Latitude / Longitude:
35°09′46″N 111°07′04″W / 35.16278°N 111.11778°W / 35.16278
5,433 ft (1,656 m)
Mountain (NO DST) (UTC-7)
Canyon Diablo (Navajo: Kin Ligaaí) is a ghost town on the Navajo Reservation in Coconino County, Arizona, United States on the edge of the arroyo Canyon Diablo. The town, which is about 12 miles northwest of Meteor Crater, was the closest community to the crater when portions of the meteorite were removed. Consequently, the meteorite that struck the crater is officially called the “Canyon Diablo Meteorite.
The original pillars the bridge was mounted on were excavated from the surrounding Kaibab Limestone and shaped on site by Italian stonemasons. The ruins of the lodgings of the railroad workmen are on the west end of the bridge site. Although the railroad ended at the edge of the canyon, work on the railroad route still progressed. Crews were sent ahead to survey the route, prepare the grade and bed, cut and prestage railroad ties and other supplies in advance of the iron rails that would accompany the trains once the canyon was spanned when the new bridge arrived. Work quickly progressed until the A&P crew linked up with the Southern Pacific Railroad crews at Needles, California on August 9, 1883.
The ramshackle community originated in 1880, due to construction delays attributed to the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad ordering the wrong span length railroad bridge across the canyon. The bridge story is that the original bridge when ordered was not long enough to span Canyon Diablo, and this was only discovered when the bridge arrived on site from the manufacturer. Consequently, for six months the transcontinental railroad ended at the lip of Canyon Diablo while another bridge was manufactured and shipped to the work site.