This website explores 400 years of Grand Canyon history through the eyes of Native peoples, European-American explorers, miners, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, tourists, tour guides, and park managers. We examine how the Canyon has influenced American history and culture and how people in turn have shaped the physical, political, economic, and cultural landscape of this remarkable place. We hope visitors to this website will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between people and place in this iconic landscape of the Southwest.

This website is designed for anyone who is curious about Grand Canyon history or who may be planning a trip to the national park. There are tools and resources on this website especially designed for students and educators. See the K-20 section if you are planning classroom curriculum. If you expect to visit to the park you can learn about historic buildings you will see at the Grand Canyon Village, the park’s trails, and colorful characters in early canyon history. We provide numerous historic and contemporary photos, maps, a digital audiotour, and links to many other resources. Please also visit the Grand Canyon Association website or one of their many bookstores at the Park for more resources on Nature, Culture, and History at the Grand Canyon.


Arizona State University Project staff


Project implementation partner

  • The Grand Canyon Association
    • Susan Schroeder, Executive Director
    • Helen Thompson, Public Education and Publicity.

Project consultants & advisors

  • Jannelle Warren-Findley (ASU, History)
  • Stephen Pyne (ASU, History)
  • Donald Worster (University of Kansas, History)
  • Barbara Morehouse (University of Arizona Institute for the Study of Planet Earth)
  • Michael F. Anderson (National Park Service, Northern Arizona University, retired)
  • Julia Curley (Navajo Nation consultant)
  • Delbert Bighorse (Navajo Nation consultant)
  • Donald Fixico (ASU, History)
  • Peter Iverson (ASU, History)
  • David Lewis, a.k.a. “Ranger Dave” (NPS volunteer interpreter, Grand Canyon National Park)


This project began with an Arizona State University Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) seed grant in 2005 that supported our efforts to prepare a grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “Interpreting America’s Historic Places” program. We were awarded a one-year Planning Grant in April 2006, and we received a three-year Implementation Grant in September 2007. The project will continue through 2010.

Other funding is provided by the non-profit Grand Canyon Association.