United States Little Colorado Confluence

4 images 1 contributors Shoot with care

Joe Becker

Shoot with care
The confluence of the Little Colorado River and the Colorado River is a sacred place for several Native peoples. It is also one of the last places the endangered humpback chub lives (a type of fish). Please respect the land and water in this area.

About this spot
In the dry season, the Little Colorado River is a marvelous turquoise blue color that wonderfully contrasts with the red rocks of the Grand Canyon. The color comes from Blue Spring, which is located about 15 miles upstream from the confluence, and is derived from dissolved minerals in the water. Hard rains anywhere upstream in the Little Colorado basin can turn the water muddy. This is most typical in the "monsoon" season of mid and late summer.

The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers is considered the end of Marble Canyon and the start of the Grand Canyon proper. The canyon walls opposite and downstream of the confluence is the site of debris from a 1956 mid-air airline collision (which prompted the creation of the FAA). Occasionally you can see bright reflections of sunlight off pieces of wreckage amongst the rocks.

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