February of this year marks the centennial, or 100 years of Grand Canyon National Park. Although the Grand Canyon has a vast cultural history that reaches far beyond 100 years, this celebration recognizes the years since it was first named a National Park. The Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts 6 million visitors each year from around the world. Overwhelming visitors with its enormity, unique rock formations, and serene beauty, this incredible natural wonder is 277 river miles long, 18 miles wide, a mile deep, and can be enjoyed from the North Rim or the South Rim.
In 2019, the park aims to commemorate the past and inspire future generations to conserve and protect park resources. The National Park has a close relationship with many surrounding gateway communities. To celebrate the centennial, Grand Canyon National Park and its partner organizations are hosting numerous events in 2019.
There are a few events that will take place throughout the entire year.
- The Desert View Cultural Demonstrators are members of the 11 tribes traditionally associated with the canyon. As the original stewards of natural resources, American Indians conduct demonstrations that allow visitors to interact with and learn about their cultures firsthand and also do traditional crafts.
- The 100 Years of Grand online exhibit showcases and allows people access for the first time to thousands of photos and documents from the early history of the canyon. All of the historic materials have been digitized and delivered to three different repositories in Arizona: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and Grand Canyon National Park.
- The Splendor and Spectacle Exhibit is running all year until September in the NAU Cline Library in Flagstaff, Arizona. This exhibit, in conjunction with the National Park Museum Collections, presents archives of thousands of physical items that are related to the canyon and the Colorado River.
- National Park Fee-Free Days are days throughout the year when the entrance fee to the park is waived and entrance to the park is free. In 2019, those dates are: January 21, April 20, August 25, September 28, and November 11.
All of these events are excellent opportunities to explore some of the rich history of this magnificent National Park.
Pink® Jeep® Tours is proud to celebrate the centennial of Grand Canyon National Park and provide guests with an opportunity to experience this natural wonder. Offering the safest, most trusted and captivating tours of any outfitter in the Southwest, Pink Jeep Tours travels to Grand Canyon from each of its southwest locations: Sedona, AZ, Las Vegas, Smoky Mountains, TN and at the South Rim of the canyon itself. Tours depart daily. ()
Click here to check out Part 2 of this article for a list of centennial celebration events by month.
Photos courtesy of Grand Canyon Conservancy