Grand Canyon Waterspots, Part Two
Below Phantom Ranch

 

Shinumo Creek at mile 109, near the Bass Trail, is one of those water spots you'd never dream of from the rim! You land near the mouth of the creek, walk and wade up maybe forty yards into a narrow canyon that forms a slot. There's a waterfall and a plunge pool!

Enjoying the Shinumo Creek waterfall!

In life, there are unexpected gems here and there. One of them is Stone Creek in the Grand Canyon, just below Duebendorff Rapid on the right. From the beach, you walk just a little ways up the creek. Through the vegetation, you'll see a waterfall! Over a ledge and into a plunge pool. There are other falls up the creek, if you want to really get into it.

 

Waterfall, Stone Creek

Tapeats Creek at mile 134 is clear refreshment! We didn't walk up on this trip, but several miles upstream, most of the water comes out of Thunder Spring, down a large waterfall, and into Thunder River. This is one of very few rivers that are tributary to creeks! Maybe the only one.

(picture of Thunder Spring pending)

Downstream just a few miles, past "Helicopter Eddy" and through the gorge where the narrowest point of the Colorado River is, you come to Deer Creek Falls, which comes out of a narrow slot in the Tapeats Sandstone and falls about a hundred feet near the river.

Two men at base of Deer Creek Falls

A trail goes to the top of the waterfall. Hot and steep at first, it finally turns into the narrow canyon of Deer Creek. It goes along a bench above a fine set of entrenched meanders, and then to a pool into which Deer Creek tumbles. The water here comes from a spring a ways up, and is a perfect temperature to soak in!

 Deer Creek above the falls

Matkatamiba Canyon, mile 148, is cut into the Muav Limestone which forms a steep inner gorge for the Colorado River in this area. You can land in the narrow mouth and walk a rough trail up into the creek bed, where you will find the creek has sculpted the limestone in wonderful ways.

Matkatamiba Creek, near the mouth

We didn't go up Havasu Creek. We went around the eddy three times, couldn't get in to land, and didn't see a place to tie up if we did. Anyway, brown water was coming from the mouth of the creek.

Havasu flash flooded recently, and we were told the place is much different now. Just after our trip, it flooded again. Helicopters were helping the Havasupai Indians escape from their canyon home. Perhaps the floodwater came bursting out thirty feet deep or more through the narrow mouth! I wouldn't want to be right there.

At the bottom of Lava Falls Rapid, there's a good spring on the left. We didn't stop, though.

We camped at Fern Glen Rapid, where there's a gigantic beach and an eddy to match. That eddy appears to really catch floating objects, and some were large branches with greenery on them. Where had they come from? The river varied from light brown to red during this part of our trip. There was lots of older driftwood there too, unlike most Grand Canyon beaches.

Near mile 216, up a well-used trail, there's a good water source at the stream that comes from Three Springs Canyon. A boat was there, and a man was happily pouring buckets of water over himself on the shore! Had we needed water, we would have gotten it here. The mouth of the stream comes out through a narrow slot, into Three Springs Rapid.

Travertine Canyon at mile 229 has a spring-fed stream that comes pouring over large deposits of travertine, which is calcium carbonate or calcite. This is near some world-class travertine deposits. The water carries dissolved calcium carbonate, a tiny bit of which gets deposited as the water goes by a surface.

Travertine Canyon

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