García López de Cárdenas

Cárdenas, García López de (gärthēˈä lōˈpĕth dā kärˈdānäs) [key], fl. 1540, Spanish explorer in the Southwest. A member of the 1540 expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, he was selected to lead a party from Cibola (the Zuñi country of New Mexico) to find a river of which the Hopi had spoken. After 20 days' march he became the first white man to see the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. He was not, however, the discoverer of the Colorado itself, for Hernando de Alarcón had explored its lower waters a month earlier.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies