A Waterfall Made of Rock! …Rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

As Diamond Peak came into view, I realized that our trip was nearing its end.

I had thought that things couldn’t get much stranger in the world of travertine rock formations as we left Pumpkin Springs behind, but the Colorado River had a few surprises left for us as we neared the end of our 18 day journey down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

First up was a delightful side canyon we climbed up where we bathed— and showered, in the refreshing water of Travertine Canyon. This was a part of the Hualapai Tribe reservation and the Native Americans had built a convenient rope ladder for access.

A view of the ladder we would be expected to climb. But first we had to rope up to get down to the ladder!

Peggy makes her way up the ladder!

The journey had its rewards!

And everyone took advantage of the shower….

By day 17, we could all use one. (grin)

There were also some interesting rock formations in the cavern.

This close up suggests a throat and tonsils. (Photo by Don Green.)

Not much farther down the river we came on an even stranger travertine formation, a waterfall made of rock!

This 100 foot plus rock waterfall was created by water from a mineral laden spring.

A view or Travertine Falls looking up.

And another. I found the jumble of colors and rock types quite interesting.

Small nooks and crannies also held treasures, such as these ferns. (Photo by Don Green.)

I’ll finish today’s post with a few more photos taken as we rafted down the river.

A mesquite tree.

This rock formation shows the impact of erosion.

A Great Blue Heron that caught Don’s attention. (Photo by Don Green.)

A final view of the river for today. Next Monday, we will wrap up our journey down the Colorado.

WEDNESDAY’S POST: Patterns in nature. A close up look at Kodiak Island.

FRIDAY’S POST: Is it possible to find true love when watching an instruction film on what to do when the atom bomb drops on your school.

38 comments on “A Waterfall Made of Rock! …Rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

  1. On fabulous photo after another. Some of the finest sculpture ever created. (and scary ladder…reminds me of the ones they used to have at Mesa Verde to get into the cliff dwellings a long time ago when you they allowed that. Scary, but so worth the climb here, too!)

  2. You and Peggy are my heros! You are much braver than I am. My legs were going to water just looking at that ladder. I wish I were a little more daredevil-ish, but I’m not. No matter how beautiful the scenery or need for cooling, clean waters.

    • So much of that is merely experience, Juliann, as opposed to bravery. Your journeys out on your own to various parts of the world require an equal willingness to face new challenges. But thanks! 🙂 –Curt

    • Thousands of years, at least, Yvonne. 🙂 Although I was surprised at how fast the travertine does form sculptures. It seems much faster than most rock-making processes. –Curt

  3. Nature has a way of creating such unique designs, you can see where man gets his ideas! The first picture looks like an oriental pagoda for instance.

    • Really nice thought, Gerard. The Canyon is actually full of life that had adapted to living in a desert environment. I’ve no doubt that the heron considers it a sort of heron-heaven and at that very moment was thinking about a nice fat froggy for lunch. 🙂 –Curt

  4. Now, this must be the best way ever to see the Grand Canyon! The rock waterfall is astonishing, and all the photos are stunning. What a wonderful adventure … And you all deserved the rest in the pool of water! Curt, your posts are like reading about another world … a joy and treat! 😀

    • The Grand Canyon seems like another world to me as well, Annika, combining rugged beauty with fascinating geology and interesting early American history. Plus there’s the challenge of making your way through the canyon, whether on foot or by boat! Glad you have enjoyed the series. Thanks much! –Curt

  5. Such a wonderful journey Curt! I did enjoy all of your posts, so glad you took us along the way, as I wouldn’t have the courage to go there myself 😀 Mother nature was so generous in this area to offer such exquisite vistas!

    • Thanks, Rusha. A bit of adventure, for sure. 🙂 I worked in pear orchards in my youth running up and down 14 foot ladders all day. I felt right at home. And Peggy is usually game for anything! –Curt

  6. Once I took a good look at that ladder, I realized how substantial the rope was, and how wide the steps. It looks to me as though it’s not perfectly perpendicular, either, but canted in a few degrees and perhaps even resting on the rock face. I could have done it, but just looking at it brought memories of the swinging bridge we had to cross at summer camp every year. It really could swing, and inevitably there was a female Curt or two on the other end, jumping up and down to add a bit more motion. That pit-of-the-stomach feeling’s pretty easy to recall!

    The rocks are fabulous. I remember hearing about travertine marble used in fancy homes. I’ve always associated that with Italy. Is this the same travertine that would be used in that way?

    • Ha, a veteran boat person like you, Linda— piece of cake. I’ve never been attracted to scrambling up sheer rock faces, but I spent a couple years when I was in high school picking pears. Scrambling up and down ladders is almost second nature. And of course swinging bridges are meant to be swung! Why else would they be built? There is one we use down in Mexico that I still find tempting. 🙂
      Travertine is a sedimentary rock, Linda, while marble is a metamorphic rock formed from other rocks, including travertine, by intense heat and pressure deep under the ground. They are both used in building. –Curt

  7. We can imagine the refreshing cool water after a hard climb. The rocks have been fashioned like hands (of nature) over eons and continue to be today. Such a privilege to be able to see and touch them!

  8. Just one other magical place created by Mother Nature. “(S)he must have been the world’s original artist. I’ve really enjoyed this trip down the canyon with you!

    • So glad you enjoyed the journey, Gunta. So much beauty deserves to be appreciated. Mother Nature (and geology) outdid herself when it came to Creating the Grand Canyon. Thanks! –Curt

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