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How was the Grand Canyon, one of the most impressive natural phenomena in the world formed? While it’s nearly impossible to know for sure, scientists have made many hypotheses over the years to support its grandiose formation. In geological terms, the Grand Canyon was created at warp speed spanning approximately six million years. Together with the powerful shifting of the earth’s continental plates, the Colorado River, still a force to be reckoned with, was even mightier in its early days. Water ran so fiercely over land and rock it gouged the land exposing rock layers created more than a billion years ago.

Westerners didn’t make it to the Grand Canyon until 1540 when Spanish soldiers, led by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, were brought there by Hopi Indians. Cardenas was sent to find the Seven Cities of Cibola, reputedly filled with riches beyond belief of gold, silver and turquoise. He was unsuccessful in scaling the canyon walls and returned home to report it to be impassable. Two hundred years later, another attempt to penetrate the Grand Canyon was made by Spanish Priests. Together, with a group of Spanish soldiers, the priests set out hoping to find a route from Santa Fe to California. They traveled along the North Rim near southern Utah. While on their trek, they stumbled upon a crossing known as the “Crossing of the Fathers,” under what is now Lake Powell.

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