The Most Beautiful Place On Earth?
The first time I visited Havasu Falls was back in 1967 as a 15 year old Boyscout. Havasu is one of three falls located at the west end of the Grand Canyon in the Havasupai Indian reservation where more than 600 members of the Havasupai tribe live year round. To get there you drive out to Hualapai Hilltop, park your car, hike down the side of a canyon, then start an eight mile hike into Supai Village.
The trail takes you from the desert and winds down through canyons that reach hundreds of feet above you as you walk between walls that sometimes narrow to less than 10 feet apart.
As you hike along the trail a tiny stream of water slowly grows into a small stream and eventually into a fair sized creek. About 8 miles into the hike the trail opens into a wide valley where you'll find Supai Village, home of the Havasupai Indian tribe, you get the feeling you're walking into Shangri-La.
There's a trading store, post office, lodge, cafe, school, 2 churches and the homes of the people who have lived here for more than 800 years. You pay the tribe a few dollars to visit their campgrounds and head off for the first of the falls. Following the creek for about a mile, you cross a wooden bridge and come to Navajo Falls, the first of the three falls.
Another half mile and you come to Havasu Falls, the most popular of the three and where the tribe has setup a campground where on my first trip with the scouts, we stayed for 3 wonderful days.
One of the other scouts and I set up our tent, grabbed a bite to eat and decided to go swimming. While other members of our troop had been here before, this was our first time, so we decided to swim downstream for a while. There were at least a dozen little miniature waterfalls that created pools that were deep enough neither of us could touch bottom.
We swam downstream about 1/4 mile and decided it was time to head back to camp. We'd noticed that a trail had pretty much followed the creek, so instead of trying to swim upstream, we got out and walked back to our campsite.
An hour or so later, some of the guys who had been here before started talking about going down to "Mooney" and asked if we wanted to come along. We had no idea what they were talking about, but decided to go along.
We all started hiking down the trail that Chris and I had just walked back from and we recognized the place where we'd come out of the creek. We all walked another 25 feet and both of us froze when we saw that if we'd continued swimming we would have gone over the top of Mooney Falls!!! (neither of us knew anything about another falls...)
Mooney Falls was actually named for Mr. Mooney, who was killed when he accidentally went over the falls, a fate we were very happy NOT to have shared...
Thing have changed over the last 35 years and when it's time to leave, you have a few options. You can hike out, take a ride back on a mule, or if you want a quick and easy trip, take the Helicopter (I think if I go again I'll hike down and "fly" back...)