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Chocolate Falls | by Phoenix Rising Photography
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Chocolate Falls

Last weekend Ed Brice and I went up to Grand Falls just as a scouting mission as we thought there wouldn't be much water flow according to the reports we looked at in the early morning. To our surprise when we got up there the falls were flowing like no other!


Here is a little information from Wikipedia about Grand Falls:


Grand Falls is a natural waterfall system located 30 miles (48.3 kilometers) northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona in the Painted Desert on the Navajo Indian Reservation.


At 185 feet tall (56 meters), it is taller than Niagara Falls. It dumps snow melt or monsoon rain into the Little Colorado River below. It is famous for its extremely muddy flow which is a major contributor to Little Colorado River opacity. It is said that the waterfalls are analogous to flowing chocolate depending on the amount of water present. Heavy rains or snow melt will produce spectacular viewing, photography and sound whereas the scarcity of water will produce only trickles or no flow at all.

Grand Falls was formed when lava from nearby Merriam Crater flowed into the Little Colorado River creating a lava dam. The river was forced to reroute itself around the dam and Grand falls formed where the reroute rejoins its original course.


The waterfall is remote and no major paved roads access it. In fact the closest road, Grand Falls Road, crosses the floor of the Little Colorado River and at times during the year, only a 4 x 4 vehicle can traverse it. The falls are dormant for months of the year and reduces to only a drip. To access the falls a passenger car can reach the south side of the river. A 4 x 4 vehicle is required and only Navajo guides or experienced back country people are advised to take the road across the river.


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Camera: D7100

Lens: 14-24mm f/2.8

Time taken: 3:26PM

Exposure Bias: 0EV

Focal Length: 14mm

ISO: 200

Aperture: f/8

Shutter Speed: 1/1250

Edited with: Lightroom 5 and Trey Ratcliff's Lightroom Presets

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Taken on July 27, 2013