When many people hear the word travertine, they think of a type of beautiful, high-quality floor covering. Indeed, travertine is classy alternative used in custom homes throughout Arizona. But, to truly understand what travertine is, you have to trace it back to the source – usually near the mouth of mineral springs.
If you live in an area with hard water, you know the reality of calcium around faucets. Imagine the amount of mineral build up you’d have if you left a faucet on slow trickle for a year or so. Now, imagine the result of thousands of gallons a minute of highly mineral-rich water running for thousands of years. The result is travertine. Some Arizona springs are so rich in mineral content that the stream bottoms actually build up over time, rather than erode.
Such is the case in places like Havasu Creek in the Grand Canyon and Fossil Creek, not far from the town of Strawberry, where deposits of travertine are visible in and near the main stream beds.