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The Grand Canyon’s Hidden Waterfall & Other Secrets

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A waterfall and resting pool in the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon may be one of the world’s most famous natural wonders, but it still holds its fair share of secrets.

With more than 1,900 square miles of vast ridges and cavernous depths, this iconic landmark stretches far beyond the well-known South Rim overlook. And even though nearly 6 million people travel to the Grand Canyon every year, the large majority of visitors will go home without discovering the more mysterious side of the national park.

From its hidden gems to its most unusual curiosities, we’ve gathered some of the most fascinating secrets of the Grand Canyon.

There is a hidden waterfall in the Grand Canyon, boasting crystal-blue waters and a stunningly serene setting.

When you think of Grand Canyon scenery, you probably picture its red rocks and seemingly endless chasms. But what if we told you that, tucked away in the canyon, there was a rushing waterfall that fed multiple pools of vibrant, sparkling water?

Havasu Falls is a beloved but well-hidden destination within the Grand Canyon, requiring a hike of about 10 miles in and out. It’s within a part of the canyon known as Havasu Canyon, which is host to a large tributary on the Colorado River’s south side. The falls are not accessible by road, so you must be prepared to make the long journey – but it’s a sight that’s absolutely worth it.

The area belongs to the Havasupai Tribe, whose name roughly translates to “people of the blue-green waters.” It is a small, isolated community within the reservation, and if you visit, it is incredibly important that you are respectful of the land and its people.

In order to preserve the land and minimize the negative impact of visitors, the Havasupai Tribe requires all hikers and campers to make reservations to visit Havasu Falls. Keep in mind that, as more people discover this breathtaking location, demand has increased – typically, reservation requests far outnumber availability. So, be sure to make your request as early as possible.

The Grand Canyon’s very first tourist facility still exists – and you can book a stay there even today.

Built in 1922, Phantom Ranch was the first lodging option to be built in the Grand Canyon. Located near the mouth of Bright Angel Creek, it has long been one of the most popular spots for hikers, mule-riders, and river-rafters alike.

There are various cabins and dormitories at Phantom Ranch, all of which have been witness to decades of history. The ranch is only accessible via foot, mule ride, or rafting down the Colorado River, which only adds to the pleasantly peaceful sense of seclusion you’ll enjoy there. You’ll be surrounded by an oasis of cottonwood trees and greenery, thanks to the neighboring stream that is fed by Roaring Springs.

Throughout the surrounding area, adventurous explorers can find indigenous pueblo ruins built by ancestors of the Hopi Tribe, a variety of wildlife, and even a spacious sandy beach that offers access to the cool river waters.

There are a variety of options to book a stay at Phantom Ranch, all of which require advanced reservations made at least 15 months in advance. You can also join an online lottery to reserve meals and lodging.

An IMAX experience can give you an up-close view of incredible Grand Canyon secrets, without requiring you to set foot in the Canyon.

Seasoned visitors to the Grand Canyon will tell you that it’s impossible to take in the entirety of the canyon in a single visit – but you can certainly come close. Just before the entrance to the National Park in the small town of Tusayan, there is an IMAX® Movie Theater where guests can enjoy screenings of the short film, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” The six-story screen, surround sound, and cutting-edge sensory technology creates an unbelievably immersive experience so that you’ll truly feel as if you’re seeing the canyon’s highlights in person.

Every hour, on the half-hour, the doors open to welcome visitors to view the 34-minute film. It’s a fantastic way to see as much of the canyon as possible, particularly if you aren’t able to plan a long hike down into its depths.

Experience the Best Views of the Grand Canyon and learn all about its history aboard a historic, former military Humvee, with Buck Wild Hummer Tours

Go Buck Wild with a scenic Hummer adventure that includes several stops at some of the most stunning lookout areas Grand Canyon National Park has to offer. Every tour is led by a professional guide who will provide you with the history of the American Southwest, the forces of nature that shaped the canyon, and the ancient people who inhabited the land. Discover the dramatic rock formations and gorges that took millions of years to create and enjoy it all from the comfort of a climate-controlled vehicle – no intense hikes or mule rides necessary!

Book your Grand Canyon tour to make the most of your visit now!

Image Source: iacomino FRiMAGES / Shutterstock