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Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting 2013

This time I did the upper canyon, 7 day hybrid trip which included kayaks, paddle boats and oar boats.

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Grand Canyon 2012

This was a one week whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The trip had a little bit of everything. It started with a 10 mile hike, then 100 miles on the river, a helicopter flight to the top and a small plane ride back to the south rim.

There are two videos below. Both videos are the same, just the music is different. Enjoy.

Not Safe for Working Music Lyric Version –

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Havasupai 2010

My second time going to Havasupai to visit the falls.  I went there back in 2008 (Hiking and Camping in Havasupai) and it was a great time.  However in four months later in August 2008 there was a major flood in the canyon which changed the landscape of the waterfalls.  Here are some great pictures of it during that time (www.havasupaiflood.com).  This caused the campground to be shut down for the spring of 2009.

I was anxious to go back and see how things have changed.  Instead of going through the daily routines and activities.  I’m just going to be posting photos with little excerpts and stories.  This will be probably alot more interesting than hearing our itinerary.

Photo 1: Starting our 10 mile hike from the Hualapai Hilltop.  This is where we rent our horse to carry our heavy stuff.  One horse can carry up to 130 lbs worth of stuff.  That way we only have to carry 15 lbs in our packs.

Photo 2: After hiking 8 miles and passing the town of Supai, we begin to hike next to the Havasu Creek.  Eventually the area opens up and we saw our first waterfall.  This is the new unnamed waterfall that was created during the flood.  Navajo Falls used to be just upstream of here.  I don’t believe they have named it yet.

Photo 3: Another 1 mile of hiking and we reached Havasu Falls.  It is now only a single waterfall where in the past there were two.  Havasu Falls is just upstream of the campground.


Photo 4: We arrived at the campground around 4pm and find a good campsite.  Campground permits are tough to get, but even if you get them the campground spots are a free for all, so you don’t want to get there too late.

Video: The next day we are hiking to Beaver Falls.  It is about a 3 mile hike down stream.  We will hike past Mooney Falls which is a 200 foot waterfall.  We approach Mooney from the top and will have to descend to get to its bottom.

Photo 5: After Mooney Falls, we hike towards Beaver Falls.  The landscape is very different post flood.  The creek is very shallow and we are able to hike down the middle of it in some places.

Photo 6: Chikara decided to do the rope swing.  This is the same swing that I did in 2008, but the water is so shallow now that you can only land in a small spot.  The blue area on the left side is the deep end.  Look at the difference in color from this photo before the flood (kenricswing.jpg)

Photo 7: We arrived at the top of Beaver Falls.  The water is much bluer and deeper.  Next time we will make it to the Colorado River.

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Hiking and Camping in Havasupai

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I have always wanted to go see Havasu Falls ever since I saw pictures of it when I first moved to Arizona. Getting to Havasu Falls is not exactly an easy feat. It’s a 5 hour drive from Phoenix just to get to the parking or drop in area. From there its a 10 mile hike down into the canyon to the campground. In addition the permits at the campground are very limited and the campground is frequently booked many many months in advance. So when I saw that Scottsdale Community College had a class trip to Havasu Falls, I immediately signed up.

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April 17th

There were 19 people going on this trip. We had one hour orientation a few weeks prior. Dave, the trip leader told us what to expect and showed us some of the essentials to bring. There was an option of hiring a horse to carry our packs from the parking lot to the campground and back. A few of us took advantage of this. Financially speaking, this class is a bargain. The total cost of the class was $225.00. This included transportation to the trailhead, all permits and park fees, one night at a hotel and more importantly a guide/teacher. There is a campground fee of $17 per night, entrance fee of $35 and an environmental fee of $5. The total cost to stay in Havasu was $83 each. The hotel would have cost around $75. Gas for me to drive the 260 miles twice would be $100. So if I was to make this trip myself, it would have cost me $258!We left on Thursday night in 2 large vans and made the 3 hour drive to Williams, AZ where we stayed overnight at a hotel.

April 18th

The next morning everyone got up early and Geoff realized that he forgot to pack his shoes. We spent some time in Seligman looking for a store that sold shoes. Unfortunately, the only thing he found was some moccassins. Luckily, trip leader Dave brought a pair of gym shoes that fit Geoff. We arrived at the very crowded parking area around 10am. Four of us had hired a horse to carry our bags, I dropped off my duffle amongst the throngs of bags and horses. After taking our class photo we all headed down the trail at our own pace at 10:30am.

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The first part of the hike consisted of a bunch of switchbacks. The trail quickly dropped about 1000 feet in 1.5 miles. The next 6.5 miles was a gradual 500ft descent. We stopped for a quick lunch at the 3.5 miles mark and then headed to Supai, AZ. Supai, AZ is a small town with a population of about 500. It is also the most remote town in the lower 48 states, and the only way to get to it is to hike, ride a mule, or take a helicopter. The hike to Supai was 8 miles. We arrived at Supai around 2:30pm. Because Supai is currently the only town in the United States where mail is still carried out by mules, I wanted to send out a postcard from the town. Suprisingly, it arrive at my home in just 4 days!

Of course, every small town needs a full court basketball court. So by the transitive property, this has to be the most remote full court basketball court in the lower 48 states!  On the right is an actual photo of my bag our horse/mule passed us.

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About 1 mile after hiking through town, you begin to hear the rushing water of the river.  Then you see the river and its unbelievable blue turquoise water. The first glimpse you get of Havasu falls is really breath taking.

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You actually hike over the top of the falls and the down the sides. After staring and snapping a few photos of the falls from all angles. We hiked down to the campground where our horse carried bags were waiting for us at the entrance. The campground was pretty crowded and I have to say that the portable toilets were probably the worse I’ve ever seen. It sucks to be a woman at this campsite. I set up camp, cooked a great Mac & Cheese and SPAM dinner, chatted with everyone for a while and went to sleep.

April 19th

Today we planned to venture to Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. Mooney Falls is a short 1 mile hike and Beaver Falls another 3 after that. Not much to say about the hike, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. You get to Mooney Falls from the top. Here is your first view of it.

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From there you descend down into a few short caverns and rock faces. There are a few chains and a make shift ladder to help you get down.

The next two photos below were taken by Geoff of Geoff Reed Photography.

mooney falls

mooney falls

 After spending some time at Mooney Falls, we continued to hike towards Beaver Falls. (Photo by Geoff Reed)

Along the way we found a nice rope swing.  I had a great cheering section.

This video is my second attempt as I fell flat on my butt on my first try.

We continued to hike to Beaver Falls but the hike took slightly longer than we thought so we only hiked to the top of if.  After reaching the top we turned around and hiked back to camp.  Later on, I went to the bottom of Havasu Falls to take some pictures.

April 20th

The next morning I woke up around 5:30am, cooked breakfast, packed up camp and left for the trail around 7:30am.  Along the way, we dropped off our bags for the horse to pick up.  Luckily it was a breezy cool day so the hike back up the canyon wasn’t too difficult.

Our two vans left the parking lot around 3:00pm.  After about an hour of driving, our second van was very low on gas.  Since we filled up each van at the same time they should both have had the same amount of gas.  We figured that someone must have siphoned out the gas on the second van.  We had to go into Williams, AZ and buy a gas can to fill up the other van.  After a quick stop at A&W to get some burgers, we headed back to Scottsdale.  It was a great trip.

Here are more photos.  Photos marked (GR) were taken by Geoff.  To see Geoff’s collection of Havasu photos, please visit his website.

Before the descent (GR)
Shower at Mooney Falls
So blue and green in the desert (GR)
Crossing the blue river (GR)
Under the shower fall (GR)
Our colorful group (GR)
On the way to Beaver Falls (GR)
Mooney Falls (GR)
I found my stick! (GR)
Descent to Mooney
Walking into the falls
Mooney from afar
Mooney from the climb
From the 10 mile hike
Havasu falls
Havasu falls

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