Grand Falls, Little Colorado River
June 01, 2004
The Little Colorado River drains a large portion of northern Arizona. In its 200-mile (325 km) journey, the river drains winter snowmelt from the White Mountains and Mt. Baldy (11,403 ft / 3475 m)). It flows northwest across the arid Colorado Plateau to join the Colorado River near the entrance to the Grand Canyon. In spite of its large drainage area, the riverbed is often dry for much of its journey except during a year of abundant mountain snowfall or following monsoon summer storms. Currently the Southwest is experiencing a severe multi-year drought and even the spring sow melt is not evident in this photograph of April of 2004. In fact, the major reservoirs on the Colorado River (Lakes Powell & Mead) are currently only about half full.
To see the same location when the river is in flood, access the June 4, 2003. That text explains the unique formation of this cataract, which is nearly as high as Niagara Falls. Today's EPOD was photographed from the small picnic building along the horizon in the 2003 photograph. Notice the lava flow into the canyon in today's EPOD, as it becomes thinner with distance downstream.