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The hike into Havasu Canyon
Geschreven door Igor   
Sunday 17 September 2000

In the months before we left for the USA we had gathered information about Havasu Canyon. Havasu Canyon is part of the Grand Canyon and known for its beautiful waterfalls. Since it's not very easily accessible it does not attract large amounts of people, but it is very popular judging from the amount of web sites dedicated to it. We found a large part of info through the Internet and a month before we would leave we called the Havasupai Enterprises Camping Office for information. They faxed us information on fees, check-in times, facilities and directions to the trailhead.

We made this USA-trip together with Wendy and Marco, my sister and brother-in-law. Since we wanted to do different things at this point of the trip, we decided to split up for two days. From a campground near Parker, AZ we made arrangements with the Havasupai Lodge for the next night. Fortunately we had no problem reserving a room at such short notice.

On Saturday, after we dropped off Wendy and Marco and had dinner together outside their cabin at the Kingman KOA, we drove old route 66 to Peach Springs, where we checked in at the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn around 7:30 PM. We got a $5 discount thanks to our AAA-card

 

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Sunday morning we got up early, at 4:45 AM so we could leave the Inn at 5:50. Still a 66 mile drive to Hualupai (pronounce: 'Walapai') Hilltop where the Trailhead begins. We had to drive back a little so we could take Indian Road 18, which is the only road leading to the hilltop. It was so quiet along the way that we even saw a huge deer, antlers and all, along the road, just before we were warned by signs that there might be some deer crossing the road. Of course we didn't see it coming, so unfortunately we don't have a picture. We arrived at about 7:10 AM. We parked our car among a lot of other cars on Hualupai Hilltop and left it, and most of our luggage, behind at 7.25.

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The way to get into the village of Supai and to the falls is by hiking the Havasu Canyon trail. It starts off very steep for about 1.5 mile, which takes only about 40 minutes, going down. We were glad we wore our hiking boots because the path is quite rough with a lot of rocks on it. But the view... the view was incredible! It was also a good thing we had left early, because we profited from plenty of shade during the first part of the hike.
After the steep descent the trail becomes more flat and leads into the canyon. After a while the red canyon walls surround you. For the next couple of miles, the trail is dusty and very dry. All you see is grit, pebbles and other kinds of rock. There are hardly any signs, but the way to go is quite obvious. Most of the time in the lower parts you're simply following the dried up creek bed.

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Clues you're going the right way are the mule pack trains you see along the way and from time to time a hiker going the opposite direction. By the way, I can really recommend an early morning hike, since around 11 AM it starts getting quite hot in the canyon.
The weirdest thing for us along the way was to first become aware of an awful smell after which we discovered we were passing by a dead horse. Apart from that we were walking along the trail staring our eyes out as if we were in some kind of magical place.

The walk was pleasant for about 2 hours. Half an hour later my knee started to hurt and we both started to get tired. We're not that used to hiking, especially not in this type of country (hey, we're from the Low Countries, they're low and flat!). After walking for about 3 hours we heard the sound of water running, shortly after which we actually saw the creek (Havasu creek) that leads to the village. By following directions - 'follow creek downstream, cross bridge and stay to your right' - we easily found our way to Supai village.

 

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