Millions of years ago, the surging waters of the Colorado River carved out the Grand Canyon. Though majestic and powerful, the river is also considered America's most endangered, thanks to human influences.
Google Street View has partnered with American Rivers so online users can virtually paddle down the Colorado River with 360-degree panoramic views that include bighorn sheep, remains of a volcanic dam, and ancient rock formations.
"While you admire its grandeur, remember that the river is also at risk," Chris Williams, senior vice president of conservation at American Rivers, wrote in a blog post announcing the Colorado River Street View project.
Though it supplies drinking water to 36 million people and supports a $26 billion recreation industry, the Colorado River is "also one of the most endangered, dammed, diverted, and plumbed rivers in the world," he said. "By the time it reaches the Gulf of California in Mexico, the river is barely a trickle--a ghost of its once magnificent self."