Where to Find Water

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For a review of Drinking Water Management, click here.

Getting water across from Doris.jpg

Where to Find Raw (Untreated) Water

Water that can be treated for drinking can be found at many places in the Grand Canyon, but not always where you want it so plan carefully. Of course it is possible to filter water from the Colorado River (if it is muddy then settling will be required), but the sewage treatment plant at Glen Canyon Dam (for the visitor's center) has had problems with releasing Norovirus and there have been several cases of river runners contracting it through water filtered from the mainstem. Water sources that are in bold are preferred due to volume and proximity to the river to minimize lugging heavy water containers. All raw water like the water slowly being collected here in the photo at Below Backeddy seep (RM 138.2 right) needs to be treated before using.

(All mileage is from the Martin-Whitis Grand Canyon Guide third edition.)

  1. Fence Fault Left (RM 30.5 left). Low water only. [As of 4-09, this water source not advised due to bad taste. tcm]
  2. Vasey's Paradise (RM 32.2 right).
  3. Hanging Springs (RM 34.5 right).
  4. Nankoweap (RM 52.4 right).
  5. Kwagunt (RM 56.3 right). May be dry in summer or fall.
  6. Lava Canyon (RM 65.9 right).
  7. Clear Creek (RM 84.7 right).
  8. Phantom Ranch boat beach (RM 88.1 right). Treated water
  9. Monument Creek (RM 93.9 left).
  10. Hermit Creek (RM 95.5 left).
  11. Crystal Creek (RM 98.8 right).
  12. Shinumo Creek (RM 109.2 right).
  13. Elves Chasm (RM 117.2 left). Can be crowded.
  14. Waterfall (RM 130.7 right). Can be dry in summer
  15. Bedrock Canyon (RM 131.1 right). Need to hike up the canyon.
  16. Stone Creek (RM 132.4 right).
  17. Tapeats Creek (RM 134.3 right). Stone Creek or Deer Creek are preferable due to a backpacking camp upstream. There has been a report from a group that contracted norovirus that they attribute to getting water at Tapeats.
  18. Deer Creek (RM 136.9 right). Scenic.
  19. Below Backeddy seep (RM 138.2 right).
  20. Kanab Creek (RM 144.0 right).
  21. Olo (RM 146.1 left).
  22. Matkat (RM 148.4 left).
  23. Ledges Camp (RM 152.1).
  24. Havasu (RM 157.3). Not recommended due to the Supai village upstream.
  25. Lava Well (Rm 179.7). Inaccessible to an oar rig at this time
  26. Becher Spring (RM 182.2). Tastes of sulphur.
  27. Spring Canyon (RM 204.6 right). Need to walk up the draw a little. Watch out for rattlesnakes that like to wait at the springs for prey.
  28. Three Springs (RM 216.0 left).
  29. Diamond Creek (RM 226.0 left).
  30. Travertine Canyon (RM 229.3 left). Water has an odd taste.
  31. Travertine Falls (RM 230.7 left).
  32. Bridge Canyon (RM 235.3 left).
  33. Spencer Canyon (RM 246.3 left).
  34. Quartermaster (RM 260.2 left). There is a lot of water in Quartermaster, but it's hard to get to.
  35. Warm spring (RM 269.9 right).
  36. Cave Canyon (also called Columbine Falls, RM 274.6 left).

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