Located in the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is a beautiful, natural sight to see. It can only be reached by a helicopter, a mule ride, or a 10 mile hike. Guess what birthday girl, Teri, decided to do? The 10 mile hike. Army sergeant Teri wanted to see the Havasu Falls for her birthday by taking a 10 mile hike through the Grand Canyon. She booked to stay at a lodge for Saturday night and dragged the rest of us with her. We figured we couldn’t carry camping gear for 10 miles to sleep in the wilderness after a grueling hike. I have said it before. I’m not a hiker and never have been. This was a long adventure for me. After that day, I’ve learned a lot more than I was willing to really learn. Havasu Falls is beautiful, and if you want to go on a hiking adventure, I will share with you some knowledge.
How to Survive a 10 Mile Hike to Havasu Falls
1. Pack Smart – Whatever it is you need to bring, you will carry for 10 miles. Unless you have a generous boyfriend who will carry your belongings along with his in one backpack, pack light! For a complete list of what to pack for Havasu, check out article Traveling Checklist: Hiking and Havasu Falls
2. Moley Moley – Moleskins are strips that you can place on your feet to prevent blisters. Invest in some. They can be purchased at your local drugstore between $2-$5. Put them on where the skin on your feet feel tender halfway through the hike. You might need scissors to cut them for perfect fit. My moleskins kept my ankles comfortable. They are lifesavers!
3. Timing is Important – Start hiking with enough light outside. Even with a flashlight, it is very difficult to see where you are stepping specially since the hike begins at a downhill. Be very careful! At the same time, you don’t want to hike at high noon since the canyon gets very hot. Hot weather = heat exhaustion. Plan your hike at a decent time.
4. Hydrate – Bring a camelback for easy access to H2O. Keep hydrated, so you can keep moving! Bring enough water for eight miles. You will get to the lodge where you can load up at the drinking fountains at the cantina.
5. Powerbars are Friends – An eight mile hike might take a couple of hours. Bring snacks for the hike. Powerbars, Slim Jims, Beef Jerky, and Trail Mix helps not just for hunger, but also for boredom after 2 hours of seeing amazing mountain rocks.
6. Limber up! – Before and after doing any physically demanding adventures, stretch your muscles! Stretch your legs, calves, neck, and back for this hike. You will thank yourself later.
7. Step Aside – Since horses and mules are used as transportation around the canyon, watch out for incoming and outgoing ones. They are trained to follow the trail, so you better step aside. It’s either you or the horse. Also, watch where you step since horse droppings are all over the trails! Some are fresh, some are old. Either way, you don’t wanna carry these under your shoes for 10 miles.
8. Rivers are a Tease – A couples of miles into the hike, you will see very tiny rivers with very clear water. Just across the bend will be a sign that says, “Cross the Bridge towards the Village.” Don’t think that it’s just right across the bridge! It’s going to feel like a couple of miles before you actually get to the lodge or the campgrounds! Get excited, but don’t be fooled by these signs like I did! I began to lose energy as soon as I saw the sign towards the village. Save your energy and keep on trucking!
9. Brace Yourself for Cliff Jumping – You spent 10 grueling miles to see the waterfalls! Maximize your experience and jump through them like we did! Remember: You only live once.
The waterfalls are worth the hike, but I suggest having at least three days for this event. One day for an eight mile hike into the lodge, then hike the two miles the next day to get to the waterfalls. There are a couple of waterfalls every few miles from the lodge. We saw three of them. Because of work schedule conflict, we only had one day for the hike and the waterfalls, then we took the helicopter ride towards the parking lot. The aerial view of the Grand Canyon was epic! You’ll see the trail that you hiked the day before if you decide to take this route. It was definitely a perfect way to end the journey to Havasu Falls!
Any other tips for hikers that I forgot to mention? Comment here!
How many miles would you hike to see some waterfalls?
More Pictures: Travel Photography: Havasupai, Grand Canyon, AZ
Date of Adventure: July 10, 2010
Location: Havasu Falls – Grand Canyon, AZ
Life Experience: Jump Through Waterfalls
Where to Stay: Havasupai Lodge
Ear Candy: Tomoyasu Hotei – Battle Without Honor or Humanity (Kill Bill Theme Song)
Perfect for: Nature Enthusiasts
Pictures have been featured on Twenty-somethingtravel.com!