The Temple of the Grand Canyon



Looking out at one of the many overlooks at the Grand Canyon, you’ll see just how vast and huge this National Park really is. Questions like - How was this formed? Is this even real or just an illusion? - will start to run through your head. You can see just how detailed Mother Nature was when creating this masterpiece of a place. From diverse flora and fauna to the different colored layers of stone and rock formations you will begin to see what stands out to you the most. One of these notable formations that always seems to draw attention is the Isis Temple.  

So what is this Isis Temple? Well for starters, it’s not actually a temple. It is a formation of coconino sandstone at it’s highest point of 7,012 feet. Under the coconino sandstone is the Hermit Shale and the uppermost group of redbeds, called the Supai group, sedimentary rocks sandstone, siltstone, and shell that typically are red. After the layers of redbeds is Redwall limestone, which forms the cliff and sits above the Muav limestone and the Bright Angel Quartzite. 

The Unkar Group, comprised of Shimuno Quartzite, Hakatai Shale and Bass Formations, listed from top to bottom, forms the base of the Isis Temple. Its lays on the Vishnu Basements, a crystalline rocks, named after a natural rock structure. The Shinumo Quartzite forms the base of the Isis Temple wish units that are extremely erodable and forms the slope below the red, purplish and yellow colors, known as the Hakatai Shale. There is the Tapeats Sandstone located around the Shimuno Quartzite island edge and can be seen from Bright Angel Canyon. From the west and northwest you can see it from the Phantom Creek drainage. The Isis Temple Cheops Pyramid is part of a Fault block and is uplifted. 

The temple can be seen from Bright Angel Canyon, in the Phantom Creek region, the flatlands around the Isis Temple, The Utah Flats, and one of the trail that leads to the Cheops Saddle and the Tiyo Point Trail can be used to view the temple from the North Rim. So come join us on our next Grand Canyon Day tour to see this magnificent staple for yourself.

 


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