Havasupai: A Sweet Retreat for Hikers

Kyra Taylor, VHS Writer

Eight miles deep in the Grand Canyon lies the home of the native tribe Havasu Baaja, and two miles beyond their living grounds accentuates a prepossessing sight of the favored Havasupai waterfall as well as many others. This part of the canyon and the 20 mile round trip hike holds some of the most breathtaking scenery and offers the opportunity to explore a native culture and lifestyle, and a chance to take a break from the fast moving everyday suburban lifestyle we live to connect with nature.

Mile, mile and a half: Two hikers take to the trail of Havasupai and are enclosed within the canyon walls. A 20 mile round trip lies ahead of these hikers as they make their way to the Havasu Falls campground where they will spend the next 4 days. Photograph: Kyra Taylor

The trail head is called Hualapai Hilltop, located at the end of route 18 off Historic Route 66 and three miles north.

The journey is a 20 mile round trip; 10 miles to the campground and 10 miles back. Unless you are staying in the lodge located in the Supai village you must provide your own sleeping equipment, food, and toiletries for your use at the campground.

Reservations are required for all campers and hikers. Online reservations are not yet available due to the recent release of their new website that launched in February of 2017, but reservations by phone are always available.

The trail offers pack mules to carry the hikers backpacks and even give them a bumpy ride down into the canyon, and for the people seeking an easier route, a helicopter is available to transport the sightseers to the campgrounds. Rates can be found on the Havasupai website.

The first and only set pit stop on the way to the campgrounds is the Supai village, 8 miles deep lies the home of the “People of the Blue Green Waters” or better known as the Havasupai Tribe.

The tribe, who is completely cut off from the outside world and thrives off the land has been living in the village of Supai for over 1,000 years and their territory covers 188,077 acres of the canyon. The lodge, check in and information center is also located in Supai.

Junior Glenn Kelly of Verrado High School who has hiked the trail says, “Entering the native land down there was super eye opening because you see the conditions these people live in but it’s part of their everyday lives so they were super nice and had great attitudes.”

Senior Jordyn Williamson who attends Verrado High School participated in Art teacher Mr. Waldron’s’ hiking group down into the canyon this previous year to work with the children in the Supai village on the “Umbrella Project”.

The umbrella project allowed the Supai students to express their artistic ability through drawing and painting on an umbrella. Williamson says, “Working with the children at the Havasupai elementary school was difficult at first because they are very hesitant to welcome newcomers into their home. After the rough first day, they began warming up to us, realizing that we only intended to know them and their culture. They were very reluctant to tell us about their tribe and their way of life.”

Hiking just two miles deeper into the Canyon, a hiker will find themselves turning a rocky corner to the sight and smell of the Caribbean blue waters of the most famous waterfall of the trail; Havasu falls.

Glenn Kelly says, “My favorite waterfall was Havasu Falls, the huge waterfall is such a gorgeous view and such a massive and powerful waterfall.”

The campsite is within a short walking distance of the waterfall, when camp settles down at night the campers can hear the rushing waters hitting the pool below. Looking above a camper will find themselves surrounded by the red canyon walls, blue skies, and giant green trees.

The Havasu Falls isn’t the only exquisite waterfall a camper will come across. Mooney Falls is a mile away from the campsite, Beaver Falls is three miles from the campsite, and the Colorado river is another ten miles.  

For those seeking an isolated, beauteous, canyon getaway experience, the Havasupai trail is the perfect choice.