My Summer in the Grand Canyon

by Miranda Trew

Miranda in official NPS gear!

Miranda in official NPS gear!

I’m Miranda Trew and I will be a second semester Senior this fall. This summer I have been working as a National Park Ranger in Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a pretty awesome place to work for the National Park Service, or just in general. I am working with the interpretation department here, basically that means I answer people’s questions and give programs. Questions can be about anything here. From “Where did I park my car?” to “How do you feel the Native Americans view the return of the California Condor or as they are known in legends the Thunderbird?” I attempt to know the answers to most questions, but this park has so much information it is impossible for one person to know everything.

Here is some basic information about Grand Canyon National Park, because we all like to learn. Grand Canyon is 277 river miles long. If a person were to walk all the way around the rim it would be like walking from Los Angeles to New York City—and then back. On average the Canyon is a mile deep, and ten miles across. The North Rim is 1000 feet higher than the South Rim and, finally, our oldest rocks here are 1.8 billion years old.

California condor soars over the canyon.

California condor soars over the canyon.

On an average day for me I start with morning briefing at 7:30 sharp at Park Headquarters. During this time we are briefed on the latest news here. We are told if someone died the day before (7 people since I’ve been working here) or if there are any major concerns we should hear about. After that I head to the Yavapai Geology Museum and talk to visitors about geology. Once I’m done there I head to the major points along the rim and try to answer people’s questions. Sometimes I even get a treat and I’ll see the very endangered California Condor (we have less than 100 in the park). Then I go work the Visitor Center where I get asked a lot about the Glass Skywalk (its 4 hours away from us on an Indian Reservation) and what people should do with the limited time they have here. Finally I head back to Yavapai Geology Museum to give my 30 minute Geo Glimpse program, which is a brief overview of Grand Canyon geology and how the Canyon was formed.

So far this summer I have absolutely loved my job. All of the other employees are really helpful, and there is a great sense of camaraderie among the park employees. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my last summer before I graduate in December!

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