Today, the Grand Canyon America the Beautiful Quarter Coin remembers the presidential proclamation for a national monument 109 years ago and information about the park in the early days.
By the President of the United States of America
January 11, 1908
Whereas the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, which is situated upon public land within the Grand Canyon National Forest, in the Territory of Arizona, is an object of unusual scientific interest, being the greatest eroded canyon within the United States, and it appears that the public interests would be promoted by reserving it as a National Monument, with such other land as is necessary for its proper protection;
Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power in me vested by section two of the Act of Congress, approved June eighth, nineteen hundred and six, entitled, “An Act for the preservation of American antiquities,” do proclaim that there are hereby reserved from appropriation and use of all kinds under all of the public land laws, subject to all prior valid adverse claims, and set apart as a National Monument, all the tracts of land, in the Territory of Arizona, shown as the Grand Canyon National Monument on the diagram forming a part hereof.
The reservation made by this proclamation is not intended to prevent the use of the lands for forest purposes under the proclamation establishing the Grand Canyon National Forest, but the two reservations shall both be effective on the land withdrawn, but the National Monument hereby established shall be the dominant reservation.
Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure or destroy any feature of this National Monument or to locate or settle upon any of the lands reserved by this proclamation.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this 11th day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eight, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-second.
By the President:
Elihu Root, Secretary of State
From the 1921 Report of Director of National Park Services:
D. L. REABURN, Superintendent, Grand Canyon, Ariz.
GENERAL STATEMENT. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado is located in northwestern Arizona, about 50 miles south of the Arizona-Utah State line. The canyon is about 217 miles long, 8 to 20 miles wide, and approximately 1 mile deep.
In the bottom is the Colorado River enlarged by its conﬂuence with the Green River in Utah. The river has an average discharge of about 20,000 second-feet. In ﬂood discharge it reaches a maximum of 150,000 second feet.
On January 11, 1908, a portion of the canyon and adjacent territory embracing 958 square miles, was set aside as a national monument, and on February 26, 1919.
The President approved the measure, designating most of that area as the Grand Canyon National Park.
The park area extends from the Little Colorado on the east to Havasu Canyon on the west, a longitudinal distance of 56 miles, and for an average distance of about 3 miles back from each rim of the canyon on the north and south. Through it winds the Colorado River for a distance of 103 miles.
The administration of the Grand Canyon National Park was taken over by the National Park Service on August 11, 1919, when an acting superintendent was placed in charge of the reservation.
Park headquarters are located in the village of Grand Canyon, Ariz., at the terminus of the Williams-Grand Canyon Branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
The principal park hotels, transportation facilities, stores, post office, telegraph office, and other important facilities are also located in the village.
The administrative force consists of a superintendent, chief clerk, purchasing clerk. voucher clerk and special disbursing agent, stenographer, chief ranger, 9 park rangers, construction foreman, and a force at about 40 men employed on construction and improvement work.
Exclusive legal jurisdiction of the park area has not yet been ceded to the United States by the state of Arizona.
Coconino County, in which the park lies, maintains a justice of the peace, and this officer cooperates with the park officials in maintaining law and order within the reservation.
The south rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is directly reached by a branch line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad extending 64 miles northward from Williams, Ariz. Stop-overs are allowed on both one-way and round-trip tickets.
The north rim is reached by stage from Marysville, Utah, a station on a branch line of the Denver-Rio Grande Railroad, 215 miles from the park, and from Lund, Utah, a station on the Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad of the Union Pacific system, 200 miles from the park. Lund is also the station where automobiles leave the railroad for Zion National Park.
Automobile roads to the south rim of the canyon leave the east and west highway at Ashfork, Williams, Maine, and Flagstaff, these points being in the order given, 70, 64, 64, and 85 miles from Grand Canyon village.
The Ashfork Road is practically impassable and is not used. The Williams and Flagstaff Roads have been used for automobile traveling to the park, the Williams Road being shorter and in better condition of the two.
The Maine Road leaves the railroad at Maine, 15 miles east of Williams and 20 miles west of Flagstaff. It has been recently constructed by Coconino County, and is a dirt road with good alignment, easy grades, and is free of rocks and stones.
In dry weather it is an excellent road, but being new is quite soft in wet weather. It is by far the most scenic road to the south rim. The Main Road branches off from the Williams Road about 5 miles south of the park entrance, and 10 miles from Grand Canyon village.
The north rim of the canyon is reached by automobile from Salt Lake City and Utah points via Kanab, Utah, thence to Bright Angel Point on the north rim, distant about 80 miles from Kanab.
Automobiles sometimes make the trip from the south rim to the north rim via Lee’s ferry, but this trip is not usually advised.
Crossings of the river can also be made at Needles and Searchlight and the north rim reached via the Arrowhead Trail.
The park road system on the south rim consists of the Hermit Rim Road, a paved road leading westward along the rim from Grand Canyon to Hermits Rest, a distance of 8 miles.
The Desert View Road leading eastward through the timber from Grand Canyon to Grand View, 13.5 miles, and to Desert View, 30 miles.
The Supai Road leading southwest from Grand Canyon, along the railroad to Rowe Well, 3.5 miles, thence northwesterly 25 miles to Bass Camp and Havasupi Point and 33 miles to Hill Top at the head of the Supai Trail. The Supai Road has not yet been improved and is not used by automobile stages. It is quite rough, but is passable for light cars.
The road system on the north rim consists only of the Bright Angel Point Entrance Road from Kanab. Utah, through Fredonia. Ariz. It has been improved this year, and is in good shape for automobiles.
There are about 300 miles of trails in the park, of which only 150 miles are used by travelers and about 75 miles by park visitors.
The principal trails into the canyon are the Hermit Trail from Grand Canyon to the river, 7 miles. The Hermit Loop Trail from the end of Hermit Rim Road to Hermit Camp and the river, 7 miles; thence to Indian Garden over the Tonto Plateau, about 15 miles.
The Supai Trail from Hipp Top to the Havasupai Indian village in Havasu Canyon, 14 miles.
The Bass Trail from Bass Camp to the river, about 7 miles.
The Kaibab Trail from Indian Garden to the Kaibab Suspension Bridge, thence up Bright Angel Creek to the north rim, about 20 miles.
Currently, the park includes 1,217,403.32 acres with 277 river miles. The minimum canyon width is 600 feet in Marble Canyon, average is 10 miles and the broadest is 18 miles. Average depth is one mile.
Since the early days of the monument then national park, the management of the park improved roads, added trails and increased the services available to visitors.
From the 1921 report, visitors to the park included 51,654 by rail and 15,831 by automobile for a total of 67,485.
In the latest statistics the number of visitors exceeded 5.52 million during the year, almost 90 times the number in 1921.
The Grand Canyon America the Beautiful Quarter Coin shows with a graphic image of the size of the initial monument area in 1908.