Supai, Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona
The hike through Havasu Canyon was nice, but it is nothing compared to the waterfalls that awaited us at the bottom. The Havasupai people sure know how to pick a home!
The waterfalls are located 2 miles beyond the Supai village. There are four falls (Navajo, Havasu, Mooney, Beaver) in all, and each is a scene of perfection. Imagine a tropical island paradise (like those seen in swimsuit or suntan lotion ads) crossed with the magnificent scenery of the Grand Canyon. You'll have to experience them for yourself. Pictures just don't do them justice.
The campground is nestled half way between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. These are the most visited two of the bunch. Navajo Falls is the closest to the village, but people don't seem to visit it because you have to traverse a 30-ft log to get to it. Beaver Falls is the farthest, and I didn't have enough time on this trip to go see it. My favorite is Navajo due to its veil-like cascades and the fact that it's the most secluded.
After a short rest at the camp site, we ventured out to visit Mooney Falls, the tallest waterfall of the four. To get to the bottom of Mooney, you must climb through caves of travertine and down some steep steps made extra slippery and perilous by the water spray. Here I am sitting in one of these travertine caves with Mooney Falls behind me.
The full height of Mooney Falls. You can see the tremendous amount of travertine deposits that make up the landscape of the area. One can imagine that at one time, the falls were much wider and more spectacular.
Here I am treading in the crystal clear water with the plume of Mooney Falls behind me. This is my favorite waterfall shot of the trip. What awesome color in that water!
This is a photo of the treacherous approach to Mooney Falls. There's a sign at the top that reads "Proceed at your own risk, Exercise extreme caution." Good advice! You can just see the trail of people on the ladders and through the caves. Doug was unlucky enough to twist his knee here on the first day, making the trip less enjoyable for him. But he did get to ride the helicopter out so that must have been fun.
We had a great dinner and camping experience. On the next morning, Bonnie and I set out to hike back while the others stayed for one more night. Along the way, we visited Havasu and Navajo Falls. Havasu Falls is the second in the series, and the most photographed. It has a double plume and drops into a nice wide travertine pool. Here's a great shot of Havasu Falls with the canyon walls in the background.
Another photo of Havasu Falls from half way up. What gorgeous color in the pool below! My scanner doesn't do it justice. My friends tell me there's a small cave you can swim to behind the waterfall, but unfortunately I didn't have time to explore it on this trip.
This shot was taken leaning over the top of Havasu Falls. The picture really doesn't show the height difference, but I was in fear for my life trying to get this picture!
Navajo Falls is my favorite. It's not as tall as the others, but in many ways, it's more spectacular. The water cascades down in sheets like a veil. To reach a reasonable viewing distance and to get to the pool at the base where you can splash around, you must walk over a fallen tree trunk about 30-ft in length and roughly 5 inches in diameter. It's enough to deter most visitors, making it a secluded private paradise.
If you were facing the falls in the previous picture and turned your head to the left, you'd see this small waterfall in a nook -- completely hidden from the main trail. It has a deep pool at the base and is just heaven!
One more look at the veil-like waterfall action at Navajo Falls before heading back up toward Hualapai Hilltop. I'm hooked! On the next trip, I'm definitely spending more time at the bottom to explore the falls and the surrounding canyons.