Grand Canyon National Park Celebrates Centennial In 2019

Published: Monday, December 31, 2018 - 6:52pm
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2019 - 3:56pm
Jackie Hai/KJZZ
Tourists at the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

The Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate its centennial in 2019. President Teddy Roosevelt first declared the canyon a national monument in 1908, but it was another 11 years before it became a national park.

Before the Grand Canyon became a national park, the land was home to Native American tribes.

Spanish explorers reached the canyon in the 1500s, led by Hopi guides.

The park now draws more than 6 million tourists a year.

Roosevelt said, "You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it."

He may have been right. According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the park has a $372 million maintenance backlog. A big chunk of that is needed to repair the old pipeline that provides drinking water for the millions of park visitors each year.

Money for repairs at the Grand Canyon will have to be approved by Congress.

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