Brian K. Judy

Arizona Bucket List

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST FOR ARIZONA?

Here’s one of mine…

HAVASUPAI!

How had I never done this?!?

Hiking Havasupai was something of a family tradition for my wife as a young girl, but over 20 years had gone by without a trip – and I had never been.

You’ll pass Little Navajo Falls going in, and it effectively whets the appetite for more.  Then you hike next to Havasu Falls, and it’s beautiful!  At 100 ft, it’s tall enough to make some noise and it’s certainly photo worthy.

Camp runs for a whole mile from a little below Havasu Falls to the cliff above Mooney Falls.  It’s difficult to describe the descent down the cliffside to enjoy Mooney Falls.

Imagine walking to the edge of a cliff, discovering a practically hidden tunnel/cave as the only way down, and then get to the fun part with wet and muddy heavy chains and a few ladders to help you not die.  It’s awesome!

The hike down to Beaver Falls is worth the effort just for the scenery on the way.  The falls with their beautiful pools are a lovely bonus.  Initially just a lush strip in the bottom of the canyon, the landscape opens up and turns into a jungle with shoulder-high foliage along a ribbon trail.  It’s awesome!  A few creek crossings, a few more ladders and craziness, but nothing too daunting.

Beaver Falls is a great place to hang out and swim.  Big pools, slower water, plenty of room for everyone.

A FEW THINGS TO KNOW…

  1.  It takes planning (requires reservations, which literally are gobbled up within an hour for the entire year!).  Cost us $850 for the five of us to stay two nights in 2018.  We spent the night before in Williams, AZ so we could get an earlier start on the trail.  That’s less critical in cooler October weather.  Essential in hot summer months (or hike at night).
  2. Use the mules for your gear.  Best money spent on the trip.  Literally would have died if we had tried to pack it all in.
  3. It’s rigorous. Eleven miles and 4,500 ft of elevation drop to hike in.  Eleven miles and 4,500 ft of climbing to get out.  We added another 12 miles (roundtrip) and 4,860 vertical ft (down and then back up) to hike down to Beaver Falls and back.  Totally worth it – amazing!
  4. It’s a trip you’ll remember forever!