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Grand Canyon Lore: 7 Myths Surrounding the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Lore: 7 Myths Surrounding the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a wonder that is rich in natural beauty, but it also has an ample number of legends in its background. This colossal chasm has been the subject of various myths that have intrigued locals and visitors alike. These myths contribute to its mystique, from tales of lost civilizations to supernatural occurrences and mysterious creatures. Read on to learn about Grand Canyon lore and discover seven myths surrounding the Grand Canyon.

Paul Bunyan’s Axe Created the Canyon

That Paul Bunyan, the legendary lumberjack featured in tall tales, had a hand in the Grand Canyon’s creation is one of the more imaginative myths about this landmark. According to folklore, Bunyan was dragging his massive axe behind him and it gouged out a deep furrow in the Earth—eventually becoming the Grand Canyon.

While this story adds a touch of whimsy to the Canyon’s history, its formation was actually due to the uplift and erosive power of the Colorado River, which formed the Canyon over millions of years. Despite the myth’s lack of scientific backing, it adds a rich layer to the many tales surrounding this natural wonder.

A Giant Eagle Saved People from a Canyon Flood

Another captivating myth surrounding the Grand Canyon comes from the Hualapai tribe and involves a particularly heroic bird: a very large eagle. It was responsible for forming the Canyon when a melting ice comet caused a large flood.

The eagle flew down and courageously rescued the Hualapai tribe before the comet hit the earth, carrying them away and moving them to safety. According to the myth, the eagle later became rock and part of Eagle Point—and the legend lives on to this day.

Bigfoot May Roam the Grand Canyon

The myths surrounding everyone’s favorite sasquatch, Bigfoot, have fascinated many for decades. This creature also plays a part in the many myths surrounding the Grand Canyon. Reports of Bigfoot sightings have captured the imaginations of visitors and enthusiasts, as eyewitnesses have claimed to see the elusive creature roaming the Canyon.

These accounts contribute to a larger tapestry of folklore that suggests the Grand Canyon is not just a geographical marvel but also a home to mysterious beings. Although some skeptics argue that the sightings could be misidentifications of wildlife or elaborate hoaxes, the stories of Bigfoot at the Grand Canyon persist. These myths involving the sasquatch add a layer of intrigue and mystery to this enigmatic wonder of the natural world.

Two Gods Built the Canyon

Another myth about the formation of the Grand Canyon comes from the Havasupai tribe. It tells the story of two rival gods, Tochopa and Hokotama, who battled to determine the ruler of Earth.

During this battle, Hokotama flooded the entire world, leading to the formation of the Canyon. Although the flood would have seemingly doomed life on Earth, Tochopa put his daughter in a safe place so that she could ensure life would continue after their skirmish. Today, life on Earth thrives, and many visit the Canyon each year to take in its picturesque sights.

Egyptians Lived in the Grand Canyon

Its connection with another culture is one of the most enduring and controversial myths about the Grand Canyon. Some believe that there was once an Egyptian city beneath it. This legend traces back to a newspaper article published in the early 20th century, which reported the discovery of a citadel filled with Egyptian treasures and hieroglyphs.

This suggested a lost connection between ancient Egypt and the North American Southwest. Despite the fascination this story has sparked among enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists, no evidence supports the existence of such findings.

The Smithsonian has debunked this myth, affirming that no one has discovered such artifacts within the Canyon’s boundaries. While the tale of ancient Egyptians in the Grand Canyon adds a unique allure to its already fascinating history, it remains firmly in the realm of myth.

People Have Bad Luck With Canyon Objects

The belief that removing natural objects from the Canyon or stealing cultural relics, resulting in bad luck, is another prevalent myth that circulates among visitors to the Grand Canyon. This legend asserts that anyone who wrongfully decides to take rocks, fossils, plants, or any other objects from the canyon will face misfortune because of their actions.

The myth’s roots connect to the profound respect and reverence that many cultures have for these spaces, viewing them as sacred sites that should remain undisturbed. While there’s no scientific evidence to support the notion that taking these objects causes bad luck, this myth serves as a powerful reminder to respect the integrity of the Grand Canyon for future generations.

Additionally, it is illegal to take sacred artifacts or natural items from the Canyon. So, make sure you leave things where they belong when you visit to avoid the risk of a curse—or police action.

Two Brothers Built the Canyon With Mud and Lightning

One last myth about the formation of the Grand Canyon comes from the Hopi tribe. This tale involves brothers Pokanghoya and Polongahoya, who were gods who could use their powers to shape the Earth.

The two used lighting, stacks of wet soil, and the Colorado River to create the Canyon. However, the two did not stop there. They also used their powers to create other monuments, such as the Navajo Mountain in Utah. This story emphasizes the awe and reverence that people have for the natural beauty and grandiosity of the Grand Canyon, viewing it as a creation so magnificent that only divine beings could have fashioned it.

The Grand Canyon, with its layers of geological marvels, myths, and legends, stands as a testament to the power of nature and the human imagination. Comedy on Deck Tours can take you and your family to this wonderful monument with its Las Vegas bus tours to Grand Canyon West Rim. During your trip, you and your loved ones will experience awe and wonder as you view the Canyon’s beauty and learn more out about its history from members of the Hualapai tribe and our tour guide.

Grand Canyon Lore: 7 Myths Surrounding the Grand Canyon

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