Ruth and Tom Dillon
We were invited by the most excellent Mary and Jordan Ray to go to Havasu Falls in June 2006. It was to be a big group trip with around twenty of us hiking into the Grand Canyon to Supai Village to see the falls. Ruth and I were one of only two couples planning to camp, mainly because we waited too late to make our lodge reservations. But then mighty hammer of Thor struck a mighty blow unto the power station of Supai Village causing it to go dark leaving the lodge bereft of water and power, and thereby closed.
Great woe and sorrow moved across the faces of the group as they huddled in the Holiday Inn of The Grand Canyon. Many beers were consumed in hopes that they would provide the clarity needed to divine the path that we should take. Should everone hike in and hope to find camping? Should we go to Lake Powell instead and splash the tears away? Should we track down a boy named Sue and beat him up and make a pie out of him?
Well, Ruth and I went ahead to to Havasu Falls and the rest of the gang spent some time at Lake Powell boating and swinning and having a good ol' time. Unfortunately we don't have pictures of that. We do, however, have a few pictures of our trip to Supai Village and some nearby falls.
But first, we're going to give you a bit of info that might be helpful if you plan to take the plunge.
First, the official Havasupa Tribe Site, choc full of info about getting to and staying there. Plus, iit's a good idea to Google "Havasu Falls". Lot's of people have web pages about this place.
The hike in was hot and dry and took its toll on my (Tom) right knee. However, I'd highly recommend it because it's really beautiful. You can always opt to take a helicopter flight out, but get into the village early, because it's first come, first serve and the line starts forming around 6 AM.
I hope it goes without saying that if you plan to hike in, you should take lots of water. You won't see a drop until your about a mile outside of the village, about eight miles in. Did I mention that it's hot?
Take water treatment tablets with you. Carry them in your pocket everywhere you go. We took a short walk from our campsite to Mooney Falls and found out that we couldn't get back since the trail down the cliffside is pretty much down only in the morning and up only in the afternoon. So, we continued on to Beaver Falls, only three miles (about a thousand kilometers), but with basically ninety degree heat, we ran out of water soon and would have had to turn around escept that a super hero swooped in and gave us some little magic tabs that allowed us to drink river water without us turning into newts. His name is Guillaume and he crosses without his shoes! (I think it's a Catholic thing.)
The temperature at the campground hovered around the mid nineties during the day and dropped to the high fifties at night. We slept in nylon hammocks, which are light weight and very comfy, but we could have used something more to keep us warm, like a small blanket or an extra layer of clothes. There are enough trees to hammock an army. Bring some rope.
No campfires!. No alcohol! Ahhhhh!!! But, we did notice a few people pushing the limits of both without being harassed. A few people had charcoal grills that bordered on campfires. I left a perfectly good flask of bourbon at in The Westy because either I wanted to respect the wishes of the Havasupai tribe or I'm a tard and I forgot to bring it. I can't say which.
Bring mosquito repellant! There were mosquitos and no-see-ums that left us both with a few bites. We brought what amounted to a few giant incense sticks that smelled pretty good and repelled mosquitos. Next time, I'll bring the juice, since the repelling smoke didn't follow me around outside of camp.
No matter how cold the water feels, jump in! It feels great against the mid-day heat. Do the rope swing and drop into the water at Mooney Falls. The trick is to have your weight on the rope before you jump off the table or tree. Don't have a slack rope before you jump. Basically, get a good stance, leanack to tension the rope, then lift off using the rope. Otherwise you'll jump, the rope will become taught as you plummet toward the water and you'll be forced to let go. Watch the people ahead of you in line, you'll get the idea. BUT DO IT!!! You'll regret the things you didn't do more than the things you didn't. Really!
Dogs roam in and out of campsights during the day, but they are very friendly and don't really hang around and beg much. Don't feed them though or they'll be your new camping buddy. And they'll bring friends.
Even though it was crowded (more than normal according to a local we spoke to) there was adequate room to camp. Finding a space with a picnic table isn't too hard, but there are often more campers than tables. There were a few campers that had enough tables to land a plane on and many with no table at all. Campsites are not well defined, you pretty much pick a place with as few other people around as possible. The sites run along the river from just below Havasu Falls about a half mile to the top of Mooney Falls.
Water shoes or Teva's are a must. The little rocks under the water don't hurt...at first.
Okay already, off to the pics!