Twenty million years ago, the 160,000 square miles of the Colorado Plateau were formed by geologic upthrusts, pushing a lithic layer cake of sandstone – ancient seabeds — to the surface. Forced up more than a mile, the crust cracked; wind and rain cut canyons more than a thousand feet deep through the exposed sandstone formations, one of them ours, and in the process left evidence of its first inhabitants: fossilized shells and dinosaur bones amid petrified wood falls.
One thousand years ago, the Ancient Pueblo culture flourished on this land. Around mud and stone villages up and down the canyon, they grew corn and beans, hunted deer, sheep and turkeys, and painted and etched designs on their clay pots, and on the canyon walls.
In the past century, our canyon has seen the arrival of the cowboys, the farmers, witnessed the last indian war, and in more modern times, a mining boom and bust.