By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
PEACH SPRINGS, AZ. — The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World for good reason, from the 217-mile slash into the surface of the Earth, a one-mile drop to the canyon floor, to the 4 to an 18-mile wide chasm.
Beyond the breathtaking views, daring scenery and never ending trails and terrain, stands the people who call a portion of the majestic sacred land — the Hualapai Tribe. During a visit in July, visitors were consumed by the rich tradition and history of the Hualapai who call Grand Canyon West their home.
The mighty Canyon and the Colorado River are living entities infused with the conscious spirit of the Hualapai Tribe. These Indigenous people have invited the public to walk their land and experience their universe, to ignite the spirit.
Grand Canyon West is part of the Hualapai Reservation at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. The visitor centers and gift shops are deep in authentic gifts, items and other materials from the tribe. A trip to the Grand Canyon West and its famous Sky Walk is frequently mentioned to Las Vegas tourists as popular excursions. Feeling the spirit of the Hualapai as you are awash in their culture is a pleasurable added bonus.
One cannot avoid learning the impactful history and the resilience spirit of the Hualapai Tribe.
“The Havasupai Indians have lived for hundreds of years in one of these spectacularly beautiful but remote canyons,” said a statement on the State of Arizona’s website. “As far as the eye can see are great pinnacles of stone and rock with colors as varied as the rainbow and which change in hue with every passing hour. At the bottom is the Colorado (Spanish for red) River, which is still so swift and turbulent it carries half a million tons of silt in a single 24 hours past any given point.”
The Hualapai Tribe is a federally recognized Native American Tribe located in northwestern Arizona. “Hualapai, pronounced Wal-lah-pie, means “People of the Tall Pines.” In 1883, an executive order established the Hualapai reservation was established in 1883.
The impressive reservation encompasses about one million acres along 108 miles of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. The reservation’s topography varies from its rolling grassland to thick forests, to rugged canyons. Elevations range from 1,500 feet at the Colorado River to over 7,300 feet at the highest point of the Aubrey Cliffs.
The total population of the Hualapai Reservation is about 1,621 of whom 1,353 are tribal members, according to the 2000 Census.
Total tribal membership, including members not residing on the reservation, is approximately 2,300, whith most living in the capitol of Peach Springs. The town is named after the peach trees that historically grew at nearby springs. The closest full-service community is Kingman, Ariz. located 55 miles west of Peach Springs on historic Route 66.
A visit to Grand Canyon West is an awe-inspiring experience, especially when you take in the history and traditions of the Haulapai Tribe.
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