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Emerald Rue

Travel Digest: Havasu Falls & Grand Canyon

  • Apr 24, 2018

This past weekend (April 19-22) I traveled to Phoenix, AZ to drive the four hours to the Grand Canyon. The purpose? A grueling 10 mile hike down switchbacks, inclines & declines, uneven terrain while inhaling desert dust in search of beauty, waterfalls and memories. All my expectations were blown right out of the water on this trip.

The Grand Canyon, you guys!  It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World for a reason. The shear size of the canyon makes one awestruck, but once down into it, you really see how it was formed. The way water shaped and molded the walls so many centuries ago. The way fallen rocks form mini-mountains. Giant unexplained holes in the canyon walls. The indescribable way a stack of rock held on for dear life way up on top and still reside there today.

The attendees were my friends Chelsie, Nick, Chris & myself. Our destination was the town of Supai and the Havasu Falls to camp. This was one of the most challenging hikes I’ve completed. First off, we all had 40+ pound packs on our backs, which held the necessary items to camp and survive in the wilderness for a few days. We parked the car at the top of the canyon in a dedicated lot to similar thrill-seekers as ourselves and ventured down the mile of steep, rocky switchbacks to the canyon floor. On the way down, we encountered several packs of mules who do not mind one bit that you are on the trail and will trample you right over if in their way.

After reaching the canyon floor, it’s 7 more miles to reach the town of Supai, where camping check-in and sore feet breaks occur. The town is complete with a helicopter pad, general store and the homes of several members of the Havasupai Native American Tribe who have inhabited the area since AD 1300. The town is described as the most remote community in the US by the Department of Agriculture. It is the only place where the mail is delivered by mule. The only way to access Supai is by foot, mule or helicopter. The nearest road is 8 miles away and vehicles/roads are non-existent!

Along those 8 miles to the town, the views are breathtaking, the terrain changes more than once and you must watch your step as not to slip on a rock. It’s mentally challenging but in the best way possible. I just knew the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the hike would be so worth it!

Once to the campground, we unpacked & ate, followed by a much deserved nap. Friday was our full day in the canyon and we started our day hike to Moonie & Beaver Falls bright & early at 6:30 am. The only way to get there is down the side of a huge cliff, step by step over wet rocks, old wooden ladders and rusty chains to hang onto, all while the mist of the waterfall washes over you. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit terrifying…

We hiked the three miles to Moonie & Beaver falls, wading through the Havasu Creek and stopping many times to marvel at the beauty and rain-forest like quality of the terrain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our day hike, we swam in the icy falls, played cards and did more exploring of our surroundings. Saturday was our day to hike out. The last thing our tired, sore selves wanted to do was hike 10 more miles with 40 pounds on our backs, but we did it! I’m so very proud of our crew and the determination we all had to conquer the canyon! The trip was so fun that the word fun just doesn’t seem grand enough.   The sheer beauty is simply too much to explain, so I’ll share what I do best, photos!

 

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