For today's #wanderlustwednesday I decided to stay inside the gorgeous US of A. If you are visiting the Grand Canyon (and if you haven't done that yet, go now...it really is amazing in person), are there for a couple days and want a ideally scenic (but difficult) overnight hike to go on, may I suggest Havasu Falls.
Havasu means "people of blue green waters" and they aren't kidding with this one. These falls are located at the bottom of Havasupai Canyon and can be found after a 10 mile hike down.
To get there you will need to drive from Route 66 and turn off onto Indian Road 18 and head to the Hualapai Hilltop parking area. From Flagstaff or Vegas it is around a 3-4 hour drive. Coming from the South Rim, I have seen many advisories to not drive the road highlighted on the map below unless you have an off road vehicle. The road is not paved and needs 4 wheel drive and an elevated car to navigate.
Most people drive to the Parking lot on Hualapai Hilltop and camp (or sleep in the car) the night before so they can get a start on the 10 mile hike at first light.
Once you are at the starting point there are a variety of options to get down to the bottom of the canyon. You can hike yourself down there with your packs on your back (free). You can strap your packs to a mule or horse and hike yourself down there (around $10) or you can ride a mule or horse down to the bottom (around $100)
If you plan on hiking the trail be aware that you need to make a reservation to hike, camp, or stay at a motel beforehand! Also any pack horses will need to be reserved at least a couple weeks before as well.
If you prefer indoor plumbing and a bed after a 10 mile hike there is a lodge at the bottom of the canyon in the village of Supai. A room is extremely standard and will run you around $145 a night. Reservations can only be made on the phone and apparently you must book at least 6 months out. The number is 1-928-448-2111 or 1-928-448-2201 and the hours of operation are 8am - 5pm 7 days a week.
I would suggest spending at least two nights in the canyon, giving you one full day to explore. On the first day, once you finally hike all the way down you will most likely be needing a warm meal and a cold shower (or dip in the cascade pool). There are 4 different waterfalls to explore so I would take at least the full day to do all of them.
From the village of Supai where the campgrounds and lodge are located there is a trail head for the 4 waterfalls. The first one you will encounter will be Navajo Falls (pictured above), it is around a 1.5 mile walk from the trail head.
As you continue only a half mile past Navajo falls you will come upon the main attraction, Havasu Falls (pictured above). It is one of the most photographed falls in the world.
Another mile past Havasu falls is Mooney falls (pictured above). This waterfall is 200ft high and is named after a cowboy who fell to his death here. If you go here use extreme caution. The rocks are slippery and steep.
The last falls are Beaver Falls (pictured above) and they are 3 miles after Mooney. This is a smaller cascading waterfall but still just as beautiful.
There are a couple of options for hiking back up out of the canyon as well. For $85 a person you can take a helicopter out of the falls. I did read that it is reserved for local tribesman so a back up plan is necessary if they are not running that day. Also since no reservations are taken you should get in line as early as possible the morning of your departure. The ride is a total of 6 minutes but you of course get some pretty great views of the canyon on the way out.
You can also ride a pack horse back out of the canyon ($75 a person) or hike the 10 miles back up. Either way be prepared for a long day and start as early as possible so you can take advantage of the shade from the canyon walls.
I hope this helps put Havasu Falls on your list of destinations, I know its at the top of mine. Even though it is kind of difficult to get down to the gorgeous areas, sometimes the journey is completely worth the destination.
**This post is apart of my #wanderlustwednesday series I do here on my blog. I have not been to this beautiful location but all information posted here is extensively researched. If you have any questions on this place feel free to email me!