June 23, 2016

Backpacking to Havasu Falls - Part II

In last week's blog post I talked about some of the supplies you will need if you plan on camping down at Havasu Falls. This week's post is about the actual hike itself and many of the scenic views along the way.

I began my hike from the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot around 5 AM. The trail starts off going down a series of switchbacks where you descend around 1,000 feet in the first mile or so. Almost immediately I ran into my first obstacle; four horses, two of which were babies. The trail was quite narrow, so I made sure not to get too close to the horses as they were slowly walking down in front of me. It was too risky to pass, so I just hung back and waited for them to eventually move off the trail as we neared the bottom of the switchbacks.

Once I got by the horses, it was smooth sailing. For the next seven miles after the switchbacks you basically follow a wash that very slowly descends into the village of Supai. I checked in and paid for my camping permit at the village, then continued on my way to the campground, which was another two miles. The first main waterfall you pass on the trail on the way to the campground is Navajo Falls. This is a fun waterfall to jump off, and we did just that many times!

Another waterfall you pass even before Navajo Falls, but cannot see from the trail, is Fifty-Foot Falls. You can take a little side trail to get to this one, which is just upstream from Navajo Falls.

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As you continue on past Navajo Falls, the next waterfall you come across is the main attraction, Havasu Falls.

Just another quarter mile or so beyond Havasu Falls is the campground. I decided to hike in about a half mile to get a more remote spot with no one else around. This was what my campsite looked like.

Just past the end of the campground is Mooney Falls. The hike down to the bottom can be quite treacherous! There are chains and a couple of rudimentary ladders for you to hang onto as you drop nearly straight down about 200 feet. The mist from the falls makes the trek quite slippery as an added challenge.

Beyond Mooney Falls lies Beaver Falls. It is about a three-mile hike to get there, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to make the hike (2 nights was not long enough...). I'll save that for next time! If you have any questions about the hike or anything else related to the Havasu Falls area, just leave a comment!

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