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Cultural Resources

The lower reaches of Glen Canyon and the river corridor through Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, have been used by humans for at least 13,000 years. Today, at least nine contemporary Native American Tribes claim traditional cultural ties to this area. Grand Canyon National Park contains more than 4,000 documented prehistoric and historic sites, and about 420 of these sites are located in proximity to the Colorado River. The lower reaches of Glen Canyon contain an additional 55 sites.

In addition to archaeological sites, cultural resources along the Colorado River corridor include historic structures and other types of historic properties, as well as biological and physical resources that are of traditional cultural importance to Native American peoples such as springs, unique landforms, mineral deposits, native plant concentrations, and various animal species.

LTEMP Resource Goal for Archaeological and Cultural Resources

Maintain the integrity of potentially affected NRHP-eligible or listed historic properties in place, where possible, with preservation methods employed on a site-specific basis.

Desired Future Condition for Cultural Resources

Prehistoric Archaeological Sites and Historic Sites:
To the extent feasible, maintain significance and integrity through preservation in place.
• If preservation in place is not feasible or reasonable, then implementation of appropriate preservation treatments will be implemented to ensure reduction or elimination of threats consistent with NPS management policies, tribal traditional values and historic preservation law.
• Public access to historic properties on tribal lands is managed by the respective tribes. On lands administered by the NPS, access to some sites for users of the river corridor is maintained as long as integrity of the sites in not compromised.

Tribal Ecological Knowledge
Cultural Resources Library
Tribal Perspectives



Information and Links

Cultural Projects

Programmatic Agreement (PA)

Historic Properties Treatment Plan

  • Next step: Historic Properties Treatment Plan

Monitoring Plans


Collin et al. 2016:

  • Aeolian deposition was found at 4 of 13 sites (30%) where partial infilling occurred preventing further erosion.
  • “Despite this promise for archaeological site preservation, our observations show that gully annealing can only occur under a specific set of conditions related to fluvial sand availability and wind transport direction.”
  • Does Aeolian sand transport research support the use of anthropogenic sand bar building as a means to provide a source of aeolian sands to preserve and protect archaeological sites?
  • Or would current stabilization measures carried out by the NPS be more likely to be successful, predictable, and immediate at protecting archaeological sites?

Papers and Presentations







Other Stuff