Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing places on the planet. At first, it may seem like a monotonous place with only reddish cliffs and bizarrely shaped rock formations. But this is fundamentally a misconception. The Grand Canyon holds many amazing landscapes, among which the jewel is the emerald Havasu Falls.
Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
The main reason to visit Supai, of course, is its proximity to several waterfalls, of which Havasu is the most spectacular, visited and photographed. The height of the water falling from the sheer cliff is almost forty meters. Because of the high mineral content of the water, the color of Havasu Falls is constantly changing.
Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
The water falls into a large, clear body of water that is often bathed in on a hot day. There is a large beach area directly across from the waterfall for recreation. If you wish, you can climb to the top of the waterfall and view the beautiful landscape from above.
Havasu Falls is located in the Grand Canyon, a few kilometers from the settlement of Supai, the capital of the Arizona Indian Reservation.
Map of the Grand Canyon Arizona
How to get there
The hike to Havasu Falls begins at the summit of Mount Hualapai, which is located about one hundred and sixty kilometers from the nearest town of Seligman. Many people stay overnight in Seligman, and in the morning they drive to Hualapai Mountain and start their journey to Havasu Falls from there. The way takes about sixteen kilometers. Long crossing wears out the courageous tourists, but the impressions of what they see more than compensate for all the effort. Journey along the bottom of the canyon along the red rocks of sandstone is a fascinating journey, this is the opinion of many tourists.
Two and a half kilometers before the village of Supai, the route crosses the small but very beautiful Havasu Creek. The Grand Canyon System includes about six hundred canyons, but only a few have rivers flowing throughout the year, including Havasu Creek. It is the second largest tributary of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Most of the river, perhaps hundreds of miles, flows hidden in the lower layers of rock. It then emerges onto the surface of the sun-scorched canyon and merges with a stream that originates at the top of the canyon. The stream, small in size, has formed unique traventine deposits, pools and impressive waterfalls. A little more than ten kilometers after its surface, Havasu Creek flows into the Colorado River.
Unlike the Colorado River, the water temperature in Havasu Creek is consistently twenty-one degrees Celsius throughout the year. The river is famous for its blue-green color, which is possible because of the large amount of calcium carbonate dissolved in the water. Moreover, the color of the water changes constantly. This is because any elements that enter the river mineralize very quickly and change the color of the water, hence the constantly changing hue.
Christina, 29 years old. Beautiful place and warm water. It was nice and cool. Not too crowded. We lived in a campground nearby. Need to keep safety in mind and protect your possessions from animals.
Elena, 31 years old. Just got back from this itinerary! It’s very hot at the Grand Canyon, so I recommend it. Will need lots of water. Best to travel early in the morning or evening, after the heat goes down. Traveling at the hottest time of day is simply dangerous to your health. Any extra weight in your bags will adversely affect your stamina and well-being. The hardest part is the first trip. Despite such difficulties, it is without a doubt the most beautiful tour.
Here are a few world famous waterfalls we have seen already, let’s continue to explore the most beautiful creations of nature.
Many consider Havasu Falls the jewel of the Grand Canyon, thanks to the emerald green color of the water and its unique beauty. It has long been associated with the Havasupai tribe, who have lived in the Grand Canyon for more than eight centuries. Watching Havasu Falls firsthand, you might have the impression of being somewhere in Hawaii. It’s an oasis in arid Arizona. How can one not recall the words of the eminent master of essays, Loren Eiseley: “If magic exists on this planet, it lies in the water.”
Images of Havasu Falls can be seen everywhere in Grand Canyon National Park, from postcards and wall calendars to tourist guidebooks. But only a tiny percentage of park visitors see the emerald-green waters of this canyon jewel near Supai, the only permanent human settlement inside the Grand Canyon. There are no buses taking you here, no lavish restaurants or expensive souvenirs, and no large crowds of visitors. To get here, you must travel on foot, on horseback, on mules, or book a helicopter tour. Several beautiful waterfalls and the ponds they form are the main attractions of this canyon, each of which is comparable to a real oasis in the Arizona desert.
The hike to Havasu Falls begins at the summit of Mount Hualapai about 160 kilometers from the nearest town, Seligman. Many people stay overnight in Seligman and in the morning drive to Mt. Hualapai and start their journey to the 16 km long Havasu Falls. The long trek is exhausting for those who dare to do it, but the experience more than compensates for all the effort. The journey along the canyon floor along the red sandstone cliffs is a fascinating journey, as these photos show.
Two and a half kilometers before the village of Supai, the route crosses the small but beautiful Havasu Creek. The Grand Canyon System has about 600 canyons, but only a few have rivers flowing throughout the year, of which Havasu Creek is the most beautiful. It is the second largest tributary of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Most of the river, perhaps hundreds of miles, flows hidden in the lower layers of rock. It then emerges onto the surface of a sun-scorched canyon and merges with a stream that originates at the top of the canyon. The stream, small in size, has created unique travertine deposits, pools and impressive waterfalls. Eleven kilometers after its surface, Havasu Creek flows into the Colorado River.
Unlike the Colorado River, the water temperature in Havasu Creek is consistently 21°C throughout the year. The river is famous for its blue-green color due to the large amount of dissolved calcium carbonate in the water. And the color of the water changes constantly. This is because any elements that enter the river, very quickly mineralize and change the color of the water, hence the constantly changing shade.
The Havasupai tribe is the smallest tribe of all the Native American peoples, their number does not exceed 650 people. For centuries, the Havasupai have lived in the Grand Canyon, cultivating the land and hunting in the vast areas of the plateau. The first contact with Europeans was in 1776. The next time they saw a white man was nearly a century later. Since then, their patriarchal way of life has changed dramatically – the miners and cattlemen who came here seized their land and created a reservation for them on an area of only 210 hectares.
The formation of Grand Canyon National Park in 1919 brought the Havasupai tribe to the brink of survival as their land was constantly used by the National Park Service. Over the past century, the tribe used the United States court system to regain control of lands they had owned for centuries and then unceremoniously seized. Eventually, in 1975, after many unsuccessful years of struggle, the U.S. Congress ordered the Havasupai to return 75,000 hectares of their ancestral land, the largest amount of land ever returned to a single tribe.
Today, about 450 Havasupai live in Supai; the other 200 or so tribal members live outside the settlement. Supai is the only settlement in the United States where mail (along with everything else) is delivered by four-legged animals. Postcards sent from the Supai post office are stamped “Mule Train Mail. The main mode of transportation here is still mules, horses, or one’s own feet.
The village of Supai is surrounded by the imposing Wigleeva Rocks, several hundred meters high. These cliffs are sacred to the Havasupai, occupying a central place in extant tribal legends. Legends say that if they were to collapse, the canyon would also collapse, consuming everything around it.
In addition to the long battle on Capitol Hill, the Havasupai are well known for the beauty of nature in their area of residence. As a means of survival and prosperity in today’s economy, the tribe has turned its territory into a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful waterfalls. Although the Indians continue to engage in traditional crafts and cultivation of their lands, these skills are retained primarily by the elderly. The basis of their present-day well-being depends entirely on the tourist industry they have developed over the past few decades. A few decades ago things were very different. In the 1930s, anthropologist Leslie Speer even argued that Havasu Canyon remained “the only place in the United States in which the ancient culture of America has been preserved in a state close to the original. The tribe’s modern way of life is radically different from their ancestors.
The beauty of Havasu Falls attracts about 20,000 visitors each year, and the number could be much higher, but the Havasupai deliberately limit the number of visitors in order to avoid a large influx of tourists. Tourists have two options for overnight stays: in lodges in the village itself and in a tent camp a few kilometers from Supai. The tribe charges a fee for staying in their territory, and visitors must pay a certain amount of money for the right to stay overnight in the tent camp. It is possible to visit Supai by helicopter, for which the tribe receives a royalty from the company that conducts such tours.
The main reason to visit Supai, of course, is its proximity to several waterfalls, of which Havasu is the most spectacular, visited and photographed. The height of the water falling from the sheer cliff is 37 meters. Because of the high mineral content of the water, the color of Havasu Falls constantly changes. The water falls into a large, clear body of water, pleasant for swimming on a hot day. Directly opposite the waterfall is a large beach area for recreation. If you wish, you can climb to the top of the waterfall and see the beautiful landscape from above.