People have been part of Grand Canyon's history and culture from 10,000 years ago through today. Eleven contemporary tribes have cultural links to the area, and their oral histories are rich with references to the creation of that great chasm and torrential river. From the sixteenth century on, tribes familiar with the region were guides and informants for Spanish and later Euro-American explorers. The quiet area of the South Rim rapidly expanded into the Grand Canyon Village when entrepreneurs and miners came hoping to make a fortune. Passing through or calling the canyon home, many people have influenced the development and protection of Grand Canyon for themselves, for visitors, and for the National Park Service.

Prehistoric granaries along the Colorado River.
Associated Tribes

Eleven contemporary tribes have cultural links to the area and call Grand Canyon home.

A black and white photo of John Wesley Powell
Early Explorers

Native Americans guided the earliest European and American explorers seeking riches and adventure into canyon country.

A black and white photo of a hotel on the rim of the canyon.

Miners came to Grand Canyon to exploit its resources, but many found the tourist industry more profitable and started offering guided tours.

Nampeyo working on pottery inside
Native Art and Activism

Native American individuals from Grand Canyon's affiliated tribes have long used art for cultural practice and as a part of activism.

Bright Angel Lodge between 1920s and 1930s
The "Little Mexico" Community

The "Little Mexico" community formed on the South Rim from 1919-1929 and is a story of resilience and resourcefulness.

John Verkamp in front of his tent.

After the Santa Fe Railroad started bringing visitors to the canyon, entrepreneurs came to the canyon to make their fortune.

A black and white photo of two men installing a telephone pole.
Civilian Conservation Corps

Company 819 arrived on May 29, 1933 and continued on the South Rim until the end of the program in July, 1942.

Images of Nampeyo, CCC members, Pauline Patraw Mead, and George Murakami.
Whose Story Is History?

Bringing the Diverse History of Grand Canyon into the Light

Banner image linking to ASU Nature, Culture and History at the Grand Canyon shows Grand Canyon mules on a trail with superimposed letters: ASU Nature, Culture and History at the Grand Canyon
The "Nature, Culture and History at Grand Canyon" website is Grand Canyon National Park's  primary online source of historical and cultural information, Click on the photo above to visit site.

Grand Canyon Historical Stories

Loading results...

    Last updated: February 18, 2022

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 129
    Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



    Contact Us