Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Havasu Canyon Trail

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Linked Guide  • Havasu Canyon Trail, AZ
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Muloki
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Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by Muloki » Apr 30 2007 10:53 pm

I'd like to hear from you guys what this hike was like for you:

What physical condition were you in when you went?
How sore were you?
What time of the year did you go?
Was there any gear that you were glad you brought or gear that you wish you brought?
Any other tips would be appreciated!!!

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JoelHazelton
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Post by JoelHazelton » May 01 2007 8:04 am

I went last summer in I think June. I'll be honest... I was in horrible shape and didn't do any warm up hikes. We packed our crap in and out. No mules or helicopters. It seemed like most people used mules. We were dragging ass out, especially up the switchbacks. It was seriously pathetic.

We hiked down on Friday evening and then back out Saturday night.

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big_load
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Post by big_load » May 01 2007 10:05 am

This hike is fairly easy for someone in reasonable shape, but it can be much worse. Mrs. big_load and I did it a few Novembers ago and it was a piece of cake, except for driving out in 6" of snow in a rental car.

However, her brother nearly died there in early summer. He's an experienced AZ dayhiker (but not much of a backpacker) with an uncanny physical resemblance to Homer Simpson. He was chaperoning a church group and was on the way down when, addled with fatigue and dehydration, he decided the best way to relieve his misery was to dump his remaining water. I'm not clear on the subsequent details, but they involved finishing the trip on horseback.

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JoelHazelton
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Post by JoelHazelton » May 01 2007 11:03 am

Hahaha! Seriously? Well, it's probably best that they just went out on horseback. If you can't handle the steady downhill to the village, then the ascent back out is out of the question. Three out of the five people in my group ran out of water halfway out of the canyon, myself not included. I did, however, obviously have to give up a fair amount of my own water once it came time to tackle the final mile of switchbacks. In my haste to finish packing everything the morning we left home to hike down, I forgot hiking boots, so I had to hike the whole trip in skateboard shoes with holes.

Anyway, that goes to show how inexperienced and unprepared I was last year. Don't judge! We all learn eventually...

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » May 01 2007 1:55 pm

I've been about four times in the past 6 years. Two times stayed two nights. Always in April or early May. The other two times stayed three nights so we could dayhike to the Colorado River. I'm a fairly decent hiker and pretty well-experienced backpacker, (35 years worth) so it was never that hard for me. I think of it as a pretty laid back sort of hike. A couple times when I went I was sort of out-of-shape for me, so I had to stop a couple times for 5 minutes or so when hiking out.

It is a hike that a lot of people do who do not otherwise go hiking or backpacking. This is understandable due to its being one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

With my background, however, it's just one of many backpacking trips I'll be doing in a given year.

Thus, it is with some amusement (and occasional annoyance) that I react to comments from others on the trail, and when arriving at the rim. I don't know of many other hikes one could do that, when you get to the top there stands some (random) chubby greenhorn newbie chick who has never met you before cheering you on, going, YAY! YOU MADE IT! It's really sort of offensive.

Most people along the trail assume you're just like them--that you think it's hard, too. That it's your first time out there, too. That's one of the things I dislike most about going there. It's really not a serious backpacker's kind of place to go.

It's okay to be a newbie, don't get me wrong. Everyone's a newbie at something. But why is it that newbies always seem to make so many incorrect assumptions about other people?

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joebartels
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Post by joebartels » May 01 2007 8:10 pm

ummm... hence the term... "new...bie"
maybe
perhaps
ah!
I'm outta here
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Trishness
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Re: Havasu Canyon

Post by Trishness » May 01 2007 11:16 pm

Muloki wrote:I'd like to hear from you guys what this hike was like for you:

What physical condition were you in when you went? Very good to excellent
How sore were you?
Not at all
What time of the year did you go?
April
Was there any gear that you were glad you brought or gear that you wish you brought?
Hammock
Any other tips would be appreciated!!!
Be prepared for the climb out. It's a killer. Everyone needs to check their water before ascending. Avoid the porta-potties they are totally disgusting.
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » May 02 2007 4:53 am

Arrive on Monday to avoid crowds. Also, they usually helicopter the porta-potties out on Mondays, so they are clean for a few days! By the weekend, they are yucky again.

Despite what I said before I'll definitely go back again, probably next year. Haven't hiked to the Colorado River the past couple times, so will plan a longer stay. I like to just hang out when I get there. I'm big on swimming. Last time I went I was recovering from a long bout of winter cough virus. So not much swimming that time. Part of the fun is I seem to usually go with some of the same people who are fun to be with.

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Bradshaws
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by Bradshaws » Apr 28 2014 5:59 pm

I have to dust off an old thread :lol:

I'm planning a trip to Havasu for my birthday and now have around 6 people wanting to go that are VERY new to hiking. I would like to take them out on some trails beforehand to see where their at skill and endurance wise.

My question is, where can I take them that will but them up against the same trail conditions and length they'll encounter on Havasu trail? When I was prepping for my last trip down to Havasu, I hike Ford/mesquite loop and some out at CCRP but I would like to find a few with a little more elevation gain and are close to PHX. I know I could use HAZ trail search (I have and will do more) but I would like some personal options as well :D

Any help will be greatly appreciated :)
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SpiderLegs
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by SpiderLegs » Apr 28 2014 6:14 pm

I've done hikes with a loaded pack up and down both sides of Shaw Butte. Fairly easy path to follow, close to town, can practice with trekking poles and with multiple loops can go pretty hard. It's always nice to know that if you need to bail the car is fairly close. So some people can keep going up and down if anyone needs to head back to the car. Plus it's safer than trying to dodge all the traffic up and down Squaw Peak or Camelback.
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chumley
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by chumley » Apr 28 2014 6:26 pm

I'd try to hike 8-10 miles on relatively easy desert terrain, capped with a good climb. Build up to being able to do it a couple of times in a 2-3 day span, and don't forget to add a 40-50lb backpack!

There are lots of options utilizing the Phx Mtns Preserve, with Piestewa Peak mixed in there for elevation. Here's one route I found, though you can obviously make your own. http://hikearizona.com/gps=9034

South Mountain provides some options too, especially with the possibility to do long stretches of relatively flat terrain and then a good climb. The Alta-Bajada Loop is a possibility with far fewer people than Piestewa. Though it doesn't quite offer the elevation/climb you'll encounter in the canyon. http://hikearizona.com/gps=7307

But for me, it's all about getting out there on a regular basis. If you have to drive an hour or two to find something that matches more exactly what you are about to do, it defeats the purpose. Something less of a match that can be practiced more often will serve the purpose better. :M2C:
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by outdoor_lover » Apr 28 2014 7:44 pm

And when your local Training is over and you want to simulate the Elevation gain, a lot of people do this Hike, but they start from the Top, go down like you would at GC and then go back up to finish.... And depending on where you live, it's less than an hour drive away...As a safety, you could leave a 2nd Vehicle at the intersection where the Old Road and New Road meet...
http://hikearizona.com/decoder=1640
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Bradshaws
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by Bradshaws » Apr 28 2014 8:32 pm

Thanks for the responses :) At this time I'm not able to open any of the links :? but I'm looking forward to checking them out later.
Shaw Butte is defiantly on the menu :lol: but I do agree with Chumley. Right now my biggest concern with group is endurance. So I think I should get some miles under their feet. They're all avid softball players ( 2xweek) but as any softball player know a hard game is always followed by even harder drinking :sweat: I would like to see them comfortable with a 10-12 mile hike
Last edited by Bradshaws on Apr 29 2014 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by outdoor_lover » Apr 28 2014 8:45 pm

@Bradshaws
The Link I gave you is for Mount Ord from Slate Creek TH...Just do a Search and it should be openable that way. It fits your Mileage criteria as much as the Elevation Criteria.... :)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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chumley
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by chumley » Apr 28 2014 9:32 pm

Bradshaws wrote:At this time I'm not able to open any of the links
Until the maintenance gets worked out, I've found a workaround by using the old p-h-p urls. But the site is already programmed to change those links to the new style so I can't even post them in the forum without them changing.

But you can type them in the address bar or copy/paste from the attached PDF document.

Just make sure to know the ID# for whatever you are looking for. It's in the url of the new links that aren't working yet.

If this doesn't make sense, just be patient. I'm sure the devteam is working overtime. But if you have zero patience like me, this works. ;)
Attachments
workaround.pdf
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SpiderLegs
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by SpiderLegs » Apr 29 2014 6:59 am

Another thing to do is combine a North Mountain hike with Shaw Butte in various fashions. Park at the North Mountain visitors station and head east on Trail 100 to warm up, come back and do North Mountain, Shaw Butte and back to the car. I've also done figure 8's using North Mountain & Shaw Butte. One thing I have found is that if I am training I push myself a lot harder if I do shorter loops back to back. So I can run three five mile loops faster than I can run one 15 mile loop. For pure training I found the Shaw Butte area the best. I did not need to stop and wait or scramble to the side of the trail to let people pass like I do at Squaw Peak. I could continuously maintain a fast pace.

Might also add that I have added a lot of kettlebell training into my workouts the past year. Kettlebell swings are the perfect crosstraining exercise for hiking & running. Plus you can buy a decent kettlebell off of Amazon for under $75 and have it delivered to your front door.
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cw50must
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by cw50must » Sep 16 2015 1:07 pm

reviving an old thread once again.

I went to havasu Falls in 2012 at the end of sept and it seemed like the perfect time weather wise. We have reservations to go again here in just over a week. Well this year Sept has been a bit more rainey. I've been keeping an eye on the weather up there and today I saw there was a 60% chance of rain forecasted for the day before we head down in the canyon. I know that its still a little over a week away and anything could change, but my question is... How much rain is too much rain down there? What signs should I look for to avoid a flood and having to cling onto a tree while all my stuff gets washed away??? any advice?

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chumley
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by chumley » Sep 16 2015 2:48 pm

@cw50must
It's unlikely it will rain enough for you to have any idea what is too much. When it floods there, the bulk of the rain has typically fallen far upstream. The NWS, USGS, and the tribe keep close eye on rainfall and streamflow data upstream of Havasu and issue flood warnings when necessary. Flood warnings are communicated by the tribe to the campground.

I wouldn't worry about it while still paying some attention to my surroundings. (Perhaps choose to set up camp on the west side of the creek rather than camping on the other side).

If the water turns brown, there is runoff and the creek is rising. How quickly or how much is always answered only by time.
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Dave1
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by Dave1 » Sep 16 2015 3:23 pm

Taken today (posted on a tribe member's FB page):
supai.PNG
Looks like water is flowing down the trail:
supai2.PNG
Last edited by Dave1 on Sep 16 2015 3:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dave1
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Re: Havasu Canyon - Prep, Gear & Tips

Post by Dave1 » Sep 16 2015 3:25 pm

The trail to Supai taken 2 days ago:
supai3.PNG
supai4.PNG

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