Tuesday, May 22, 2018


You want to take a river trip through the Grand Canyon.
You want to stop at the confluence with Havasu Creek, and walk upstream to Beaver Falls.
You want to visit and walk about at Beaver Falls, the farthest downstream of the beautiful Havasu waterfalls.
You want to keep within the National Park.   And you can.    

And are legally entitled to:

The Park Enlargement Law of 1975 included Beaver Falls in the National Park since “in order to assure their protection as part of the national park” the precise boundary is to “cross upstream from the falls”.

Below are scans of the legal items that protect and insure your right to visit Beaver Falls as part of your trip in Grand Canyon National Park, a right Havasupai officials may not stop you from or charge you a fee for exercising.

  I. Public Law 93-620, Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act, p. 3, Sec. 10(a)
    describes the relevant Park boundary in words.
 II. Boundary Map 113 20-021 B, Dec 74, Grand Canyon National Park
     shows the boundary on the official legislated map. It is hard to read; the following 

     documents therefore make the crossing point clear, as does the Item V map.
III. Report, Committee on Interior & Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, No. 

     93-1374, September 24, 1974, Section-by Section Analysis of S. 1296, as 
     Recommended: Sec.10, p.11 states the “precise” point, underlined in gray, where the
     Park boundary crosses Havasu Creek, upstream from Beaver Falls, as approved by 
     the U.S. House of Representatives.
 IV. Conference Report [To accompany W. 1296], ENLARGING THE GRAND CANYON
      NATIONAL PARK, December 17, 1974, (3) Havasupai Reservation Enlargement, 

      p. 6 states that the boundary crosses Havasu Creek at the top of Beaver Falls, 
      underlined in gray, as agreed to by the House and the Senate, then signed by the 
      President on January 3, 1975.
  V. Map, Secretarial Land Use Plan for the Havasupai Indian Reservation, 

      March 23, 1982 shows the boundary, in agreement with the official map, as drawn
      and approved for the Secretarial Land Use Plan for the Addition to the Havasupai 
      Indian Reservation.

Item I.
1975 Act: Title; Boundary Map named

1975 Act: Sec. 10. (a) Reservation Boundary Line

Item II.
Official Boundary Map (lower right quarter)

Item III.
House report, title page

House report: Precise crossing above Beaver Falls:

Item IV.
Conference report:  title page

Conference report page 6: top of falls

Item V.
Map in 1982 Secretarial Land Use Plan for Havasupai Reservation
Park (GCNP) above dashed line; Reservation (HIR) below.
Yumtheska Pt  (YUM) to left, Ukwalla (UKW) to right


  1. Thanks Jeff...
    Perhaps the current Park administration should take note.

  2. As an NPS employee who works in this specific area, i would urge you to look closely at the map that you have provided as your evidence. The topo map shows that Lower Beaver Falls is in park land, but upper Beaver Falls is squarely in Havasupai land. When you do the up and over hike from the creek, you enter tribal land, which, as we charge to enter GCNP, the tribe reserves the right to charge visitors to their land.

    1. Thanks for this comment. I will write a blog entry to deal with it more fully. But in brief, the reason that the wording was needed in the congressional documentation is just because the official map (and the later BIA map based on it) is not on a detailed enough scale to make the crossing point clear. I can only surmise that the error about the crossing point arose because various cartographers (starting in the 1980's) did not do due diligence, and were therefore ignorant of congressional intent as expressed in the documents I reproduce in this entry. In this case, words speak more loudly than pictures (map).

  3. Amy
    The maps the Park sent me(beaver falls) are not correct as far as I can tell. The Park is recognizing a boundary that does not exist. Jeff is the expert. If one reads the legal description in the 1975 enlargement act you will see that it is not specific enough to draw boundaries as some cartographer took liberty at doing. In this case one mustlook at the intent of the legislation as Jeff has done. Pretty Obvious that all of Beaver falls was intended to be in the Park. How do we get it corrected?
    wally rist