15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Hop, Skip, and Jump to Beaver Falls

Barley able to focus throughout the workday, I couldn’t shake the thought of seeing Beaver Falls in person for the first time. As I saw the reminder popup on my computer at 5:00PM sharp, I instantly grabbed my bag and jogged to the car to begin a nine-hour journey from San Diego to Havasupai Falls. I kept the group small with three of my closest friends as we ventured through the night running on coffee and sugar-packed energy bars. After battling the never-ending traffic, we finally reached the parking lot of Havasupai Falls at 3:30 AM only to catch a few hours of sleep before hiking in at 6:00 AM. During our 9-mile hike, we talked about what it was like for the people who first discovered Havasupai being that its beauty amazes many present day (despite our limitless access to breathtaking destinations via the internet). Cutting to the chase, the journey was well worth it as we descended the cliff line, which reveals a series of breathtaking pools that seem as if they’re from a dream. Believe it or not, the water is actually vivid blue in person largely due to the mineral deposits.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2016
Date Uploaded: 05.2017
Photo Location: Supai, Arizona, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 6D
Copyright: © Michael Miller