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The Grand Canyon Of Arizona


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There have been millions of words written about the Canyon (according to the official Grand Canyon Bibliography there are over 28,000 citations). Rather than add any new words, here are some quotes which have stood the test of time.

  • "To stand upon the edge of this stupendous gorge, as it receives its earliest greeting from the god of day, is to enjoy in a moment compensation for long years of ordinary uneventful life."
    Stoddard, John  1898

  • "...a descent into the Canon is essential for a proper estimate of its details, and one can never realize the enormity of certain valleys, till he has crawled like a maimed insect at their base and looked thence upward to the narrowed sky."
    Stoddard, John  1898

  • "The spectacle is so symmetrical, and so completely excludes the outside world and its accustomed standards, it is with difficulty one can acquire any notion of its immensity."
    Higgins, C. A.  1886

  • "It is impossible in a few pages to do justice, in the smallest degree, to the great gorge itself - "that sublimest thing on earth" - or to the perils and adventures of our journey through it. What then shall we write?"
    Stanton, Robert B.  1909

  • "But look again! Those terrifying walls are moving, are changing! A new light is not only creeping over them, but is coming out from their very shadows. See those flattened slopes above the dark sandstone on top of granite; even at this very moment they are being colored in gorgeous stripes of horizontal layers of yellow, brown, white, green, purple. What means this wondrous change? Wherein lies this secret of the great canyon?
    Stanton, Robert B.  1909

  • If the falls of Niagara were installed in the Grand Canyon between your visits and you knew it from the newspapers - next time you stood on that dizzy rim-rock you would probably need good field glasses and much patience before you could locate the cataract which in its place looks pretty big. If Mount Washington were plucked up bodily by its roots - not from where you see it, but from sea-level - and carefully set down in the Grand Canyon, you probably would not notice it next morning, unless its dull colors distinguished it in that innumerable congress of larger and painted giants. All this, which is literally true, is a mere trifle of what might be said in trying to fix a standard of comparison for the Grand Canyon. But I fancy there is no standard adjustable to the human mind."
    Lummis, Charles F.  1909

  • The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features... The glories and beauties of form, color and sound unite in the Grand Canyon... It has infinite variety and no part is ever duplicated. Its colors, although many and complex at any instant, change with the ascending and declining sun... You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view...but to see it you have to toil from month to month through this labyrinths...but if strength and courage are sufficient for the task, by a year's toil a concept of sublimity can be obtained never again to be equaled on hither side of Paradise."
    Powell, John Wesley  1909











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