The Grand Canyon. President Theodore Roosevelt called it the sight every American should see. Early in the twentieth century the Union Pacific and Santa Fe railways built grand lodges to welcome those who journed across the country. Three in Arizona reflect the grandeur of their surroundings and recall a bygone era: El Tovar, Grand Canyon Lodge and La Posada.
El Tovar is perched just 20 feet from the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Lodge was built on the north rim.
La Posada is located 200 miles southwest of the Grand Canyon in the town of Winslow.
Fred Harvey Indian Detours
In the southwest, Fred Harvey Company ran the "Indian Detours" allowing "dudes,'"as tourists were called, to climb aboard a "Harvey Car" (a Packard or Cadillac) and head out to explore the wild west. There were few paved roads so this was real adventuring.
One detour destination took the dudes across twenty miles of roadless high desert to the edge of Meteor Crater. Today visitors can retrace their steps and gaze down into the nearly mile wide and 550-foot hole in the earth. The crater was created 50,000 years ago when a giant meteor weighing millions of tons pierced the earth's atmosphere and slammed ino its crust.
One of the popular Harvey Detours was a journey into the canyon lands and mesas of the Hopi and Navajo. Some traveled as far as Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly, then on to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.