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Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Oct 09 2005 6:01 am
by inluvwac
Does anyone know if there is any possible way or trails that connect Havasu Canyon to the Hermit Trailhead on the South Rim? Or is it even dooable? Mileage? I am looking for a monsterous outing sometime in the next 2 years.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 9:40 am
by hikeaz
big_load wrote:I don't have a map handy. Does that route cross Supai or Hualapai land? It seems like it would have to.
I suppose that to do this route 'legally' one would need to secure permits from both the Supai AND the GCNP.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 9:58 am
by big_load
Hikeaz's last post isn't showing up. I hope this makes it reappear.

Edit: it didn't work.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 10:15 am
by BobP
big_load wrote:
I don't have a map handy. Does that route cross Supai or Hualapai land? It seems like it would have to.

I suppose that to do this route 'legally' one would need to secure permits from both the Supai AND the GCNP

Here is what he wrote....that was weird it didn't show.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 11:06 am
by Moovyoaz
West from Apache Point .75 miles it's rez, then 4.5 miles to Topocoba Hilltop/Spring, where the Topocoba (old Supi) Trail begins. Then it's 10+ miles to the village down Lee/Cataract Cyns. Note the old Moki Trail also ties into Cataract.
Does the tribe allow access using that route? I've read they no longer allow it from the west via Long Mesa (unless you get 'lost' again).

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 11:18 am
by joebartels
Getting "lost" rules :D

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 12:19 pm
by azbackpackr
I do have a map, and I see what you are looking at. But I have heard you can't get a tribal permit for Topocoba Trail at all.

Hope you can prove me wrong about the permit. If you bootleg it and don't get caught, come back and tell us the tale. If you do get caught, we want to hear that story too! :D

From South Bass Trailhead, theoretically you could make a very long walk along the rim, within the national park, to Apache Point, and then drop off the rim.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 12:33 pm
by Moovyoaz
This is a 1917 article I've saved; don't remember the source though:

Cataract Creek flows in a winding, tortuous way for a number of miles, then disappears — one of the many strange streams of this State of wonders. One cannot conceive where it has gone, until, in the heart of Havasu Canyon — which used to be called Cataract Canyon — after one has gone down a ten- or twelve-mile trail, glimpsing more stupendous wonders than most people see in a lifetime, there, to his never-to-be-forgotten surprise, the lost stream comes to life again in a thousand springs that bubble up out of the apparently solid sandstone rocks, at the base of a cliff over two thousand feet high. Uniting, they form the Havasu,— Haha, water; vasu, blue; the Blue Water — of the Havasupai, pai signifying people. The village of this interesting tribe begins here, and the canyon varies in width from a few hundred feet to a quarter of a mile, through the center of which the Havasu flows. The stream is lined with such a profusion of rank willow growth, that Lieutenant Gushing, who came to visit these people from far-away Zuni, forty or more years ago, called them "The Nation of the Willows". Here, in this secluded spot, nearly thirty-five hundred feet below the plateau, this primitive people grow their melons, beans, pumpkins, squash, onions and chili; have their peach and fig orchards, and raise such wonderful crops that they have even been able to win the first prizes at the State's Annual Horticultural Fair. The reason is clear. In their secluded canyon they have no winter, the rocky walls act as radiators of the sun's rays day and night, for they store the heat during the day and give it off during the night, so that the whole canyon is one vast nature-planned hot-house or conservatory, and the Indians have learned to take advantage of it.

One rides out to the head of the Wallapai or Hopi trails that lead down into Havasu (Cataract) Canyon, before described. The head of both of these trails is now accessible to the automobile. Here Indian ponies and guides can be secured — arrangements, of course, must be made before leaving Williams — and the descent made into the canyon. The ride itself is unspeakably grand, thrilling, and sublime.

Captain Bourke, who went into Havasu Canyon with General Crook, thus describes one of the trails as it was in those earlier days before modern engineering skill had made the descent comparatively easy:

"There is a trail descending the Cataract Canyon so narrow and dangerous that pack trains rarely get to the bottom without accidents. When I went down there with General Crook we could hear the tinkling of the pack train bell far up in the cliffs above us, while the mules looked like mice, then like rats, then like jack-rabbits, and finally like dogs in size. One poor mule was pushed off the trail by another mule crowding up against it and was hurled over the precipice and dashed into pulp on the rocks a thousand feet below. This trail, called by the Havasupais the Pack-a-the-true-ye-ba Trail, is never used by the whites, indeed is practically unknown to them, though the other three trails are thrilling and exciting enough even to the most blase of travelers.

The canyon itself, when the descent of the trail has been made, is full of fascinations and wonders, for mile after mile, each fresh turn reveals some new and striking feature of the rocky walls, some hideous gargoyle, some fantastic carving of wind, storm, rain, or sand, some giant toad-stool threateningly overhanging the trail, a thousand feet above. Then when one reaches the place where the springs rush forth and make Havasu Creek, and he sees the homes of the Indians, and can get glimpses of their religious life as are afforded during their annual Thapala, or Peach Dance, when they thank the gods for their rich harvests, or in their weekly toholwoh, or sweat bath; or can hear their " Stories of the Old " told by one of their medicine-men; then, indeed, he begins to understand some of the glamour felt by all who have ever visited this interesting tribe. But this is not all that Havasu Canyon affords. On the heights of a cliff near the agency is the old fort of the Havasupais, where they used to flee for refuge from attacks of the Apaches, and many a story have I heard of the fierce and desperate fights that have taken place here. On the other side of the canyon, on the top of a twenty-five hundred foot high cliff, and accessible only by a trail known to the leaders of the tribe, is their emergency storage-house, where, in the olden days of danger and constant menace, they used to keep a supply of corn and other dried grains, seeds, and vegetables and fruits sufficient to last them for three years. Then below the village one comes in succession to Havasu, Navaho, Bridal Veil, Mooney, and Beaver Falls, five of the most enchantingly beautiful waterfalls of the West."

Havasu Canyon is indeed the home of romance, past and present, of scenic glories of the most rugged and the most picturesque character, and he who fails to visit it, when opportunity affords, deprives himself of one of the most entrancing trips the American continent affords.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 12:54 pm
by azbackpackr
Is it from that old book about the Havasupai people?

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 12:56 pm
by joebartels
That last paragraph is pretty powerful. It's from Arizona, the wonderland

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 1:00 pm
by azbackpackr
It's that purple prose of the Victorian era, or post-Victorian, actually. Not in fashion nowadays, so it is fun to read.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 1:06 pm
by big_load
59 words in the first sentence, 91 in the second. It's as if the printer had run out of periods. :D

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 1:07 pm
by Moovyoaz
joe bartels wrote:That last paragraph is pretty powerful. It's from Arizona, the wonderland
Yes it is. Thanks Joe; I found this as a free download or online via Google Search.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 1:08 pm
by Davis2001r6
Kurt if I were only in the states to join you I would be there.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 1:13 pm
by Moovyoaz
big_load wrote:59 words in the first sentence, 91 in the second. It's as if the printer had run out of periods. :D
You should try reading some of the old text from Bourke, Hinton, Cozzens, and the like. Almost as bad as Shakespeare!

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 1:15 pm
by azbackpackr
I love those old history books, On the Border with Crook, Death in the Desert, etc.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Mar 23 2010 4:17 pm
by Vaporman
inluvwac wrote:Does anyone know if there is any possible way or trails that connect Havasu Canyon to the Hermit Trailhead on the South Rim? Or is it even dooable?
You could just cross country along the rim! Great views and much less risk... :sl:

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Aug 15 2018 3:04 pm
by trooper925
@inluvwac
It can and has been done.It will be a route and not a trail much of the way.Read The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher His claim as first is inaccurate and the length he hiked was not complete yet he did hike this section.Also read Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Aug 17 2018 8:38 pm
by big_load
trooper925 wrote:Read The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher His claim as first is inaccurate and the length he hiked was not complete yet he did hike this section.
It's worth noting that his air-drop resupply wouldn't be possible under current regulations.

Re: Havasu to South Rim Hermit?

Posted: Aug 18 2018 4:56 am
by azbackpackr
@big_load
Also, friends of mine were finding the trash he left behind, decades later. He never went back to retrieve any of it. He probably thought no one else would ever do what he did. Arrogant bastard, but I like his books anyway. My favorite is The Thousand Mile Summer.