Mile 63.5 - Hopi Salt Mines
As water leaches through the upper layers of the canyon it often surfaces again in the Tapeats Sandstone. As this water evaporates a mineral deposit is left behind clinging to the canyon walls. These deposits or mines, are often composed most prominently of salt. The salt collects in mounds and pillars, and is visible from the river. Here in this spot of close proximity to the Little Colorado, the mines are off limits except to tribal leaders gathering the salt for ceremonial purposes. To some Native American groups, the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers is sacred ground, a literal place of emergence into this world. The Salt Trail, which begins on the Hopi mesas and travels through Navajoland before entering Grand Canyon, serves as a way for people to reach the salt mines from 100 miles away.