Last year around this time, I came across some pictures of this beautiful waterfall in the Grand Canyon, and I was determined to make a trip there. The hike is rather long for a day hike, so you will have to stay at the Supai village, and hike back another day. I called and tried to reserve the lodge (If you have camping gear, you can also reserve a campsite.), and it was fully booked for all the long weekends for the rest of the year! I didn't want to take any days off, so I decided that maybe I can reserve it for the following year, and the reservation for next year begins on June 1st. I called back and made a reservation for memorial weekend this year, and it was AWESOME! (For those who don't have to go on a long weekend, the reservation for the campsite/lodge is a lot easier to make.)
So, this is our plan.
Saturday morning - drive to Vegas (4.5 hours) - have a buffet - hang out a little bit - drive to Peach Springs (2.5 hours)
Sunday morning - drive to trail head (1 hour) - hike into the village (8 miles) - check in at the lodge - hike to the falls
Monday morning - hike back out - drive to Vegas and eat (3.5 hours) - back to LA (4.5 hours)
I have heard so much about the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace (People said it's the best buffet in Vegas), so since we are passing by Vegas, might as well try it! I am not a big fan of buffet usually, because the food is never THAT good. But I thought I'd give it a try.
It was a huge line, and we hadn't eaten at all, so we were totally starving. We waited for about 45 mins till we were at the table.
There was definitely a huge variety of food. They have Italian, Mexican, Asian, American, Seafood, and I would say it is pretty decent. However, for two people, it costs about $130, and with this price, we can probably have a meal at a fancy restaurant that served better quality food instead of mass produced food. I do like their $7 unlimited mimosa deal though.
After the big meal, we walked around Vegas to digest our food and we won some money from Roulette (the only thing I know how to play at the tables). We then drove to the Hualapai lodge in Peach Springs to stay the night (this is the closest place I can find to the trail head). None of us feel the need to eat another meal for the rest of the day, I guess in that case, the price is not bad for breakfast + lunch + dinner (lol).
The hike into the village
We arrived at the Hilltop (the trail head) at around 9am, and there is almost no place to park!!!!! We have to walk like an extra half a mile from the car to the actual parking lot where the trail begins. I guess we should have started even earlier!!!!! One mile in, we saw people walking back out already, and I was like, how is that possible? It is only 10am! They told us they woke up at 4am to start to hike to avoid the heat.
The hike started with a little less than 2 miles of descending road, all the way to the bottom of the canyon. Then the rest of the way is pretty flat, and a really nice walk between canyons. You will encounter a lot of mules labor on the trail, carrying camping stuff for people. We were only staying for a night, so we just pack the minimal stuff we need, and the heaviest thing is the water, but you want to make sure you bring enough water for the hike. It is really sunny and dry. About a mile left, you will see the sign of the village, and you know you are almost there! We got there at around 1pm, and it is a lot quicker than I thought! The path was very clear too, so you won't have to be worried about getting lost. We checked in to the lodge and unloaded all the stuff we carried through the hike, took a break, then headed out for the falls!
There is pretty much one trail that hits all the falls and leads to the Colorado river at the end. First fall we passed is the Navajo Falls, and the water is really as blue as it looks in the picture! I didn't believe the picture (I thought there's some amount of Photoshop to make the water so blue) until I saw it with my very own eyes!
The Navajo Falls (~1.5 miles)
This falls consist of a bunch of shallow cascades and a waterfall at the end that is not too high to jump! A lot of people jumped and we saw a girl who was standing at the edge for more than 15 mins wanting to jump but was too scared to actually do it. Guai lo wanted to jump too, and he walked all the way to the edge, and chickened out. I am not a very good swimmer, so I passed.
The Havasu Falls (~0.5 miles)
Keep walking on the trail, and you will see the next fall! This is a much higher fall, and it was so pretty! We spent the most time here in the water, enjoying the scenery. After the Havasu fall and before the Mooney fall, there is a little food stand with fried bread and hotdog! We ordered a fried bread with nutella to share.
The Mooney Falls (~1 mile)
You will be able to look down to the fall from the trail, but in order to get down to the fall, you will need to crawl into two narrow caves, and climb down with the help of some cables and stairs. So, remember not to bring too much stuff to the hike! It was really fun! Going up is easy, just be careful when you hike down.
The Beaver Falls (~2 miles)
We took our sweet time in the other 3 falls, that by the time we got the Mooney, it's already 7pm! So, we couldn't make it to the Beaver falls because that would be a 4 miles round trip, and it is getting dark, and we don't want to climb those rocks in the dark. So, we made a painful decision and went back. We later looked at the pictures online and talked to people who hiked there, and it was sooooo pretty!!! T_T It is a couple of step falls that is a little higher than the one in Navajo falls. Damn! We should have gotten up earlier in the morning! Or now that I know the hike into the village is not as bad as I thought, we couldn't have not stopped in Vegas, and hiked in on Saturday, then we get to spend all day Sunday in the falls! Oh well, next time.....
We decided to walk back to the Havasu fall and stay there till dark to see the stars. The sky was so dark and it was amazing. We didn't see the milky way, and that's probably because we were at a much lower altitude (~850m) than when we were in the Bryce Canyon (2400-2700m). It happens that it was a moonless night, and we were able to see a lot of stars and even shooting stars.
Hiking back out
We were so tired that we decided to start at 6:30am instead, and hopefully it won't be too bad by the time we got to the last part of the hike, which is ~1.5 miles uphill back to the parking lot. It was slightly overcast at the beginning, which was like the perfect weather for hiking, and by the time we got to the hill, the sun was literally in our face! But we made it back up at around 11am, and they have ice cold Coca-Cola up there for sale! And that is the best Coca-Cola I have ever tasted.
*Tips* I made sandwiches for the trip because there isn't really anything good to eat over there, and we weren't camping, so we couldn't cook either. In order to keep the sandwiches good, I froze a bunch of water bottles to bring with us, and put the sandwiches with the ice-cold water to keep the sandwiches from going bad, At the same time, you get to enjoy ice-cold water during the hike as well! Something I learned from the tour guide when we hiked "The Wave".
The drive back
We stopped at Vegas to get some food. I have heard a really good Thai restaurant called Lotus of Siam in Vegas, and was dying to try! I have never found any really good Thai place in the US, so I was very excited about this, and it was really worth the detour! However, the drive back from Vegas to LA was ABSOLUTELY terrible. I still don't quite understand where the traffic is coming from, and it's not like it's the first time I drive back to LA on a long weekend! We started driving at 7pm and got back to LA at about 1:30am. I was so tired the next day at work that I could barely think. People were asking me about the trip, and all I could say is "it was good", and now that I have recovered, I was able to tell everybody about it!