I finally had a chance to go through my photos and relive one of the best girls trips. Ever. After Shadi and I got back from South America we met up with our other girlfriends in California, packed up the van, and headed to Arizona. It took us 9+ hours to get to Northern Arizona from Los Angeles [thanks rush hour!!] It was brutal but worth it.
So, here is the lowdown on the hike.
GETTING THERE: The trailhead starts at Hualapai Hilltop. It is situated at the end of Indian Road 18 and 65 miles north of Route 66. It takes approximately 3-4 hours from Flagstaff, Arizona and 5-6 hours from Phoenix, Arizona.
HIKING DISTANCE [Hualapai to campground]: 20 miles/round-trip
HIKING TIME: Approximately 3-4 hours
SUGGESTED STAY: 3 days/2 nights
Water [for length of stay], Food [for length of stay], hiking boots, swim suit, Backpacking tent and/or hammock, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, headlamp, backpacking stove, cup, bowl, utensils, etc., sense of humor.
inflatable sting-ray, red wine
Before we even went on our trip, Shadi and I both agreed that we were most excited about our Havasupai adventure. The idea of 6 girls packed in a van, driving on the open desert, and experiencing the wonder of Supai seemed thrilling.
And it was.
We arrived at Hualapai Hilltop parking lot at 3am, took a short nap in our over-packed van, and started our hike into Supai around 8am on a Saturday morning. 4 hours later we were at the tourist office paying our $81.40/each permit fee. By the time we got to our campsite at 1pm we were beat. I had blisters on my toes and the weight from my pack was killing my shoulders. After a short rest, setting up our tents, and getting fresh water from the Fern Spring, we headed out to explore the falls. When we first caught sight of the lime-rich waters on our hike in we dubbed it “Avatar Heaven.”
Rightfully so. I could have stayed behind and lived in Supai forever. It was something out of a fairy tale and everything about it was gorgeous. There are four main falls to explore: Little Navajo, Havasu, Mooney, and Beaver Falls. We spent most of our time the Havasu and Mooney falls [we didn't get a chance to check out Beaver Falls.] We had the bright idea to bring an inflatable stingray and spent a good amount of the time bombing little falls on it. We got good use out of it at Havasu and was totally worth packing in [it also doubled as a bed when my sister found out how hard the ground really was.]
It took a little more guts to get down to Mooney Falls. It's a combination of short, dark caves, steep inclines, and a series of wet, slippery wooden ladders. I had to pack my camera away and take off my shoes just to make the descent. The short but dangerous hike was worth it. It was a challenge in itself. And well worth the risk.
And that got me thinking. There is something special about a girls trip with your closet friends. Especially on a trip like this. We didn't go on a weekend getaway to sip on margaritas and lounge by the pool. We hiked 20+ into a desert canyon in the hot sun, spent 3 days/2 nights in tents together, and challenged each other to do things some of us have never done before. I read a book once that talked about the bond between people who struggle together [and trust me.. when you hike 20+ miles in the hot sun.. there is struggle] and become more connected to one another. People who work and pain together have a deeper understanding of the human experience. I'm not trying to say struggle and pain is good. I'm trying to say that there is something profound about an experience that forces people to examine the fundamentals of life.
I felt like I did that with this trip. So much so, we were all a little sad to part ways afterwards.
How to Havasupai with the girls.