4 must see 'off the beaten track' Waterfalls
1. Havasupai Falls (Arizona, USA)
The Havasupai Falls are a series of 4 waterfalls (Navajo, Mooney, Beaver, and Havasu) located in the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Each waterfall is unique and stunning in its own right. The high concentration of travertine in the Havasu Creek gives the water hues of turquoise and a glow that you have to see to believe! As you hike the 10 mile dusty canyon trail alongside mules carrying bags and the occasional pack of wild horses, you may wonder what you got yourself into. Until suddenly you hear the roar of water hitting ground and the lush Havasupai oasis will appear before your eyes. Just like a mirage, and so out of place that you will wonder if it was photoshopped into the desert backdrop. Only then will you understand why this is one of the best kept secrets of the world and why it is my favorite waterfall. Somewhere between my swim in the Avataresqe pool below Havasu falls, and my climb through the steep cave to get to the giant Mooney Falls I fell in love with backpacking and realized why the Grand Canyon is indeed so "grand". Hike, helicopter, or go horseback down to Supai Village and camp anywhere along the creek for an unforgettable and life-changing experience. The trail begins at Hualapai Hilltop, about 191 miles from Grand Canyon Village and 66 miles from Peach Springs. Don’t forget a bathing suit and to call in advance to make a camping reservation. For those looking for a less rustic experience there is also the Havasupai Lodge. For contact information, maps and fees, visit the: National Park Service Website.
2. Sipi Falls (Kapchorwa District, Uganda)
Sipi Falls are 3 waterfalls near Mount Elgon National Park in Eastern Uganda with a jurassic park-esque landscape. You can arrange guided day hikes through any number of local tour agencies and spend the night at Lacam Lodge with scenic views. The hike consists of a relatively steep and muddy adventure to the three different but equally beautiful and magnificent waterfalls. The landscape is lush, and you pass through a few villages with friendly children who will greet you with eager “jambos”! As you walk through the magical landscape that will bring new meaning to the color green, you will feel more alive then ever before as you soak in the culture and lives playing out around you and the power of the water charging it all. Don't miss the secret photo opportunities in the cave behind the first waterfall, and in the pool above the second falls where you can peak over the edge and feel like you are on top of the world! Then finish off your day with a wonderful Ugandan style feast at the lodge overlooking the falls and reflect on all that you've seen.
3. Taranaki Falls (North Island, New Zealand)
Tarananki is a 20-meter waterfall located in Tongariro National Park in the center of the North Island. The 2-hour loop to get there flaunts views of 3 active volcanoes Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro. The trail itself is home to some stark and eery landscape that you might recognize from Lord of the Rings, but the vast views of the barren scenery will make you feel infinite. You can get views from the edge above the falls and also swim below in the large lava formed ring of rocks that the falls pour into. For more information on getting there, check out New Zealand Waterfalls.
4. Wangi Falls (Northern Territory, Australia)
Wangi Falls are one of the many impressive waterfalls inside Litchfield National park (100 km SW of Darwin). After a day tour of all the Litchfield waterfalls they may start to blend, but you will not bore of these Australian outback waterfalls that make you feel like you've stepped into Crocodile Dundee. You can enjoy a swim on the wild side in the water below or climb about halfway up the falls and discover the hidden plunge pool that you can jump into when the water levels are high enough. Be sure to keep an eye out for monitor lizards and crocodiles! You can arrange day tours from Darwin from Chilli’s Backpackers Hostel or the more party oriented hostel across the street, Melaleuca on Mitchell.
By Anna Dorfman from Adventures of Anna Abroad