View to the
west-northwest with the Hurricane Fault just above and
parallel to the bottom edge. Erosion along the fault has
created 192 Mile Canyon at the extreme lower left, but
drainage from higher elevations (off the edge to the left)
uses 193 Mile Creek to join the Colorado River (just after it
turns to the west). Near the top edge and right of center,
Lone Mountain is bounded by two parallel northwest to
southeast faults. The river turns south (left) again where
Parashant Wash/Fault meets the river.
The vertical walls of the inner gorge that were
prevalent to the east of the Toroweap Fault are much gentler
through this section. First, the multiple faulting here has
opened many fractures allowing easier erosion. Secondly, this
part of the canyon has only had minimal down cutting in the
last one million years. Hence erosion only widens the canyon
instead of deepening it.
Rock layers next to the river consist of remnants
of lava flows overlying Muav Limestone and Bright Angel Shale.
A Bear in the
Bears are rarely seen at river level in the Grand
Canyon, but the photograph above was taken by a member of a
late March/early April raft trip that the author was on in
2005. (Raft trip was organized by Jan Taylor with Ivo
Lucchitta as our guest geologist - see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GC_Geological_Rafting/
It had been a wet late winter/early spring with
resulting lush early spring vegetation at river level in the
Grand Canyon. The bear was contentedly munching on the lush
vegetation when he was surprised by the lead raft. (Note the
Barrel Cactus just below the bear.)
“Mr. Bear” presumably decided that “retreat” was
a better option than arguing with something bigger than he was
(the raft) and started to make a quick exit – but not before
he was duly recorded as an entry in the record books.
The picture above is a Google Earth view of the
left (southeast) side of the river at mile 194.0. The bear had
been munching on lush vegetation just below the small cliff
that can be seen next to the river - just above the label at
the bottom center of the picture.
When the bear was frightened off by our lead
raft, he first ran around the right edge of the small cliff
and then doubled back to the left to climb the ridge in the
center of the picture. By the time the rest of the rafts in
our group had caught up, the bear had climbed the 300-foot
high ridge, and was only a speck on the skyline.
I was in the 2nd raft and got a distant view of
the whole episode. People in the last raft never did get a
good view. For the rest of the trip we were all making jokes
about “the giraffe” in the Grand Canyon, and/or “You saw a
bear? – Of course we believe you.”, etc.; but the photo is
The picture above is a Print Screen image from
Norman Beerger’s video “The Grand Canyon”. (See http://www.durangobill.com/GCvideo.html
The video gives a helicopter tour of the Grand
Canyon. The helicopter happened to be flying low just above
the river and was banking to the left as it passed “The bear’s
location”. As noted above, the bear had been on the slope just
below the small cliff next to the river, ran around the right
end of the cliff, and then double-backed to the left to run up
to the top of the ridge.
Also please see Ed Pollock’s article on pages 22
and 23 of the Fall 2005 issue of Boatman’s Quarterly Review http://www.gcrg.org/bqr/pdf/18-3.pdf
(Includes another photo of the bear.)
View to the
southwest with Parashant Wash entering from the right edge.
Mollies Nipple is the conical mountain rising above the
Esplanade surface (to the right of the river) and is an
isolated remnant of the North Rim. The green plateau in the
upper right corner is part of the Shivwits Plateau (North
There are still many remnants of lava flows that
are found alongside the river. The Bright Angel Shale and
Tapeats Sandstone layers were exposed at river level before
the lava flows of the last one million years, and the present
depth of the canyon hasn't changed much. However, erosion is
slowly widening the gorge.
The cliffs above the river still contain the Muav
and Redwall Limestone units that started way back in the
Marble Canyon section, but other limestone units (mostly of
Devonian age) also contribute in western areas of the Grand
Canyon. The Redwall is no longer the reddish color since the
Hermit Shale that stained it has now retreated further back
from the edge. Thus for the rest of the canyon, these units
all tend to blend into "generic limestones".
river miles 184 to 192
to river miles 200 to 208
the Index Page for the Grand Canyon Tour
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