The majesty of the Grand Canyon is so different from the river than it is from the rim. The river is often not even visible from the rim. It can be challenging to photograph the river because of the extensive contrast between the shadows and the intense sunlight.
Our river guides told us that often the river is a muddy brown, and we were lucky that the tributaries of the river were a cobalt blue color in places, as shown above.
In some quiet stretches of the river it took on a green hue.
Of course the vegetation in the canyon consists of desert plants, such as this prickly pear cactus, which has a rather unusual wrinkled surface.
In some places the river changed colors depending upon whether it reflected the red walls of the canyon or the blue sky.