The Little Colorado River (or LCR, also affectionately referred to as the Little C) is a favorite stop among Grand Canyon Whitewater passengers. The LCR often runs aquamarine blue, due to the calcium carbonate and copper sulfate minerals in the water. (However, if it has rained recently, and dirt, silt and sand has been flushed into the LC, it probably will be the color of chocolate milk.) Stretching 315 miles from its headwaters in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona, the LCR joins the Colorado River near river mile 61, not far from the site of the tragic 1956 airline collision.
River Rats are bound to see a small structure on the south shore of the Little Colorado River. This “cabin” was an Ancient Puebloan ruin that prospector Ben Beamer rebuilt for himself in 1890. In the absence of gold and silver, Beamer mined copper and asbestos, with limited success. His attempts at cultivating crops near the cabin also failed. He did, however, forge the Beamer Trail, which is still used by backpackers today. The trail skirts Tapeats sandstone cliffs along narrow, exposed ledges for nearly 10 miles. Despite the gnarly terrain, the trail became part of the “Horsethief Trail” that was used by outlaws in the late 1800s to shuttle stolen horses.