Grand Canyon Caverns

Grand Canyon Caverns

The story goes like this:

On a night of heavy rain in 1927, a woodcutter by the name of Walter Peck was on his way to a poker game at the Yampai railroad siding house when he found the secret entrance of what is now known as the Grand Canyon Caverns. It seemed as though the heavy rains caused the natural funnel-shaped opening to the caverns to widen, and that was how Peck was able to discern the unusual opening.

The next morning, Peck and a few friends decided to explore the Grand Canyon Caverns. And so with ropes and lanterns and an adventurous cowboy, who was willing enough to get down the hole, they were able to discern that the hole was very deep (they had to let out 150 feet of rope). Using a coal oil lantern, the cowboy was very excited to find a very rich vein of what looked to be gold when his light picked up some sparkle in the rocks.

However, once he got back on the surface, the cowboy showed Peck and his friends some samples and told them about how he found the remains of two humans and part of a saddle. The newspapers soon picked up on the story and by the time they were finished with it, the remains in the Grand Canyon Caverns were those of prehistoric cavemen. They also neglected to mention the saddle.

With this news, scientists from all over the country came to study the bones. Meanwhile, Peck bought the title to the property, including the Grand Canyon Caverns, believing that there was gold to be mined. Unfortunately, the assay reports did not show any gold. Still, being an entrepreneur, Peck decided to charge 25 cents to enter the Grand Canyon Caverns.

With the whole “cavemen” story as backdrop, it was not hard to find people willing to pay that amount just to explore the Grand Canyon Caverns. To make the entrance easier, Peck developed a very primitive elevator, which would allow one person at a time to enter the hole.

Year later, it was confirmed that the “cavemen” found in Peck’s Caverns were not actually prehistoric men but Hualapai Indians. According to the excavation findings, the two Indians died in the winter of 1917 and the Grand Canyon Caverns became their tomb.

This new discovery, however, did not stop the people’s enthusiasm for this wondrous system of caverns. Today, the Grand Canyon Caverns is a spectacular cave of natural limestone and is located 210 feet underground.

There are still many portions of the caverns that remain vastly unexplored. Telltale wafts of air that seep through niches and floor fissures hint that there are still many areas of the cavern that await to be discovered down below.

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