ARIZONA – HAVASU FALLS 3-DAY HIKE
- Tour Group: Pygmy Tour Guides
- Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
- Type of trip: Hiking + Camping OvernightDistance: 10 mile hike in to the Havasupai Falls campsite. 7 miles round trip from campsite to Beaver Falls. 10 mile hike out back to trailhead.
- Location: Grand Canyon (not the national park). Approximately ~3.5 hour drive from Las Vegas
- “Must-see” sights: Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls
The village was one of the biggest shocks for Mike and I. We had envisioned something completely different .. not sure if it was from movie films or what, but the reality of the condition of our Native American tribes and their daily life was very upsetting. I could go on and on about this matter as there are SO many factors and reasons on why they have ended up in the situation they are in. However, that is for another time. Just be prepared when you enter the village. Also, the locals do not appreciate you taking pictures of them or their horses so be respectful as you are in their home.
Although you might think you are done hiking after the 10-mile trek to the Havasupai Falls campsite on day 1; you can expect early rising on the campsite. In fact, I would highly recommend an early rise on day two to hike the additional 7-mile round-trip hike to Beaver Falls (which I can not suggest more!). Load up on food and water for the day and get ready for a very interactive and scenic hike!
First stop= Descend down Mooney Falls.
Mooney Falls is the tallest waterfall in the Grand Canyon and it will take your breath away. In order to do this 7-mile hike, you have to descend down the wall of the waterfall to get to the base. Although it is pretty scared, there are no other options to get down. Therefore getting to this point in the hike might be enough of an adventure for many. Your security depends on the chains, ladders and a few bolts.
Caution: Anyone with a fear of heights… this is probably not your cup of tea.
Top recommendations on getting down Mooney Falls safely:
1- Go down backwards, looking down at your feet before you take the next step
2- Always have at least 2 feet and a hand, or vice versa, holding on. There are chains on both sides and crevices in the rocks where you strategically place you feet / hands to get down
3- Do not rush. Give the people in front of you time to get most of the way down and ask those following you, to do the same. There are ladders, chains, misting water … no need to rush or slip up.
4- Be smart and put the camera / phone away so that you can get to the bottom in one piece.
5- Do not attempt to do this in bad weather. It is slippery enough as-is.
Once you get to the bottom of Mooney Falls, take in all of the beauty of the towering 200 foot waterfall and feel its power from a distance. (Note- Our guide has witnessed and heard of people drowning at this spot… if you get too close or try to swim right up to the base, you can get sucked underneath. It’s important to remember that this is not a national park and is not regulated by the National Park Service, therefore the safety regulations are different and you should always exercise extra-caution while on these trails.)
Once you are at the bottom of Mooney, you have a 3.5 mile hike to arrive at the final destination, Beaver Falls. This hike is nothing like the day one 10 mile hike in… the hike is filled with wading across Havasu Creek, climbing up and down ladders, passing through the open canyon full of cactus plants galore(wish we could bring them home for decor), possibly spot some wildlife, and finally arrive at the overflowing, dreamy, turquoise pools Beaver Falls.
I will let the photos tell the rest of the story since a picture is worth a thousand words.
We finished off day 2 doing absolutely nothing, relaxing in our Eno right beside Havasu Falls and a tasty fajita dinner by Chef-Chelsea!
4:00am wake-up and 5:30am departure from the campsite. The trend of keeping our bodies on the East Coast time zone continued. I had no idea how early we would be required to get up on the final day but once I understood that we were trying to beat the heat and the sun for 3/4 of the trail hike out, it all made sense. We packed up the campsite, had an on-the-go breakfast, and began the trek out of the grand canyon underneath the stars and the light of the moon for the first few miles. If you do this hike on your own, I highly recommend you get on the trail as early as possible … the first 7 miles or so were much easier and cooler in the shade. Plus it is pretty neat hiking in the dark as you watch the colors of the sunrise surround you, rising above the canyon walls.
The hike out was not nearly as ‘leisurely’. We were on a mission and at this point, we had said goodbye to all the blue-green waters. Not to mention, our feet were starting to feel the miles they’d endured the past 48 hours.
We made it to the switchbacks at the the bottom of the canyon leading up to the trailhead in about 5 hours…. By 11:00am, we made it to the top ( thank you walking poles for making all the difference ).
It is hard to believe that we accomplished our final mile of our 3-day hike all before noon and we were off en route to Las Vegas for a little bit of much needed R&R!
If you get the chance to do this trip, do it… And please, please reach out with any other questions you might have in regards to our trip!
- HIKING SHOES / TRAIL SHOES (*broken in*)
- CHACOS / WATER SHOES
- SOCKS (*wool or other quick-dry material; not cotton*)
- BATHING SUITS
- PANTS (*never know how cold it will get at night in the dessert*)
- RAIN GEAR / JACKET
- LONG SLEEVE / SHORT SLEEVE
- FLEECE JACKET (*once again, never know how cool it will get in the evenings*)
- BABY WIPES (*shampoo and other soap-like products are not allowed*)
- GLOVES/HAT (*seasonal / weather forecast dependent)
- ENO HAMMOCK
- MISCELLANEOUS: SUNGLASSES, BUG SPRAY, SUNSCREEN
Oh yeah, and pack lightly. We haven’t quoted mastered that piece of advise yet 😉