|Backpack||24.00 Miles||3 Days || |
|2,800 ft AEG|| || || |
I finally returned to Havasupai after at least six years. I knew about the floods and the changes but was still shocked when I saw it in person! It's unrecognizable between the village and Havasu Falls! The good thing is the two new waterfalls are awe inspiring.
Two of my buddies from Cleveland came out for this hike. I knew it was going to be a challenge for them. We left the hilltop around noon and were lucky to have cloud cover the first three miles. From there the canyon tightens and patches of shade are regular. We just about made it to Havasu Falls when they both told me they were beat. Luckily we were pretty much done.
We found the campground fairly crowded but plenty of sites were available. We found one a quarter mile back along the north wall. We turned in for the night and when I awoke the next morning (Labor Day) we found 90% of the campers gone! It felt like we had the place to ourselves. We headed down below Mooney for some swimming and relaxing. It was absolute paradise down there. After a couple of hours, we returned for some lunch and then headed up canyon.
On our walk towards the village my friends tell me how beat up their feet & bodies are. This is all new to them and we decide it's not in our best interest for them to hike out of here the next day. We looked into taking the helicopter but it was not available on Tuesday. We then decided they would both ride a horse out with all our heavy gear tied to a pack horse. I would be hiking solo with a light pack.
We got up Tuesday at 5:30am and broke camp. I wanted to start my hike at 6am and their horse ride started at 7am. I assumed they would catch me on my hike up. I left the camp promptly at six and started a solid pace. It drizzled most of the night so the trail was smooth & not dusty. I cruised along until I reached the village. I topped off my water and continued. My pace quickened and I past two groups of three and found I had plenty of energy. I kept going and before long the hilltop came into view. And after a fair amount of effort I found myself back at the trail head. It took me roughly 3 hours and 20 minutes to walk out of there. I had to wait 45 minutes for my friends on their horses. They had good and bad things to say about the ride. I had only great things to say about my hike! The light pack made a huge difference!
Anyways, Havasupai is spectacular! If you have not been there in the past two years or so, you need to return! The canyon changes have been for the best! Paradise Awaits!