By: Jordan Valente
Going through Emails Monday morning I noticed a close friend had reached out. The title read “Havasupai Fall’s two days! Get here”. Now if you have ever researched getting your hands on one of these permits, you understand when I say it’s next to impossible, or extremely hard at best. Without any hesitation I responded “count me in!” . Wasting no time I quickly loaded up the truck, headed to the market, and set off on the sixteen hour drive down to Arizona.
There’s no real camping at the TH, so we found a nice field (which later turned out to be a cow pasture) to set up camp. When heading out on a hike of this caliber you always want to eat an amazing breakfast beforehand. It’s a great way to fill the stomach with fuel for the long day ahead. Taking the lead on campsite chef I made sure to prepare a feast for breakfast. We then loaded up the vehicles making our way via TH. Looking into the canyon for the first time was extremely intimidating. First two miles starts with a steep descent winding down into the valley floor, followed by hiking through some narrow canyon walls. It’s wise to start very early since the afternoon heat can become dangerously overwhelming. We had packed plenty of water and snacks to get us through the twelve mile hike carrying heavy packs. Ten miles in, we were running dangerously low on water, and there has been nothing but rock and sand the entire way. Where are the lush waterfalls and rivers I’ve read about? No sooner were these images running through my head when I looked up and saw a small stream.
We all just stopped and looked at each other in disbelief. Was this just our imagination playing tricks? Maybe a mirage of some sorts. With no more hesitation we quickly ran to investigate. Well it was in fact water, the most refreshing water I’ve ever touched. We spent ten minutes splashing our faces, soaking our clothes, and regaining that natural energy fresh water gives you. From then on everything started to become much more green, trees and grass lined the river, horses were out walking around. In the distance people could be heard talking. Within a few short minutes we arrived at the village of the Havasupai Indians. This was something out of a movie! The Havasupai tribe have resided in the grand Canyon for the last eight hundred years. There was something very calm and peaceful about seeing this village and their way of life. Working our way through the village we knew the end of the hike was getting close. Little did we know that the village was the gateway to one of the most amazing and beautiful places in North America.
Words can’t describe your feelings when you first lay eyes onto the crystal clear streams flowing over waterfalls and filling the deep pools that lie beneath. We immediately ran to set up camp. Before the last person could get their tent pitched, the rest of had our shorts on running like children into the water. Tilting your head towards the sky, canyon walls surround you, and the vivid blue sky above dramatically stands out against the red stone. We spent three days exploring the surroundings. Day hikes through Jurassic park like jungles, exploring dozens of rivers and waterfalls, cliff jumping into magical blue water. Waking up on day three wasn’t easy. We had so much fun swimming, laying in the sun, leaving the busy world behind us, that we almost forgot about the hike back out. So we mustered up every last bit of energy, packed up camp, said our goodbyes to Havasupai, and trekked twelve miles back out (all of witch is uphill). Reaching the top just before dusk my body completely collapsed from exhausting. A smile took over my face while laying on the hard ground reflecting back over the last few days. This place requires you to push yourself both physically and mentally, with one of the best rewards offered. I’ve traveled the world, and I can honestly say this was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever experienced.