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Havasu Canyon Trail
134 Photosets

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mini location map2012-06-26
32 by photographer avatarsquatpuke
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Havasu Canyon TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 26 2012
squatpuke
Backpack52.00 Miles 3,650 AEG
Backpack52.00 Miles4 Days         
3,650 ft AEG55 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
DBmooner
Hippy
ultrazona
votg
Have lived in Northern Arizona for over 30 years and have never taken the opportunity to hike the (in)famous Havasuapi. With plenty of vacation in the bank, I saw Vince and Haley's Supai 2.0 post on HAZ and jumped on board; I'm very glad I did.

I drove to Kingman on Monday, picking up my high-school best friend, Todd (VIVA class of '85). We left Kingman around 10pm that night and precariously arrived to Hilltop just after midnight. (At 55mph, we almost T-Boned a HUGE bull steer...very scary. Also had to hard-break for 3 different cow elk. We did get points for taking out a huge jackrabbit which caused a very loud CLUNK in the van.) We later found out 2 members of our party DID hit a deer just outside of Peach Springs and were transported to Kingman via ambulance; we unknowingly passed them at the scene on our way in.

After arriving and finding a GREAT parking space at Hilltop, we struggled out a few hours of shuteye; I got a 2:30am text from Vince to meet at trailhead at our pre-planned 3am meet-up. After introductions, we were all OFF!! Our goal was to hit the Tourist office right at its 7am opening and it was planned perfectly.

Day 1 - 18 Miles - Hike from Hilltop to Beaver Falls
Rather simple trek down - was very dark so I missed most of the beginning scenery. :? First light was just before the Cataract Canyon junction (5ish). I arrived at Tourist Office just after 6am to wait for its opening.

We paid for our 4days/3nights (~100 bone$) and afixed our nifty wrist-bands. The next two miles, Todd and I "ooh & ahhed" at Navajo and Rock Falls...then were blown away at the sight of Havasu Falls. Very impressive. We continued into the campground which seemed to have plenty of open spots to choose from (at the time). The youngsters of the group (read: everyone except Todd and I) took two sites on the east side of creek, while us two Geritol-suckers shared one on the (busier) west side, directly across the creek from the others. Overall, I thought the camp was pretty clean given the HUGE amounts of campers it must sustain. Toilets were VERY ACCEPTABLE as campgrounds go and found to be maintained on a daily basis.

We had just finished setting up camp (1 tent/1 hammock) when the younglings showed up for a "short" afternoon hike (we were told just Mooney Falls (about 1/4 mile away) ;) ); however the group wandered all the way down to Beaver (4 miles). The grotto just north of Mooney as well as the Mooney Climb were OVERWHELMING and definitely the day's highlights along with the spotting of a small herd of mountain goats (see pics) and a California King Snake which quickly scurried into his hole before I could snap a pic.

The water felt TERRIFIC...water shoes are an absolutely MUST at Havasupai...my "Keen Venice" did exceptionally well; also used them to hike to River the next day.

Day 2 - 16 miles - Campground to River
For me, this was the highlight of the entire trip (primarily just because I LOVE to hike, but conditions were absolutely FANTASTIC). Early in the AM, 4 of the 8 (Dan,Myself,Haley & Vince - all very strong hikers) blasted through the trail. Was refreshing to cross the creek every so often as it kept us cool. The deep canyon walls also protected us from heavy sun MOST of the time. Dan developed a blister about 4 miles in and I personally thought this would be a turn-around/show stopper for him. He tried tape/band-aides etc, which just kept falling off in H20...he toughed it out, but was a sore hiker by the time we got back to camp 12 miles later.

We arrived at the River just as 3-4 private parties oared in and tied up (a dozen rafts in all). Most privateers hiked up Havasu creek; I chatted to one of the 2 remaining members about noobs getting hooked up for river trips; he gave some sage advice....unfortunately there were NO REFRESHMENT offers... :(

Was amazing to walk from the frigid Colorado and into the warmer confluence...I'll bet the water is at least 10-15 degrees warmer in the creek.

We hiked back to Beaver Falls and found the renowned 50'+ creek jump location; however there was a Supai official there that shooed us off from any of "those types of activities". Bummer. We went back to "the palm tree" area and cooled off with a quick swim. Dan and I took off early back to camp, leaving Vince and Haley with some Cartwheel/Photo ops...

The Mountain House tasted exceptionally good that night.

Day 3 - 8 Miles - Campground to Carbonate Canyon, Supai Village, New Navajo Falls, Rock Falls
Another GREAT day. Todd and I wandered up Carbonate Canyon and (easily) found the mine about 200 yards up canyon on south side. Was pretty awesome. The mine goes back several hundred feet, headlamps are a must - - there was a large, dangerous, open pit that was easily 60+ feet straight down. After leaving the mine, we continued up canyon eastward to the "junction" and hung a right (according to Witt's Havasupai book) which took us to the dry waterfall and perennial pool at its foot. Was quite deep and contained several frogs. We returned to Havasu Falls for a refreshing swim, (then back to camp to get for forgotten cash) then trekked onward to Supai for a cafe burrito and fruit cup (10 bucks). I also picked-up a souvenir t-shirt (20 bucks) at the store. Todd purchased a frozen Gatorade (3 bucks).

On the way back to camp, we stopped at Navajo Falls which has magnificent swimming opportunities as well as very misty falls to play under. Downstream a couple of hundred yards is Rock Falls, where Todd and I braved a 25' leap a few times. Very fun stuff. (see pics)

Day 4 - 10 Miles - Campground to Hilltop
All good things must come to an end. The other 6 in the group left the evening before just before dark. The "Ancient Ones" got a few more hours of sleep and woke up around 2am. Todd and I had some miscommunication about his precise urination location and got separated. We finally found one-another back at Suapi and after exchanging heated unpleasentries, we moved onward....(HEY! bff's are allowed to do that to each other once in a while right?). We hit light about 1/2 up Havasu Canyon and we were able to see what we missed coming down ( :D ) The early start gave us plenty of morning shade and the hike out definitely seemed easier than coming in.

That night back in Kingman, we both gorged at a GOLDEN CORRAL AYCE (which I promptly puked up in the bathroom - my dehydration demanding 10+ glasses of water during the meal - (they don't call me "squatpuke" for nothin'))

Fun trip!! Haley and Vince were very good hosts.
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
Culture
Culture
Stream Gauging Station
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129 Photosets

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