Sunday, January 26, 2014

Havasu falls, Arizona, USA:

Havasu falls, Arizona, USA

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 (80 km) until it enters Cataract Canyon. It then reaches Havasu Springs, where an underground river 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.Until the August 2008 flooding, Navajo Falls was the first prominent waterfall in the canyon. They were named after an old Supai chief. It was located 1.25 miles from Supai and is accessed from a trail located on the left side of the main trail. This side trail leads down to the creek, where there is a crude bridge that crosses over the creek. The trail then leads back into the trees, where the main pool and falls were located. The pool was popular for its seclusion and its ease to swimmers. The falls were approximately 70 feet tall and consisted of separate sets of water chutes, the main one located on the right side where the water cascaded down the canyon hill. To the left of the main chute there were other smaller ones that were steeper and more vertical. There were a few places that are viable for cliff jumping, although caution was necessary.In August 2008, Navajo Falls was completely bypassed by a flood. According to The New York Times:Within 12 hours, several surges of high water roared down the creek, destroying the campground, stranding a Boy Scout troop from New Jersey and setting off a massive mudslide that obliterated Navajo Falls, one of four spectacular canyon waterfalls that attract tourists from around the world.Despite this early report, the site of the falls still exists; the mudslide simply rerouted Havasu Creek, creating two new falls.Havasu Falls is the third waterfall in the canyon. It is located at 36°15′18″N 112°41′52″W of the main trail. The side trail leads across a small plateau and drops into the main pool. Havasu is arguably the most famous and most visited of all the falls. The falls consist of one main chute that drops over a 100-foot vertical cliff into a large pool.The falls are known for their natural pools, created by mineralization, although most of these pools were damaged and/or destroyed in the early 1990s by large floods that washed through the area. A small man-made dam was constructed to help restore the pools and to preserve what is left. There are many picnic tables on the opposite side of the creek and it is very easy to cross over by following the edges of the pools. It is possible to swim behind the falls and enter a small rock shelter behind it.It is interesting to note that the falls were called "Bridal Veil Falls" before the flood of 1910 because they fell from the entire width of the now dry travertine cliffs north and south of the present falls.



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