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HIKING HAVASUPAI FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME

It took me 3,000 calls, two flights, a car ride, 16 miles of hiking, and a few blisters that lasted me for months to get to Havasupai Falls. If you ask me today if I would do it all over again? The answer is yes. Havasupai has been one of thee best experiences I’ve ever lived. I remember I sat on my couch on February 1st with 2 phones making call after call to get someone on the line. Until the second day, I was finally able to get in touch with one of the people of the blue-green waters and they were so sweet to help me. I was able to book my trip for two people (at the time it was going to be only two of us). I booked online on their website that day and it was fairly easy. I was ecstatic to have reservations, because I was on their Instagram tag #havasupaifalls checking to see what people were posting, and a lot of folks were not able to get their reservations, so indeed I did consider myself lucky. So that’s when I officially started planning my trip to explore all the canyons (North and South rim).

Say Hi to Sam!

A few months later, I’ll never forget when Sam (my friend) starts texting me asking me about Havasupai and how to get to there. Which later turned out that she too was going to explore it, but had not booked anything, so sure enough, in one day we were able to book everything and make this trip a total of 4 gals. As you all know, my friends and I always travel together once a year, and we didn’t do it for 2016, because a lot of us moved out on our owns, so this trip was definitely meant to happen.

We had a very hard time getting Sam and Kat into the reservations that were already made to Havasupai, because typically they do not let you make any kind of changes, but I think we got extremely lucky for a second time.

We all decided to fly to Las Vegas and hang out for the day, and also, it’s one of the two closest airports to Havasupai (there’s Phoenix, Arizona as well). We drove to Kingman, Arizona that night and stayed at Ramada Inn. After exploring Las Vegas for a day, driving to the supermarket to purchase all of our food for the hike, we knocked out when we finally got to the hotel. I have to admit that the service was superb. You all know I barely stay at hotels, but for a one night stay it was everything.

We woke up extremely early, but technically we didn’t sleep much, but we had to be at the Hilltop as early as possible to be able to spend the entire day hiking. I was so sure this hike could be done within a few hours… NEGATIVE… I was so wrong, this definitely takes close to 7 hours to complete OR MORE. The amount of walking I did was devastating to the point that my entire feet were covered in blisters.

My friend Kat had a very hard time breathing, and she summed it up in a few words, “I don’t work out.” So, she definitely felt it the most out of all of us. I remember when we arrived at the village we were so happy to see some kind of civilization. I mean, HAPPY. Chanting happy thoughts in our heads kind of happy, because we were so dehydrated even after drinking tons of water, we couldn’t make up words even if we tried. We did get the biggest disappointing news just a few minutes later, one of the ladies whose market we entered because it had AC… yes, AC is appreciated after being outside in the 100-degree weather for 7 hours… She told us we still had an hour to get to the campsite. I think I’ve never laughed so hard in my life or fall on my behind that hard.

You’re probably asking yourself if we made it… and YES WE DID. I would say barely after almost getting bit by a snake that was crossing my path, but that’s totally besides the point right?

Right before reaching our campsite, you pass one of the falls. The one we crossed was Havasupai. It’s one of those things you simply can’t put into words, but I’ll say this much: it was beautiful. I was disappointed I didn’t book more than a night stay to campout, I would have loved to stay longer and explore Beaver Falls, which we did not. We got as far as Mooney Falls early in the morning. A total gem hidden in the wild. I don’t often say pictures don’t do places justice, but this one in particular could never be captured like it is when you meet it with your eyes.

The only downside to this entire trip was the helicopter ride. There’s truly no way out of there except walking back, which you’re my hero if you do, and the helicopter ride with a waiting line of up to 6 hours. I mean, you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make the line that’s back in the village… and remember it’s an hour walking back. This was stressful. I was willing to become part of the tribe if I had to, so as long as I knew I didn’t have to walk back. The helicopter is first come first serve after the indigenous have all been taken care of first, which I completely understand.

I do want to say that the people of the blue-green waters were kind. Specially the lady at market, which I wish I could have asked her for her name. If you go, she’s on the first market you see when you first enter the village. I saw her once more while I was waiting for the Heli, and she remembered me! She gave me some insight about what it’s like to live the way they do and what’s life like in the middle of the Grand Cayons. All I can say is that they protect their land at all cost. With everything that’s going on in our planet today, it was nice to hear it from someone who lives with the least of everything remind me that it is our duty to protect our planet. Being in Havasupai was inspiring and astonishing knowing this gem exist so close to me.

 

For the first time ever, I am sharing my experience with you, not in a guide format, but in a more personal one to one. You don’t know how much you inspire me to keep traveling and discovering these magical places. Of course, it wouldn’t be like me not have a guide for this amazing experience. Below, you can find a sneak preview of it:

LAS VEGAS & HAVASUPAI TRAVEL GUIDE

  • 06:00AM early morning flight from your airport to Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 12:00PM approximately arriving to LV, picking up luggage (highly recommend a hiking bag pack), and picking up rental using Fox Rent-a-Car
  • 01:00PM picking up rental by taking a shuttle.
  • 02:00PM park car rental near the strip and enjoy some wine and dine. (In-N-Out in also in Vegas)
  • 03:00PM watch the Bellagio water show and after head over to Las Vegas sign for some Instagram selfie fun.
  • 05:00PM head over to the Hoover Dam to enjoy the scenery before hitting the road to KM.
  • 07:00PM hit the road to Kingman, Arizona but be sure to stop by Route 66 Mr. D’s Route Driver.
  • 10:00PM arrive to your hotel, Ramada Kingman. They have vouchers for a continental breakfast…

If you’re interested in taking this trip, please visit my shop to purchase the travel guide for Havasupai and don’t forget to tag me #jocelynfotografia if you do decide to use it.

Xo Jocelyn