Havasu Creek – the blue water paradise in Arizona

By Stef Zisovska
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Havasu Creek – the blue water paradise in Arizona

Stef Zisovska
 
Travertine Terraces in Havasupai, USA - Author: Robertbody - CC BY 3.0
Travertine Terraces in Havasupai, USA - Author: Robertbody - CC BY 3.0
 
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The Havasupai Waterfalls are the most dramatic waterfalls in the Grand Canyon, and are associated with the Havasupai people. Havasu Creek, of which the falls are a part, is a tributary of the great Colorado River. The falls are an awesome display of the power and beauty of Nature and are perhaps the most impressive falls within the Southwestern United States.

The Grand Canyon itself is formed of numerous steep geological formations, and the tallest and steepest is known as the Red Wall. This limestone wall surrounds the canyon and as the many creeks descend down the canyon’s wall, many falls are created. One of these is, of course, Havasu Creek. Some people estimate that the underground water source for the creek is 30,000 years old.

Upper Navajo Falls – Author: Gonzo fan2007 – CC BY-SA 3.0
Upper Navajo Falls – Author: Gonzo fan2007 – CC BY-SA 3.0

After passing the village of Supai, Havasu Creek divides into numerous channels and falls over steep drop-offs, thus creating the Havasupai Waterfalls. The water of the creek is a gorgeous turquoise due to the minerals contained in the water. This is a result of calcium and magnesium in the limestone caverns where the water has been lying for more than 30,000 years, and when it reaches the surface, the minerals reflect the sunlight, causing the turquoise color. Havasupai roughly translated means “The people of the blue water.”

The travertine rock formations along the Havasu Canyon are another feature that will leave you speechless. The above-mentioned minerals create travertine pools that look like they belong in a fantasy movie. As the water runs through the limestone, it leaves traces of calcium that builds these amazing rock formations.

The biggest attraction here are the numerous falls all along the creek, where you can dive in, jump from a cliff, and take the best pictures ever. Here’s a suggestion of which waterfalls are the most spectacular to see, so add them to your list of favorite places to visit.

New Navajo Falls

Navajo Falls – Author: Gonzo fan2007 – CC BY-SA 3.0
Navajo Falls – Author: Gonzo fan2007 – CC BY-SA 3.0

New Navajo Falls is easy to miss when you’re hiking from Supai down the canyon. If you don’t pay attention to the trail, you’ll see the fall only from beneath. That’s why when you leave the village walk for a 1/2 mile on the wide sandy trail, and when it opens out start looking for another trail on your left. Turn left and keep walking until you get to the splendid New Navajo Falls.

Fifty Foot Falls

Fifty Foot Falls is the most visible waterfall when you’re going down the canyon. If you prefer, you can just see it from afar and admire its beauty. Or, you can hike to the falls and swim in the turquoise-colored natural pool at the bottom of the falls. Swimming under the Fifty Foot Fall is a unique experience, especially on a hot summer day when you really need to cool off. If you’re near, don’t miss the opportunity.

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls at dusk – Author: Jeremy Evans – CC BY-SA 2.0
Havasu Falls at dusk – Author: Jeremy Evans – CC BY-SA 2.0

To reach the bottom of Havasu Falls, look for a trail heading right from the main trail after you’ve passed the falls. After about 75 yards past you’ll reach the base of this amazing waterfall, the falls which carries the name of the whole group of drop-offs found along the creek. The trail is relatively steep, but when you see what’s waiting for you at the end, you’ll feel rewarded. Take your time to swim in the idyllic pool, and take some cool shots.

Mooney Falls

Mooney Falls in the morning – Author: Robertbody – CC BY 3.0
Mooney Falls in the morning – Author: Robertbody – CC BY 3.0

After passing the Havasu Falls, you’ll come to the campground. Keep hiking through the campground to reach the top of the tallest of the five waterfalls, the Mooney Falls. The views from the top are simply stunning. Going down the waterfall is possible with the help of chains and a ladder, but it’s dangerous, so be careful.

Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls – Author: Robertbody – CC BY 3.0
Beaver Falls – Author: Robertbody – CC BY 3.0

The Beaver Falls is a cascading waterfall, perfect for swimming, but it’s the most remote out of all the Havasupai waterfalls. To get here, you need to hike for 7 miles and it’s easy to get lost. It’s highly recommended to take a guided tour and save yourself from any trouble. Enjoy your Havasu trip!

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