Which Spanish Explorer discovered the Grand Canyon and When?

Spanish explorer, Francisco de Coronado (c. 1510-1554) discovered the Grand Canyon.

He too came in search of rumored treasure, in this case, the fabulously wealthy Seven Cities of Cibola and another legendary realm named Quivira.

Leading an expedition overland from Mexico in 1540, he explored what are now Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. A party dispatched by Coronado and led by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas was the first to view the natural splendor of the Grand Canyon.

However, natural splendor cannot fill pockets, and no great wealth was found. The magical cities turned out to be humble Native American villages.

Spanish authorities were disappointed when Coronado returned empty-handed in 1542. More than fifty years passed before they tried to settle the territory he had explored.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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