Thunder River in the Grand Canyon National Park
|⁃ location||Grand Canyon (North Rim)|
|2,549 feet (777 m)|
Thunder River is a river entirely within the Grand Canyon National Park. It flows southeast from its source near the North Rim of the canyon to Tapeats Creek. The 0.5-mile-long (0.80 km) river is one of the shortest in the United States, and drops approximately 1,200 feet (370 m) over a series of waterfalls, making it the steepest river in the country. It is also a rare instance where a river is a tributary of a creek.
While Tapeats Creek was named by the second Powell Expedition in the winter of 1871–1872, the expedition did not discover Thunder River; European-American discovery of the river did not occur until 1904.The river can be reached by Thunder River Trail from the North Rim, which is only accessible from mid-May to late October. The upper portions of the trail were originally built in 1876 when rumors of placer gold led speculators to need a way into the area. Further trail work was performed beginning in 1925 under the US Forest Service and continued under the National Park Service with the final sections to Tapeats Creek completed in 1939.
The creek is fed from Thunder Spring, the second-largest spring on the North Rim. Water emerges from the Muav Limestone in a deep cave system at approximately 54 °F (12 °C). Since the spring flows year round, the river is a perennial river. In 1970, the spring was estimated to discharge twenty-one million US gal (79,000,000 l; 17,000,000 imp gal) of water per day into the river.
Common trees near the spring include Fremont's cottonwoods and white sumac. Along the river are willows, seepwillows, other shrubs, crimson monkeyflower, maidenhair fern and other riparian fauna. Common aquatic invertebrate found in the creek include stoneflies and caddisflies.
Grand Canyon National Park, located in northwestern Arizona, is the 15th site in the United States to have been named a national park. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Wonders of the World. The park, which covers 1,217,262 acres of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties, received more than six million recreational visitors in 2017, which is the second highest count of all American national parks after Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Grand Canyon was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. The park celebrated its 100th anniversary on February 26, 2019.
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile.
The Little Colorado River is a tributary of the Colorado River in the U.S. state of Arizona, providing the principal drainage from the Painted Desert region. Together with its major tributary, the Puerco River, it drains an area of about 26,500 square miles (69,000 km2) in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Although it stretches almost 340 miles (550 km), only the headwaters and the lowermost reaches flow year-round. Between St. Johns and Cameron, most of the river is a wide, braided wash, only containing water after heavy snowmelt or flash flooding.
The geology of the Grand Canyon area includes one of the most complete and studied sequences of rock on Earth. The nearly 40 major sedimentary rock layers exposed in the Grand Canyon and in the Grand Canyon National Park area range in age from about 200 million to nearly 2 billion years old. Most were deposited in warm, shallow seas and near ancient, long-gone sea shores in western North America. Both marine and terrestrial sediments are represented, including lithified sand dunes from an extinct desert. There are at least 14 known unconformities in the geologic record found in the Grand Canyon.
The known human history of the Grand Canyon area stretches back 10,500 years, when the first evidence of human presence in the area is found. Native Americans have inhabited the Grand Canyon and the area now covered by Grand Canyon National Park for at least the last 4,000 of those years. Ancestral Pueblo peoples, first as the Basketmaker culture and later as the more familiar Pueblo people, developed from the Desert Culture as they became less nomadic and more dependent on agriculture. A similar culture, the Cinchona, also lived in the canyon area. Drought in the late 13th century likely caused both groups to move on. Other people followed, including the Paiute, Cerbat, and the Navajo, only to be later forced onto reservations by the United States Government.
Phantom Ranch is a lodge inside Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. It is on the north side of the Colorado River near its confluence with Bright Angel Creek and Phantom Creek. Built in 1922, Phantom Ranch is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge located in northern Arizona between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona. The canyon is often described as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. State Route 89A enters the canyon on its north end via a series of hairpin turns before traversing the bottom of the canyon for about 13 miles (21 km) until the highway enters the town of Sedona. The Oak Creek Canyon–Sedona area is second only to Grand Canyon as the most popular tourist destination in Arizona.
The Bill Hall Trail is a hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park, located in the U.S. state of Arizona.
The Boucher Trail is a hiking trail of the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park, located in the U.S. state of Arizona.
The Thunder River Trail is a hiking trail on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, located in the U.S. state of Arizona.
Deer Creek is a stream that flows through the western Grand Canyon to the Colorado River. A series of springs provide a continuous base flow to Deer Creek. During periods of intense rainfall, Deer Creek can experience severe flash flooding. In the final half mile above the Colorado River, Deer Creek flows through a narrow slot canyon before plunging over a 150 feet (46 m) waterfall named Deer Creek Falls.
The Cambrian Tonto Group is the three-member sequence of geologic formations that represent the basal section of Paleozoic rocks in the Grand Canyon. The group is about 1,250 feet (381 m) thick. The base unit, the Cambrian Tapeats Sandstone was deposited upon the erosion surface of the Vishnu Basement Rocks, which is found in Granite Gorge. The erosion resistant Tapeats Sandstone forms the platform, called Tonto Platform, that the two less erosion resistant upper layers, the Bright Angel Shale and Muav Limestone, rest on.
Isis Temple, in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA is a prominence below the North Rim, and adjacent Granite Gorge. The prominence lies north of the north bank of the west-flowing Colorado River, and is just north of Middle Granite Gorge. The Trinity Creek and canyon flow due-south at its west border; its north, and northeast border/flank is formed by Phantom Creek and canyon, a west tributary of Bright Angel Creek; the creeks intersect about 3 mi southeast, and 1 mi north of Granite Gorge. The peak of Isis Temple is only ~202 ft lower than Grand Canyon Village.
The Grand Canyon Supergroup is a Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic sequence of sedimentary strata, mostly exposed in the eastern Grand Canyon of Arizona. This group is composed of the Unkar Group, Nankoweap Formation, Chuar Group and the Sixtymile Formation, which overlie Vishnu Basement Rocks. Several notable landmarks of the Grand Canyon, such as the "Isis Temple and Cheops Pyramid" and the "Apollo Temple," are surface manifestations of the Grand Canyon Supergroup.
Silver Cord Cascade is a horsetail type waterfall on Surface Creek, a tributary of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. Surface Creek flows out of Ribbon Lake off the South rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and plunges 1,200 feet (370 m) to the Yellowstone River. It is considered the tallest waterfall in Yellowstone.
The Hakatai Shale is a Mesoproterozoic rock formation that outcrops in the Grand Canyon, Coconino County, Arizona. It consists of colorful strata that exhibit colors that vary from purple to red to brilliant orange on outcrop. The colors are the result of the oxidation of iron-bearing minerals in the Hakatai Shale. It consists of lower and middle members that consist of bright-red, slope-forming, highly fractured, argillaceous mudstones and shale and an upper member composed of purple and red, cliff-forming, medium-grained sandstone. Its thickness, which apparently increases eastwards, varies form 137 to 300 m. In general, the Hakatai Shale and associated strata of the Unkar Group rocks dip northeast (10°-30°) toward normal faults that dip 60° or more toward the southwest. This can be seen at the Palisades fault in the eastern part of the main Unkar Group outcrop area. In addition, thick, prominent, and dark-colored basaltic sills and dikes cut across the purple to red to brilliant orange strata of the Hakatai Shale.
The Marble Canyon Dam, also known as the Redwall Dam, was a proposed dam on the Colorado River in Arizona. The dam was intended to impound a relatively small reservoir in the central portion of Marble Canyon to develop hydroelectric power. Plans centered on two sites between miles 30 and 40 in the canyon. At one point a 38-mile (61 km) tunnel was proposed to a site just outside Grand Canyon National Park to develop the site's full power generation potential, reducing the Colorado River to a trickle through the park.
Tapeats Creek is a creek located entirely within the Grand Canyon National Park. It flows southwest from its source near the North Rim of the canyon to the Colorado River at the base of the canyon. It was named by the Second Powell Expedition in the winter of 1871–1872 for a Southern Paiute Indian who claimed ownership of the stream. It contributes the largest amount of water to the Colorado of any tributary on the north side within the Grand Canyon.