Joined Chris (HazMember Marlin) and my Bro-in-law Riley for a weekend of fun on Havasu Creek.
We left Phoenix Thursday evening, arrived Hilltop at 1200 and started down the trail at 00:20. half-moon rose and we were able to hike mostly by moonlight, surprising and being surprised by horses along the trail. We hiked till 0230 when we zombies decided to stop and sleep along the trail (at the old mining cart on the right side). We didn't sleep, being pestered by gnats and mosquitoes all night. Hit the trail again at 0530 and arrived at Supai at 0700, but the tourist office was not yet open. The cafe was open and we had breakfast burros (I never thought I'd say I prefer Filibertos,
but... maybe it was real BURRO
). checked in at the tourist office at 0730 and then hiked the rest of the way into the campground. Some improvements have been made, especially where they are clearing the rubble from around the new falls, which are about 1/2 and 1/4 mile upstream of Navajo Falls, which is now dry. The campground is pretty much full of sand, most of the younger trees are now dead or dying. The older sycamores are alive and it is possible to find shaded campsites. Looks like the tribe has attempted some seeding of grasses. We camped just downstream of the Fern Spring, right on the creek. Numerous dams have been formed and are slowly calcifying. We rested and then explored Havasu , Navajo (dry) and the new falls. Upper New falls is inaccessible by trail,. still looks like they are clearing the rock falls. Likely fairly unstable, too. I got into the creek and the few travertine dams are soft and easily damaged, so I didn't go further. Lower falls (~40ft) is wide and strong, and accessible thru the tractor clearing done by the tribe. several people were swimming. Amazing to see the amount of earth displaced by the flood between teh upper new falls and old Navajo falls. Explored Navajo falls, now dry. Havasu falls is more restricted to the creek-left as it cascades. Flow was good. Pools are sandbagged and calcifying. Friday night was warm, poor sleep until a breeze started at 3am.
Saturday mid-morning we descended Mooney with most of the campers. New chains have been installed. Appears that the flow has been diverted more toward creek-left (west side). Most of the pools are full of silt. We only went as far as the rope swing, but didn't use it. Water was barely knee-deep, but a few people were trying to use it by crouching upon entry. Decided not to trek to Beaver due to the warm weather and previous reports of lots of silt in the pools. Soaked in a pool under the trees for awhile until the skies darkened to the north as a thundercell rolled in. Almost as one, everyone headed for the ladders and returned to camp. The clouds disappeared and we went to Havasu for more swimming. We swam around the left (east) edge of the falls and got in behind, then climbed to a shelf and were rewarded with an 8' jump into the edge of the falls.
Another warm mostly sleepless night, awoke at 0300, packed, hit the trail at 0350 and topped out at 0830, back to Phoenix by 3:00.
Hoping to go again in spring
*NOTE - Overall the campgrounds were cleaner than before, the springs have new hand pumps and containers/outlets. The pit bathrooms were fairly clean, didn't have to use the porta-potty.