It’s mystique adds to the ambiance, and it could be one of those best kept secret places. It is located on Navajo land in the Painted Desert, Arizona. We found the drive to get there as much as an adventure as the exploration. A note attached to a gate off the main road let us know specifics. You turn left between mileposts 5 and 6 on the unmarked dirt road after the big sign with nothing on it. The drive was a bumpy 9.2 miles to the falls.
Welcome to Chocolate Falls!
It was created from volcanic runoff, and at 181 feet, it is taller than Niagara Falls, and yet, it is completely dry sand most of the year. Seasonal rain and snow melt carry the muddy waters to the tiered falls and through the gorge below. The mucky riverbanks offer an invitation to play in mud puddles, and the falls create the perfect backdrop for rainbows. (Note the people on the left bank)
There is a half mile trail leading to the banks of the falls if you are willing to scramble down the slippery cliff. It is interesting to experience such a wonder in this close proximity especially when it is usually an arid and sandy wash.
The falls are loud crashing to the rocks below, and yet, there is a silence that speaks with serenity. I am curious if this was sacred ground to the Navajo. I am convinced that the river must carry stories of another time, and the wind whispers of their ancestral wisdom. I imagine what we see as mud brought fertile soil, the promise of water, and a spirituality that we want to understand.
I have been engulfed by this gift of nature and I am cloaked in the misty silt to prove it, but I am humbled by this beautiful place I also call home.
Take a look at quieter, gentler interpretation of today’s prompt with one of my favorite blogs, Dutch goes the Photo. Enjoy…. Cloaked in Silence.
Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for stopping by.