Havasupai Falls - Images by Pat Shannahan
They almost don't look real. The shades of aqua blue and green look like they belong more in a swanky resort pool than in the Grand Canyon. One resident of the Supai village told the reporter I was with, that tourists have asked about what time of day they turn off the waterfalls. You can hardly blame them, but this is all Mother Nature. Disney couldn't do a better job.
I backpacked into Havasupai with Arizona Republic reporter Dennis Wagner to work on a story about the condition of the area a year after a major flash flood in August 2008 forced more than 400 people to evacuate. The tribe closed the area until June 2009 to repair the damage to the trails, bridges, cemetery and campground. The flood rerouted Havasu Creek away from Navajo Falls, leaving it dry. It made Fifty-Foot Falls bigger and created a new waterfall that is temporarily called Rock Falls. Water now only flows from one of the channels in Havasu Falls. Mooney Falls, which is taller than Niagra Falls, now has a larger swimming area.
In addition to still images, I also shot some 360-degree interactive panoramic images that you can see on AZCentral.com.
So you can get an idea of the power of one of these flash floods, I included a video I found on YouTube of Havasu Fall shot during the flash flood by AOA Adventure Tour Company guide Jon Opem.