Spring Fed Creek
The Havasu Creek is fed by a natural spring that from almost no where comes up out of the dry creek bed in pockets and as it gathers becomes the raging torrent that feeds the amazingly beautiful waterfalls. Interesting thing about the water is that it's so amazingly clear you can almost drink right from it. It isn't till later down stream it meets up with the calcium carbonate that creates the blue water effect.
Refreshing Blue Water
Calcium carbonate and magnesium occur naturally in the waters of Havasu Creek. The pools and natural dams form when the calcium carbonate precipitates out of the water and deposits onto rocks, branches, or manmade structures (after a devastating flood) building up over time. Havasu Falls and Havasu Creek get their blue color from the magnesium in the water. As the pools deepen and the calcium carbonate is slowly released from the water, the water appears bluer as the relative magnesium content increases. As the creek originates from a spring, the water rarely deviates from 70°F (21°C) year round.
Fifty Foot Falls
Fifty Foot Falls is located about 8.5 miles from the trailhead and about 1 mile past Supai Village. When we got here, we were tempted to keep going. Fifty Foot Falls is definitely worth a stop on your way to the campground. The campground is further downhill and once you get down there, you probably won’t want to make you way back up until you are on your way out at the end of the weekend.
Upper Navajo Falls (“New Navajo Falls”)
You may have seen Navajo Falls on the map or heard that it dried up on other guide websites, but rest assured: the Falls are alive and well! The original Navajo Falls moved a couple hundred yards because of the same flood that formed Rock Falls.
Most visitors don’t make it to Navajo Falls because they are about 0.2 miles off the trail and require hiking over some large rocks upstream. The main draw to Navajo Falls? A 50 ft wall of water clinging tight to the rock face and there are rarely other tourists around. Sometimes it's nice to have a massive waterfall to yourself for a little while!
Upper Navajo Falls came into being in 2008 when the flood of that year moved massive amounts of rock and mud, gouging out a deep bed. The old Navajo Falls was bypassed in the process, leaving it dry.
New Navajo Falls has one of the same characteristics of its namesake; the creek erupts out of dense vegetation in many different streams to fall about 50 ft into the pool. This is how the old Navajo Falls behaved at times, shifting much of its flow through trees and shrubs to tumble down the rocks in various places across the face of the cliff.
Access is passable, but not easy, as there are large boulders and rocks just below the falls, which create somewhat of a visual barrier. The creek then winds its way down 0.16 miles till it reaches Rock Falls.
Navajo Falls is gone for now; the creek has changed course as a result of the major flood of 2008. It was the first major waterfall on Havasu Creek and was a combination of the perfect swimming hole and a secluded photo opportunity. It featured a hidden grotto, interesting rock formations, and lots of vegetation.
Navajo Falls tumbled 75 feet into a refreshing pool. It was not as spectacular as its two larger cousins, so the lack of visitors meant there was often opportunity for solitude. The beautiful cascades provided a nice sized pool for swimming at the base of the falls.
Navajo Falls was named after an old Havasupai Chief.
Lower Navajo Falls - "Rock Falls"
Rock Falls was the second major waterfall created by mother nature during the flood of 2008 when a massive mud slide caused the creek bed to move. In the process, the creek completely bypassed Navajo Falls, which is now dry. (Navajo Falls had been reported to have been destroyed, which is technically not correct. The stream has simply bypassed it.)
Rock Falls is about 30 ft high and nearly 100 ft wide and has a nice swimming hole. There is a cave ledge directly under and behind the falls that many visitors scramble up onto, to jump through the refreshing shower into the crystal clear pool. You’re bound the see other travelers swimming in the large, calm pool below the Falls, but the real treat is the cave.
If you’ve ever dreamt about finding a secret passageway behind a waterfall, this is your chance! Hugging the far side of Rock Falls there is an easy-to-navigate path that goes right behind the water into a protected rock shelf cave. Although it is fairly safe, like any water areas you must watch your step on the slippery rocks. Consider wearing water shoes.
Havasu Falls is known throughout the world and has appeared in numerous magazines and television shows, and is often included in calendars that feature incredible waterfalls or beautiful scenery. Visitors from all over the world make the trip to Havasupai primarily for Havasu Falls.
The vibrant blue water contrasts against the striking red rocks of the canyon walls as Havasu Falls plunges nearly 100 ft into a wide pool of blue-green waters below. This, the most striking waterfall in the Grand Canyon, sports a wide, sandy beach and plenty of shady cottonwood trees to relax by.
After 9.5 miles of hiking you'll get your first glimpse of the main reason you started off on this hike: Havasu Falls. The falls also cascade into another pool, great for swimming and small cliff jumping. During the descent is where we’ve taken our best photos of the bright, turquoise water spilling out of the red rock canyon into a large pool. Words can’t express how gorgeous the contrast of bright colors mixed with the serene roar of the powerful falls can be.
Havasu Falls is just 0.5 miles away from the campgrounds. You can enjoy a full day there, swimming in the pools and exploring the surrounding area.
It might be debatable whether Mooney is the most fun waterfall in the Grand Canyon, but it is certainly the most spectacular! The tallest of the Havasupai waterfalls, it plunges down more than 190 ft into a large blue pool, perfect for swimming. Getting to the base of Mooney can be tricky, and requires some patience to be safe. It is certainly exhilarating to make it to the base of the falls.
Mooney Falls derived its name from a prospector that died from a fall here in the 1800s. As with all of the waterfalls, jumping is not allowed and here one would meet certain death from a 200 ft tumble. Extreme caution is urged when making this descent.
The trail to the base of the falls winds down the shoulder of the cliff towards the west canyon wall, and is marked with a worn sign. After a few dozen feet, the trail enters a short tunnel as it continues downward. These tunnels may have been natural caves initially, but have been expanded and steps have been hewn into the rocks.
The tunnel emerges onto a ledge where there is a great view of Mooney Falls at about 120 ft from the bottom. There is a chain in place, which should encourage visitors to be safe, as a fall from here would be fatal. Hopefully you aren't in a hurry to climb back up; there's lots to explore below Mooney Falls.
The pool itself is one of the bigger pools that gets constantly pounded by the water falling 365 days a year. Every now and then a flash flood in the canyon fills up part of the pool with soil and rocks, only to be slowly carved away again by Mooney's awesome power. Mooney towers almost twice as tall as Niagara Falls at 196 feet tall. Since you approach Mooney from above like Havasu Falls, you can see the massive gully the Falls have cut out of the canyon over time. The sight of the gully is impressive when you realize that the ground at the bottom of the 200 ft drop below you was once level with the ground you are standing on!
The creek below Mooney Falls is surrounded by wild grape vines and is often referred to by visitors as a garden. It is a beautiful area of the canyon and the creek boasts several nice cascades and wide pools.
Mooney Falls is only a 0.5 mile hike from the campgrounds, but it's no walk in the park!
From Mooney Falls, getting to Beaver Falls requires some work. Continue down the trail for about 3 miles and you will reach Beaver Falls. This hike is much more enjoyable if you bring water shoes.
You will get wet on this trail, but with water shoes you can spend a good portion of the trek hiking through the river. The trail can be difficult to spot, but continue downstream and you will be fine. Along the hike you will see the Havasupai Vine Desert. The vines cover the whole length of the canyon and are a great photo opportunity.
You will soon reach a point where you can climb up a ladder to continue the hike, or go across the river. Cross the river. If you take the ladder, you will have to hike around the whole base of Beaver Falls to get to the swimming pools. Beaver Falls’ pools are a great place to go for a swim and do some cliff jumping. Beaver Falls is a series of cascades at the con-flux of Beaver & Havasu Canyons.
Portable water filters are suggested for emergency use. Look for ducks here, too. River rafters have beaten a path to the ledges where they jump. Go on upstream, gradually working your way to the creek bed. Climb down to the creek and the falls are just upstream. These pools are small, but still offer good swimming. If you are well rested the last couple miles to Beaver Falls is very manageable and you are rewarded with a cascading series of mini-waterfalls up to 8 ft tall.
Colorado River Hike
If you have made it all the way to the Colorado River you are a true wild person as it is a boggling 19 miles each way from the Hill Top Parking Lot. The turquoise waters of Havasu make a defined color line as they mix with the brown waters of the Colorado, a contrast very popular with photographers.
It's possible to hike the entire way, especially if you are staying a couple nights in the campground, but most visitors only get to the rolling rapids if they are on a Colorado Rafting trip. Some of the best rafting trips will let you branch off the Colorado by kayak as the last couple miles of the Havasu waters are the brightest turquoise color.