Absolutely everyone loves a stop at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River. Rafts usually anchor to a slab of rock jutting out into the big river. Guests scramble up out of the raft and onto the slab for a beautiful view of the confluence. The clear blue water of the Little hits what is often muddy water of the Big. The clear blue is an optical illusion due to the white lime from sedimentary rock layers – the calcium carbonate has built up as a white lime coating on the bottom of the Little.
Before or after your hike up the Little to go for a swim, take a moment to look up at the hills. In 1956, TWA and United Airlines jets collided over the Grand Canyon. The TWA flight mainly hit on the northeast terrace of Temple Butte. United’s wreckage was strewn over the southern cliff face of Chuar Butte. On sunny days, wreckage can still be seen (look for glints of sun bouncing off metal).
Investigators suspect that both pilots veered off course to offer passengers a better look at the Grand Canyon. The tragic event helped spur Congress to create the Federal Aviation Act to update air safety. While not a happy story, it is one of the stories that makes up the Grand Canyon.
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Little Colorado River offers color and an aviation history lesson for whitewater rafters was last modified: July 22nd, 2015 by