"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." John Muir
Ten miles? I can do that, right? Well I can and I did, but let me tell you, a more in shape version of myself would have be a lot more comfortable. There is an immense sense of accomplishment in making it to the finish line, whether it be a marathon, fun run or a hike. When I first set eyes on Havasu Falls and then subsequently the land surrounding I knew that this would be my next big adventure. The crystal blue waters had captured my imagination and transported me to a world that would rival Narnia or Wonderland.
Because we were going in the off-season, I was lucky enough to get someone on the reservation phone almost immediately , some fellow travelers have not been so lucky. I booked into the bare bones guest lodge and at the same time they issued us our permit. Lacking modern amenities such as a television or phone, this lodge did have access to pretty strong WIFI (which I only discovered the second night), hot water and comfy clean beds. Which really after hiking all day this is all you will require.
Starting from the Hilltop (this is where you will park) you begin a steep 1.5 mile rough descent down into the canyon. Making my way down the switchbacks, overly cautious of the narrow paths and debris, I almost wasn't able to enjoy the vast expanse of the canyon, glowing and rust coloured walls stretching almost infinitely. Once we arrived at the bottom of the canyon, we were able to set a comfortable pace, the air still being a bit chilly hugged us and the strong gusts of wind seemed to nudge us towards our destination.
Two hours later (be nice, I have short legs) we arrived. Supai is simple and to modern standards almost barren. With a town square that houses a general store, community center, cafe and post office you will find all your necessities here. A small church, a elementary school and the Guest Lodge are the other main buildings. A spider web of dirt roads connect them.
Havasu Falls was everything and more. A moving oasis of streams and waterfalls, transparent blue, surrounded by the red rock of the desert. Spring fed, the waters are consistent in temperature and even though warned that it would probably be too cold, I decided to swim in one of the magical pools.
Fidel (pronounced Feedel) a local Supai tribesman was just finishing up his lunch at the head of Mooney Falls, I had made the decision the descent would be too dangerous for myself, and we were taking some pictures of the falls from above. Fidel whom may be part mountain goat told us stories of sleeping in cliff side caves, of the flooding that almost wiped away the water falls all together and the charred remains of a once thriving forest, accidentally set ablaze during a controlled fire. He was so passionate about the surrounding area, and he genuinely seemed pleased to be sharing some of his tribes history with us.
Because we were visiting in late February , we didn't have to worry about weather very much. The temperature didn't rise enough to be uncomfortable or give us worry to make sure we had enough water, (in the summer months they recommend not heading out without at least a gallon of water) to keep us hydrated.