The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the spectacular combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.
The area around the Grand Canyon became a national monument on January 11, 1908 and was designated a national park on February 26, 1919, three years after the creation of the National Park Service. The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its national park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. UNESCO has since declared it as a World Heritage Site.
The North Rim was not visited by Europeans until 236 years after the South Rim, when in 1776 Father Escalante became the first European to visit the North Rim. Another reason for the North Rim being so isolated is because its ownership remained questionable well into the 20th century. Both Arizona and Utah claimed the territory and it wasn't until Arizona was granted statehood in 1912 that the issue was finally decided.
Even after that the "Arizona Strip" remained a no-mans land for sometime and all that was to be found there were a few scattered Mormon settlements, and some sizeable herds of cattle, horses and sheep. Hunting on the North Rim was also very popular and one of the most notable hunters who frequented the area was former president Teddy Roosevelt, who eventually declared the area a Game Preserve and in 1919 persuaded Congress to protect the area by declaring it a national park