|Hiking into the Grand Canyon from Hualapai Hilltop to Supa|
Kelty backpacks, made sure the packs were adjusted, and packed the car. We traveled down dark, vacant Route 66 a short distance to our 62 mile turnoff to Hualapai Hilltop. The kids dozed, and the sun peaked out from behind the hills, and hubby watched for cattle in the road. We arrived at Hualapai Hilltop just after sunrise, and were excited to begin the 8 mile hike into the canyon and the village of Supai, which is part of the Havasupai Reservation. (Note: The name Hualapai Hilltop was confusing at first because we'd just come from the Hualapai Reservation at Grand Canyon West, yet Hualapai Hilltop is the trailhead leading down into the Havasupai Reservation, and the Village of Supai.)
Ace Bandage or two, as well as a first aid kit with instant ice packs, and Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Cushions. Thank goodness, we were prepared with these items because we ending up using them all even though we had proper hiking shoes and socks. It's almost inevitable when hiking on uneven, rocky terrain, for that distance!
We stopped and took lots of pictures along the way, but it's hard to do justice to the amazing, natural wonder of landscape that is the Grand Canyon, the varied terrain, the altitude, and the vivid colors. I wish I could say that the kids were all soaking up the natural wonders around them, but alas there is always one who is less than enthused, which made the hike take a little bit longer than planned. We took extra breaks to adjust hiking shoes, snacks, water, etc. to help along the way, and even the picture breaks provided short rests.
I'm not going to lie...8 miles in July, in the Arizona heat, with temperatures in the mid-90's makes for a long 4 hour hike. The last mile, as we approached Supai and began to see and hear water, seemed especially long because we really didn't have any idea how close we were to the village at that point. When we finally reached Supai, I'm sure we looked like most tourists; we were hot, sweaty, exhausted, and a few were cranky. But the icy cold drinks we sipped while we waited for lunch to be prepared in the nondescript air-conditioned Cafe began to revive us little by little. And let me tell you, those expensive, calorie packed burgers and huge tacos were worth every penny. Our lunch hit the spot, and helped to recharge us.
We checked in to the Havasupai Lodge (don't bother trying to check in early), changed into bathing suits, and geared up for one of our ultimate destinations, and hiked to the first waterfall, Rock Falls a 30 foot waterfall. After watching others jump off a small ledge underneath the main fall, we put on water shoes, swam over, climbed up the rocky edge, and leaped through the fall as the water from above prickled our skin. It was exhilarating! We watched as several courageous souls jumped from the top of the falls. Rosebud and Rhody, wanted to jump, and we climbed to the top with them, to check it out. OMG, it was high and scary! First Rosebud, then Rhody launched off, jumping out so as not to hit the rock at the top that jutted out. My heart was in my throat as they leaped into the beautiful, turquoise water, and I couldn't breathe until I saw them surface again (which seemed to take forever!). They both amazed me with their bravery and for seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I hope they will always remember the thrill of jumping, and the adrenalin rush as they plunged into breathtaking Rock Falls.
Other links to check: http://alacartegreen.blogspot.com/2011/08/july-was-blur.html
http://alacartegreen.blogspot.com/Havasupai Mooney Falls2012.html
|Rock Falls in the Grand Canyon, north of Supai|
|Rock Falls - 30 foot waterfall|
|Rhody jumping from the lower ledge, through Rock Falls|
|Rosebud and Rhody seize the day and jump from the top of Rock Falls!|
|Rock Falls - the "stairs" up to the 30' jump|
|Rock Falls from a distance|