt. Dellenbaugh and Hidden Spring. To Kanab via Berry Spring and Pipe Spring. To Salt Lake City via Upper Kanab and the Sevier Valley.

This waterpocket, which is a very large one, has, so far as I am aware, never had an English name and I do not know the Amerind one. I have called it "Ambush" because it was the place where three of Powell's men were shot by the Shewits in 1869. See also pp. 229-30.

1884-5—By rail to Ft. Wingate, New Mexico. By rail to Flagstaff. To Flagstaff via circuit of, and summit of, San Francisco Mountain and the Turkey Tanks. By rail to the Needles, California. By rail to Manuelito, New Mexico. To Ft. Defiance. By buckboard to Keam's Canyon. To the East Mesa of the Moki. To Keam's Canyon. By buckboard via Pueblo, Colorado, to Ft. Defiance. To the San Juan River at the "Four Corners," via Lukachukai Pass and the summit of the Carisso Mountains. To Ft. Defiance via the crest of the Tunicha Plateau. By buckboard to Keam's and to the East Mesa of the Moki. To Mishongnuvi and back. By waggon to Keam's. To Oraibe via Tewa. To Keam's via Shimopavi and Tewa. To Holbrook by buckboard.

1899—By rail west across Green River Valley. By rail down Price River, east across Gunnison Valley, up Grand River, and over the Continental Divide.

1903—By rail to Salt Lake. By rail to Modena. By horse up the Virgen River to the narrows of Mukoontuweap. Thence via Rockville and Short Creek to Pipe Springs and Kanab. Thence to De Motte Park, Bright Angel Spring, and Greenland Point at the Grand Canyon on the Kaibab Plateau. Thence to Kanab, Panquitch, and Marysvale. Thence by rail to Salt Lake.

1907—By rail to Grand Canyon, Arizona. By horse to Bass Camp, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, opposite Shinumo Creek, to Habasu Canyon, to Grand Canyon Station, and to Grand View. By rail to the Needles.


CHAPTER I. The Secret of the Gulf—Ulloa, 1539, One of the Captains of Cortes, Almost Solves it, but Turns Back without Discovering—Alarcon, 1540, Conquers

CHAPTER II. The Unknown River—Alarcon Ascends it Eighty-five Leagues and Names it the Rio de Buena Guia—Melchior Diaz Arrives at its Banks Later and Calls it the Rio del Tizon—Cardenas Discovers the Grand Canyon.

CHAPTER III. The Grand Canyon—Character of the Colorado River—The Water-Gods; Erosion and Corrasion—The Natives and their Highways—The "Green River Valley" of the Old Trappers—The Strange Vegetation and Some Singular Animals

CHAPTER IV. Onate, 1604, Crosses Arizona to the Colorado—A Remarkable Ancient Ruin Discovered by Padre Kino, 1694—Padre Garces Sees the Grand Canyon and Visits Oraibi, 1776—The Great Entrada of Padre Escalante across Green River to Utah Lake, 1776—Death of Garces Ends the Entrada Period, 1781.

CHAPTER V. Breaking the Wilderness—Wanderings of the Trappers and Fur Traders—General Ashley in Green River Valley, 1824—Pattie along the Grand Canyon, 1826—Lieutenant Hardy, R.N., in a Schooner on the Lower Colorado, 1826—Jedediah Smith, Salt Lake to San Gabriel, 1826—Pattie on the Lower Colorado in Canoes, 1827-28

CHAPTER VI. Fremont, the Pathfinder—Ownership of the Colorado—The Road of the Gold Seekers—First United States Military Post, 1849—Steam Navigation—Captain Johnson Goes to the Head of Black Canyon

CHAPTER VII. Lieutenant Ives Explores to Fortification Rock—By Trail to Diamond Creek, Havasupai Canyon, and the Moki Towns—Macomb Fails in an Attempt to Reach the Mouth of Grand River—James White's Masterful Fabrication

CHAPTER VIII. The One-armed Knight—A Bold Attack on the Canyons—Powell and His Men—The Wonderful Voyage—Mighty Walls and Roaring Rapids—Capsizes and Catastrophes

CHAPTER IX. A Canyon of Cataracts—The Imperial Chasm—Short Rations—A Split in the Party—Separation—Fate of the Howlands and Dunn—The Monster Vanquished

CHAPTER X. Powell's Second Attack on the Colorado—Green River City—Red Canyon and a Capsize—The Grave of Hook—The Gate of Lodore—Cliff of the Harp—Triplet Falls and Hell's Half-Mile—A Rest in Echo Park

CHAPTER XI. An Island Park and a Split Mountain—The White River Runaways—Powell Goes to Salt Lake—Failure to Get Rations to the Dirty Devil—On the Rocks in Desolation—Natural Windows—An Ancient House—On the Back of the Dragon at Last—Cataracts and Cataracts in the Wonderful Cataract Canyon—A Lost Pack-Train—Naming the Echo Peaks

CHAPTER XII. Into the Jaws of the Dragon—A Useless Experiment—Wheeler Reaches Diamond Creek Going Up-stream—The Hurricane Ledge—Something about Names—A Trip from Kanab through Unknown Country to the Mouth of the Dirty Devil

CHAPTER XIII. A Canyon through Marble-Multitudinous Rapids—Running the Sockdologer—A Difficult Portage, Rising Water, and a Trap—The Dean Upside Down—A Close Shave—Whirlpools and Fountains—The Kanab Canyon and the End of the Voyage

CHAPTER XIV. A Railway Proposed through the Canyons—The Brown Party, 1889, Undertakes the Survey—Frail Boats and Disasters—The Dragon Claims Three—Collapse of the Expedition—Stanton Tries the Feat Again, 1889-90—A Fall and a Broken Leg—Success of Stanton—The Dragon Still Untrammelled



{photo p. xvii} The Steamer "Undine." Wrecked while trying to ascend a rapid on Grand River above Moab. Photograph by R. G. Leonard. His experience on this river ran through a period of some 20 years from about 1892. He died in the autumn of 1913. Every year he built one or more boats trying to improve on each. The Stone model (see cut, page 129) was the final outcome. The usual high-water mark at Bright Angel Trail is 45 feet higher than the usual low-water mark. Stanton measured the greatest declivity in Cataract Canyon and found it to be 55 feet in two miles. The total fall in Cataract Canyon he made 355 feet. With a fall per mile of 27 1/2 feet. Cataract holds the record for declivity, though this is only for two miles, while in the Granite Falls section of the Grand Canyon there is a fall of 21 feet per mile for ten miles.



The Secret of the Gulf—Ulloa, 1539, One of the Captains of Cortes, Almost Solves it, but Turns Back without Discovering—Alarcon, 1540, Conquers.

In every country the great, rivers have presented attractive pathways for interior exploration—gateways for settlement. Eventually they have grown to be highroads where the rich cargoes of development, profiting by favouring tides, floated to the outer world. Man, during all his wanderings in the struggle for subsistence, has universally found them his friends and allies. They have yielded to him as a conquering stranger; they have at last become for him foster-parents. Their verdant banks have sheltered and protected him; their skies have smiled upon his crops. With grateful memories, therefore, is clothed for us the sound of such river names as Thames, Danube, Hudson, Mississippi. Through the centuries their kindly waters have borne down ancestral argosies of profit without number, establishing thus the wealth and happiness of the people. Well have rivers been termed the "Arteries of Commerce"; well, also, may they be considered the binding links of civilisation.

Then, by contrast, it is all the more remarkable to meet with one great river which is none of these helpful things, but which, on the contrary, is a veritable dragon, loud in its dangerous lair, defiant, fierce, opposing utility everywhere, refusing absolutely to be bridled by Commerce, perpetuating a wilderness, prohibiting mankind's encroachments, and in its immediate tide presenting a formidable host of snarling waters whose angry roar, reverberating wildly league after league between giant rock-walls carved through the bowels of the earth, heralds the impossibility of human conquest and smothers hope. From the tiny rivulets of its snowy birth to the ferocious tidal bore where it dies in the sea, it wages a ceaseless battle as sublime as it is terrible and unique. Such is the great Colorado River of the West, rising amidst the fountains of the beautiful Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, where also are brought forth the gentler Columbia and the mighty, far-reaching Missouri. Whirling down ten thousand feet in some two thousand miles, it meets the hot level of the Red Sea, once the Sea of Cortes, now the Gulf of California, in tumult and turmoil. In this long run it is cliff bound nine-tenths of the way, and the whole country drained by it and its tributaries has been wrought by the waters and winds of ages into multitudinous plateaus and canyons. The canyons of its tributaries often rival in grandeur those of the main stream itself, and the tributaries receive other canyons equally magnificent, so that we see here a stupendous system of gorges and tributary gorges, which, even now bewildering, were to the early pioneer practically prohibitory. Water is the master sculptor in this weird, wonderful land, yet one could there die easily of thirst. Notwithstanding the gigantic work accomplished, water, except on the river, is scarce. Often for months the soil of the valleys and plains never feels rain; even dew is unknown. In this arid region much of the vegetation is set with thorns, and some of the animals are made to match the vegetation. A knowledge of this forbidding area, now robbed of some of its old terrors by the facilities in transportation, has been finally gained only by a long series of persistent efforts, attended by dangers, privations, reverses, discouragements, and disasters innumerable. The Amerind,* the red man, roamed its wild valleys. Some tribes built stone houses whose ruins are now found overlooking its waters, even in the depths of the Grand Canyon itself, or in the cliffs along the more accessible tributaries, cultivating in the bottoms their crops. Lands were also tilled along the extreme lower reaches, where the great rock-walls fall back and alluvial soils border the stream. Here and there the Amerind also crossed it, when occasion required, on the great intertribal highways which are found in all districts, but it was neither one thing nor another to him.

*This name is a substitute for the misnomer "Indian." Its use avoids confusion.

So the river rolled on through its solemn canyons in primeval freedom, unvexed by the tampering and meddling of man. The Spaniards, after the picturesque conquest of the luckless Aztecs, were eagerly searching for new fields of profitable battle, and then they dreamed of finding among the mysteries of the alluring northland, stretching so far away into the Unknown, a repetition of towns as populous, as wealthy in pure gold, as those of the valley of Mexico whose despoiled treasures had fired the cupidity of Europe and had crammed the strong boxes of the Spanish king. And there might be towns even richer! Who could say? An Amerind named Tejo, who belonged to Guzman when he was president of New Spain, that is, about 1530, told of journeys he had made with his father, when a boy, to trade in the far north where he saw very large villages like Mexico, especially seven large towns full of silver-workers, forty days' journey through the wilderness. This welcome story was fuel to the fire. Guzman organised a party and started for these wonderful seven cities, but numerous difficulties prevented the fulfilment of his plans, and caused a halt after traversing but a small portion of the distance. Cortes had now also returned from a visit to Spain, and he and Guzman were at the point of the sword. Then shortly arrived from the north (1536), after incredible wanderings between the Mississippi and the Rio Grande, that man of wonderful endurance, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca,* with his surviving companions, Dorantes, Maldonado, and Estevan. The latter, a negro, was afterwards very prominent by his connection with the fatal expedition sent out under the Friar Marcos to investigate the north country. The negro, if not the other men, gave a highly colored account of the lands they had traversed, and especially of what they had heard, so that more fuel was added to the fire, and the desire to explore the mysteries burned into execution. Cortes, harassed by his numerous enemies in Mexico and Spain, determined on a new effort to carry out his cherished plan of reaping further glories in the fascinating regions of the north so full of possibilities. There consequently sailed from Acapulco, July 8, 1539, a fleet of three vessels under Francisco de Ulloa. Cortes was prevented by circumstances from going with this expedition. After many difficulties Ulloa at length found himself at the very head of the Sea of Cortes in shallow water.

* For a full account of the experiences of Alvar Nunez, see the translation of Buckingham Smith. Also Bandolier, Contributions to the History of the Southwestern Portions of the United States.

"And thus sailing [he writes] we always found more shallow water, and the sea thick, black, and very muddy, and came at length into five fathom water; and seeing this we determined to pass over to the land which we had seen on the other side, and here likewise we found as little depth or less, whereupon we rode all night in five fathom water, and we perceived the sea to run with so great a rage into the land that it was a thing much to be marveled at; and with the like fury it returned back again with the ebb, during which time we found eleven fathom water, and the flood and ebb continued from five to six hours. The next day the captain and the pilot went up to the ship's top and saw all the land full of sand in a great round compass and joining itself with the other shore; and it was so low that whereas we were a league from the same we could not discern it, and it seemed there was an inlet of the mouths of certain lakes, whereby the sea went in and out. There were divers opinions amongst us, and some thought that that current entered into these lakes, and also that some great river there might be the cause thereof."*

* From Hakluyt's Voyages. The spelling has been modernised.

This seems to have been the very first visit of Europeans to the mouth of the Colorado, but as Ulloa did not see the river, and only surmised that there might be one there, it cannot be considered in any way a discovery. It has been supposed by some that Friar Juan de la Asumpcion, in 1538, might have reached the Colorado in his deep river which he could not cross, but this river was more likely a branch of the Yaqui, for the friar was told that ten days beyond, to the north, there was another larger river settled by many people, whose houses had three stories, and whose villages were enclosed. This describes the Rio Grande and its southern settlements perfectly, so that, had he been on the Colorado, or even the Gila, the Rio Grande could not have been described as "ten days to the north." Ulloa took possession formally, according to Spanish custom, and then sailed southward again. Though he had not found the great river, he had determined one important geographical point: that Lower California was not, as had been supposed, an island, but was a peninsula; nevertheless for a full century thereafter it was considered an island. Had Ulloa followed up the rush of the current he would have been the discoverer of the Colorado River, but in spite of his marvelling at the fury of it he did not seem to consider an investigation worth while; or he may have been afraid of wrecking his ships. His inertia left it for a bolder man, who was soon in his wake. But the intrepid soul of Cortes must have been sorely disappointed at the meagre results of this, his last expedition, which had cost him a large sum, and compelled the pawning of his wife's jewels. The discovery of the mouth of a great river would have bestowed on this voyage a more romantic importance, and would consequently have been somewhat healing to his injured pride, if not to his depleted purse; but his sun was setting. This voyage of Ulloa was its last expiring ray. With an artistic adjustment to the situation that seems remarkable, Ulloa, after turning the end of the peninsula and sailing up the Lower Californian coast, sent home one solitary vessel, and vanished then forever. Financially wrecked, and exasperated to the last degree by the slights and indignities of his enemies and of the Mendoza government, Cortes left for Spain early in 1540 with the hope of retrieving his power by appearing in person before the monarch. As in the case of Columbus, scant satisfaction was his, and the end was that the gallant captain, whose romantic career in the New World seems like a fairy tale, never again saw the scene of his conquests.

Mendoza, the new viceroy of New Spain, a man of fine character but utterly without sympathy for Cortes, and who was instrumental in bringing about his downfall, now determined on an expedition of great magnitude: an expedition that should proceed by both land and water to the wonderful Seven Cities of Cibola, believed to be rich beyond computation. The negro Estevan had lately been sent back to the marvelous northland he so glowingly described, guiding Marcos, the Franciscan monk of Savoyard birth, who was to investigate carefully, as far as possible, the glories recounted and speedily report. They were in the north about the same time (summer of 1539) that Ulloa was sailing up the Sea of Cortes. The negro, who had by arrangement proceeded there some days in advance of Marcos, was killed at the first Pueblo village, and Marcos, afraid of his life, and before he had seen anything of the wonderful cities except a frightened glimpse from a distant hill, beat a precipitate retreat to New Galicia, the province just north of New Spain, and of which Francis Vasquez de Coronado had recently been made governor. Here he astonished Coronado with a description of the vast wealth and beauty of the Seven Cities of Cibola, a description that does credit to his powers of imagination. Coronado lost no time in accompanying Marcos to Mexico, where a conference with Mendoza resulted in the promotion of the monk, and the immediate organisation of the great expedition mentioned. Coronado was made general of the land forces, and Hernando de Alarcon was placed in charge of the ships. Having a land march to make Coronado, started in February, 1540, while Alarcon sailed in May. Coronado proceeded to San Miguel de Culiacan, the last settlement toward the north, near the coast, whence he took a direction slightly east of north.

Alarcon, with his ships the San Pedro and the Santa Catalina, laid a course for the haven of Sant Iago. They were caught in a severe storm which so greatly frightened the men on the Santa Catalina, "more afraid than was need," remarks Alarcon, that they cast overboard nine pieces of ordnance, two anchors, one cable, and "many other things as needful for the enterprise wherein we went as the ship itself." At Sant Iago he repaired his losses, took on stores and some members of his company, and sailed for Aguaiauall, the seaport of San Miguel de Culiacan, where Coronado was to turn his back on the outposts of civilisation. The general had already gone when Alarcon arrived, but they expected to hold communication with each other, if not actually to meet, farther on; and it seems from this that they must have felt confidence in finding a river by which Alarcon might sail into the interior. As early as 1531 there were vague reports of a large river, the mouth of which was closed by the Amerinds living there by means of a huge cable stretched across from side to side. There may also have been other rumours of a large river besides the surmises of the Ulloa party. At any rate, Alarcon and Coronado fully expected to be in touch much of the time. This expectation appears absurd to us now when we understand the geography, but there was nothing out of the way about the supposition at that time. As it happened, the two divisions never met, nor were they able to communicate even once. So far as rendering Coronado any assistance was concerned, Alarcon might as well have been on the coast of Africa. The farther they proceeded the farther apart they were, but Alarcon kept a constant and faithful lookout for the other party the whole time, never losing an opportunity to inquire its whereabouts.

Coronado had left a well-provisioned ship, the San Gabriel, at Aguaiauall, for Alarcon to bring along. These supplies were for the use of the army when the two parties should meet in the north from time to time. Alarcon added the vessel to his fleet and proceeded along up the coast, keeping as near the land as the water would permit, and constantly on the lookout for signals from the other party, or for Amerinds who might be able to give information concerning the position of the general. Thus, at last, he came to the very head of the gulf where Ulloa had wondered at the rush of waters and had turned away without investigation. "And when we were come," he says, "to the flats and shoals from whence the aforesaid fleet returned, it seemed to me, as to the rest, that we had the firm land before us, and that those shoals were so perilous and fearful that it was a thing to be considered whether with our skiffs we could enter in among them: and the pilots and the rest of the company would have had us do as Captain Ulloa did, and have returned back again." But Alarcon was not of a retreating disposition; the fierce Colorado had now met its first conqueror. It must be remembered, for Ulloa's sake, that there was not the same incentive for him to risk his ships and the lives of his men in an attempt to examine the shoals and currents of this dangerous place. Alarcon was looking for and expecting to meet Coronado at any time. He knew that Coronado was depending on the supplies carried by the San Gabriel, and it would have been rank cowardice on the part of Alarcon to have backed out at the first difficulty. But he had no intention of retiring from the contest, for he says:

"But because your Lordship commanded me that I should bring you the secret of that gulf, I resolved that although I had known I should have lost the ships, I would not have ceased for anything to have seen the head thereof, and therefore I commanded Nicolas Zamorano, Pilot Major, and Dominico del Castello that each of them should take a boat, and lead in their hands, and run in among those shoals, to see if they could find out a channel whereby the ships might enter in; to whom it seemed that the ships might sail up higher (although with great travail and danger), and in this sort I and he began to follow our way which they had taken, and within a short while after we found ourselves fast on the sands with all our three ships, in such sort that one could not help another, neither could the boats succour us because the current was so great that it was impossible for one of us to come to another. Whereupon we were in such great jeopardy that the deck of the Admiral was oftentimes under water; and if a great surge of the sea had not come and driven our ship right up and gave her leave, as it were, to breathe awhile, we had there been drowned; and likewise the other two ships found themselves in very great hazard, yet because they were lesser and drew less water their danger was not so great as ours. Now it pleased God upon the return of the flood that the ships came on float, and so we went forward. And although the company would have returned back, yet for all this I determined to go forward and to pursue our attempted voyage. And we passed forward with much ado, turning our stems now this way, now that way, to seek and find the channel. And it pleased God that after this sort we came to the very bottom of the bay, where we found a very mighty river, which ran with so great fury of a stream, that we could hardly sail against it."

Here, then, began the acquaintance between the European and the river now known as the Colorado of the West. The experience of Alarcon was immediately typical of much that was to follow in the centuries of endeavour to arrive at an intimate knowledge of this savage torrent.


The Unknown River—Alarcon Ascends it Eighty-five Leagues and Names it the Rio de Buena Guia—Melchior Diaz Arrives at its Banks Later and Calls it the Rio del Tizon—Cardenas Discovers the Grand Canyon.

Having triumphed over the fierce tidal bore which renders the mouth of the Colorado dangerous, Alarcon secured a safe anchorage for his vessels and began immediate preparations for following up the river into the distant interior, both to gain a knowledge of it and to seek for information of the position of Coronado. Leaving one of his small boats for the use of those who remained in charge of the ships, he took the other two, and, placing in them some light cannon, prepared them as well as he could for any emergency that might be encountered. His party consisted of twenty soldiers, sailors, and helpers, besides his treasurer, Rodrigo Maldonado, and Gaspar de Castilleia, comptroller. Alarcon possessed the qualities of a successful explorer. He was bold yet cautious, determined but not reckless, with safe judgment and quick adaptability. His first command was that, no matter what happened in case of meeting with natives, all his company were to remain silent and inactive. With this wise provision, which kept the control in his own hands, the party left the ships behind on Thursday, August 26th* (1540), apparently the same day as the arrival. The current was so strong that the men were obliged to tow the boats from the bank, rendering progress slow and difficult, but nevertheless they were able, before night and fatigue compelled a halt, to advance about six leagues. Though constantly on the lookout for natives in the wide barren stretches of lowland on each side of the river, none were seen till early next morning, when, soon after starting, a number of huts were discovered near the river bank. The occupants rushed forth in great excitement at the sudden appearance of these singular-looking people in their equally singular boats, and no wonder! Years and the ages had slipped away and never yet had any people but their own kind appeared on their horizon. Opposition was the natural impulse, and they signed for the Spaniards to go back, threatening attack. The effect of this on Alarcon was a command to anchor the boats out of reach in the middle of the river, though the rapidly augmenting numbers of the people on the shore soon inspired the others of the expedition with a desire to beat a retreat towards the ships. Alarcon, however, was not of this mind. The natives were, of course, armed only with the bow-and-arrow and similar primitive weapons, while the Spaniards, though few in number, possessed the advantage of firearms, of which the natives had no comprehension whatever. The interpreter, being a native from down the coast, understood not a word of this language, but the presence among the strangers of one of their own kind somewhat pacified the natives, and Alarcon did all he could by signs to express his peaceful intentions, throwing his arms to the bottom of the boat and putting his foot on them, at the same time ordering the boats to be placed nearer shore. After much manoeuvring they finally brought about some trifling intercourse and then proceeded up the river, the natives following along the shore. Repeatedly they signalled for the Spaniards to land, but Alarcon, fearful of treachery, declined, and spent the night in the middle of the stream. Nor was the appearance of the natives reassuring, for they had their faces hideously painted, some all over and others only half, while still others carried painted masks before them. In their nostrils they wore pendants, and their ears were pierced with holes wherein they hung bones and shells. Their only clothing was a sort of girdle around the waist.

* Hakluyt gives "25th," but it is a misprint, as this Thursday in 1540 was the 26th.

Gradually, intercourse increased, and presents of trinkets seemed to incline all the natives in Alarcon's favour. At length he discovered that they reverenced the sun, and without compunction he proclaimed that he came from that orb. This deception served him well. Henceforth no service was too great for the natives to perform for these sacred beings. Everything was placed at their disposal. Alarcon's word was their law. They relieved the men entirely of the wearisome task of towing the boats, striving with each other for the privilege. Without this help it would have been impossible for Alarcon to have proceeded far up the river, and he fully appreciated this, though the chief reward bestowed on the helpers and all the natives was crosses made of sticks and of paper. These, he informed them by signs, were precious, and he distributed them in large numbers. The morning after he proclaimed himself as coming from the sun, many swam out to where the boat was anchored, contending for the privilege of securing the rope with which the boat was towed. "And we gave it to them," says Alarcon, "with a good will, thanking God for the good provision which He gave us to go up the river."

The interpreter frequently addressed the natives as he went forward, and at last, on Tuesday night, a man was discovered who understood him. This man was taken into the boat, and Alarcon, always true his trust, asked him whether he had seen or heard of any people in the country like himself, hoping to secure some clue to Coronado. "He answered me no, saying that he had some time heard of old men that very far from that country, there were other white men, and with beards like us, and that he knew nothing else. I asked him also whether he knew a place called Cibola and a river called Totonteac, and he answered me no."

Coronado meanwhile had arrived at Cibola on July 7th (or 10th) and had therefore been among the villages of the Rio Grande del Norte nearly two months. The route to these towns from the lower Colorado, that is, by the great intertribal highway of southern Arizona, followed the Gila River, destined afterwards to be traversed by the wandering trappers, by the weary gold-seeker bound for California, and finally, for a considerable distance, by the steam locomotive. But it was an unknown quantity at the time of Alarcon's visit, so far as white men were concerned. Farther up, Alarcon met with another man who understood his interpreter, and this man said he had been to Cibola, or Cevola,* as Alarcon writes it, and that it was a month's journey, "by a path that went along that river." Alarcon must now have been about at the mouth of the Gila, and the river referred to was, of course, the Gila. This man described the towns of Cibola as all who had seen them described them; that is, large towns of three- or four-storey houses, with windows on the sides,** and encompassed by walls some seven or eight feet in height. The pueblos of the Rio Grande valley were well known in every direction and for long distances. The Apaches, harassing the villagers on every side, and having themselves a wide range, alone carried the knowledge of them to the four winds. In every tribe, too, there are born travellers who constantly visit distant regions, bringing back detailed descriptions of their adventures and the sights beheld, with which to regale an admiring crowd during the winter evenings. Their descriptions are usually fairly accurate from the standpoint of their own understanding. In this case the native gave a good description of the Cibola towns, and the Tusayan people had meanwhile given Cardenas a description of these very natives on the lower Colorado. A day or two later Alarcon received further information of Cibola, and this informant told about a chief who had four green earthen plates like Alarcon's, except in color, and also a dog like Alarcon's, as well as other things, which a black man had brought into the country. This black man was Estevan, who had been killed about a year before. The news of this man and his execution had travelled rapidly, showing frequent intercourse with the pueblos beyond the mountains. Still farther on he met another man who had been at Cibola, and who also told him of a great river in which there were crocodiles. This was the Mississippi, of course, and the crocodiles were alligators. As Alarcon had never seen an alligator he took the description to mean crocodile. A little farther and he heard of the negro Estevan again and the reason why the Cibolans had killed him, which was to prevent the Spaniards, whom he described, from finding their way into the Cibola country. This man also described the bison and a people who lived in painted tents in summer and in winter in houses of wood two or three storeys high. And thus the expedition continued up the river, inquiring as they went on all subjects. On September 6th the old man who had been a particular friend and interpreter was called on shore by the natives, and there was immediately an animated discussion which Alarcon discovered related to himself. Information had come from Cibola that there were there men like these Spaniards who said they were Christians. These had been warlike, and it was proposed to kill all of Alarcon's party to prevent the others from gaining a knowledge of this country. But the old man declared Alarcon to be the son of the sun and took his part. Finally it was decided to ask him whether he were a Christian or the son of the sun. Alarcon pretended great wonder at men like himself being at Cibola, but they assured him it was true, as two men who had come from there reported that they had beards and guns and swords just the same. Alarcon still insisted that he was the son of the sun. They said the men at Cibola said the same, to which Alarcon replied that it might well be, and if so they need have no fear, for the sons of the sun would be his brothers and would treat them as he had done. This seemed to pacify them. He inquired now how far it was to Cibola, and they answered ten days through an uninhabited country, with no account of the rest of the way because it was inhabited.

* The old Spaniards used "v" and "b" interchangeably, so that Cibola and Cevola would be pronounced the same. Other letters were used in the same loose way.

** Windows on the sides of the houses, NOT of the WALLS, as one writer has put it. The villages of the lower part of New Mexico had these walls of circumvallation, but to the northward such walls appear to have been rare.

Alarcon was now more than ever desirous of informing Coronado of his whereabouts, and tried to persuade some of his men to go to Cibola with a message, promising fine rewards. Only one, a negro slave, and he with reluctance, offered to attempt the journey. Alarcon tried to get the old man to give him guides and provisions, but without success, as the old man seemed to desire to induce Alarcon to help them fight their battles with the Cumanas, saying, if he would end this war, he could have their company to Cibola. Alarcon was determined to go, and sent a man back to the ships to inform those there of his purpose, but he changed his mind soon after, concluding to go to the ships himself and return, leaving there his sick, and rearranging his company. The man who had been sent to the ships overland was overtaken and brought back by the natives, but was obliged to remain with them till Alarcon came up again. The descent from here was made in two and a half days, though it had taken fifteen to come up. Arriving at the ships all was found to have gone well except a few minor accidents, and, directing repairs to be made, Alarcon turned about and started up-river once more, first calling the whole company together, telling them what he had learned of Cibola, and that, as Coronado might now have been informed by natives of his presence, he hoped to find means of reaching him. There was much objection to this plan, but he proceeded to carry it out, taking all three boats this time, loaded with "wares of exchange, with corn and other seeds, with hens and cocks of Castile." This region he called the Province of Campanna de la Cruz, and he left orders for the building of an oratory or chapel to be named the Chapel of Our Lady de la Buena Guia. The river he called the Rio de Buena Guia (good guidance) from the motto on the viceroy Mendoza's coat of arms. It was Tuesday, the 14th of September, when he started, taking with him Nicolas Zamorano, chief pilot, to record the latitudes. He soon arrived again among the Quicomas,* and then among the Coamas, where he found his man who had been left behind on the first trip. This man had been so well treated that he was entirely content to remain till the party should come back down the river. This was the highest point reached on the first visit. Everywhere the people were treasuring the crosses which had been given them, kneeling before them at sunrise. Alarcon kept on up the river till he "entered between certain very high mountains, through which this river passeth with a straight channel, and the boats went up against the stream very hardly for want of men to draw the same." From this it may be inferred that the Coamas did not strive with each other for the privilege of towing the boats of these children of the sun as those below had done. Now an enchanter from the Cumanas tried to destroy the party by setting magic reeds in the water on both sides, but the spell failed and the explorers went on to the home of the old man who had been so good a friend and guide to them. At this, Alarcon's farthest point, he caused a very high cross to be erected, on which words were carved to the effect that he had reached the place, so that if Coronado's men chanced to come that way they might see it. Nothing is said about burying letters, yet Diaz later mentions finding letters buried at the foot of a tree, apparently nearer the sea. Deciding that he could not at this time accomplish his purpose of opening communication with the army, Alarcon concluded to return to the ships, but with the intention of trying once more. The second day after starting down he arrived at the place where the Spaniard had remained. He told him that he had gone "above thirty leagues into the country" beyond. It had taken him, before, two and a half days to reach the river mouth from here, so that it seems he was about four days going down from his farthest point. Roughly estimating his progress at six miles an hour for twelve hours a day, in four days the distance covered would be about 288 miles. He says he went up eighty-five leagues (this would be fifty-five the first time and thirty more the second), which, counting in Mexican leagues of two and three quarter miles each, gives a distance of 233 3/4 miles, or about one hundred miles above the mouth of the Gila. This stream he does not mention. He may have taken it for a mere bayou, but it appears to be certain that he passed beyond it. He says Ulloa was mistaken by two degrees as to his northernmost point, and that he sailed four degrees beyond him. The meaning of this may be that he went four degrees beyond Ulloa's false reckoning, or actually two degrees above the shoals where Ulloa turned back. This would take him to the 34th parallel, and would coincide with his eighty-five leagues, and also with the position of the first mountains met with in going up the river, the Chocolate range. Alarcon was not so inexperienced that he would have represented eighty-five leagues on the course of the river as equalling four degrees of latitude. Had he gone to the 36th degree he would have passed through Black Canyon, and this is so extraordinary a feature that he could not have failed to note it specially. When Alarcon arrived at the ships again, he evidently had strong reason for abandoning his intention of returning for another attempt to communicate with Coronado, and he set sail for home. Another document says the torredo was destroying the ships, and this is very probable. He coasted down the gulf, landing frequently, and going long distances into the interior searching for news of Coronado, but he learned nothing beyond what he heard on the river.

* The tribes and bands spoken of by Alarcon cannot be identified, but these Quicomas, or Quicamas, were doubtless the same as the Quiquimas mentioned by Kino, 1701, and Garces, 1775. They were probably of Yuman stock. The Cumanas were possibly Mohaves.

While he was striving to find a way of reaching the main body of the expedition, which during this time was complacently robbing the Puebloans on the Rio Grande, two officers of that expedition were marching through the wilderness endeavouring to find him, and a third was travelling toward the Grand Canyon. One of these was Don Rodrigo Maldonado, thus bearing exactly the same name as one of Alarcon's officers; another was Captain Melchior Diaz, and the third Don Lopez de Cardenas, who distinguished himself on the Rio Grande by particular brutality toward the villagers. Don Rodrigo went in search of the ships down the river to the coast from the valley of Corazones, but obtained no information of them, though he met with giant natives and brought back with him one very tall man as a specimen. The main army of Coronado had not yet gone from this valley of Corazones, where the settlement called San Hieronimo had been established, and the best man in it reached only to the chest of this native giant.

The army moved on to another valley, where a halt was made to await orders from the general. At length, about the middle of September, Melchior Diaz came back from Cibola, with dispatches, accompanied by Juan Gallegos, who bore a message for the viceroy. In their company also was the miserable Friar Marcos, pursuing his dismal return to New Spain by direction of the general, who considered it unsafe for him to remain with the army now that the glorious bubble of his imagination had been exploded. Melchior Diaz was an excellent officer, and already had an experience in this northern region extending over some four years. It was he, also, who had been sent, the previous November, as far as the place called Chichilticalli, in an attempt to verify the friar's tale, and had reported that the natives were good for nothing except to make into Christians. The main army, which was in command of Don Tristan de Arellano, in accordance with the orders received from Coronado, now advanced toward Cibola. Maldonado, who had been to the coast, went with it. Diaz retained eighty men, part of whom were to defend the settlement of San Hieronimo, and twenty-five were to accompany him on his expedition in search of Alarcon. He started north and then went west, following native guides for 150 leagues (412 1/2 miles) in all, and at length reached a country inhabited by giant natives who, in order to keep warm in the chill autumn air, carried about with them a firebrand. From this circumstance, Diaz called the large river he found here the Rio del Tizon. This was the Buena Guia of Alarcon. The natives were prodigiously strong, one man being able to lift and carry with ease on his head a heavy log which six of the soldiers could not transport to the camp. Here Diaz heard that boats had come up the river to a point three days' journey below, and he went there to find out about it, doubtless expecting to get on the track of Alarcon. But the latter had departed from the mouth of the river at least two or three weeks before; one writer says two months.* The same writer states that Diaz reached the river thirty leagues above the mouth, and that Alarcon went as far again above. This coincides very well with Alarcon's estimate of eighty-five leagues, for Diaz did not follow the windings of the stream as Alarcon was forced to do with his boats. At the place down the river, Diaz found a tree bearing an inscription: "Alarcon reached this point; there are letters at the foot of this tree." Alarcon does not, as before noted, mention burying letters, and these were found at the foot of a tree, so that Diaz evidently failed to reach the cross erected at Alarcon's highest point.

* Relacion del Suceso. Alarcon must have reached his highest point about October 5th or 6th, and the ships on the return about the 10th. Diaz probably arrived at the river about November 1st.

Diaz now proceeded up the river again, looking for a place where he could safely cross to explore the country on the opposite side. After ascending from the spot where he found the letters for five or six days, he concluded they could cross by means of rafts. In the construction of these rafts he invited the help of the natives of the neighbourhood. He was probably up near the Chocolate Mountains and the Cumanas, who were hostile to Alarcon, and whose sorcerer had attempted to destroy him by means of the magic reeds. They had been merely waiting for an opportunity to attack Diaz, and they perceived their chance in this assistance in crossing the river. They readily agreed to help make the rafts, and even to assist in the crossing. But while the work was in progress a soldier who had gone out from the camp was surprised to observe a large number of them stealing off to a mountain on the other side. When he reported this, Diaz caused one of the natives to be secured, without the others being aware of it. He was tortured till he confessed that the plan was to begin the attack when some of the Spaniards were across the river, some in the water, and the others on the near bank. Thus separated they believed they could easily be destroyed. The native, as a reward for this valuable confession, was secretly killed, and that night, with a heavy weight tied to him, was cast into the deep water. But the others evidently suspected the trick, for the next day they showered arrows upon the camp. The Spaniards pursued them and by means of their superior arms soon drove them into the mountains. Diaz was then able to cross without molestation, his faithful Amerind allies of another tribe assisting.

Alarcon had conveyed in his letters the nature of the gulf and coast, so Diaz struck westward to see what he could find in that direction. The country was desolate and forbidding, in places the sand being like hot ashes and the earth trembling. Four days of this satisfied them, and the captain concluded to return to San Hieronimo. The subsequent fate of Diaz is another illustration of how a man may go the world round, escaping many great dangers, and then be annihilated by a simple accident that would seem impossible. A dog belonging to the camp pursued the little flock of sheep that had been driven along to supply the men with meat, and Diaz on his horse dashed toward it, at the same time hurling a spear. The spear stuck up in the ground instead of striking the dog, and the butt penetrated the captain's abdomen, inflicting, under the conditions, a mortal wound. The men could do nothing for him except to carry him along, which for twenty days they did, fighting hostile natives all the time. Then he died. On the 18th of January they arrived without their leader at the settlement from which they had started some three months before.

Cardenas with twelve men had meanwhile gone from Cibola to a place called Tusayan, or Tucano, situated some twenty or twenty-five leagues north-westerly from Cibola, from whence he was to strike out toward the great river these natives had described to Don Pedro de Tobar, who recently had paid them a visit, and incidentally shot a few of them to invite submission. Cardenas was kindly received by the people of Tusayan, who readily supplied him with guides. Having lived in the country for centuries, they of course knew it and the many trails very well. They knew the highway down the Gila to the Colorado, and they told Cardenas about the tall natives living in the lower part of it, the same whom Alarcon and Diaz had met. In the direction in which Cardenas was to go they said it was twenty days' journey through an unpopulated country, when people would again be met with. After the party had travelled for twenty days they arrived at a great canyon of the Colorado River, apparently not having met with the people mentioned. If Cardenas started from the Moki towns, as has generally been believed, where would he have arrived by a journey of twenty days, when an able-bodied man can easily walk to the brink of Marble Canyon from there in three or four days? Why did the guides, if they belonged in the Moki towns, conduct Cardenas so far to show him a river which was so near? The solution seems to be that he started from some locality other than the present Moki towns. That is to say, there has been an error, and these Moki towns are not Tusayan. Where Cardenas reached the great canyon the river came from the NORTH-EAST and turned to the SOUTH-SOUTH-WEST. There are but two places where the canyoned river in Arizona conforms to this course, one at Lee's Ferry, and the other the stretch from Diamond Creek to the Kanab Canyon. The walls being low at Lee's Ferry, that locality may be excluded, for where Cardenas first looked into the canyon it was so deep that the river appeared like a brook, though the natives declared it to be half a league wide. Three of the most agile men, after the party had followed along the rim for three days hunting for a favourable place, tried to descend to the water, but were unable to go more than one-third of the way. Yet from the place they reached, the stream looked very large, and buttes that from above seemed no higher than a man were found to be taller than the great tower of Seville. There can be no doubt that this was the gorge we now call the Grand Canyon. No other answers the description. Cardenas said the width at the top, that is, the "outer" gorge with its broken edge, was three or four leagues or more in an air line.* This is the case at both great bends of the river. The point he reached has usually been put, without definite reason, at about opposite Bright Angel River, say near the letter "L" of the word "Colorado" on the relief map, page 41 op., but here the river comes from the SOUTH-EAST and turns to the NORTH-WEST, directly the reverse of what Cardenas observed. The actual place then must have been about midway of the stretch referred to, that is, near the letter "A" of the word "Canon" on the relief map. Where he started from to arrive at this part of the canyon cannot be discussed here for want of space, but the writer believes the place was some three hundred miles south-east, say near Four Peaks on the new Mexican line.** Cardenas was, therefore, guided along the southerly edge of the great Colorado Plateau, through the superb Coconino Forest, where he had wood, water, and grass in abundance. The locality he reached was very dry, and they were obliged to go each night a long distance back from the brink to procure water. For this reason, Cardenas gave up trying to follow the canyon, and returned again, by way of Tusayan, to Cibola, passing on the way a waterfall, which possibly was in the Havasupai (Cataract) Canyon. Castaneda, the chief chronicler of the Coronado expedition, says the river Cardenas found was the Tizon, "much nearer its source than where Melchior Diaz crossed it," thus showing that its identity was well surmised, if not understood, at that time. Nothing, however, was known of its upper course; at least there is no evidence of any such knowledge, though the natives had doubtless given the Spaniards some information regarding it. The special record of the Cardenas expedition was kept by one Pedro de Sotomayor, but it has apparently never been seen in modern times. It is probably in the archives of Spain or Mexico, and its discovery would throw needed light on the location of Tusayan and the course Cardenas followed.*** The distance of this whole region from a convenient base of supplies, and its repellent character, prevented further operations at this period, and when these explorers traced their disappointed way homeward, the Colorado was not seen again by white men for over half a century; and it was more than two hundred years before European eyes again looked upon the Grand Canyon.

* "A las barrancas del rio que puestos a el bado [lado?] de ellas parecia al otro bordo que auia mas de tres o quatro leguas por el ayre."—Castaneda, in Winship's monograph. Fourteenth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 429.

** For the author's views on Coronado's route see the Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, December, 1897. Those views have been confirmed by later study, the only change being the shifting of Cibola from the Florida Mountains north-westerly to the region of the Gila. See map p. 115, Breaking the Wilderness.

*** It may be noted here with reference to the location of Cibola, Tiguex, Tusayan, etc., that too much heretofore has been ASSUMED. The explanations presented are often very lame and unsatisfactory when critically examined. So many writers are now committed to the errors, on this subject that it will be a hard matter to arrive at the truth.

Coronado proceeded eastward to about the western line of Missouri, and, finding colonisation anywhere in the regions visited out of the question, he returned in 1542 to Mexico, with his entire army excepting a couple of padres.


The Grand Canyon—Character of the Colorado River—The Water-Gods; Erosion and Corrosion—The Natives and their Highways—The "Green River Valley" of the Old Trappers—The Strange Vegetation and Some Singular Animals.

The stupendous chasm known as the Grand Canyon, discovered by Cardenas in the autumn of 1540, is the most remarkable feature of this extraordinary river, and at the same time is one of the marvels of the world. Though discovered so long ago that we make friends with the conquistadores when we approach its history, it remained, with the other canyons of the river, a problem for 329 years thereafter, that is, till 1869. Discovery does not mean knowledge, and knowledge does not mean publicity. In the case of this gorge, with its immense length and countless tributary chasms, the view Cardenas obtained was akin to a dog's discovery of the moon. It has practically been several times re-discovered. Indeed, each person who first looks into the abyss has a sensation of being a discoverer, for the scene is so weird and lonely and so incomprehensible in its novelty that one feels that it could never have been viewed before. And it IS rather a discovery for each individual, because no amount of verbal or pictorial description can ever fully prepare the spectator for, the sublime reality. Even when one becomes familiar with the incomparable spectacle it never ceases to astonish. A recent writer has well said: "The sublimity of the Pyramids is endurable, but at the rim of the Grand Canyon we feel outdone."* Outdone is exactly the right word. Nowhere else can man's insignificance be so burned into his soul as here, where his ingenuity and power count for naught.

* Harriet Monroe, Atlantic Monthly, June, 1902.

Cardenas, after all, was only one of the discoverers. He was merely the first WHITE man who saw it. When was it that the first MAN recoiled from the edge of that then actually unknown masterpiece of the Water-gods, who so persistently plied their tools in the forgotten ages? He was the real discoverer and he will never be known. As applied to new countries—new to our race—the term "unknown" is relative. Each fresh explorer considers his the deed that shall permanently be recorded, no matter who has gone before, and the Patties and the Jedediah Smiths are forgotten. In these later years some who have dared the terrors of the merciless river in the Grand Canyon spoke of it as the "Great Unknown," forgetting the deed of Powell; and when Lieutenant Wheeler laboriously succeeded in dragging his boats up to the mouth of Diamond Creek, he said: "NOW the exploration is completed." HE forgot the deed of Powell. A recent writer mentions the north-western corner of Arizona as a "mysterious wilderness."* He forgot that it was thoroughly explored years ago. Wilderness it may be, if that means sparsely settled, but mysterious?—no. It is all known and on record.

* Ray Stannard Baker, Century Magazine, May, 1902.

The Grand Canyon may be likened to an inverted mountain range. Imagine a great mountain chain cast upside down in plaster. Then all the former ridges and spurs of the range become tributary canyons and gulches running back twenty or thirty miles into the surrounding country, growing shallower and shallower as the distance increases from the central core, just as the great spurs and ridges of a mountain range, descending, melt finally into the plain. Often there are parts where the central gorge is narrow and precipitous, just as a mountain range frequently possesses mighty precipices. But it is an error to think of great canyons as mere slits in the ground, dark and gloomy, like a deep well from whose depths stars may be sighted at midday. Minor canyons sometimes approach this character, as, for example, the canyon of the upper Virgen, called Parunuweap, fifteen hundred feet deep and no more than twenty to thirty feet wide, with vertical walls, but I have never been in a canyon from which stars were visible in daylight, nor have I ever known anyone who had. The light is about the same as that at the bottom of a narrow street flanked by very high buildings. The walls may sometimes be gloomy from their colour, or may seem so from the circumstances under which one views them, but aside from the fact that any deep, shut-in valley or canyon may become oppressive, there is nothing specially gloomy about a deep canyon. The sun usually falls more or less in every canyon, no matter how narrow or deep. It may fall to the very bottom most of the day, or only for an hour or two, depending on the trend of the canyon with reference to the sun's course. At the bottom of the Kanab where it joins the Grand, the sunlight in November remains in the bottom just two hours, but outside in the main gorge the time is very much longer.

The walls of a great canyon, and usually a small one, are terraced; seldom are they wholly vertical for their entire height, though occasionally they may approach this condition on one side or the other, and more rarely on both sides at once, depending on the geological formations of the locality. Owing to the immense height of the walls of such canyons as those on the Colorado, the cliffs frequently appear perpendicular when they are far from it, just as a mountain peak often seems to tower over one's head when in reality it may be a considerable distance off. In the nature of the formation and development of canyons, they could not long retain continuous vertical walls. What Powell calls the "recession of cliffs" comes into play. The erosive and corrasive power of water being the chief land sculptors, it is evident that there will be a continual wearing down of the faces of the bounding cliffs. The softer beds will be cut away faster than the harder, and where these underlie the harder the latter will be undermined and fall. Every canyon is always widening at its top and sides, through the action of rain, frost, and wind, as well as deepening through the action of its flowing stream. EROSION is this power which carves away the cliffs, and CORRASION the one which saws at the bottom, the latter term, in geological nomenclature, meaning the cutting power of running water.* This cutting power varies according to the declivity and the amount of sediment carried in suspension. It is plain that a stream having great declivity will be able to carry more sediment than one having little, and in a barren country would always be highly charged with sand, which would cut and scour the bed of the channel like a grindstone. As Dutton says, a river cuts, however, only its own width, the rest of a canyon being the "work of the forces of erosion, the wind, frost, and rain." That is why we have canyons. The powers of erosion are far slower than those of corrasion, especially in an arid region, because they are intermittent. Where rocks take a polish, as in Marble Canyon, the scouring and polishing work of corrasion is seen in the shining bright surface as far as the water rises. This all belongs to the romance of the Water-gods, those marvellous land sculptors.

* The introduction of this subject may seem unnecessary to the general reader, but no just comprehension of this river can be reached without some knowledge of the forces creating its chasms.

To produce canyons like those of the Colorado, peculiar and unusual conditions are necessary. There must exist a vast region lying high above sea-level. This region must be arid. Out of it must rise separated mountain masses to such heights that they shall be well watered. These most elevated regions alone having abundant rain and snowfall, torrential streams are generated and poured down upon the arid wastes, where they persistently scour their beds, ploughing deep channels below the level of their surroundings. The perpendicularity of the walls of these channels, or canyons as they are called, depends on the volume and continuity of the flowing stream, on the aridity of the country through which they are cut, and on the rock-formation. A fierce and continuous torrent, where the rainfall is at the minimum, will so speedily outrival the forces of erosion that the canyon will have vertical walls. An example is seen in those frequent "mud" canyons found in arid regions, where some brook, having its source in highlands, cuts a channel through clay or dry earth with vertical sides, that stand for years. As long as the surface of the adjacent lands is undisturbed, it acts like a roof, throwing off the water that falls upon it into the main stream.* Thus the foundations of these walls are not assailed from BEHIND, which is their weakest point. If the land surface is broken up, permitting the rains to soak in and saturate the clay or earth, the whole mass becomes softened and will speedily fall and slide out into the canyon.** The sides of all canyons in an arid region are more or less protected in the same way. That is, the rains fall suddenly, rarely continuously for any length of time, and are collected and conducted away immediately, not having a chance to enter the ground. Homogeneous sandstone preserves its perpendicularity better than other rocks, one reason being that it does not invite percolation, and usually offers, for a considerable distance on each side of the canyon, barren and impervious surfaces to the rains. Where strata rest on exposed softer beds, these are undermined from the front, and in this way recession is brought about.

* Just as wheat flour getting wet on the surface protects the portion below from dampness. The rainfall is often so slight, also, that a surface is unchanged for years. I once saw some wagon tracks that were made by our party three years before. From peculiar circumstances I was able to identify them.

** Robert Brewster Stanton explained this very clearly in his investigations for the Canadian Pacific Railway into the causes of land-slides on that line.

In the basin of the Colorado are found in perfection all the extraordinary conditions that are needed to bring forth mammoth canyons. The headwaters of all the important tributaries are INVARIABLY IN THE HIGHEST REGIONS and at a long distance from their mouths, so that the flood waters have many miles of opportunity to run a race with the comparatively feeble erosive forces of desert lands. The main stream-courses are thus in the lower arid regions and in sedimentary formations, while their water-supply comes from far away. The deepest gorges, therefore, will be found where the rainfall is least, unless diminishing altitude interferes. Thus the greatest gorge of the whole basin, the Grand Canyon, is the one farthest from the sources of supply, and in the driest area, but one, of the whole drainage system. It ends abruptly with the termination of the high arid plateau which made it possible, but had this plateau extended farther, the Grand Canyon would also have extended a similar distance. It is plain then that the cutting of these canyons depends on the amount of water (snow is included) which may fall in the high mountains, the canyons themselves being in the drier districts. It is also clear that if, by some chance, the precipitation of the high sources should increase, the corrasion of the stream-beds in the canyons would likewise increase and outrun with still greater ease the erosion of their immediate surroundings. On the other hand, if the precipitation in the arid surroundings should increase, the wearing down of the side walls would for a time—till covered by debris and vegetation—go on more rapidly till, instead of Canyons of the Colorado River type, there would be deep, sharp valleys, or wide valleys, according to the amount of difference between the precipitation of the low lands and the high. Where the two were nearly the same, that is, a balance of precipitation,* the slopes might be rounded and verdure-clad, though this would depend on the AMOUNT of precipitation. On lower Snake River a change seems to be going on. The former canyon-cliffs are covered by debris and vegetation, but in places the old dry cliff-lines can be discerned beneath like a skeleton. The precipitation there has not been great enough to destroy the old lines—only enough to mask them.

* There could be a balance of precipitation and still very little snow- or rainfall, or they might be very great.

The "inner gorge" of the Grand Canyon appears to have been cut far more rapidly than the outer one, and at a much later period; were this not the case there would be no inner gorge. It is a singular fact that some side canyons, the Kanab, for example, while now possessing no running water, or at best a puny rivulet, and depending for their corrasion on intermittent floods, meet on equal terms the great Colorado, the giant that never for a second ceases its ferocious attack. Admitting that the sharper declivity of the Kanab would enhance its power of corrasion, nevertheless we should expect to see it approach the Grand Canyon by leaps and bounds, like the Havasupai farther down, but, on the contrary, there are parts that appear to be at a standstill in corrasion, or even filling up, and its floor is a regular descent, except for the last three or four miles where the canyon is clogged by huge rocks that seem to have fallen from above. The maximum height of its present flood-waters is about six feet, proved by a fern-covered calcareous deposit, projecting some fifteen feet, caused by a spring (Shower-Bath Spring) on the side of the wall, seven or eight miles above the mouth, which is never permitted by the floods to build nearer the floor of the canyon. A suspicion arises, on contemplating some of these apparent discrepancies, that the prevailing conditions of corrasion are not what they were at some earlier period, when they were such that it was rendered more rapid and violent; that there was perhaps an epoch when these deep-cut tributary canyons carried perennial streams, and when the volume of the Colorado itself was many times greater, possessing a multiplied corrasive power, while the adjacent areas were about as arid as now. At such a time, perhaps, the Colorado performed the main work of the inner gorge, the Kanab, and similar affluents, their deep now rather evenly graded canyons. Such an increase of volume, if we suppose the aridity to remain as now, could have come about only by an increase of precipitation on the mountain summits. During the Glacial Epoch, the Rocky Mountain summits were considerably glaciated, the amount varying according to altitude and latitude. The general topography of the Colorado River was about as it is to-day, and the rainfall in the valleys probably nearly the same, or at least only a little greater. In other words, the conditions were those of to-day intensified. In summer, then, the amount of water seeking outlet by these drainage channels to the sea was enormously multiplied, and the corrasive power was correspondingly augmented. When the ice caps finally began to permanently diminish, the summer floods were doubtless terrific. The waters of the Colorado now rise in the Grand Canyon, on the melting of the snows in the distant mountains, from forty to one hundred feet; the rise must then have amounted to from one hundred to four hundred or more. The Kanab heads in two very high regions—the Pink Cliffs and the Kaibab. Though probably not high enough to be heavily glaciated they were high enough to receive an increased snowfall and to hold it, or a portion of it, over from one year to another. Thus the canyons having their origin on these high regions would be given perennial streams, with torrential floods each summer, compared with which anything that now comes down the Kanab would be a mere rivulet. The summit of the Kaibab is covered with peculiar pocket-like basins having no apparent outlets. These were possibly glacial sinks, conducting away some of the surplus water from the melting snow and ice by subterranean channels. It seems probable, therefore, that glacial flood-waters were an important factor in the formation of the canyons of the Colorado. If this supposition is correct it would account, at least in a measure, for that distinct impression of arrested activity one receives from the present conditions obtaining there.*

* Some canyon floors, where there is no permanent large stream, appear to have altogether ceased descending. Dutton says of those which drain the Terrace Plateaus: "Many of them are actually filling up, the floods being unable to carry away all the sand and clay which the infrequent rains wash into them."—Tertiary History, p. 50. See also pp. 196 and 228 Ib.

The drainage at the edges of most canyons is back and away from the gorge itself. The reason is that the rains cannot flow evenly over a canyon brink, owing to irregularities of surface, and once an irregular drainage is established, the water seeks the easiest road. A side canyon is formed, draining a certain area. Another is formed elsewhere, and another, and so on till all drainage is through these tributaries and away from the brink, by more or less circuitous channels to the main stream. This backward drainage leaves the immediate brink, or "rim," till the last, in its work of erosion and corrasion, and the rim consequently is left higher than the region away from it. This effect of a backward drainage is very plain on both sides of the Grand Canyon, though it is somewhat assisted, on the north at least, by the backward dip of the strata. It may be modified by other conditions, so that it would not always be the case.

The basin of the Colorado, excepting that part below the mouth of the Virgen and a portion among the "parks" of the western slope of the Rocky Mountain range, is almost entirely a plateau region. Some of the plateaus are very dry; others rise above the arid zone and are well watered. The latter are called the "High Plateaus." They reach an altitude of eleven thousand feet above the sea. They are east of the Great Basin, and with the other plateaus form an area called by Powell "The Plateau Province." Eastward still the plateaus merge into the "parks." The High Plateaus, as a topographical feature, are a southern continuation of the Wasatch Mountains. They terminate on the south in the Markagunt, the Paunsagunt, and the Aquarius Plateaus. The extreme southern extremities of the two former are composed of mighty precipices of columnarly eroded limestone called the Pink Cliffs. Here is the beginning of the Terrace Plateaus, likewise bounded by vertical, barren cliffs. Between the High Plateaus and the parks, the plateaus may be called, for convenience, Mesa Plateaus, as they are generally outlined by vertical cliffs. This is the case also south of the end of the High Plateaus where, stepping down the great terraces, we arrive at the region immediately adjacent to the Grand Canyon, composed of four plateaus, three of them of mesa character, the Shewits, Uinkaret, Kanab, and Kaibab; and up at the head of Marble Canyon a fifth, the Paria, while still farther to the north-eastward is the Kaiparowitz. The edges of these Mesa Plateaus, precipitous cliffs, stretch for many miles across the arid land like mountain ranges split asunder. This region, lying between the High Plateaus, the Grand Wash, the Henry Mountains, and the Colorado, is perhaps the most fascinating of all the basin. The relief map at page 41 gives the larger part of it. In the basin there are also great mountain masses, the fountainheads of the waters which have carved the canyons. These are Uinta, Zuni, San Francisco, Henry, Pine Valley, Uinkaret, Beaver Dam, Virgen, Navajo, La Sal, and others, some reaching an altitude of more than twelve thousand feet. The highest peaks of these, and of course those of the Continental Divide on the east, which furnish a large proportion of the water of the Colorado, and the Wind River Mountains on the extreme north, have snow-banks throughout the summer. To show how dependent the Colorado is on the high peaks for its flood-waters, I will mention that it is not till the snows of these high altitudes are fiercely attacked by the sun in May and June that the river has its annual great rise. It would take only a slight lowering of the mean annual temperature now to furnish these peaks with ice caps. The rainfall in the lower arid regions is from three to ten inches, increasing northward to fifteen and twenty-five. On the peaks, of course, it is much greater. Almost any climate can be had, from the hot arid to the wet frigid. On the lower stretches, from Mohave down, the thermometer in summer stands around 112 degrees F. a great deal of the time, and reaches 118 degrees F. Yet Dr. Coues said he felt it no more than he did the summer heat of New York or Washington.* In winter the temperature at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is very mild, and flowers bloom most of the time. One November I descended from the snow-covered top of the Kaibab to the Grand Canyon at the mouth of the Kanab, where I was able to bathe in the open air with entire comfort.

* I was at the Needles one summer for a brief time, and the air seemed very oppressive to me.

There are six chief topographical features, canyons, cliffs, valleys, mesa plateaus, high plateaus, mountains. There are two grand divisions: the lowland or desert, below the Virgen, and the plateau, but the topography of the immediate river course separates itself into four parts, the Green River Valley, the canyon, the valley-canyon, and the alluvial. The canyon part is the longest, occupying about two-thirds of the whole, or about 1200 miles. It is cut mainly through the plateaus. The last of these southward is the Colorado, a vast upheaval reaching from the lower end of the Grand Canyon south-east to about where the 34th parallel crosses the western line of New Mexico. Lieutenant Wheeler several times claims the honour of naming it (1868-71), but the name occurs on Lieutenant Ives's map of 1858. This plateau breaks sharply along its south-west line to the lowland district, and on its north-westerly edge slopes to the Little Colorado. It bears a noble pine forest, and from its summit rise to over 12,000 feet the volcanic peaks of the San Francisco Mountains. Its northern edge is the Grand Canyon, which separates it from its kindred on the other side. These and the Colorado Plateau rise to from 6000 to 8000 feet above sea-level, and it is through this huge mass that the river has ground out the Grand Canyon, by corrading its bed down tremendously, the bottom at the end being only 840 feet above the sea, whereas the start at the mouth of the Little Colorado is 2690. Yet here it is already 3500 feet below the surface at the end of Marble Canyon, which, separated only by the deep canyon of the Little Colorado, is practically a northward continuation of the Grand Canyon itself. As the river runs, the Grand Canyon is 217 1/2 miles long. To this may be added the 65 1/2 miles of Marble, giving a continuous chasm of 283 miles, the longest, deepest, and most difficult of passage in every direction of any canyon in the world. The depth begins with a couple of hundred feet at Lee's Ferry (mouth of the Paria), the head of Marble Canyon, and steadily deepens to some 3500 feet near the Little Colorado, where the sudden uplift of the Kaibab lends about 2000 feet more to the already magnificent gorge. Along the end of the Kaibab the walls, for a long distance, reach their greatest height, about 6000 feet, but the other side is considerably lower than the north all the way through. At the mouth of the Kanab the altitude of the river-bed is 1800 feet above the sea, showing a fall in the interval of 890 feet. The greatest declivity is about 210 feet in 10 miles, in what is termed the Kaibab division, extending from a point 10 miles below the Little Colorado to a point 58 miles farther down. Here the smooth stretches of river are long, the rapids short and violent. Here, also, is the "granite," making the walls sombre, as the colour is slaty to black. At the mouth of Diamond Creek the river is still 1300 feet higher than the sea, giving a fall of 500 feet from the Kanab. There is another descent of 460 feet to the Grand Wash, and then 149 to the mouth of the Virgen. Next to the Kaibab division of the Grand Canyon, the greatest declivity occurs in the Uinta region, in the Canyon of Lodore. The profile of the river in these two districts is approximately given on page 57. The average depth of the Grand Canyon is about 4000 feet. Its width at the top varies from 4 1/2 to 12 miles. This is the extreme outer cliff-line. The inner gorge is much narrower, at the Toroweap being only about 3500 feet. The river varies in width from 500 or 600 feet to 75 or 100. In this canyon is water-power enough to run the machinery of the world, and there is as much more in the canyons above.

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