This summer marks the 150th anniversary of John Wesley Powell’s pioneering expedition down the Colorado River, including the inaugural run through Grand Canyon. Powell and his feisty crew of nine launched on their historic journey on May 24, 1869, at Green River Station, Wyoming.
The Green River feeds the Colorado River in today’s Canyonlands National Park. They navigated a number of exquisite canyons en route to the “grand” prize.
Along the way they endured violent weather, depravation, destroyed boats, lost provisions, and crew defections. It wasn’t all grim. Powell, who named Grand Canyon, kept meticulous journals, in which he marveled at that immensity and splendor of the future Crown Jewel national park.
The party finished their epic adventure on August 30, just downstream from the Grand Canyon at the mouth of the Virgin River.
Powell went on to become the first director of the United States Geological Society and the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution.
The Colorado River whitewater rafting experience through Grand Canyon National Park has become one of the most popular boating destinations on the planet. As many as 24,000 river runners come annually from around the world.
Powell and his men were commemorated with the unveiling of Powell Memorial at a scenic overlook on the South Rim bearing his name.
Missing are the three men that left the trip in frustration at what Powell subsequently named Separation Canyon. Unbeknownst to all, the most treacherous whitewater was behind them. The three were never seen again.
For more information follow: https://www.dothecanyon.com/john-wesley-powells-grand-canyon-adventure/