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Friday, June 14, 2013

Havasupi Falls Backpacking Trip

Andy and I have been talking about going to Havasupi Falls for years. This year we started planning at Christmas time. In Feb we got our reservations. Originally we were planning on about 8-12 of us but in the end there were 3. We had a great time. Here's the jist of our adventures!

Day 1
Mary and I headed south to Las Vegas about 6:15 pm. Andy had been on a service trip for two days and had decided to fly into Las Vegas so we could get going that day and not have to wait until the next day. Mary and I got to Las Vegas about 1:30 am. We grabbed a hotel near the airport. 

Day 2
Andy's flight was supposed to come in at 11 pm but it got delayed for a while and he ended up arriving at about 6:30 am. I picked him up from the airport and we headed back to the hotel to sleep for a few hours. We stopped at good old Walmart at about 10:30 am for our last minute supplies and then headed toward Arizona. We arrived at the trail head around 2:30 pm. We had plans to stop and eat lunch at the last town before heading off road toward the trail but didn't end up finding anything... bad sign #1. We changed and got our packs ready and started on the trail at about 3 pm - in the heat of the day... bad sign #2. The hike was beautiful! It it amazing that at the end of 10-11 miles (everything says different lengths) that there is this amazing area with such blue green water in the middle of the Grand Canyon. We made it down the switch backs in no time and continued on through the rest of the hike. We each had our backpacks and Andy fortunately carried the water for the two of us. About 1 mile out from the village I was getting dizzy and light headed... bad sign #3 - heat exhaustion was coming on if not already there. Plus we ran out of water... all three of us. Yikes. We fortunately made it to mile 8 and arrived  at the village. We got checked in at their office. $300.30 to camp for 3 nights for 3 people. They make bank! We hiking through the village and on to the camp ground. Mary had brought a hamick to sleep in so she headed out ahead of us to find a spot to hang it while Andy stayed back with me and took our time, mainly because I was about ready to pass out - no food, ran out of water and too much heat. The last mile to the camp ground was a steep down hill trek but we got to pass the amazing waterfalls of Navajo and Havasu Falls. WOW. What sights. We made it to the camp ground and started looking for Mary. It got dark quick and it took a while to find her. We found a camp site that wasn't really great but ok. We'd look for a better one in the morning. By this time I was doing better and started to make dinner. Andy on the other hand was not. He just laid in the tent and was feeling horrible. Mary was also not doing too well, she had 2 huge blisters the sizes of quarters on the ball of her foot - and they were DEEP. Ouch. Well off to bed. 

Day 3
We got up late because we were all exhausted from the hike in. Danget we missed our chance to move camps. There was a spot open first thing that morning next to us and we slept in and someone else came in and took it. But we did make friends with our neighbors and got to spend some time and talk with them throughout the trip which was nice. We slowly got up and made breakfast. Andy was feeling better but Mary's feet were not. We decided to head down to Mooney falls and play in the water as it was super hot out. Well, what a hike that was. Mooney Fall is beautiful but the water isn't very deep at the base of it. Not deep enough to swim. There's other areas around that you can swim and play in the water though. But for me the highlight was the hike down. Words can't explain the hike down and I'm pretty mad I didn't take more pictures of the hike. The hike is down the face of a cliff. It's pretty cool but scary as well. Chains, stairs, and rock. Going down the first time (yes we went down again) was nerve racking for me. I was shaking... but I made it! We hung out at the water and then headed back to camp. After eating Andy and I decided we'd head into town to get first Aid supplies for Mary and to check on the Helicopter ride for the way out. We wanted to ensure we got our name on the list. Well in the heat of the day, hiking the hardest mile of the whole trip, and being sore and exhausted from the initial 10 miles - that's about sums up the difficulty of that 2 mile trip to the village. It was so hot and took everything we had to make it back. We stopped and dipped our shirts in the water and stopped in the shade a lot. Once we made it to the village we stopped at the cafe and shared a sandwich and a coke. MAN! That coke was the best thing I've ever tasted. It was cold and yummy! (all the water we'd been drinking for 2 days was warm/hot). We rested and just people watched and then headed over to talk to the helicopter place. Well bad news! You can't get your name on the list until the day of about 30 minutes before they start. Major bummer. We went to the store and got mole skin for Mary and a few frozen water/Gatorade for the hike back. Whoever decided to freeze water/Gatorade down there was genius! The hike back was so much easier as it had cooled down and we had nice cold drinks! We made it back to camp and hung out and helped Mary and now Andy doctor their feet. Andy's feet weren't too bad but he was getting blisters and had lost some of his skin. I was super lucky! We slept great that night! (well as great as you can in 90 deg weather)

Day 4

We got up fairly early, ate breakfast and then headed toward Mooney Falls. We were planning on floating the river and heading the 2 miles down to Beaver Falls... well the top of the cliff to get down to Mooney Falls was packed! It was like bumper to bumper traffic and took us 45 minutes to get down. Wasn't as scary as the first time for me but others you could tell were super nervous. We played in the water for a moment and blew our floaties up then headed down stream. We tried to float as much as we could but i've never seen so many waterfalls (mostly small on this river) in my life. We had a BLAST climbing down the water falls and even jumping off some of then. That was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It took us a lot longer than the trail would have but man it was fun, not to mention super cool being in the water. Once you got on the trail for too long you were dying of heat! We played at beaver falls for a while and then took the trail back. I didn't take a single picture because we didn't take our cameras :( After getting back to camp and relaxing for a while Andy and I wanted to spend some time at Havasu Falls. It was near the entrance of the campground which was about 1/2-3/4 mile away. We hung out, watched the falls, people watched and took pictures of the falls. It is beautiful! We had decided that we needed to get up early the next day and hike back to the village to get in line for the helicopter so we went to bed early. We didn't take phones with us so we had NO ALARM and I was super nervous we'd sleep in. 

Day 5

 I ended up waking up and getting Andy out of bed at about 4 am. GO ME! I never get up early so I was super surprised it was me that woke up. Andy and I got our stuff packed and I got Mary up. Andy headed out of camp early while I helped Mary. We headed out about half hour after Andy. We were slow going just because I'm slow and Mary's feet hurt. We stopped a few times and finally Mary said to go ahead without her and she'd catch up. :( I was about 1/2 mile or less from the village when I saw Andy walking back toward me... I'm like what are you doing? He was coming to help carry packs. I sent him down the hill after Mary. We were about 20 people back in line for the Helicopter. it was a long and boring wait. A few fights/brawls broke out and people were yelling at one another because they were saving spots. Needless to say it was pretty entertaining. We ended up being numbers 29, 30, and 31. The ride was $85 a person. There were over 150 people in line that day - I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't' all make it on the helicopter.  They started at 10 am and the tribe people got first ride as well as cargo. it was a long wait. We got a ride out at about 1 pm. Hopped in the Jeep and off we went. Stopped for food and then headed to Vegas to stay the night. We got to vegas and all took showers and relaxed. We went to dinner at Margaritaville.Andy and I went to the Zumanity show while Mary gambled. Andy and I were pretty tired at midnight so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. 

Day 6
We left vegas at about 11:30 am and got home around 9 PM. It was SUPER nice to be home and sleep in my own bed! 

Here are the rest of the pictures!  

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