Grand Canyon Waterfall Hikes

Grand Canyon Waterfall HikesWhat an incredible place.  The Grand Canyon is magnificent.  Did you know that there are Grand Canyon waterfall hikes?

I have been there on two different occasions, once when I was twelve and the other a few years ago.  Both times, I stood there in awe over its vastness and beauty.  Unfortunately, both times I was there for just a short time.  Not really enough time to take in one of the many great hikes that are available.  But Scott Cundy knows a lot about the Grand Canyon Waterfall Hikes.  His article below talks about these great aqua wonderlands among the barren landscape.  He also discusses the rim to rim trail.

Grand Canyon Waterfall Hikes

By Scott Cundy

Water is a scarce commodity in the Grand Canyon, and yet where it does erupt from the ground is often spectacular and even breathtaking. Most of the water features in the Grand Canyon are hard to reach, often requiring hours, or more often, days of hiking or rafting to reach them. This article discusses the top 3 water features that are worth the effort to check out.

Number one: Havasu Falls. Havasu Falls, or Havasupai Falls, is the most famous of all of the Grand Canyon’s waterfalls. Originating from Havasu Springs, which is more than half way down the Canyon from the Rim, Havasu Creek is a water feature known for its amazing torquoise waters and it’s stunning waterfalls. Starting in Seligman, AZ drive west on Route 66, then turn north on Indian Road 18 and follow it for nearly 60 miles. The road ends at Hilltop, the Havasupai Indian Tribe’s staging point for trips into their village of Supai and the famous Havasu waterfalls. It’s a 10 mile hike to the falls, and it’s worth every step. Havasu Falls is the first major falls at about 90 feet tall, at which point the campground begins. At the bottom of the Campground is Mooney Falls, the tallest at about 200 feet, and Beaver Falls is another 3.5 mile hike down the creek. Don’t forget to call 928-448-2121 before you head in, because if you hike in without reservations they’ll charge you a very high rate to camp.

Number two is Thunder River and Deer Creek Falls, which take a lot of work but are worth every bit of it! These ones require about five days to do it safely. Hike down off Monument Point on the North Rim of the Canyon and camp on the Esplanade. The next morning be on the trail by 7am and hike 4 miles to Thunder River. Cool your heels in the falls and explore Thunder River cave before heading to the Colorado River 5 miles further. Next hike from the Lower Tapeats along the Colorado River for 2 miles to 135 mile rapid and ascend up to a saddle overlooking Deer Creek. Descend into Deer Creek. Spend the next morning continuing to enjoy Deer Creek. Depart around 1 pm for a 1 mile hike up to Deer Spring where you can cool your heels for a few hours in Deer Spring. Leave around 3 pm laiden with water. Camp on top of the Esplanade close to the Redwall cliff where you should have cached water on the way down. Next day head back up to the North Rim.

Number three is Roaring Springs and Ribbon Falls, which are best to do as part of a Rim to Rim hike. Start down the North Kaibab Trail early in the morning on the first day, and you’ll be at Roaring Springs after about 3 hours of hiking. It’s a waterfall erupting from the side of an adjacent slope – take a moment and enjoy! Continue down to Cottonwood Campground and camp there for the night. The next day you’re hiking to Bright Angel Campground and you’ll pass Ribbon Falls on the way. After about 2 miles of hiking from Cottonwood Campground you’re going to hit Ribbon – it’s a tall, warm shower of a waterfall with some truly amazing calcite deposits built up at the base of it. Hike 6 miles further to Bright Angel Campground and spend the night. Hike all the way out the Bright Angel Trail the next day and finish at the South Rim.

There’s more to see in the Grand Canyon than the Colorado River and rocks. Take some time and put in some effort, and you can enjoy some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world!

For information on professionally guided tours to the Grand Canyon, see the Wildland Trekking Company’s Grand Canyon Hiking Tours.

For information on guided hikes to Havasu Falls, see Wildland Trekking’s Havsasu Falls Tours.

For information on obtaining permits in the Grand Canyon for your own hiking trip, see the park service’s Backcountry Permit Page.

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Don’t you want to head out there now? These Grand Canyon waterfall hikes sound amazing.

I plan to go back to the Grand Canyon someday. I would love to hike the Rim to Rim trail and view these spectacular waterfalls. The diverse beauty in all of the National Parks just astounds me.

Picture from the National Park Service

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