USA · Havasupai Waterfalls
The aqua-blue Havasupai Waterfalls spill over deep-orange, travertine cliffs in a desert oasis of stunning beauty. They are the most dramatic waterfalls in the Grand Canyon and possibly even the entire Southwestern United States. The stark contrast between the arid desert landscape of the Havasu Canyon and the lush vegetation near the water is a juxtaposition of harsh desert and a sumptuous tropical paradise. The Grand Canyon’s geologic layers stair step down from the rims to the Colorado River, and the steeper sections create waterfalls in drainages as they descend to the bottom.
The five Havasupai Falls include: Navajo Falls, Fifty Foot Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. All are located on the Havasupai indian reservation in a side canyon of the Grand Canyon. The waterfalls of the Grand Canyon are like no other in the world, and visiting them is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Havasupai is roughly translated as “The people of the blue-green waters”, which refers to the beautiful turquoise color of Havasu Creek. The color of the water is the result of having been stored underground – in limestone caverns or aquifers – for as much as 30000 years. While underground, the water leaches out minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, from the limestone. These minerals saturate the water and reflect sunlight, making the water a turquoise color.
As the water flows over the ground, it deposits these minerals, which create travertine rock formations along the bottom of the creek. As floods come through and alter the stream bed, the travertine is uncovered and produces incredibly unique formations throughout Havasu Canyon.