Heavenly Havasu Canyon
Hidden away on tribal land southwest of the Grand Canyon there is another world. Red rock walls, turquoise mineral pools, and giant waterfalls exist all in one place. Warm, hypnotic breezes and cool, healing waters soak in and recharge the soul. It feels magical and sacred all around, a slice of heaven on earth.
The Havasupai tribe is kind enough to share their special land with us and it is definitely a place worth visiting for those that can get there. It is only accessible by hiking in, riding a horse or mule, or helicopter.
The hike is eight miles to Supai village where you check in and get your permits (more info on that here.) It is then another two or three miles to the campsite depending on where you camp. Unlike times in the past, they have gotten strict on people these days. Our permit was checked everyday, and we had to wear a wristband that said “Havasupai Tourist” at all times. It is the tribe’s livelihood after all!
There are about two miles of steep switchbacks at the start of the hike and then the rest is flat and relatively easy even for beginners. My sixty-five year old Grandmother even hiked it once! The key is to avoid hiking in the hottest parts of the day, drink lots of water and plan the trip around optimal times of year. There is also an option to send packs and supplies down on a mule or in a helicopter for a fee which makes the hike even easier.
Since a major flood ripped through the canyon a few years ago causing major damage, the tribe has built things back up. Although some people will tell you how different it is now, we thought it was just as enjoyable as past visits. They have majorly upgraded the toilets since the flood and they are probably the cleanest and least smelly composting toilets I’ve ever seen. They used to be really bad. Silver lining? The point is that things are constantly changing in the canyon due to the water flow. Destruction leads to new creation, new paths for the water, new growth and formations. No matter when you go it is always breathtakingly beautiful and very rejuvenating. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we can’t wait to go back.
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