double clickSeparation Canyon - Site of a Grand Canyon Murder Mystery
Grand Canyon
3 Day Expedition
Separation Canyon

Mile 240 - Separation Canyon

In 1869, for reasons convoluted by differing opinions and the passage of time; William Dunn, O.G. Howland, and Seneca Howland, decided to leave the Powell Expedition by hiking out of the canyon en route to the Mormon settlements of Utah Territory to the north of the canyon. The trio likely made it on top of the Shivwits Plateau, but were not heard from again. After reaching the end of Grand Canyon, Powell learned from Jacob Hamblin that Dunn and the Howland’s had been killed by Shivwits Indians. During the overland portion of Powell’s second expedition to the area in 1871, he sat down for a discussion with Chuarumpeak. The tribal leader informed Powell, through the interpretation of Jacob Hamblin that all three men had been mistakenly killed by the Shivwits. They were killed because they were thought to be miners who had supposedly murdered a Hualapai woman on the south side of the river. Powell took the information he received to be factual, appreciating Hamblin’s willingness to uncover the mystery of his missing men. However, other members from the 1869 expedition; particularly Jack Sumner, were not convinced. More recently, evidence has caught the eyes of historians suggesting the three men were slain by Mormon settlers in the town of Toquerville, who thought Dunn and the Howlands to be federal agents investigating the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857.

Upper Gorge Grand Canyon

Upper Grand Canyon Mile by Mile »

The upper Grand Canyon, as traveled by Western's 6 or 7 day expedition begins at Lees Ferry (mile 0) and finishes at Whitmore Wash (mile 188)

See Lower Grand Canyon