Grand Canyon

(Courtesy of Pamela Wolfson via AP)

A Denver man has logged the fastest Grand Canyon river trip on record, battling blisters and rapids as he paddled his kayak down a 277-mile stretch of the Colorado River in 34 hours and two minutes.

Ben Orkin reached the end of his journey Sunday, exhausted after navigating the water in the dark and swimming part of it when a rapid toppled his kayak. Orkin beat a record set last week by more than an hour and a previous one set by three men in a non-motorized boat in 1983, according to Tom Martin, secretary of the Grand Canyon Historical Society.

A tiny town outside the Grand Canyon that has big plans for development will be under new leadership in 2016.

Greg Bryan, Tusayan’s first mayor selected by colleagues on the Town Council shortly after it incorporated in 2010, is leaving the office Dec. 31 to spend more time with family.

“I’m proud and thankful to have been part of this process, building a town from scratch,” Bryan said. “It’s probably the most frustrating and rewarding thing I’ve done in my professional career. It was and is the right thing to do for this community.”

Melissa Sevigny

New research supports the long-held hypothesis that the Grand Canyon is as young as six million years. That’s what geologists originally believed before a different study claimed it was tens of millions of years older.

The study was conducted by geologists at Arizona State University. It compares the western Grand Canyon with the Grand Wash Cliffs. It found that the canyon is steeper than the cliffs, which suggests erosion started more recently.

National Park Service

Coconino County Health Officials and the National Park Service are monitoring for plague at the Grand Canyon this summer. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the disease remains a small threat to humans.

National Park Service

If asked what's impressive about the Grand Canyon, most visitors probably won't mention a water pipeline. But one of this national park's great engineering feats is the Trans-Canyon Pipeline, which carries half a million gallons of water every day from Roaring Springs down Bright Angel Canyon, past Phantom Ranch and across Silver Bridge.

A major national parks concessionaire has dropped efforts to trademark names of the most popular properties at the Grand Canyon.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts applied for roughly 20 trademarks before its contract to manage South Rim hotels, restaurants and mule rides expired at the end of December. It later won a temporary contract.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office now lists some of them as "dead." For others, Xanterra has stated it is abandoning the applications.

Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association

For the first time, a hybrid-electric motor has powered a Colorado River trip through the entire Grand Canyon. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the technology is being developed through a partnership between commercial river outfitters and the National Park Service.

The initial public comment period has begun for a series of road improvements on the Kaibab National Forest in the Town of Tusayan. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius report, if approved it’ll pave the way for a large development project near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

National Park Service

  It was a long way from the civilized college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Mexican Hat, Utah, back in the summer of 1937. But Dr. Elzada Clover made the trip.

A botanist at the University of Michigan, she had an ambitious dream to explore the little-known plant life of the Colorado River region. Cacti were her specialty. Where better to find them than the Southwest deserts?

KNAU

Before becoming a national park, the remote western part of the Grand Canyon was a place where a handful of ranchers - with true grit - struggled to earn a living. To make things a little more comfortable, they opened a winter camp deep within the canyon. It was known as "The Hotel" and remains an occasional refuge for hikers. In his latest Grand Canyon Commentary, Scott Thybony tells us about the night he spent at "The Hotel"

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