Cárdenas, García López de

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García López de Cárdenas (gärthē´ä lō´pĕth dā kär´dānäs), 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 first European to discover the Colorado itself, for Hernando de Alarcón had explored its lower waters a month earlier.