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The Bright Angel Trail used by walkers and mule riders leave the South Rim at 6900 feet above sea level and descends to Plateau Point at around 3500 feet. The point affords remarkable views of the inner gorge and from here a track descends to the Colorado River (2500 feet above sea level).

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Environmentalist John Muir said, "It seems like a gigantic statement for even Nature to make all in one mighty stone work. Wildness so Godful, cosmic, primeval, bestows a new sense of earth's beauty and size… But the colors, the living, rejoicing colors, chanting morning and evening in chorus to heaven! Whose brush or pencil, however lovingly inspired, can give us these? In the supreme flaming glory of sunset the whole canyon is transfigured, as if the life and light of centuries of sunshine stored up in the rocks was now being poured forth as from one glorious fountain, flooding both earth and sky."

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Major John Wesley Powell, a one-armed veteran of the Civil War, and nine companions were in 1869 the first explorers to travel 1,000 miles of the Colorado River including the stretch through the Grand Canyon. The intrepid venture, in searing heat and through dangerous rapids, was accomplished in four flimsy wooden boats. Three members of the expedition deserted before the journey was completed.

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Grand Canyon Page 1
Grand Canyon Page 3