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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 31.5, South Canyon, Downstream View from River Right (Stake 1437)

Viewing Grand Canyon Site 33 of 119 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 1437, 17 July 1889 View Larger Image
17 July 1889
On the day that Stanton chose to end his first attempt at navigating the river through Grand Canyon, Nims captured this image of two crew members on the broad, unvegetated beach at South Canyon, looking downstream toward Vasey’s Paradise (not visible, right side). The expedition, preparing to leave the river after the deaths of three of its members, cached most of its gear in a nearby alcove, but not in Stanton’s Cave, the opening of which is just visible in the cliffs on the right midground. Driftwood lines the shoreline here, deposited by a large eddy downstream from the debris fan of South Canyon.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-327, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 1437, 3 February 1991 View Larger Image
3 February 1991
Considerable change has occurred in this view over the preceding 102 years. There is considerably less sand on the beach now, making replication of the image difficult. Two of the same boulders in the left foreground are still visible; the other rocks were either deposited since 1889 or were uncovered as the sand was eroded. Several tamarisk trees grow out of the rocky deposit, and seepwillow has established along the back of the sandbar. Driftwood still accumulates on this beach, which is heavily used by river runners. Jim Hasbargen and Bob Webb pose in positions occupied by Stanton boatmen in 1889.
Photo credit: Ted Melis

Stake 1437, 17 September 2010 View Larger Image
17 September 2010
The tamarisk trees have grown, blocking more of the view from the original camera station. Riparian vegetation in general has increased, particularly the native seepwillow and the non-native tamarisk. From this vantage point, the sandbar either has not had net change over 19 years or it has increased in size.
Photo credit: John Mortimer

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