“At 2:30 am all I remember was walking past a man that was laying on the ground throwing up. I thought to myself I don’t think I can carry this man out of here.”
Rewind to about a year ago when my wife told me we were going hiking with a group of friends. I thought at the time that it would be a fun thing to do. As the months moved closer to the hike our group of friends starting having meetings on things to pack, where to stay, what time to leave, etc. I finally asked my wife what type of hike were going on. She told me Havasupai Falls!
Havasupai means – people of the blue-green water. High levels of calcium carbonate give the water its blue-green color. The spectacular waterfalls and isolated community within the Havasupai Indian Reservation attract thousands of visitors each year. The Havasupai are intimately connected to the water and the land. This blue-green water is sacred to the Havasupai. It flows not only across the land, but also through each tribal member. When you enter their land, you enter their home, their place of origin.1
This brings us to Wednesday night, we arrived at the main parking area about 10 miles from where we will be camping. We were at the top of the south rim of the grand canyon looking down at the path we are about to travel. Because it was the middle of summer and temperatures were peaking at 110 during the day, we were advised to hike during the night. After a quick 4 hour nap we left the trail head at 3:00 am. I was carrying a 40 lb pack which contained a change of clothes, food, water, a tent, and several miscellaneous items. The first mile was nearly straight down about 2,000 feet. After the first mile it was pretty level ground and the hiking was relatively easy.
It took us roughly 4 hours to make it to Supai Village where we checked in and paid our fees. After a quick rest we traveled the remaining 2 miles and made camp about as far away from the main campground as possible. By this time the sun was out and it was getting hot. We quickly unloaded our gear and rested.
We decided the first place to see was Havasupai falls. This was one of the first falls as you entered the village. The large waterfall formed a big pool and then tricked down into a couple of smaller pools. We spent several hours playing in the water and cooling down.
We ended staying in the campground until Saturday night before we made our exodus. The days consisted on hiking, swimming, cliff diving, playing cards in the water and just relaxing. Below are some pictures from the trip.
Saturday night around 8:00 pm we headed out. We traveled through the village in time to hear a couple of guys fist fighting. As the dark approached to traveled along the trail that had taken us into the canyon three days previous. This time the hike was a bit easier because we had dumped a lot out of our pack. It was fairly easy until we hit the last mile of the switchbacks. It was close to 2:00 am and we were tired. Mentally you just kept telling yourself to walk 20 steps rest for 10 seconds and keep moving. I felt if I stopped to long I wouldn’t get started again. This is the point we passed the man laying on side of the trail throwing up. We offered to carry his pack, but secretly hoping he would say no. He did say his friends were coming back to get him.
We finally arrived at the top of the mountain and drove down the road ½ mile and decide to sleep on the dirt for the next 4 hours. I can say it was probably the best sleep I have had for awhile.
Havasupai was a hike that I absolutely loved. The scenery was amazing it was very therapeutic getting back to nature and forgetting the day-to-day grind. I certainly would recommend everyone experiencing this area. It truly is an oasis in the desert!