This weekend trip was pushing the extremes of even our amount of craziness. It started on February 1st, when I sat furiously clicking through the website lottery system for two hours… yes, you read that right. Two hours. The website kept continuously crashing due to the insane amount of INSANE people trying to sign up. I finally snagged a permit for this past weekend, not without getting double charged a hefty permit fee. Thankfully, obtaining a refund was quick and easy.
And then, the next mishap. Somehow a few months ago, when I googled directions from SLC to the trailhead, I managed to find some location only six and a half hours away. Not the 10 hours away it actually is. So imagine my bewilderment and instant freak out when the night before we left, Mr. Google broadcasts that my imaginary directions were just that, imaginary. With some quick scrambling of our Friday afternoon patient schedules, we were able to hit the road a few hours early to make up for my mistake.
Then there was the long ten hour drive filled with lots of wallowing in snot on my part (thanks, nasty URI!) and coffee. We nearly hit four rabbits, three elk, and one bobcat on the final one hour drive along Indian Road 18. It was eventful, to say the least. We slept in the back of my jeep, who we refer to as Copper, for a few hours before hitting the trail bright and early the next morning.
The Havasu Falls trail is about ten miles to the campground and passes through the Supai village about eight miles in. The village is the perfect place to take a break and chow down on some local fry bread. Between the village and the campground are the first three falls: Fifty Foot Falls, Lower Navajo Falls, and the famous Havasu Falls. After the campground are Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls, about two miles past the campground. I must say that I was surprised at how accurate the photos I saw of Havasu Falls were, considering how enhanced most photos are these days. But the blue water truly is that blue, and is all thanks to the lime in the water.
We camped overnight before heading back out the next morning. Most people stay two nights, allowing an extra day of rest and time to explore the waterfalls more before heading out of the canyon. Ideally, we would have spent two nights as well, but with our schedules, it just wasn’t possible.
I was a little disappointed to see the number of people who used pack mules to carry the gear or didn’t even do the hike, and just helicoptered in and out of the village. Part of the allure of this place is its remoteness, albeit not so remote anymore. It was clear that many of the people we encountered were not avid hikers, but merely searching for that perfect “insta” worthy shot.
Despite the mishaps, being sick for twenty miles of hiking in a little over twenty-four hours, driving twenty hours in one weekend, and my camera deciding to be a goober (hence the weird, grainy photos below), I’m still so grateful that we snagged a permit to this incredible place.