GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – The Grand Canyon as we know it may never be the same again. A proposed tourism destination called the Grand Canyon Escalade, which features a Gondola Tramway that will take tourists from the rim of the Canyon down to the Canyon floor, is currently in the works.
Confluence Partners, LLC is the organization behind this massive project design. The proposed location for the Escalade is on the western edge of the Navajo Nation Reservation above the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River, about 100 miles by road from Interstate 40 and Flagstaff, Ariz. Founding partner R. Lamar Whitmer originally came up with the idea in 1997 and has been working toward this goal in some form ever since.
Blog editor’s note: This statement from the article is not accurate. “Although, the Navajo Nation boundary is the Colorado River, with the Grand Canyon National Park officially beginning on the other side of that same river. Whether Confluence Partners needs permission from the National Park Service is yet to be seen.”
In 1923, the federal government, anticipating construction of a reservoir, withdrew from mineral entry and public occupancy a corridor one quarter of a mile from either bank of the Colorado River. In the 1930s the Navajo Reservation was enlarged to include lands to the river or to the boundaries of existing withdrawn areas, in this case Marble Canyon. The 1968 Marble Canyon National Monument proclamation and the subsequent 1975 Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act maintained that boundary. The Navajo boundary in Marble Canyon has always been 1/4 mile east of the Colorado River.