Havasupai - Grand Canyon

4:09 p.m. on April 25, 2013 (EDT)
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The beginning of March I met my 2 brothers at Hilltop trailhead to hike into Havasupai Indian Reservation.  This was my second trip into Havasupai.  We had an absolute blast!! We all packed our own gear in for a 4 night stay.  We camped in the campgrounds.  I was kind of surprised to see how busy it was this time of year.  We went end of February last year and the first night we were the only ones in the campground.  I think end of February - beginning of March is the best time to go.  We had perfect weather.  It was around 80 during the day and probably around mid 40's at night.  Absolutely perfect weather.  I honestly don't know if I could hike the 10 miles in/out in the summer in sweltering heat.  It would just be too hot and miserable for me.  We did lots of swimming in the pools.  Water was nice.  We did a little cliff jumping.  The tribal game warden showed us the safe spots to cliff jump below Beaver Falls.  It was a lot of fun.  We ended up hiking around 35 miles over the 4 nights we were there.  I had a GCNP backcountry permit to camp on the Colorado river but we never ended up using it.  The hike from Beaver Falls to the Colorado is a slow hike with several water crossings.  I think I ended up taking around 400 pictures.  Some of them turned out amazing and are a wonderful addition to my photo journal of my trips.  I honestly can't wait to go again next year.  I think next year we are going to Kayak the Colorado River and then hike up Havasu creek to the Havasupai reservation.  

I highly recommend this trip to all.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.  It would be my pleasure to help anyone plan a future trip.  

My brother Joel heading down the cliffs of Mooney Falls:

We played Frisbee for hours under the falls.  Was tons of fun. 


brother.jpg

Havasu Falls:


pic17.jpg

12:48 a.m. on April 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Jason,

How long does it take to get a permit?  I have been up from the bottom of Havasu Creek from the  GC, but never the top down. 

8:33 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Hi ppine.  I applied for the permit 30 days before we went into the canyon.  It was not problem getting it within that time period.  The part of the Grand Canyon we applied for the backcountry camping permit (Havasu creek/Colorado River) doesn't get many permit requests so it wasn't a problem.

I am interested in hearing about your trip on the Colorado river to Havasu Creek.  Did you guys ride kayaks or raft down?  I think that is what my brothers and I want to do next year.   

9:55 a.m. on April 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Jason,

I went on a commercial trip which is the recommended way.  We were in large J-rig rafts 30 feet long with an outboard.  The Grand Canyon eats kayaks and 16 foot rafts for breakfast.

Inverted world is full of history, bighorn sheep, wildflowers, and side canyons.  The commercial outfitters have it down.  The food is good, the guides are great and everyone gets along.  A lot of the passengers tend to be older people because they have the time and money.

We went 276 miles in a week from Lee's Ferry to Upper Lake Mead.  Powell and his men were with us every step of the way.

I went with old friends from Colorado and Florida and we met up in Las Vegas which was easy for everyone to fly to.  They picked us up at the hotel in a tour bus for the ride to the put-in.  People call me late at night and want to know when the next raft trip is going to take place.

 

 

 

11:38 a.m. on April 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks for the info ppine.  I haven't really started doing my research on the trip yet.  Sounds like a guide is the only way to go.  I really wanted to kayak down and do a DIY trip but that sounds like it may be a little too much and may be too risky!  I have seen pictures of kayakers at the confluence of Havasu Creek/Colorado River so it is obviously doable, but if class III, IV and V rapids are common going down the Colorado River, then I think I will go the raft route like you did.  

10:00 a.m. on April 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Jason,

The Canyon uses the International Classification System I-X, or 1-10.  Several rapids like Crystal Falls and Lava Falls are 10s.  There are lots of 8 and 9 rated rapids.  Getting a private permit can take several years.  The trip takes 3 weeks in a raft or kayak.  There are holes in the GC that swallow boats and they can be there for days.  Watch some video and get an idea of what you are up against.

3:48 p.m. on April 30, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine,  Thanks for the information.  I knew the Colorado could be sketchy but really have no idea because I haven't really researched it yet and I have zero experience with the Colorado River.  I am no stranger to whitewater.  I spent many springs rafting the overflown, spring thaw rivers in Montana.  Particularly the Yellowstone river while in college.  However, those days are over for me for the most part.  I am much more cautious these days.  Being a dad will do that to ya.  I will have to look into the guiding services like you mentioned if we do decide to go into Havasupai from the Colorado.  Thanks again for the info.  I appreciate it!

10:24 a.m. on May 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Yankee Jim Cyn on the Yellowstone is a warm up for the GC.  The Colorado has giant hydraulics and is extremely pushy at all flows.  The holes, reversals, and maytags kill people.

10:24 a.m. on May 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Yankee Jim Cyn on the Yellowstone is a warm up for the GC.  The Colorado has giant hydraulics and is extremely pushy at all flows.  The holes, reversals, and maytags kill people.

11:26 a.m. on May 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Yankee Jim and Boxcar.  Fun stuff!!  I take it you have rolled through there too...  There are a couple places in Yankee Jim that are fabulous fishing holes in lower water.  I've pulled some beautiful browns out of there.   

August 27, 2014
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