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Havasupai Adventures ~ Day #1 ~ April 2018

Posted by Raven Crystals on 5/3/2018 to Raven's Trails - Rocking the Trails
Havasupai Adventures ~ Day #1 ~  April 2018
A little sleep deprived but ready to trek ON with the high school soundtrack playing in my head:
 
And it feels like the first time, like it never did before
feels like the first time, like we've opened up the door
feels like the first time, like it never will again, never again
 ~ Foreigner circa 1977 



~ Havasupai ~

Getting to the Grand Canyon and Day #1 Adventures

April 2018


So I get a text out of the blue, Tuesday morning “Hey, I know it’s totally last minute…could you go Friday night to Tuesday night….Havasupai.” 

WHAT! Let me check……Obtained family approval. YES! 

Immediately, I started to gather my gear and borrowed equipment. Figured out my food options. Checked the weather conditions continually. Full on prep mode for a multi-day backpacking, camping, trekking adventure ~ WooHoo :)

gathering gear
I am way beyond excited to be headed back to the Grand Canyon and check out the waterfalls and turquoise waters of Havasupai on my first EVER backpacking trip. This trip is the perfect opportunity to test out gear and food for my upcoming trip to MonGOlia in July 2018. I borrowed my husband’s 65L pack and backpacking tent. The fully packed pack which I thought looked ominously heavy ONLY weighed 30 pounds (without water) including the “fluffy” pillow my husband gave me for Christmas.

Fluffy pillow
By the time I walked out the door, the pack probably weighed an additional 5 pounds+ as I figured I had a little more room for basically what amounted to comfort items (as I know how I can sometimes get), some personal stuff, and the thought of not having fresh fruit for 3-4 days made me feel “not happy” so I packed a full bag of delicious Minneloa Tangelos. Whatever. I considered this to be great training for Mongolia where I'll have to carry my pack filled with self-sustaining items weighing much less than 30 pounds. Confidence building is what I am telling/convincing myself.

Leaving Los Angeles, Friday night after 8 pm traffic. Driving across the desert for a 5 am meet up at the junction of Route 66 and Indian Road 18. It’s a red-eye drive. Thankful for the fun conversations with friends and the random high school soundtrack making the miles and minutes just fly by. We arrived at the meeting point 3:30ish am and are able to grab a quick nap before rendezvousing with our friends.

Indian Road 18 is an awesome driving road. Really glad I didn’t attempt driving it at 3:30 am after already driving all night. It is a road to be appreciated and to be fully present when driving. It’s a ribbon of 2 lanes running through Indian reservation land accented by cattle crossing guards, actual cattle meandering along and on the road, and a variety of scampering wild critters and birds. It was a beautiful drive at sunrise as we cruised cautiously and enjoyably the 60+ miles north to Hualapai Hilltop and the trail head.

Hualapai Hilltop
Good morning!
Its 7 am and we are heading out on the trail.

Hualapai Hilltop Trail
The trail descends approximately one mile to the canyon floor.
 
Hualapai Hilltop Trail
And then meanders seven miles across the canyon floor before reaching the Supai Village. The Havasu falls campground is another 2 miles further down the road.
Crossing the canyon

 Trail across the canyon

 trekking the canyon
 
 Trail to Supai Village
 
Trail to Supai
 
 Trail to Supai

trail to Supai Village
We made it to Supai Village, where we checked into the camp office, got our wristbands, and ate a late lunch at the Supai Village Café. Refreshed, we grabbed our gear and headed out for another couple miles of silty trail trekking to the Havasu falls campground. 

Campground sign
Finally…..not really…it was always right around the next corner.....no....but much closer. My hips hurt so badly at this point. Waaaaaaaaaa! The over-sized and heavy backpack was finally getting to me. Every couple of feet down the trail, I’d stop and shift the weight up and off my hips. Ugh. “F$%*king Minneloa Tangelos. What was I thinking?”.... was what I was thinking. F$%*k. Just one more descent and then……

Havasu Falls Fry Bread
The first glimpse of the campground. Later on in the evenings (well on some days not all days) the fry bread places were busy with waiting, hungry people focused with anticipation of some mouthwatering fry bread concoction ~ sugary or savory ~ you get to choose. Chase it down with a soda. Not for me personally, I’d be in a little sugar coma ball. However, the people who did nosh on this seemingly delightful serving of fried dough enjoyed it thoroughly. The air smell like a giant lovely, sugar dusted beignet. Yum.

Campground sites are first come, first serve. We chose a site between two slivers of the Havasu Creek with access to our campsite via 2 sets of plank “bridges.”

Havasu Falls  Campsite
The ambient sounds of the flowing creek added to the beauty of the site. My feel good buzz was dashed temporarily when my “safety first” anxiety levels jolted upwards after a fellow adventurer in the group noted that we would be screwed if there was a flash flood. And as if just on cue, a dark grey cloud floated in and started to fill the sky. It actually began to sprinkle. Seriously ~ rain? And then poof, it was gone. Needlessly to say, we stayed put in our campsite. But note taken on the flash flood vs campsite location.
 
View from my tent
The view from my tent.

The campground is nestled inside a beautiful canyon between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls, filled with cottonwood and elm trees, and a fresh drinking water source piped out of the canyon walls.

Fern Spring
 
Know before you go ~ some notes on camping at Havasu Falls campground:

~ The Havasupai Tribe administers the land, which lies outside the boundary and jurisdiction of Grand Canyon National Park. Reservations are mandatory to hike and camp at the Havasupai Campground. No exceptions. No day hiking is allowed. Do not hike or camp without reservations. Helpful to carry a paper copy of your reservations with you. Cell phone reception is spotty at best. No Drugs. No Alcohol. Please leave your pets at home.
~ Plan on bringing everything you will need – camping gear and food - while staying at the campground. There is a small store located in Supai Village (remember 2 miles away) ~ a bit pricey and certainly not a big hub or source for re-supply.
~ No fires are allowed – so plan on warm clothes, ready-to-eat meals, and/or a camp stove.
~ There are varmints, mostly squirrels and rats that have mastered the “how-to” get into your backpack, touch/chew your stuff, and eat your food. Gasp! Just because you are hanging your pack from the tree and off the ground does not insure safety of your items. I watched some squirrels cherry pick through someone’s backpack. I highly suggest bringing a bear canister for your food and smellables and keep it outside your tent! At the entrance of the campground, there were a few 5 gallon buckets with lids to use instead of a bear canister. Random helpfulness not necessarily an amenity offered consistently.
~ The campground does have composting toilets – bring your own composting TP and hand soap. Just in case!
~ Be respectful. Be Responsible. Remember to pack your trash out.
~ Be physically trained for a strenuous hike with exposure to potentially challenging terrain and temperatures.
For more information and camping reservations ~ 
Grand Canyon National Park ~ Havasupai Indian Reservation


 Havasu Creek

Go prepared, enjoy, and be amazed by nature and the stunning waterfalls of the Grand Canyon ~ Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, and follow the turquoise waters of Havasu Creek through the canyon down to where they meet the Colorado River.

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