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Havasu Canyon is a side branch of the Grand Canyon that was once the home of a prehistoric people. Today, it is home to the Havasupai, a tribe that has inhabited the canyon for more than 800 years – as well asstunnign views of waterfalls, travertine pools and canyon walls.
Seasonal rainfall, melting snow and percolating water are drained by Cataract Creek, which rises on Bill Williams Mountain and crosses the Coconino Plateau. The creek wanders across the high plains for about 50 miles before dipping down into the steep sided Cataract Canyon.
Except for flash floods, Cataract Creek is usually a mere trickle until it reaches Havasu Springs. There, an underground river gushes forth to form Havasu Creek. With a steady flow rate of about 28,000 gallons per minute and a heavy concentration of suspended calcium carbonate, the river bed is lined with limestone that reflects the sunlight and gives the creek its striking blue-green color.
The waters plunge over Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls (100 feet), Mooney Falls (200 feet) on the way to the Colorado River about 10 miles away from Supai Village. Water is especially precious in a dry and arid land and the Havasupai consider the source of this river to be a sacred place that is intimately associated with the legend of their origin. There are legends, too, of their end, for they believe that the Wigleeva, two stone pillars that overlook their village, are guardian spirits and their destruction will signal the demise of the Havasupai.