Grand Falls

One of the hidden beauties of Navajoland is a little spot away from the highway, behind the dormant volcanic peaks a few miles northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, out past the antelope that graze nearby on the tall summer grass. It is known as Grand Falls, and during the dry season it is a serene getaway of mudstone cliffs with a trickle of water. But during the rainy season, it is a roaring cascade you can hear a half-mile away. The Little Colorado River combines with runoff from the San Francisco Peaks to meander over hundreds of layers of rock at Grand Falls before dropping off to an oasis below, forming a stark contrast to the dry, flat desert which surrounds the falls. In fact, if a volcanic eruption half-million years ago had not poured lava into the Colorado, blocking its flow, the falls would not exist. The river regained its original path, but to get there it had to create Grand Falls. This waterfall is frequently dubbed “The Chocolate Niagara” because of its muddy brown color.


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Map to Grand Falls.

Lots of long trains in Flagstaff.

We can barely hear them all night long from the RV Park.

We leave the city, rain and traffic and travel on Leupp Road.

The tumbleweeds are blown by the wind and pile up against the Junipers.

The wind must blow through here pretty hard.

The tumbleweeds are taking over. LOL

Mail boxes line up like sentinels.

20 miles out of Flagstaff the prairie starts.

We reach the Navajo Reservation.

Nine more miles to go on BIA 70.

OOPS! There is a Lake in the road.

There is a detour around the lake in the road.

Another lake but the road goes bypasses this lake.

Are we there yet?

The road goes right through the Little Colorado River.

Someone beat us here.

Looks like someone drove across the river.

This would be the top of Grand Falls.

This is the road out to the view point of the falls.

It has a few puddles, but the ground is hard enough to drive around the puddles.

This is the river just above the falls.

Looking down on the falls and the river heading toward Cameron, AZ.


Looks like part of the cliff broke off.

Click on the picture to see a six minute video of the falls.

There are covered picnic tables on the cliffs overlooking the falls.

Nancy looking for rocks.

This guy and his daughter were playing in the water where we first parked.

View looking up river from the top of the cliffs.

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