March 11th, 2018
We rolled into parking lot of the Hualapai Hilltop at 8:57pm. We were shooting for a 4am start on the trail. The hilltop is a giant parking lot, some toilets and a helicopter pad. After, cramming in the bed of the truck, we over slept a bit but were on the trail descending into the canyon by 5:47am.
We didn't let the rain get us down. And besides, it was barely enough to bead on our rain jackets. Weather was warm enough that I still rocked my board shorts, no underwear, crocs, a Patagonia R1 and my rain jacket. It was perfect. And in the end, we realized that this light misting the universe blessed us with, kept the dust down and the ground little more packed. Woo hoo!
5:47am - Let's Keep That Powder Dry!
From the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead, you descend about 2,000-2,500 ft down the side of a Grand Canyon Wall and into the canyon. From the trail head its about 10-12 miles to the Supai Village, which is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation. From Supai, it's about 2-5 miles to the campground which lines Havasu Creek. According to my Garmin, we hiked 13.63 miles to our camp site.
The clouds hung low in the canyons and at times, it almost felt like we were walking in them.
The rain really brought out a lot of colors in the canyon. All the rock looked glossy and there were water falls everywhere only visible when it rains. I heard about seeing water falls like this from a friend but missed them when I was in Moab, Utah last year about this time. SO AWESOME to see while were here!
First sighting of the blue green water.
We passed through the village quickly as we wanted to get our campsite picked out and set up and move on down to Beaver Falls. We only had a one night, two day permit, so we had to make the most of our time. Daylight was burning and when your're out adventuring (for the most part) you try to live by daylight hours.
You traverse down the orange sand around Havasu falls on the way to the campground. As with the village, we only paused momentarily to breathe in the Falls. It absolutely lit us up with energy. So beautiful. You know, if you haven't been there, you wonder if it will look the same as it does in photos. Nothing compares to standing at the foot of the falls, hearing the sound of the roaring water and feeling the soft mist on your face, but other than that, I suppose the photos do come close.
10:47am! Camp site right along Havasu Creek
In total, it took us about 5 hours to get to our site- moving time of 4:24. The body is going to feel this in a couple of days, haha! What a hike just to get here. Something out of a dream really.
Mooney Falls isn't too far from the camp ground. But the hiking gets a lot more fun! Now here is what got me. Ha! Jess momentarily freaked out at Angel's landing, yet scaling down a rock wall holding wet chains, step by step down wet rocks and slick wood ladders seemed like it didn't phase her. I peered over the edge from the second landing outside of the rock tunnel and thought****. Haha! Totally worth it....
12:30pm - IT WAS EPIC
View from above and below Mooney Falls
I was disappointed with what I've seen shared on the web. I mean, all of the major falls are incredible and they deserve every bit of glory, but the hikes to, from and in-between the major falls were my favorite part of this Havasupai experience. It was just an all around good time. There was plenty of shade cover and hiking up and around rock cliffs was awesome.
We live in the midwest. Nowhere near me, can I experience the blue green water, and traversing terrain hiking like this. Its so much fun walking in and over the creek. Back and forth wandering, making your way down to Beaver Falls.
I'm pretty sure my garmin recorded the distance wrong, but I believe the Beaver Hike is between 8 and 9 miles. It took us about 2.5 to 3 hours to get down to Beaver Falls.
The trails are winding and there are tons of off shoots. Plenty of different routes and places to get lost. And again, the the falls within the creek are mesmerizing. It's tough do anything but smile. We saw a few different people swimming in the less popular spots which was also our preference.
The crowds seem to steer clear of the longer hikes no matter where you go and it really didn't seem like this was any exception. We did see people, but really no more than I could count on two hands.
1:30pm - I love Beaver ;)
2:07pm - Tent City, Here We Come!
We packed a good amount of food. PB&Js, freeze dried fruit, granola bars, and dehydrated camp food. There is a well in the campground so clean drinking water wasn't an issue. I feel like at this point in the day, I would've eaten anything. We really hadn't eaten much throughout the day because we were on the move! My beef pho was so damn good, demolished a few PB&Js as an appetizer and had freeze dried blue berries for dessert!
March 12th, 2018
6am - 7:51am - Up & At It!
We were up and at it early. And this morning, we actually ate breakfast. Broke down camp and packed our bags. Another note people, please pack out your trash! It was disgusting to see what inconsiderate people leave behind and it's extremely frustrating!
Since we only had a one-night camping permit, we planned on stopping at Havasu Falls and 50ft falls on our way out and then it was a hike right back up the Grand Canyon where the truck was parked.
7:52am - Thank you for the hospitality!
Havasu Creek starts out above the canyon wall as a small trickle of snow run-off and rain water. This water meanders on the plains above the canyon for about 50 miles (80 km) until it enters Cataract Canyon (also known as Havasu Canyon). It then reaches Havasu Springs, where an underground source feeds the creek. (excerpt from wikipedia) Its just crazy to think a small run off turns into this. Incredible.
2:15pm The hike out from the camp site took about 6 hours with stopping to take pictures and eat. We had a total of 5 hours of moving time. We gained a total of 2,600ft of elevation gain on the hike out. Man, that hike out is a tough one but we lucked out again with the weather at sunny and 67 degrees.
From here we're off to The Valley of Fire
....In the next post.