View From Above

mather overlook, grand canyon national park
colorado river from navajo point  

The photo above is the idea most people have of the Grand Canyon. You stand on the rim and look out over about 10 miles to the other rim and in between is this "grand canyon", almost a mile deep here. For the most part you can't see the Colorado River from the rim. It is hidden in the dark gorge at the right/center of the photo. But it is there.

From Navajo point you do get one view down into the canyon where you can see the river. This telephoto shows a short stretch of the river, probably in the Furnace Flats section of the river, which we would reach on Day 5.

The Colorado Plateau geological province is a strange sight to New England eyes accustomed to seeing the "V-shaped" valleys carved by our rivers. The Colorado Plateau is a relatively flat block of the earth's crust, lifted high above sea level. In an arid environment, where most of the water comes from outside the province, rivers carve straight down and have not widened out much as they do so.

As you see in this view of the Little Colorado River, just to the east of where it joins with the Colorado River, you can travel along on a relatively flat and uninterrupted plain, then all of a sudden you come to a canyon where the walls are almost vertical.

  little colorado river
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