Tune in February 21st at 8 pm / 7 pm central to watch the premiere of Into the Grand Canyon on the National Geographic Channel.
Photographer Pete McBride has devoted much of his life to protecting the Grand Canyon. In fact, he and writer Kevin Fedarko are the first journalists to walk its length—some 750 burly miles, often on cliff edges with no trail, over 13 months. Why so much devotion to the Big Ditch, which will turn 100 next week? The canyon is at risk, for sale, and being loved to death. Watch Pete’s documentary Into the Grand Canyon on the hike and what’s at stake tonight on the National Geographic Channel.
What is happening now with the Grand Canyon? What’s at risk?
Pete McBride: The ongoing tug-of-war between access and loving the place to death.
What positive and negative things have happened since your thru-hike?
Pete McBride: There is a 20-year ban on uranium mining that has efforts to make permanent, but others are lobbying to remove it entirely.
What do you take away from that experience now a few years later?
Pete McBride: How remarkable and lucky we are to have a place like the Grand Canyon. It is a living classroom of geology, archeology and biodiversity — and symbolic model of our public lands achoo the U.S. and beyond. What happens there, reverberates far beyond the rims.
What’s next for you and the big ditch?
Pete McBride: I hope to get back soon to enjoy its rich silence and river of stars — and continue to work to protect it for the next generation. The park turns 100 next week — hopefully we can help ‘leave it as it is’ for the next century.