History - Header
Amy Martin

Our story - where we work

We are rooted in the deserts, mountains, and canyons of the Southwest. 

See Where we work

Our story - mission

Our story - mission
Tim Peterson


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

Learn about our vision

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.

Our story - how we got started

In the early 1980s, river runner and wilderness advocate Martin Litton took several environmentalists downstream. Sitting around a campfire one evening, the group's conversation turned to the need for 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. 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.

The Trust realized early on that environmental threats 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 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.

Success stories - LR block

Success stories - LR block
Blake McCord

Conservation wins

When it comes to safeguarding the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau, we have a proven track record of success. 

Read our success stories ›

Get involved

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Our story - volunteer, support work, take action



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