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With the establishment of Grand Canyon National Park in 1919, the Havasupai ("people of the blue green water") were confined to their summer village of Supai and the surrounding 518 acres in the 5-mile-wide and 12-mile-long Havasu Canyon. In 1975, the reservation was substantially enlarged, but is still completely surrounded by national park lands on all but its southern border. Each year, about 25,000 tourists fly, hike, or ride into Havasu Canyon to visit the Havasupai. Despite their economic reliance on tourism, the Havasupai take their guardianship of the Grand Canyon seriously, and severely limit visitation in order to protect the fragile canyon habitats. Dubbed the "Shangri-la of the Grand Canyon," the waterfalls have drawn visitors to this remote Native American reservation.
Major flooding in 2008 altered Havasu Canyon's famous landscape and it was closed to visitors for almost 10 months. Supai reopened in June 2009 but water and mud damage have changed some of the beautiful waterfalls, their streams and pools, and the amount of blue-green travertine. Be sure to call the Havasupai Tourist Enterprise (928/448-2121) before visiting for reservations.
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