Havasupai Falls in Grand Canyon Closed

Dam break and flood closes popular spot until 2009
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Dam break and flood closes popular spot until 2009

The efflorescent blue-green water of Havasupai Falls, made famous in both our pages and the overlooked Nicolas Cage classic Next, will remain closed until 2009. The catastrophic Grand Canyon flood caused by a dam break on Aug. 16 washed away the trail and damaged other facilities, as well as causing extensive damage to the town of Supai, Ariz., home to the Havasupai tribe.

"The trail is pretty damaged, so they are going to close it down for the remainder of the year," said Taschina Watahomigie, an employee in the tribe's Tourism Office.

Beyond trail damage, the travertine pool below the falls has dried out, and the outflow of water caused damage to several of the waterfalls themselves. Residents returned last week, but park officials estimate that they won't be able to adequately repair trails or other facilities for at least 6 months.

The town is normally accessible only by helicopter, mule, or foot. But until 2009, not even Nicolas Cage can visit.

— Ted Alvarez

Popular Grand Canyon area closed for months (MSNBC)