Books by Frederick H. Swanson


Excerpt from Journeys in the Canyon Lands of
Utah and Arizona, 1914-1916

by George C. Fraser
Edited by Frederick H. Swanson


Fraser's observations upon reaching the western rim of the Powell Plateau, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, July 30th, 1914:

Fraser photographed the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon from the North Bass trail, July 31, 1914.

As we reached this point, we and the entire foreground of our vision were in the shade, but beyond the sun had broken through the clouds and shined like a spotlight directly upon the towers of the Virgin, rising high above the Vermilion Cliffs. This view is complementary to that from Final and Atoko. We were on the line of the upthrow side of the West Kaibab Fault and looked down into the immense amphitheater bounded by the outer walls of the Canyon, where the Colorado made its big bend north, west and south, past its junction with Kanab Creek.

We had, as it were, a birdseye view of all our journeying up to the point where we crossed the desert for the Kaibab. In the far background was Mt. Dellenbaugh, behind and a little to the south of the Canyon and of the Uinkaret. The entire Trumbull platform stood out in relief, and with a glass we could distinguish Vulcan's Throne, and, by the difference in altitude between its east and west walls, the Toroweap. To the northwest, across what looked like a wide ditch and was the Kanab Creek, rose the Chocolate and Vermilion Cliffs and the Pine Valley Mountains. The Pipe Spring promontory lay like a great lizard on the surface of the desert and almost over it, in unmistakable and characteristic contour, the Steamboat, the great western temple of the Virgin, stood as a sentinel charged to guard the scene.

While looking at the view, the shower that had been deluging the Kaibab reached us about 1:30. We wanted to spend another day or two or three skirting the rim of Powell's, and I earnestly coveted an opportunity of viewing the Canyon from Ives and Wheeler Points at the southwest and south extremities of the Plateau. But we had begun to get thirsty, the water was all gone and the horses had stood their limit of thirst, so at 1:50, in the rain, we turned our backs on this great north and west view, wondering whether it really was finer than any of the others, as at the moment it seemed to be.

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Photo courtesy of Fraser family