Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Supai, Arizona. When you’re a village of only about 200 people, tucked away in a southwestern branch of the Grand Canyon, it makes sense that you might not make the nightly news much. Good thing we’re here to teach you all of the interesting facts you never knew you needed to know about Supai!
#1 Supai is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation.
Officially a part of Coconino County, Supai is nestled down in the Grand Canyon, which earns it the title of most remote community in the lower 48 states. The village was established in 1880 and is primarily filled with Havasupai tribe members. Havasupai translates to “people of the blue green waters,” which makes sense because….
#2 Supai has 4 blue-green waterfalls.
New Navajo Falls, Fifty Foot Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls….These waterfalls are renowned for being a beautiful turquoise color. Because the water has been stored underground in limestone caverns for so long (possibly for as long as 30,000 years!), minerals like calcium and magnesium have saturated the water. When the sun reflects off of those minerals, we get the beautiful blue green color.
#3 Supai’s Travertine Rock Formations are super cool.
We can thank the mineralized water for this cool effect, too. Minerals are deposited as the water flows and then rearranged when floods alter the stream bed. These are some of the most unique formations you will find, and they’re only in the Havasu Canyon!
#4 There are no cars in the Supai community.
This makes sense, because Supai is 8 miles from any road. Options for getting to the beautiful village include helicopter ride, horse/mule ride, and of course, hiking. Don’t forget that you’ll need to carry supplies with you on the trip in, and take all of your trash with you on the way out. Taking between 3 and 6 hours, it isn’t the easiest journey, but it’s definitely picturesque!
#5 Supai is the only place in the U.S. where mail is delivered by mules.
Since it is so far from paved roads, the only option for communication really is the old school way. Any mail that leaves the village has a special postmark to designate that it was sent out via mule. Talk about a cool souvenir…. maybe we’ll just send that postcard to ourselves on second thought!
#6 Flash floods are a very real concern.
During monsoon season, Supai can get a lot of rain all at once. In the past, severe flash floods have called for the residents to be evacuated. These floods damaged trails, campgrounds, and bridges, and forced Supai to close visitor access for some time. Some floods have permanently altered the landscape, but that’s the way of nature, after all. These days, things are back to normal and as beautiful as ever!
Feeling more informed about this gorgeous oasis? We thought you might be. Next step: planning a visit! 🙂