Adventure South Rim: From Day Hikes to Havasupai Falls



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The Grand Canyon is a tremendous site, but exploring the canyon on foot is the best way to awaken your senses to this wondrous place. While the Grand Canyon is far too large to explore every nook and cranny in just a week, this guide gives ambitious hikers a chance to thoroughly enjoy all that the South Rim has to offer. This trip eases hikers into the Grand Canyon, beginning with a few easy to moderate day hikes and ending with a strenuous excursion to the village of Supai, home of the famed turquoise waterfalls, a tropical oasis at the bottom of the canyon, where hikers will set up camp for three nights and explore. ing the

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Author: kgboggs


Day 1 - Grand Canyon, Valle


The South Rim is a great place to view the Grand Canyon for the first time. Along the paved Rim Trail you will discover all the post-card-perfect scenes you've come to expect from the Grand Canyon. Follow the trail east to the Desert View Watchtower. From the top of this historic tower, you will see some of the most amazing panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. This is a great place to be during sunset. After you’ve acclimated yourself to the splendor of the Canyon, meander back down the Rim Trail and treat yourself to a gourmet dinner at El Tovar. Make sure you make reservations to this fine dinning establishment in advance as this is a popular spot with spectacular views of the Canyon. Cheers to an safe and exciting week ahead before heading back to your room at the Yavapai Lodge. Reservations for the lodge fill up quickly, particularly in the summer, so plan your trip as far in advance as possible.


1

Rim Trail- South Rim

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Location:

South Rim
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: 928 638 7888


2

Desert View Watchtower

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Location:

Grand Canyon National Park
South Rim
Grand Canyon, CA


3

El Tovar Dining Room

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Location:

El Tovar Lodge
P. O. Box 699
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: +1 928 638 2631


4

Yavapai Lodge

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Location:

499 Linger Lane
Valle, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: 928 638 2631
fax: +1 303 297 3175


Day 2 - Grand Canyon


Get an early start, descending into the Grand Canyon on the South Kaibab Trail. This trail winds down the canyon through several switchbacks leading to Cedar Ridge and a few miles further, Skeleton Point. This hike is pretty easy and is roughly six miles round trip. Hikers should bring plenty of water, at least 2 liters per person in the summer. Though the trailhead is nearby, shuttle services are available (www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm) Upon returning, hungry hikers will want to load up on carbs and protein at the friendly Bright Angel Restaurant, which offers a delightful rustic atmosphere perfect for those returning from the dusty trail.


1

South Kaibab Trail

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Location:

Along the side road to Yaki Point
(Short distance from East Rim Drive)
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: 928 638 7888


2

Bright Angel Restaurant

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Location:

Bright Angel Lodge
P. O. Box 699
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: (928) 638-2631


Day 3 - Grand Canyon


Now that your boots are broke in and the magic of the Canyon has seeped into your bones, your are ready for a longer, slightly more strenuous hike that attracts less visitors and offers more intimate portraits of the Canyon. The Hermit trail, offers hikes to Santa Maria Spring, a quick 5-mile round trip and Dripping Springs, a 7-mile round trip. The Hermit Trail begins 500 feet west of Hermits Rest. Water from both of these springs is cool and tasty, but must be treated before drinking. If you don’t have a water filter, which can be pricey, use iodine tablets. Upon returning, you're going to want to look ahead at the next couple days and make sure you have all the hiking and camping supplies you'll need for a few days away from civilization. Canyon Village Marketplace & Deli is a great place to stock up on sandwiches as well as camping, hiking, and backpacking supplies. They also rent out supplies. Remember to pack light; a 10 mile hike in the desert is a task not to be taken lightly. The more prepared you are the more enjoyable the hike will be. You'll want to return to the lodge early tonight and get a good nights sleep.


1

Hermit Trail

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Location:

P.O. Box 170
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: 520-638-7888


2

Canyon Village Marketplace & Deli

Location:

Market Plaza Road & Village Loop Road
Grand Canyon Village
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: +1 928 638 2262


Day 4 - Grand Canyon


First of all, it is paramount that reservations be made months in advance. http://www.havasupaitribe.com/reservations.html Fees are subject to change, so check the website. From Hualapai Hilltop, the Village of Supai and Havasupai Falls can be reached one of three ways: by helicopter, by mule, or by foot. Most people hike down and some pay the $40 fee for a mule to carry their packs down to free up some weight. These arrangements can be made at the trail head and most of the time, deals between people and prices can be negotiated. Plan on arriving at the trailhead as early as possible - especially in the summer as the sun begins to beat down in the afternoon. Bring 2 to 3 liters of water per person and plenty to eat. The trail head is located at the very end of the parking lot and begins a very steep descent into the canyon. Give right-of-way to mules, and for safety's sake, let them pass on the outside (your back against the canyon walls). Eventually the trail levels out and much of the terrain you'll be walking is covered in sand and gravel. After a few miles, the trail narrows among towering orange and red canyon walls. By now, the sun should be high in the sky so look out for rattlesnakes and take water breaks frequently. On rainy days, watch for flash floods. You know you're close to the Village of Supai when you see water criss-crossing the trail. And you know you're even closer when you spot the neon green Cottonwood trees growing alongside the Little Colorado, the river that feeds the waterfalls that await. Upon entering the Village of Supai, simply follow the signs to the camp grounds and make a stop in the camping office to confirm your reservations, which you should have made in advance. There you will receive your red tag which you should not lose as representatives from the village check for them on the campground. Be prepared for poverty not unlike what you might expect to see in under-developed countries. Most people are very courteous to visitors as tourism is the main source of income on this reservation. Just be respectful. After an 8-mile hike, you'll want to drop in the cafe a bit further down the road, across from a general market. The cafe serves standard diner fair mixed in with some variations of Mexican food. Of course, after an 8-mile hike, it's probably the best food you've ever tasted! The village does offer a moderately priced lodge, though most people walk the remaining 2 miles alongside ancient cottonwoods and miles of primitive irrigation to camp along the blue green river that characterizes this magical place. Now that you've walked 10 miles, it may be tempting to set up camp at the first site of an empty space, but know that the campgrounds are very big. There are better places further down. Along the way to the campgrounds, you'll pass the trickling Navajo Falls and pouring Havasupai Falls along the way. Once you've set up camp, remember there are no campfires permitted, so bring a portable stove. Running water is available via a natural spring near the Havasupai Falls. Look for the signs. Tonight you will sleep like the dead!


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Havasupai Falls

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Location:

Havasupai Falls
Grand Canyon, AZ 86435


Day 7 - Grand Canyon


Today you will wake up and bid farewell to Havasupai Falls and thank the nice people in the Village of Supai. Eat a nice big breakfast with a lot of protein and fill your water bottles in the spring on your way out. Check out in the camping office, the same place you confirmed your reservations on the way in. Here you can also make arrangements regarding a helicopter or whether or not you'd like a mule to carry your pack (or yourself) back up to Hualapai Hilltop. The last leg of your journey, the switchbacks, will be very strenuous. Try not to arrive at the base of the mountain when the sun is highest in the sky. Some people prefer to do this hike under the light of a full moon - which is very bright in this fast wilderness. Tired, dusty hikers will be happy to reach the car and make the drive back to the South Rim or the airport, eager to upload those photos!


1

Hualapai Hilltop

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Location:

8 miles above the village of Supai, about 90 miles northwest of Seligman
(Havasupai Indian Reservation)
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact:

tel: +1 520 448 2141


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