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Although the first complete Western exploration of the Grand
Canyon was Major John Wesley Powell daring river
expedition of 1869, the Grand Canyon has been
continuously inhabited for thousand of years by Native Americans who built settlements
within the canyon and its many caves.
Nankoweap Granaries, built in a striking Rewall limestone alcove, were used by the ancient Ancestral Puebloan people to store their seed stock and protect it from vermin and rot. One of the last regions that the Ancestral Puebloan moved into was Nankoweap Canyon, which ends in the largest tributory delta in the Canyon, once farmed. Their abrupt departure, beginning at AD 1100, but also what prompted those people to move into Nankoweap Canyon remain a mystery.
The Nankoweap trail from the North Rim, originally constructed by Major John Wesley Powell and his party in 1882, is considered the most difficult of the named trails in Grand Canyon, however from the Colorado River it is a 1 hour RT hike, although steep (500 feet elevation gain) and exposed.