Havasupai – Never Stop Exploring

Holy cow! Where to start…. Words cannot possibly describe the beauty, adventure and fun that was had at Havasupai. It all began with a direct message on Instagram. It went something like this, “Ladies! I got a last minute reservation for Havasupai, you down?”

Enough said. I was down! I couldn’t wait to tell Josh that I had been invited on such an epic trip. As soon as he got home from work I was like “BABE!!! Guess what? Guess who get’s to go to Havasupai?”

He immediately thought I was talking about us going. He got these super excited puppy dog eyes and was like, “NO WAY! We get to go!?”

That’s when the bomb dropped….

“Ugh….. Well you see… it’s just a ladies trip. Girls only.”

“Seriously…… Ahhhh why would you even tell me that!!!!”

Josh and I had been drooling over images of the waterfalls at Havasupai for years and had always talked about planning a trip there someday. Well, someday was finally here and it didn’t include him. It was like telling a child Disneyland had burned down. The look of complete disbelief and sadness instantl rushed over his face. Nothing I could say in that moment would make him feel better. What he asked next actually made it worse.

“When is the trip?”

“Two weekends from now.”

“You mean my weekend off?”

Josh works a week on, week off schedule. He works offshore on an oil platform in the middle of the ocean, leaving me stranded without an adventure partner half the month. His weeks off we try to squeeze in an adventure on my days off, which normally end up being the weekend. Not only was this particular lady adventure planned on one of his weekends off, but I was also working out of town the rest of his week off, which meant we wouldn’t see each other for three whole weeks.

Over the next two weeks I tried not to bring up this epic trip I had coming up with 21 other adventure babes, lest I lose my husband to a self indulged pity party.

The day before leaving for my big trip I got a message saying two girls had dropped out last minute. I texted back semi-sarcastically, “Can my hubby come? We’re married…. It’s totally legal.” Followed by the guilt trip. “If he doesn’t come, I won’t get to see him for three weeks. 😦 Whaaaaa!”

“Bring your dude.” was the message I received back.

And that was it, Josh was in! When I got off work I packed his bag so when he got back from being offshore everything was ready to go. I had to fly out for work and Josh was going to drive out to Arizona with two of my lady friends and I would meet up with them later after I got off of work.

We all rallied up in Seligman, Arizona. The hotel there was full so Josh, my two girlfriends and I all passed out in the van on the side of the road around 11pm. Our alarms went off at 3:15am and we drove down the street to meet up with the other 18 members of our backpacking crew. From Seligman we drove two hours to get to the top of the canyon and the beginning of the trail head.

We double checked our packs, made some pb&j’s for breakfast and begun our trek into the Grand Canyon.

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The crew at the begining of our 12 mile hike into Havasupai.
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Sunrise in the canyon.

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Babes with packs….
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Thankful for the shade down in the canyon.
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Mules running gear between the hilltop and the main reservation. When you heard them coming, you had to get off the trail or be run over!
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Rocks rock! So many cool formations.

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Are we there yet?
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8 miles down and finally into the reservation and only 102 degrees out at 9am!

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Penutbutta jelly time!

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Photo by Aly Nicklas.
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First view of Havasu Falls. Also where they bottle Gatorade’s glacier blue sports drink.
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Just 20 adventure loving women and a stunningly blue 100ft waterfall. NBD.
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Enjoying the view and the shade.

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After 11 miles in 100+ degree heat we finally made it to camp! We couldn’t wait to throw off our packs, hop in the river and set up our tents and hammocks. Once we refueled and cooled off we headed back up the trail to hang out at Havasu Falls for the day.

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Best campsite ever! Well at least until the flash floods. Read on…

Back at camp we decided to pack up dinner and head down the trail a little further to the top of Mooney Falls. There we met up with some of our group and enjoyed our freeze dried meals with an epic view.

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View atop Mooney Falls.
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Enjoying the exposure from the top of the falls.

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Dinner with a view.
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Now this is what I call fine dining!
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Dishes with a view.
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Finally nap time!

After hiking just over thirteen miles on only four and a half hours of sleep and a belly full of food we decided it was time to kick off our shoes and enjoy a little siesta.

Well our little nap turned out to be bed time. Josh and I fell asleep around 7 pm expecting to be up in an hour to hang out with the crew and maybe hike up to the falls to take some star shots with my camera. We half way woke up around 10:30 to some commotion going on around camp but decided to stay put and enjoy our 14 hours of sleep.

In the morning everyone was pretty sore and crawling at a sloths pace. We decided we would enjoy a relaxing breakfast at camp before heading down to the base of Mooney Falls and hiking on to Beaver Falls.

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The only way down to Mooney Falls. A wet, muddy cliff face, fixed with chains and ladders to aid the descent.
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Photo by Aly Nicklas
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Too busy catching bugs to notice the group meeting or the massive waterfall behind me.
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Isn’t he cute? Look ma! A dobsonfly larva!

From Mooney Falls we decided we would follow the river three miles to Beaver Falls. It was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on! Lush trees, turquoise blue water and massive cliff walls made me feel as if I were in Eden.

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A beautiful start on our hike to Beaver Falls.
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Babes as far as your eye can see…
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The babe train.
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Pandora. Photo by Aly Nicklas.

Trekking through the water became quite time consuming, since there was such a large group of us the water quickly became murky as we moved down stream. Every step became a guessing game and it was a little sketchy hiking with my camera in hand. I decided to hop over to the trail along with my friend Shannon and do a little trail running. Once up on the trail it was like walking into Jurassic Park! It looked so wild and we felt so free running in our swimsuits through the dense jungle filled canyon, it was like dream! As we ran we were soon followed by an enclosing thunderstorm. Luckily we made it to Beaver Falls before the rain.

When we arrived we were told we could only stay a few minutes since there was danger of flash floods with the coming rain. Not only were we a bit nervous of being caught down in the canyon during a flash flood, but I was nervous about losing our tent! Incase you didn’t see it earlier in the post, we pitched our tent on a little bank that stuck up in the river. We had tied it to a tree in case the river rose a bit but we hadn’t expected a flash flood. Once Josh made it to the falls we decided to run back as fast as we could to move camp to higher ground. I wish I had taken pictures but it was raining so hard I had to put my camera away in a dry bag. Lighting and thunder, pouring rain, and awesome ladies stoked on a trail run. It was probably one of my favorite memories of the trip!

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Exploring Jurassic Park with Shannon.

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Beaver Falls.
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Josh sneaking up below the falls.
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Blue to Brown. Photo by Aly Nicklas.
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Get it? Moon…ey falls! Photo Aly Nicklas
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The once blue river quickly turned to chocolate milk! Yummy! Photo by Aly Nicklas.

We made it back to camp before anything washed away! After moving our tent to higher ground we set up our rain fly and began drying out all our wet gear above our stove in the tent. The jet boil kicked butt! We had a warm dry tent in no time flat!

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Putting my new North Face jacket to use!
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Our evening entertainment. Lizard vs. caterpillar. Lizard wins!
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Hiding out from the rain, drying out our clothes and cooking up dinner.

After dinner we decided our legs weren’t tired enough from our 7 mile trail run and we headed back up to Havasu Falls. There we hung out until dark and chatted with some of the rangers about previous floods and rescues that had happened over the years.

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Makeshift tarp TP. The final nine hiding out from the rain.

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Glow sticks are RAD!

Eventually the rain stopped and we decided it was time to celebrate with a glow stick dance party! It was so fun to be able to see both sides of Havasupai with such a great group of people, definitely an experience I will never forget!

In the morning we packed up camp early and headed back to the falls for a quick cup of coffee and a little RNR in our hammock before our final 12 mile hike out.

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Three days. Thirty five miles. Twenty two amazing humans. One EPIC adventure!

 

Thanks to Morgan Brechler for setting up such an awesome trip and to The North Face for setting me up with awesome gear! Check out their story and end of season sale today on Hautelook and Nordstrom Rack.