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My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon With Friends
  Five Friends, Five Days and a Taste of Eden

Hey, Everyone!

havasu falls grand canyon
My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
Havasupai Falls

I had a great break before summer school starts back up. I spent my vacation in Arizona, hiking the Grand Canyon. I do believe I've had the most relaxing week ever. Havasupai Falls is west of the Grand Canyon, a three hour drive from Flagstaff. The parking lot was FULL of all kinds of cars, everything from a 1960 something Chevy pickup that looked as if they had to push it to its final parking spot, to... a Hummer! Yes. A Hummer. And Jill thought her car might not be safe parked at the trailhead. Yeah, not with one of those darn things parked near it. Crazy.

From the trailhead which starts right at the end of the parking lot, the hike into the Grand Canyon is 8 miles down to Supai, the town where about 650 Havasupai Indians live. The Indians have lived there since 1300 A.D. FYI, Supai is the only place in the U.S. that has mail hauled down by horses.

The first mile and a half of the hike is down into the Grand Canyon through high desert. Then you descend into low desert, which is a hot and rocky scene. Typical cactus are hanging out, prickly pear and agave. No saguaro, however. I don't think it's hot enough for those. After 4 miles or so, you see the first signs of water. A small creek starts forming as you continue and after 6 1/2 or 7 miles, you see a small river flowing and inviting you to put your hat and hanky into it to cool off a bit.

My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
  Camping in the Grand Canyon

My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
Mooney Falls

When we reached Supai in the Grand Canyon, everyone of our group was in excruciating pain and my hips were killing me. We paid the camping fee and had a light lunch. No one seemed excited about beginning the two-mile hike to the campsite. I personally had packed far too much food. We decided to have communal meals, but I didn't think to measure and had no idea whatsoever how much everyone would eat. Besides learning to pack better quantities of grub, I learned not to be a hero by taking more weight, so that others could enjoy themselves. Never again! Equal distribution of weight is my new mantra.

The campsite we picked was across the river so we pulled our shorts up high and off we went. The water was so cool and refreshing after the 10 mile hike with a very heavy pack. I felt completely rejuvenated.

We spent 5 days and 4 nights camping in the Grand Canyon with perfect weather and a perfect group of friends. At the start of the hike I really didn't know them very well, except for Jill. We sang songs and told stories and hiked and ate and lounged. I brought a hammock down with me in my pack. Boy was that nice!

My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
    Discovering Havasu Falls

The first set of falls in the Grand Canyon is called Havasu Falls, which are absolutely where the Adam and Eve story could have taken place. The Havasupai Indians believe that the Grand Canyon was the origin of the human race. The pools that surround the falls are a blue-green color and have a nice smooth floor covered with green algae or a light brown mud. No rocky bottom to walk on and cut yourself on. Considering the huge impact of all the visitors to the Grand Canyon, we were happy that the water and the area around the falls wasn't littered and no broken beer bottles were seen! The water was chilly but pleasant as long as I stayed in the sun, and swimming took place often!

The next set of falls is called Mooney Falls. These falls aren't very wide, maybe 50 feet or so, maybe less. But they fall 196 feet, which is farther than Niagara! Niagara Falls claims to be a 174 foot drop, but that includes 104 feet of rock that the water falls onto, so the true Niagara drop is only 70 feet!. Mooney Falls drop the 196 feet all the way into the pool at the bottom!

My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
   Mooney Falls in the Grand Canyon

My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
Hiking at Mooney Falls

The really cool part of Mooney Falls is getting to them. The hike into the "lower" part of the Grand Canyon has a bit of a climb. For about 75 to 100 feet in an almost vertical fashion are "steps" or "footholds" that were carved into the rock many years ago. Chain has pretty recently been placed along the side of the "staircase" which could save your life if you should slip. One of the photos I sent has a rock wall with a bit of green in the foreground. If you look really close you'll see a person in a white shirt. That's my friend Anita. A few other people can be seen above her but I have no idea who they are. Anita is standing on a "level" step. Higher up, the "stairs" travel through two tunnels, but they can't be seen in the picture.

At Mooney Falls, there were a few rope swings that we flew on! My first time ever on a rope swing and letting go to drop into the water! There were also little nooks and small waterfalls with moss and ferns growing out of the rocks. The place is a dream.

My Vacation Hiking the Grand Canyon
   Hiking Out of the Grand Canyon

The hike out of the Grand Canyon wasn't so bad. It only took me 3 hours and 45 minutes to reach the top. I should mention that, when we were in Supai Village, Anita rented a mule to carry our packs on the trip back up the hill! Jill warned me I might regret not packing out my stuff myself. Carrying nothing on the return trip but some water and a lunch, I was as light as a feather! Jill was the only one of our group of five who didn't take advantage of the mule. She carried her stuff up on her back. She made the hike out only 45 minutes behind me! You know what? She was right. I enjoyed myself on the way up, but there's something about being self-sufficient and sore and tired. Plus, my pack wasn't heavy anymore, I just had my stuff and the bag of trash from our campsite. I could have done my own hauling and been fine, but I'd already paid for the mule, and wasn't about to change my mind. I'm cheap and will not pay for something and not use it!

Back at the top where we started, we collected the packs from the mule. Returning to our car, we noticed the cutest thing! The rack on top of Jill's car had a rope tied to it. The other end of the rope was attached to one of the pack horses! There's a picture of that on the CD. I hope you enjoy seeing them! Please send CD and pictures back! A real cheap holiday! It was the best hiking vacation ever! And, yes, I'll go back to hike the Grand Canyon again.

I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.

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