Hiking the Grand Canyon’s hidden Oasis: Havasupai
Nestled along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon about 3-4 hours west of Flagstaff, lies the Garden of Eden in the desert, Havasupai. Literally translated to mean “Blue-water People”, Havasupai is the sacred home to the Native American Havasupai Indian Tribe. This breathtakingly magical and spiritual oasis boasts a lodge and for the more nature-loving adventuress, a campground, which I highly recommend! Snuggled along the travertine layered aquamarine stream are several tree-shaded sites to choose from. The Canyons main attraction, however, is the enchanting blue-green waters that flow through a series of Waterfalls just passed the village. The waters maintain a temperature of about 70˚F/21˚C year round and can attribute their signature aquamarine waters to a high mineral count among a limestone foundation.
My journey began about 68 miles north of the historic Route 66 at the trailhead on Hualapai Hilltop, basically a place to retire your car and set off on foot. I relinquished my car and started the 10 mile, one way hike through the canyon to my destination. The first mile was devilishly steep and full of switchbacks of every kind, but soon gave way to the smooth, flat, canyon-lined trail which is shared by pack-mule and horseback riders carrying the food, supplies and mail for the tribe’s people. About 8 miles into the hike I passed through the Indian village, which is also where the one restaurant, convenience store and lodge is located. What was previously dry, hot and rock covered gave way to a lush garden jungle leading up to the first of 5 waterfalls, Navajo Falls. Next, I came upon the beautifully stunning and inspirational Havasu Falls, which I am particularly fond of because you can swim behind the waterfall and look out. Just beyond Havasu Falls lies the campground. Once settled in, I spent the next 4 days exploring the canyons natural beauties, meeting the locals and sharing in the native folklore, including a sweat-lodge!
There are a total of 5 main waterfalls and endless hiking trails. One of the waterfalls even has a rope swing and picnic table in the water. The grounds are dog friendly and for those who prefer an easier entry to the canyon, there is a helicopter service available or you can choose to go in on horseback. The hike out is relatively painless until the last mile of steep rocky switchbacks, not for the faint of heart! I recommend planning the end of your hike nearing sun-down or sun-up, as I didn’t plan so accordingly. My last mile was at the peak of the hottest part of the day and I seriously thought I was going to expire with only a few hundred feet left! But I wouldn’t change my experience for the world! I returned to reality with a deep love and affinity for the people and nature of Havasupai! Whether your looking for a romantic getaway, a spiritual retreat or an extreme adventure, be prepared to take out what you brought in, and get ready for an amazingly captivating, visually stunning experience you will treasure for a lifetime!
And don’t forget to book your Grand Canyon getaway at http://travfash.mtravel.com/
My passions are travel, food, wine and adventure. I've visited nearly every U.S. state and many other destinations including South Africa and Central/South America. I’ve met vineyard owners and worked and played at luxury resorts.