Celebrating a Century at Grand Canyon 1980-1989

Part 7 of 10: Grand Canyon through the decades

Hull Cabin, on Kaibab National Forest’s Tusayan Ranger District, was built in the 1880s as part of a sheep ranch. (Photo/Kaibab National Forest)

Hull Cabin, on Kaibab National Forest’s Tusayan Ranger District, was built in the 1880s as part of a sheep ranch. (Photo/Kaibab National Forest)

1981: Former river guide Bill Ott hiked the Canyon for 78 days, becoming the first to traverse it on the north side

Experienced expedition hiker and former river guide Bill Ott hiked the length of the Grand Canyon for 78 days, becoming the first to traverse it on the north side.

Ott disappeared while on a solo hike in 2012, looking for rock art panels in a remote area of the Hualapai Reservation.

1983: Spillways at Glen Canyon Dam were used for the first time

After an active El Nino winter and subsequent flooding at Lake Powell, the Bureau of Reclamation opened Glen Canyon Dam’s spillways for the first time. The force of the water was so great (about 20,000 cubic feet per second) that the spillway’s tunnels were damaged as the water eroded the their three-foot-thick concrete lining, causing an employee nearby in the dining hall to report rumblings akin to mortar shells.

1985: Hull Cabin near the South Rim is added to the National Register of Historic Places

Hull Cabin is the oldest surviving historic cabin near the Grand Canyon’s south rim.

This rustic cabin was built in the late 1880s as part of a sheep ranch, and was acquired by the Forest Service in 1907 for use as a ranger station. In 1985, the cabin was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

1987: All remaining wild California condors were placed in a captive breeding program

First listed as endangered in 1967, the entire world population of California condors dropped to only 23 birds by 1982. In 1987, all remaining birds were gathered up and placed in a captive breeding program.

By 1992, the number of California condors had grown to more than 400, and in 1996, the large birds were released into the wild skies above Grand Canyon.

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