The Grand Canyon’s past is filled with stories, many of which we’ll never know. This photo essay gives us a glimpse into what life was like when explorers and scientists first began documenting their expeditions with cameras. The following photographs shared by the Grand Canyon National Parks Service depict the life and times of these early explorers as well as some of the natives like the Paiuti and the ┬áTau-gu.

Historic Grand Canyon

Thomas Moran and J.E. Colburn on the Powell Ethnographic Expedition of 1873.

POWELL ETHNOGRAPHIC TRIP: TWO ELDERLY PAIUTE MEN SQUATTING WITH BOW AND ARROWS. GRCA 14665. CIRCA 1873.

Six indian agents on John Wesley Powell’s Colorado Plateau expedition. Seated in camp on the ground with mess gear. 1873.

Two men overlooking the Grand Canyon. Powell’s second expediton, near Toroweap (Or Muav), looking east. (Tuweep) Photo by Hillers, 1872 or 1873.

“RUNNING A RAPID” ENGRAVING MADE BY ARTIST R.A. MULLER TO ILLUSTRATE THE SECOND POWELL EXPEDITION THROUGH THE GRAND CANYON. CIRCA 1873.

2ND POWELL EXPEDITION. PARTY IN BOATS “READY TO START. DEPARTING FROM GREEN RIVER, WYOMING.

Tau-gu, chief of the paiutes overlooking virgin river with John Wesley Powell age 39. Grca 13806. Circa 1873

You can view more historic grand canyon photos at the GCNPS gallery here or visit their website here.

About The Author

Lauren Rains is the editor at large of Outdoor Minded Mag. She is struck by wanderlust, and spends most waking hours of her life either exploring the outdoors around the globe or working on various passion projects be it film to microadventures to cooking chili. You can read about her adventures in life, biz and travel on her blog TheMadToLive.com, and catch up with her on Twitter at @LaurRAINS.