History - Header
Amy Martin

Our story - mission

Our story - mission
Ellen Morris Bishop


To safeguard the wonders of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau, while supporting the rights of its Native peoples.


We envision a Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau where:

  • Wildness, a diversity of native plants and animals, clean air, and flowing rivers abound.
  • Sovereign tribal nations thrive.
  • A liveable climate endures.
  • People passionately work to protect the region they love for future generations.

Our story - Join us

Do you share our dream for the Colorado Plateau?
Amy Martin

Our story - how we got started (intro)

How we got started: an idea born on the banks of the Colorado River

The Grand Canyon Trust traces its roots to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where the Colorado River and love of place runs deep. Here’s our story.

Our story - how we got started

In the early 80s, legendary river runner and wilderness advocate Martin Litton took several environmentalists downstream. One evening, sitting in the sand around a campfire undoubtedly recounting flips, jokes, and other river lore, the conversation turned toward the need to create an organization with the express goal of protecting the Grand Canyon. Long-time conservationist Huey Johnson proposed a name: the Grand Canyon Trust.

Over the next few years, those fireside chats turned into action. And in 1985, Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt and several others officially registered the Grand Canyon Trust as a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the natural integrity of the Grand Canyon.

But the Trust realized early on that issues don’t stop at the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. So in 1987, we expanded the scope of our work to encompass the entire Colorado Plateau — the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, of which the Grand Canyon stands as the centerpiece.

More about our history ›

Our story - who we are today

Our story - who we are today
Blake McCord

Who we are today

Over the years we’ve grown from a one man show to a staff of more than 30, working on issues ranging from grazing, to forest restoration, to uranium mining. We have a membership of more than 3,000 people who love the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau, and an active volunteer base of more than 400 people who help us with on-the-ground restoration work, data collection, monitoring and more.

Get involved

Get Involved

Our story - volunteer, support work, take action



Germaine Simonson's convenience store sells local products in her rural Navajo Nation community.

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Long-term efforts strive to center Indigenous perspectives in park management and interpretation.

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A hydroelectric dam project in Big Canyon, a dry tributary of the Little Colorado River, would require pumping billions of gallons of groundwater.

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