Havasupai

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JackBurns

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May 14, 2013
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I would like to take the boys down Havasupi this year (2015).
When is the best time to head down there? Plus any other advice would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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Tater Head

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I will be watching this thread close. I have been wanting to get down there as well...
 
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steve

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I'll be planning a trip this year as well. It'll be my first time, so i can't offer any advice.
 

Nick

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Who do I know has been there.... @Bigred72 @AustinCronnelly @blueeyes

I haven't, and due to the crowds and reservation hassles, I've never been very interested. But I'd imagine just due to the nature of the Grand Canyon, it would be a mighty hot hike anytime from late May through summer. Probably better before or after.
 

Henk

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Agree with Nick about the timing, in view of flowering cacti i personally prefer springtime.
We have been twice, in April and July. One time it was very Sunny and already hot, the 2nd time it was nice warm weather at least part of the time.
When swimming and hanging around at Havasu Falls the next day, the sky suddenly darkened and within 45 min after it started pouring Havasu Falls had changed into a brown thundering monster. Such flashfloods are more likely to happen in the Monsoon season, every 5 years or so.

See for average weather conditions around the Grand Canyon and Havasupai at:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-condition.htm#CP_JUMP_155163
http://www.havasuwaterfalls.com/weather.html
the 2nd link also shows a picture at the bottom that is identical to what we saw during the 1992 flashflood.

The scenery is awesome and when you take the long hike to the Grand Canyon you hardly see anybody, i would suggest to hike at least to Beaverfalls.
 
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Dan_85

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Jul 25, 2013
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I was there in early June this year (last year even, 2014!). It was already pretty hot, i'd say about 100F in the mid afternoon sun, but the water was beautiful. Although I made it to Beaver Falls, my biggest regret is not going all the way to the Colorado :( I'll write up the trip report if anyone is interested?

Try to avoid school/college breaks as much as possible, and i'll also say that you should aim to head in on a Sunday. Fridays and Saturdays seem to be their busiest days but I went in on a Sunday and really didn't find the crowds to be too bad. And if you're interested in more than lazing in the pools all day and want to hike a little, you'll encounter very few people once you get about 10 mins downstream from Mooney Falls...
 

Nick

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I'll write up the trip report if anyone is interested?
Very much! How long is the hike from the Colorado up to all the popular falls? I haven't mapped it out, but it looks like a pretty good distance.
 

Dan_85

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Very much! How long is the hike from the Colorado up to all the popular falls? I haven't mapped it out, but it looks like a pretty good distance.
The campground to the Colorado is about 8mi one way by all accounts, so 16 mi round trip should take up most of the day. I had planned to do it on my second day there but i'd rolled an ankle a few days previous which was giving me grief. I really regret not doing it :( There are also a couple of other trails up on the bench above the campground which I really wanted to hike as they see almost no foot traffic aside from tribe members. However they pass by a number of Havasupai burial sites and there are signposts warning you not to venture onto these "unofficial" trails, so I was a bit wary of being disrespectful and possibly marched back out to the Hualapai Hilltop. I'll pull a TR together in the next day or so...
 

Nick

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Not sure if you'll know this, but do river runners hike all the way up to the falls and back? Do they have to like pay an entrance fee or something? Or is that longer than rafts typically would stop there? I'm really dreaming about floating through the Grand in the near future and that might be the only way I'd ever end up close to Havasupai.
 

Dan_85

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Not sure if you'll know this, but do river runners hike all the way up to the falls and back? Do they have to like pay an entrance fee or something? Or is that longer than rafts typically would stop there? I'm really dreaming about floating through the Grand in the near future and that might be the only way I'd ever end up close to Havasupai.
I've read that raft trips will stop at the confluence and passengers (is that the right term?!) will often disembark and hike a little way up Havasu Creek. There is a boundary sign though where the tribal lands begin, and hence from where you would need to have a permit. I'm not sure that anybody would ever check you though. But from what i've read, most commercial raft trip passengers never venture more than about half a mile or so up the creek and certainly nowhere near as far up as Beaver Falls.
 

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I made it to Havasupai in late August. Air temps were hot but the water was cold so cold in fact one in our party wouldnt swim! So I guess that is something to consider. If you plan on swimming a lot an early spring trip might be too frigid to swim/rope swing/etc.

I will post a TR someday. Currently having some PC issues. Hope I didnt lose my pics but I may have.

We arrived at the trailhead at about 1AM (saw a momma mountain lion and 3 cubs on the road, dang near hit them) add elk, deer and javelina and we had an interesting/ dangerous drive. That might be one suggestion try not to drive at night out there or if you do take your time.

We found some dirt near the parking lot and tried to sleep but the mosquitos/flying insects were pretty bad and I didnt get much sleep. (didnt have any insect problems in the canyon). Hike in was long, especially for those with me not in backpacking shape. For most of my party day one consisted of napping at the campsite (personally I was exploring and taking pics all afternoon).

Ill type some more in a bit about to lose power on laptop.
 

Henk

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I've done the hike from the town Supai to the Colorado, which is about 19 miles roundtrip, i left around 6.30-7.00.
Up to Mooney along Havasu Falls and the campsite it's a normal trail, after that it's very variable.

Having only hiking boots, after two river crossings and the 3rd one only some 100 m (or yards) further i decided drying feet and putting on shoes again would take to much time so i went on barefoot.

Beyond the tunnel through Mooney you have to cross the river maybe 25 times so most people would like to have watershoes, moreover there is plenty of scrambling and somewhere in the middle was a rope so you could pull up yourself on a big boulder.
On the way to the river i didn't stop to much and i was there around 11.30.

About 0.5 mile before i got there i caught up with a group rafters which were just on the way back and left immediately, they only had played around in the river for a while.
After lunch/relaxing for 1 hour next to the Colorado i returned making plenty of pictures (slides unfortunately) and returned around 18.00.

We later went on an 12 day motorized rafttrip, a "hiking special" it was called. I had phoned with the owner and he assured me that they always hiked to Havasu Falls, i wanted to show my wife Beaverfalls (about 3 miles from the river) so that was okay.
When i mentioned on the trip to the leading guide how excited i was to go again to those Falls he told me that they would only stop to hike a little bit and play in the water, anyway being there we just left the group and hiked on to Beaverfalls ourselves.

I have seen messages on the internet that at a certain period there were Indians halfway the Canyon that stopped rafters to collect entrance fees, maybe around 2005.
I remember that brought them in conflict with the Park Service.
The map on the NPS-site shows that in contrast to the Hualapai reservation "nextdoor", on the Havasu side of the Colorado there is a slice of NPS territory.

On the following pages you will find tripreports (2013) of the hike to Supai + the hike to the Colorado.
http://theblondecoyote.com/2013/04/15/grand-canyon-havasu/
http://theblondecoyote.com/2013/04/17/grand-canyon-down-havasu-to-the-colorado/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havasu_Creek

The destructive flashfloods that take place on a regular basis can however change things dramatically.
 

AustinCronnelly

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Jan 18, 2012
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I visited in Mid October and the hiking weather was great. The swimming was a little chilly, but only really noticeable if you were in the shade. If you can swing it, try to make yourself available for a full Sunday. It seemed that most people were leaving on that day and we had the entire afternoon to ourselves swimming at Havasu Falls. It was a great experience and I can't wait to get back!
 

Bigred72

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Mar 14, 2012
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These are all unorganized thoughts from my trip in June 2014:

We went around the third Wednesday of June. We left the trailhead around 2am and made it to the office by 6am when it opened, so we were in our campsite around 7am and slept for several hours. We hiked out around 4am on Sunday morning and were back at our car around 10am. They do have some drink/snack carts at the top for when hikers are coming out. Pricing is a premium, but worth it. That last mile is a bear for any inexperienced hikers with big elevation gains on their belt. Most people were leaving on Saturday afternoon. It went from packed to desolate. Based on the days you are there, you may want to wear ear plugs at night with the amount of people leaving in the middle of the night. It was around 100 degrees with no rain the time we were there. Really thought during the day it was fine since we hit the water and shade most of the time. We went as far down as Beaver Falls. Between the hike in, around and out we went around 32 miles on foot. I sleep in a hammock, so at night I actually had to cover up with a thin blanket, while all of my tent camping friends were bare bones and still hot. We did pack in and hike out all of our own equipment. For times sake, when we go back in the future we'll either get horses or pay for the helicopter ride, mules also. Al at a first come, first serve basis. There are mice and squirrels all around in the camp sites. They hide out well, but you better not leave anything out, and even then are at risk of having it eaten. As long as your prepared, all will go well. The restrooms are kept in great shape. There are stray dogs all around once you get to the permit office and down through the camp sites. We never had any issues with them, but they are always on the lookout for scraps. The Havasu village is really beaten down, but they have a little restaurant/food shop with air conditioning in it for a great break. It is near the permit office and two miles away from the campsite, but only 1 mile from New Navajo Falls which is a must see. That being said, it is a great trip!!!
 
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OK Im back! Continued from first post.

Mice and Bats at night and squirrels during the day. Dont tie your trash bag/food to a tree with your hammock attached. A friend of mine learned the hard way!

The Havasupai tribesmen were mostly indifferent to us. A few smiles and a few frowns. I heard many rumors of weird stuff and people creeping into campsites and such and one day when we arrived back at camp there were several wickermen/voodoo/skinwalker sh*t under my hammock. Scared the crap out of me and I almost packed up and left that night rather than wait until the next morning.

One day they were selling navajo tacos which were well worth the $7. It was a bit odd the gatoraide cost as much as the navajo taco :)
 

Bob

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Way back, 1972, on a 10 day raft trip went from the Colorado R up, went about half day never saw a soul. It's a nice canyon. Times are changed now I'd guess. Never been down from top, not much interest, I guess with Res hassles. Try the LCR........ that's a different story.
 

Bigred72

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Along with the dogs, there are packs of kids that go around and 'ask' for snacks, but they didn't cause any trouble. We didn't have an issue with bugs. I don't remember applying any bug spray or very little, maybe around the ankles. The bats were a big help for this I guess. Don't tie anything up to any of the rock faces or your stuff will get chewed up by mice, etc. For sunscreen, I either wore long, loose clothing or I had a deodorant/roll on type sunscreen which is awesome. After switching to that I'll never go back to lotion and definitely spray on ever again.
 

Henk

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Nov 11, 2014
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Searching for something completely different i stumbled upon a few Havasupai links i never did see before.
I found them very interesting as they not only give practical info, but also an insight in how flashfloods have reshaped and keep reshaping this beautiful canyon on a regular basis.
http://cedarandsand.blogspot.nl/2013/04/havasupai-grand-canyon-day-1.html
http://tyler-isupa.blogspot.nl/2008/08/havasupai-2008.html
http://tyler-isupa.blogspot.nl/2008/08/havasupai-flood-august-17th-2008.html

The link below gives a detailed historical overview of all the floods from 1900-1995, i didn't realise there were that many!
http://wwwpaztcn.wr.usgs.gov/webb_pdf/WRIR96-4059.pdf
1990, 1992, 1993 marked a period of severe floods that caused a lot of damage, notably to the travertine pools below Havasu, and there have been a few more after that.
The document, moreover, has plenty of photographs that compare "before and after" situations.

We were swimming in the travertine pools at Havasu Falls when the 1992 flood (pg30-31) started and saw it all happening from the cave next to the Falls.
From this safe place it was a fantastic experience, after that you don't need an explanation how erosion works and how canyons are formed!

Hope this is of interest to all who plan to go, it makes you realise that even next spring things could have changed again, just overnight.
 

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