double clickLittle Colorado River & Sipapu - A Blue Tributary River
Grand Canyon
6 or 7 Day Rafting Vacation
Little Colorado River & Sipapu

Mile 61.5 - Little Colorado River & Sipapu

The Little Colorado River or LCR begins in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona and flows 107 miles before joining the main Colorado within the steep walls of Grand Canyon. When not muddied by runoff, the waters of the LCR shine baby-blue. This incredible baby-blue color comes from dissolved calcium carbonate in the river water, which also creates a material called tufa. The tufa forms as a thin, spongy, and porous surface, while coating the river bed. A harder evaporite material called travertine (nature’s cement), has solidified along the sides of the river and has also coated rocks and boulders in the channel. Several springs located 10-13 miles from the confluence provide most of the water that reaches the main Colorado. The most significant of these, Blue Spring, has the largest flow of any of its kind in Grand Canyon. The humpback chub, bluehead sucker, flannelmouth sucker, and speckled dace, all native fishes endemic to the Colorado River system, thrive in the warm waters of the LCR. When the LCR is not muddied by rains, river runners often walk a short distance up the drainage for a swim.

Sipapu »

The Sipapu, located several miles from the confluence of the two rivers, is a large travertine dome and spring. The Hopi people see the Sipapu as critical to their spiritual outlook, as it is the place where they emerged into this world from the worlds below.The ancestors of the Hopi dwelled throughout the Grand Canyon before 1250 AD, they left for reasons of drought and other external pressures, re-locating to mesas to the northeast of the canyon. The Little Colorado, especially the confluence, is sacred not only to the Hopi, but also to other Native American groups such as the Navajo and Zuni.

Lower Gorge Grand Canyon

Lower Grand Canyon Mile by Mile »

The lower Grand Canyon, as traveled by Western's 3 or 4 day expedition begins at Whitmore Wash (mile 188) and finishes at Lake Mead (mile 277).

See Lower Grand Canyon