View to the
southwest with Badger Creek in the right foreground, Soap
Creek to the right (west) of the river in the middle distance,
and Rider Canyon to the west of the river near the top edge.
Jackass Creek is on the left side of the river in the
foreground. Sections of US highway 89A are receding toward the
left and right edges.
The contour lines (50-foot intervals) show that
the flattish Kaibab Limestone actually dips downward toward
the foreground. If you are rafting the Colorado River, there
is an illusion that you are rapidly plunging downward through
multiple strata layers. Actually the river only drops 5 to 8
feet per river mile in this section, while the strata slope
steadily upward to the south.
The cliff portion of the canyon comprises the
Kaibab, Toroweap, and Coconino Formations which typically
erode into cliffs. A little above the center of the picture,
especially where Soap Creek enters from the right, the more
easily eroded Hermit Shale forms a slope. The total canyon
depth at Soap Creek Canyon is 1,000 feet, and steadily deepens
as you travel downstream.
According to legend, Badger and Soap Creeks got
their names when an early explorer shot a Badger near here.
Then, he tried boiling it in water which unfortunately was
somewhat alkaline, and ended up with soap.
View toward the
south-southwest. Soap Creek Canyon is visible at the lower
right. Tanner Wash enters from the left while Rider Canyon
enters from the right just above the center of the picture.
By the time you get to Rider Canyon you have
descended into the 5th strata layer as measured from the rim.
The Kaibab, Toroweap, and Coconino Formations form the upper
cliff. Then the Hermit Shale forms a slope. Finally, the Supai
Group starts forming another cliff next to the river. The
Supai has multiple layers of siltstone, sandstone, and
limestone and is recognizable as a series of small cliffs and
slopes. The net result is a "stair step" appearance that is
steeper than the Hermit Shale, but not as steep as the
Kaibab/Toroweap/Coconino cliff. The uppermost layer in the
Supai Group is the Esplanade Sandstone, which becomes far more
significant in the western portions of the Grand Canyon.
The rapid where debris from Rider Canyon enters
the Colorado is named House Rock Rapid. Our "famous" early
explorer camped here under a rock "as large as a house" in
Rider Canyon, and the river rapid preserves the name.
river miles 0 to 8
to river miles 16 to 24
the Index Page for the Grand Canyon Tour
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