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Brian Cray - Budget Travel

Hitchhiking, Train Hopping, & Backpacking

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Havasu Falls, Permit Not Available

27 Mile Day-Hike – Havasu Falls

So I really want to do a blog entry on my wedding in Arcosanti with my beautiful wife Kelly Donaldson, but I am waiting on the pictures to come in and I really want to put some time into writing the post. I plan on doing it once Juan, our photographer, sends us the wedding photos since I have some down time between now and my next job.

My last few days in the Canyon are finally here as I leave on the 25th. I plan on hitching a ride with Randolph while he gives me some tips on hopping trains out of Flagstaff. I have two months to roam around and visit people, and potentially find a short gig before skydiving season starts.

Little Navajo Falls

Little Navajo Falls

But in the meantime I hiked Havasu Falls with Graeme in a day and without a permit. We woke up at 4 AM to head to Supai on a long ride around the canyon and back to the trailhead. With not much sleep we slammed down a few energy drinks to keep us going for the long 27-mile hike, which we thought was only 20 miles at the start. Just like any other hike, the start sent us into the Grand Canyon as we hiked down a flat, gravelly path, towards Supai Village.

Supai Village

Supai Village

Nothing really changed much compared to the other hikes in the Canyon until we reached Supai Village, where the Havasupai Native Americans still live to this day. Tons of spring-breakers waddled their way up the trail with huge packs fit for hiking Denali or living in the woods for a week, yet they only camped overnight. We laughed as we strolled through the canyon towards Supai Village. I heard the village looked depressing with trash scattered everywhere and unfavorable living conditions, but I did not see it that way, either did Graeme. Of course, a few homes looked dilapidated and abandoned with broken windows, boarded windows and doors, trash and clutter thrown about around the yards, however, the quiet breeze, fresh sunshine, calm mules grazing and beautiful scenery made it peaceful. I stood there in an envious manner wanting a simple life similar to the Havasupai. Packing in and out on mules, playing with a myriad of little doggies, lounging around and tending to gardens of vegetables and other food. It reminded me of a better version of the old run down mining towns along the TransAmerican Bicycle Trail.

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls

After a few miles we finally made it through Supai Village. I carried a small satchel with oysters, apples and sardines, sporting a gallon jug of water in my hand, alternating ever so often and Graeme carried a day pack with minimal items as well. The scenery really took a change past the village. No longer did we wander through a walled canyon with a gravelly, wash-out, susceptible to flash flooding during monsoon season, instead we meandered along Havasu Creek, admiring its bright blue tint from its high concentration of lime. We stood there in awe of its beauty, staring straight down to the bottom floor, which in some areas covered in granular pebbles and others it just looked like a crumbling texture of plaster. As we walked the blue hue became more prominent as if someone poured a huge quantity of blue Kool Aid into the creek and it never dissipated. Then we reached the most eye-popping view, Little Navajo Falls. Havasu Creek trounced over little walls of rock a few feet in length, its bright blue complexion vibrant from the rays of the sun, with a white sea floor seen clearly from the shore. We scrambled and took off our shoes quickly, walking into the brisk water as we tiptoed across the rock walls. Tiny waterfalls ran over our toes with a rough texture scraping and rubbing against the bottom of our feet. It felt like clumps of plaster digging into my feet as I walked out to the middle of Little Navajo Falls. We basked in the beauty around us for about a half hour before we continued down to the other falls reaching Havasu, Mooney and Beaver Falls all in a day and trekking back for a long day of hiking, lack of sleep and driving. We stayed up 20 hours, hiked 27 miles and drove 8 hours. It took a lot out of us.

If you enjoy hiking Havasu Falls in the West part of the Grand Canyon you should also check out the following hikes. ┬áIn Flagstaff I recommend hiking Mount Humphrey’s Peak. And on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon I recommend hiking Rim 2 Rim.

Mooney Falls

Mooney Falls

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