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Havasu Canyon Trail
134 Photosets

2009-07-15  
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mini location map2009-07-11
60 by photographer avatarVaporman
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Havasu Canyon TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 11 2009
Vaporman
Backpack30.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles3 Days         
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I made my annual summer trip down to Havasupai this weekend hiking down early Saturday morning and out early Monday morning, though I didn't do it with the usual large group since they wanted to avoid the whole post-flood mess and did Zion instead. I tried getting a smaller group together, but it all unraveled with less than two weeks to go so I just ended up doing it solo this year... I left the valley a little before midnight and drove thru the night and arrived at Haulupai Hilltop around 5am to make the two hour hike down to the village just after the Visitors' Office opened at 7am to get my permit. So far there's nothing different until you leave town and see the new massive channel that the creek cut. I believe the creek partially flew down that channel before, but now it only flows down that way and Navajo is completely dry and coated in dirt. As you may have heard, there are now two new falls along this new path with the lower one having a sign calling it Rock Falls while the upper one takes a little more work to access. The upper one is scenic but needs a better trail and doesn't have much play potential. :( You can jump from the lower falls since the pool is plenty deep, but there were Indians working near by and you can be easily seen. The trail from the village to the CG has had some major work done to it and its still a work in progress and with take many more years for the greenery to come back again. The main Havasu Falls plume now shoots out the right side instead of flowing over the whole travertine dam at its top. The pool is filled quite a bit with sediment, but they've built a sandbag dam to hold in more water that's mostly travertined over. But they really should have dredge it out a bit before they trapped all that sediment in with a dam... :? There's still a couple places near the falls that you can climb up to and its still plenty deep to jump into as long as you dive near the falls. The CG looks like it got hit really hard... :o As you may have seen in photos, much of the undergrowth has been stripped away so you can see wall to wall now and the creek flows a little differently thru there. It looks like they must have been burning some of the debris and the fire got out of hand and burned a dozen or so of the big trees... :? Plus many other big trees look to be dead, with no leaves on them in the middle of summer. At first glance it looks like there's a fair amount of people down there that weekend, but its deceiving since now you can see every campsite easily while in reality only about half of the usual amount of people were down there. They really need to clean that CG up a little more and start planting more trees and shrubs to fill it back in. Mooney Falls plume is the same, but the pool below was filled in with a massive amount of sediment. You can now walk almost straight into the plume while only up to your chest in water until the force of water keeps you back. They've constructed a massive rock/sandbang/wire mess dam to raise the pool up a few feet, but its also going to trap in that massive amount of sediment as well. They should have found some way to dredge it a bit or just let nature slowly take its course and slowly wash it away. :( Both the rope swing below Mooney are filled in as well, but the showers are still flowing nicely. :) The large travertine dam/cascading falls below the upper rope swing are now punched thru the middle and the sides are 'dead'. Much of the travertine cascades below Mooney to Beaver look mostly the same, but they look like they've been sanded/rough up pretty good and the pools above and below them are also filled in pretty good. Much of the intricate travertine features and aquatic plantlife are stripped away and it'll take some time for them to reform/regrow. The Beaver Falls area looks mostly the same but the pools are also filled in and it's tough to find place to jump into. The pool below that 25 foot jump below Beaver Falls is now only about ankle deep... That lower massive pool is also mostly filled in, but its still deep enough near the falls/slide to jump from the 40-50 foot cliffs but you're soon up to only your waist once to swim down a tad. So make sure you jump into the area with all the bubbles coming up close to the falls or you're getting a helicopter ride out of there... The water is also a murky blue this far down the creek as it picks up a lot of sediment from the flooded areas. :?

I spent most of Saturday & Sunday just wandering around and exploring the five falls and much of what's in between and I still had an amazing trip, but its definitely lost some of its original magic and it'll take some time for it to rebound. :roll: I only found a few safe place to jump from, the rope swings are gone, most of the pools aren't deep enough to swim in anymore, though there's still plenty of eye candy to be seen both of the aquatic and feminine varieties. :D The campground isn't that bad, but it could be a lot nicer with time and effort. I just made it a point to stay away from it and play around the falls as much as possible. ;) I'm afraid that the Indians will slowly just experiment with stuff down there, take forever to finish stuff, and it'll take a long time for it to look back to normal and in doing so it'll keep the crowds away as well, which is their main source of income...
Geology
Geology
Travertine
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
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