Havasupai means people of the blue-green waters. The waterfalls have been named in several magazines as one of the must see places in world and we would definitely agree with this statement but they forget to mention how remote this area is. Just to obtain a reservation for the campground is a tough task, you have to start ringing at the beginning of February, we had to enlist the help of my mother-in-law Barbara to call for us as we were in Brazil at the time, Barbara called 15-20 times a day for at least 1 week until she finally secured us a reservation. Calling from the UK also racked up an expensive phone bill!!!
From Peach Springs the trailhead is 66 miles away at the end of highway 18; it’s just a car park with restrooms and no water supply. We spent the night before the hike at the trailhead trying to sleep in the car, now when we first arrived we were worried that we were going to be the only crazy people sleeping in the car but over the next few hours several other cars pulled up. I was sat in the car in my penguin pj’s trying to go to sleep, madness! We didn’t get much sleep as people were coming and going till midnight then they start to get up from 3.30am to start their hike. We were up at 4am, a little grumpy from the lack of sleep but ready for the hike down.
The hike is 10 miles to the campground through Havasu Canyon which is subject to flash flooding. The hike down is an easy but long hike although you don’t get the vistas to entertain you like you do on the trails in Grand Canyon National Park. To be honest it was a boring hike, the only excitement was when the mules coming running by you or looking at some of the very unprepared hikers struggling along the trail. We arrived in the Supai village at 9am and checked in to the tourist office to obtain our camping pass and wristbands.
Your first views of the blue-green waters blow your mind, it really does look like you see in the pictures, they haven’t been enhanced. We passed Little/New Navajo Falls which were remodelled by the flash flooding in 2008 and then you are rewarded with Havasu falls, you have to see them to believe them; it’s like something out of a fairytale.
The hike down to Mooney falls is like an obstacle from the Tough Mudder course but it’s worth the effort, just take your time and focus on where you put your feet and hold on to the chains. We enjoyed swimming and cooling off in the waters, some people had inflatables to play on in the waters.
The time went by far too quickly and it was time for the 10 mile hike out, I can tell you it was a tough hike out, I could have done with checking in to a spa for a couple of days after this one! You can arrange for a mule to carry you and/or your pack in and out and there is an helicopter that will bring you out in 4 minutes which is a little quicker than the 5 hours it took us to hike out, but we are travelling on a budget so our poor legs had to carry us out, packs and all.
Was it worth the effort? Oh yes, this is one of most beautiful and remote places we have visited over the last 6 months. If you have this on your bucket list then start planning early and enjoy every second. Please show respect to the Havasupai Tribe, this is their land and they don’t have to let tourists visit.