Water Sources in Grand Canyon National Park from Harvey Butchart!

Harvey Butchart        September 1967

Always treat your water with iodine, or use a filter. Some hikers use bleach, three drops per litre.

(This list is just as valuable today as it was 23 years ago!)

Wet weather seeps in a couple of ravines leading down to the saddle of Saddle Mountain. In soil over Kaibab Limestone.
Running stream in lower Nankoweap Creek and along stretches higher up, especially in the arm north of Woolsey Point. Some above ground in the arm to the Kolb Bridge and in the next fork south.

Little Nankoweap
Only rainpools below the Redwall. No route from Tilted Mesa to river.

Permanent water from where the word “Creek” occurs on the east half map. Seeps at the bottom of the Redwall in the arm west of Banta Point.

Seep along Butte Fault may be poison. Safe seep one half mile north of Carbon Butte in a ravine west of the Butte Fault arm of Carbon.

Chuar (Lava Creek)
In cool weather water flows to the river from a spring just east of the junction with the drainage west of Juno Temple. A hot afternoon will stop the water by evaporation from the shale bed, but by 3 a.m. the flow reaches the whole bed.
Spring (50 yards) the side stream southwest of the word Carbon on the east half of the map.
At least three springs including a shower bath drip spaced along the north arm of Lava Creek below Point Atoka. There is water in the bed a little to the south of Hartman Natural Bridge.

Basalt Creek
There is usually a little bitter water north of where the east half map says “Basalt” in Basalt Cliffs. Farther upstream where the map says “Springs”, I found a grove of cottonwoods and reeds but no water in sight.

During wet seasons I would count on finding four seeps, the farthest upstream being north of the word “Unkar”.

Water is permanent in the lower bed above the fall to the river. The mining camp was here. I haven’t found the basis for the word “Spring” on the map. It is difficult  to get down into the upper valley above the barrier fall.

In wet seasons there is water in the Tapeats narrows and also in the higher part of the Archean. One can reach the river by a difficult climb up and down spurs to the east of the bed.

Clear Creek
No problem. Some water even in the arm coming from Cape Royal. Local water near Cheyava. Dry above. West arms are dry. The main creek starts in the shale south of Arial Point.

Bright Angel Creek
Water no problem.

The main source is up Haunted Canyon about halfway to the head of the Redwall gorge from the junction with Phantom. There is a spring a short distance up Phantom from the junction and a little more water on the surface in the shale directly below Shiva, in the bed, that is.

There are some seeps in the schist where the east half map places the word “Trinity”. An apparently permanent rain pool lies in the arm coming down from the Shiva-Isis Saddle where the bedrock (Shinumo Quartsite) last shows.

The main Dragon spring is in the Tapeats narrows about where the east half map prints the first T in Amphitheater. There are other springs that show locally up both arms of Dragon in the forested narrows of the Redwall.
Crystal Spring, that keeps water flowing in the bed below, is east of the word “Grama” on the east half map.

There are usually seeps in the bed of the Tapeats below the junction of the two arms. One can reach the river through the ravine off the Tonto about one half mile west of Tuna. Apparently permanent rain pool occur in the Redwall in the west arm of Tuna.

Water flowing down from South Big Spring. Water in spots in the Flint arm to the junction with Gawain. Springs east of the Muav Saddle along the good trail. Water in the lower Hermit Shale and top Supai below these springs. Water in the bed a short distance south of where the Bass Trail gets to the bottom of the Redwall. White’s Creek flows from just below the Tapeats. This gorge can be entered on the east side in a ravine just north of Redwall Canyon.

One seep below the Tapeats.

Water from springs above the bed on the east below the Redwall.

Thunder Spring and the main source at Tapeats Cavern. Springs in the Crazy Jug arm in the upper Supai. More seeps along the Esplanade to the east but one of these needs a search since it is below the trail. Powell Spring near Muav Saddle can’t be trusted. There are usually rain pools in the upper Redwall of Saddle Canyon.

South of the river and east of Boucher are adequately covered by Lange.

In the west arm of Tanner canyon at the top of the Redwall there is a rainpool that may be permanent.

I found O’Neill Spring at the end of the spur trail shown on the east half map, but it is only a wet hole under an overhang with one willow growing near.

Contradicting Lange, I found an easy deer trail down Escalante Canyon to the river. It is to the west of the barrier fall in the bed.

Slate Creek
Water at places above the Tonto Trail. One can get down into the lower bed at two places from the east side and walk to the river.

Rainpools near the Tonto Trail in wet seasons.

One can get down to the river through Serpentine or the canyon just to the east, or through both.

Wet season source at Bedrock Tanks. One can reach the river by leaving the bed above the last drop and going to the west.

Copper Canyon
Rainpools in the Archean and in the vertical mine shaft at the Bass Copper Mine. This can be reached by a spur trail from the east off the Tonto and also from the west side of the canyon.

Rainpools, but you can reach the river a little to the southwest of the mouth of Garnet.

At the end of the Tonto trail, at Garnet, one can continue along the river past Fossil Bay. The best water is at Elves Chasm from the stream.

Bass Trail to Supai along the Esplanade

Dripping Spring at the base of the Coconino midway between Chemehuevi and Toltec Points.

Rainpools in Royal Arch Creek in the Supai can be reached by climbs down along the west and south arms. The permanent flow begins about one third mile south of the word Elves on the west half map. There is a chance for rain pools in the west arm and below the top of the Esplanade to the west of the south arms.

Fossil Bay
A deep rainpool where the main arm comes down to Supai bedrock. Seeps under the Coconino at the upper end of the main arm.

140 Mile Canyon
Practically sure water at the end of the Great Thumb trail at the grove of cottonwoods.

Spring just west of Keyhole Natural Bridge. One can go off the Esplanade at the saddle separating this canyon from Olo and walk down the fault ravine.

Olo Canyon
Seep in the arm southwest of Gatagama Point at the place where the 4500 foot contour crosses the bed.

Matkatamiba Canyon
Seeps deep in the Supai in the arm north of Mt. Akaba. The ground was dry by the cottonwoods uphill from the trail. Rainpools in the upper part of the main arm not far above barrier falls. Seep in the Sinyala Fault on the east side of the gorge below the pass separating Matkatamiba from Sinyala Canyon. (Observed in April)

Sinyala Canyon
Permanent small flow near the bottom of the Supai a little to the west of where the Sinyala Fault meets the main Sinyala canyon.

Havasu Creek
Topacoba Spring north of the Topacoba Trail at the base of the Coconino. Seeps and rainpools in Lee Canyon not far above the junction with Rattlesnake. Spring in Moqui Trail Canyon at the base of the Coconino just south of where the trail enters the Coconino  gorge. Possible rainpools in many side ravines. Highwall Spring shown on the Supai Quad.

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