Marble Canyon at Nankoweap

June 19, 2023



Photographer: Thomas McGuire    

Summary Author: Thomas McGuire    

Most visitors to the Grand Canyon view the overlooks on the South Rim. In summer only (due to winter snow blockage) the North Rim viewing area is less crowded. But neither is at the top of my list of viewpoints.

Upstream of the wide cleft of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River cuts the narrow gorge of Marble Canyon through resistant layers of the Colorado Plateau. It’s here at the granaries (Native American storage caves) at Nankoweap that you’ll have some of the most stunning views. It’s not easy to get to; you can take the river on the way to the Grand Canyon or a cliff-hanging trail from the north. But once you’re there, it’s an iconic view! Notice the rockfalls giving the river a sinuous path and the rafts that took us down the river.

Apparently, the earliest explorers weren't able to distinguish the difference between sedimentary limestone, composing the cliffs shown above, and metamorphic marble. Hence the name "Marble Canyon."


Marble Canyon, Arizona Coordinates: 36.8162, -111.6373

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Marble Canyon

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