Adventures / Hiking / Into the Grand Canyon: Hiking to Protect America’s Most Iconic Park

Acending the Walter Powell “Trail” – a historic and rarely used route out of the Canyon, Mathieu Brown shows salt and exhaustion on his brow. Leg 3 : Marble Canyon seen while walking the length of the Grand Canyon, over 600 miles, to highlight secret beauty between the rim and the river.

Tune in February 21st at 8 pm / 7 pm central to watch the premiere of Into the Grand Canyon on the National Geographic Channel.

Photographer Pete McBride has devoted much of his life to protecting the Grand Canyon. In fact, he and writer Kevin Fedarko are the first journalists to walk its length—some 750 burly miles, often on cliff edges with no trail, over 13 months. Why so much devotion to the Big Ditch, which will turn 100 next week? The canyon is at risk, for sale, and being loved to death. Watch Pete’s documentary Into the Grand Canyon on the hike and what’s at stake tonight on the National Geographic Channel.

ROAM: Into the Grand Canyon: Hiking to Protect America’s Most Iconic Park
750 miles, 13 months, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 friends and one camera documents our most iconic national park—the Grand Canyon—like rarely seen before. The story of this rare transect through the length of the only canyon visible from outer space serves asthe backbone to the new documentary Into the Grand Canyon–out in time to celebrate the park’s 100th birthday. See rare vantages of this roofless cathedral and learn how the park is poised to change from on going development pressures. Photograph by Pete McBride

What is happening now with the Grand Canyon? What’s at risk?

Pete McBride: The ongoing tug-of-war between access and loving the place to death.

What positive and negative things have happened since your thru-hike?

Pete McBride: There is a 20-year ban on uranium mining that has efforts to make permanent, but others are lobbying to remove it entirely.

What do you take away from that experience now a few years later?

Pete McBride: How remarkable and lucky we are to have a place like the Grand Canyon. It is a living classroom of geology, archeology and biodiversity — and symbolic model of our public lands achoo the U.S. and beyond. What happens there, reverberates far beyond the rims.

What’s next for you and the big ditch?

Pete McBride: I hope to get back soon to enjoy its rich silence and river of stars — and continue to work to protect it for the next generation.  The park turns 100 next week — hopefully we can help ‘leave it as it is’ for the next century.

ROAM: Into the Grand Canyon: Hiking to Protect America’s Most Iconic Park
Havasupai Tribal members perform traditional dances and songs in protest of the Canyon Uranium Mine on the south rim of Grand Canyon. "We are on the fronts lines of contamination if this mine leaks. It will contaminate our water and kill our people," says Carletta Tulusi, a former tribal council member attending the gathering below Red Butte, the Havasupai sacred peak. Photograph by Pete McBride
ROAM: Into the Grand Canyon: Hiking to Protect America’s Most Iconic Park
The only canyon you can see from outer space is over a mile deep, stretches 18 wide and runs 277 long. You can now see this iconic national park, like never seen before,in the new film “Into the Grand Canyon” by @pedromcbride whodocumented a 750-mile transect on foot through the entire length of the canyon over 13 months. His filmdocumentsthe beauty of thisshared landscape –but also how fragile it is and at risk to change. Photograph by Pete McBride

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