A record six million visitors, a change in park leadership, and the National Park Service Centennial activities were but a few of the noteworthy events in a busy year at Grand Canyon National Park.
In addition to headline makers, visitors were treated to another week of plein-air painting during Grand Canyon Association’s Celebration of Art and enjoyed a Grand Canyon History Symposium sponsored by the Grand Canyon Historical Society. Backcountry enthusiasts congratulated the latest backpackers to complete an end-to-end canyon hike, including local Jamie Campos, and National Geographic writer/photographer team Kevin Fedarko and Pete McBride.
For anyone following the twists and turns at Grand Canyon, 2017 should be another dramatic year. Between the ongoing controversy surrounding proposed developments in Tusayan and on the Navajo Nation, a reopened uranium mine just miles from the park’s South Entrance, and a changing of the guard in the Oval Office, there should be no shortage of kitchen-table discussions for canyon stakeholders and activists across the globe. (Visit www.grandcanyontrust.org to stay or get involved.)
From a wintry New Year’s Eve in Grand Canyon Village, I’d like to wish everyone a safe, enjoyable, and prosperous 2017. May your travels bring you back to your Grand Canyon National Park.