Year of 2017

Blue-green Bathtub
Mooney Falls in Havasu Canyon, Arizona

Access to Havasu Canyon in Arizona isn’t always easy. Weather conditions can force the closure of this portion of the Grand Canyon. But those who manage to make the trek safely are rewarded with views of the vibrant blue-green waters of Havasu Creek, on display here at Mooney Falls, one of several falls along the creek’s course. The creek winds through the Havasupai Reservation; many tribal members work as educators and guides for visitors to the area.

Havasu Creek is a stream in the U.S. state of Arizona associated with the Havasupai people. It is a tributary to the Colorado River, which it enters in the Grand Canyon. Havasu Creek starts out above the canyon wall as a small trickle of snow run-off and rain water. This water meanders on the plains above the canyon for about 50 miles until it enters Cataract Canyon. It then reaches Havasu Springs, where an underground source feeds the creek. This spring can be accessed by heading upstream when the creek is first encountered. The water stays at about 70 °F all year around. The creek is well known for its blue-green color and distinctive travertine formations. This is due to large amounts of calcium carbonate in the water that formed the limestone that lines the creek and reflects its color so strongly. This also gives the creek an interesting feature, as it is ever-changing. This occurs because any items that fall into the stream mineralize very quickly, causing new formations and changing the flow of the water. This causes the creek to never look the same from one year to another. The creek runs through the village of Supai, and it ultimately flows into the Colorado River.

Mouth: Colorado River