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July Havasupai and then....?

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
117 posts
104 reviews
July Havasupai and then....?

We have a group of 8 that will do the following interary from 7/9/09-7/15/09.

7/9/09: Fly into Las Vegas & drive to Havasupai.

7/10/09: 4:30 am - Begin our decent into the canyon. We'll camp at the tribe controlled campsite 10 miles in (yes, we've all been backpacking before anda are consumate hikers :).

7/11/09 - Hike to Colorado by way of Mooney Falls.

7/12/09 - Day of rest and exploring.

7/13/09 - 3/4:30am - Hike out out of the canyon and...?

This is where it gets tricky. Our original intent was to go to the West Rim & see the Skywalk. We're ready to nix that completely after reading reviews of the Skywalk and the West Rim.

Does anyone have options they can suggest for the 13th & 14th, keeping in mind that we must get back to Las Vegas for flights out by 3pm on 7/15/09. Also, we'd like something NOT touristy...we all prefer to be outdoors and without crowds of folks milling about. We are NOT into anything with loads of folks but prefer to enjoy nature & photography. Camping & backpacking totally ok. We are a no frills group that wants to enjoy the GC as part of marking it off our "bucket list".

I was thinking the town of Williams and the adjacent Kaibab National Park but is that too far to do a day and a half trip? Any other suggestions? Help? Comments?

Big thanks,

LB

South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
11,118 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

Absolutley stay away from Grand Canyon West aka...Skywalk! Touristy! Keep in mind that all you have listed is not inside the Grand Canyon National Park.

There is the South Rim of Grand Canyon which is in the National Park. Yes, it can get quite crowded at times, but if you head for the more remote trails it's much nicer. South Kaibab, Hermits Rest and Grandview would be my pick that time of year. Very hot the further you go down into the canyon so make sure you have plenty of water! You will need to call (888-297-2757) ASAP for lodging inside the park. Take what they have available at this time. Of course you can also camp!

What about Zion National Park? There is a lot of hiking there and you can have your pick as to what level you would like. It's approx a 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive from Vegas so not to far.

You can stay in the town of Springdale which is right outside the gates of Zion. A lot of hotel and restaurants to choose from. There is also a park lodge, but I don't know what would be available then.

Zion runs on a shuttle system thru the park so it does get a little congested by the Visitors Center. Once you head to a trailhead things quiet down quite a bit!

Enjoy

SJG

South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
11,118 posts
14 reviews
2. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

Sorry, one clarification, by camping I mean above the rim. You cannot camp below the rim without a backcountry permit which I'm sure you are aware of, but just in case!

SJG

Flagstaff, Arizona
Level Contributor
987 posts
1 review
3. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

Go to the South Rim, but camp just outside the park in the Kaibab National Forest. NFS RD 310 near the Grandview fire lookout.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
22,358 posts
61 reviews
4. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

I know the Havasuapi website says the will reopen in May and are taking reservations, BUT...watch this to make sure they will open on time. Hopefully there will be not problem for you.

After a few days in the hot July sun, you may want to be closer to showers, running water and shade! Maybe some car camping...

7/13 Drive to Williams. Have a nice lunch. There are a number of forest service campgrounds near Williams including Cataract Lake, Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake, & Whitehorse Lake CGs. Also look at Ten-X, a forest service campground just south of the GC Park fs.fed.us/r3/…TenX.shtml .

If you go closer to GC, you can enjoy showers at Mather CG inside the park, maybe a picnic and relax after a great hiking trip.

7/14 Head to GC in early morning, maybe a short hike into the canyon either on Bright Angel or South Kaibab. then out the eastern entrance. Visit Sunset Crater and Wupatki Nat Mon. There is a forest service campground, Bonito CG, right outside of Sunset Crater.

7/15 Get up and go back to Vegas. Begin planning your next trip.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
265 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

I agree with SJG and others, you need to get to the South Rim to really experience the Grand Canyon. There will be some crowds, but it's a very big place and easy to get away (especially if you go below the Rim).

If you don't get into Grand Canyon National Park, I'm afraid you will have to put a large asterisk next to that item when you cross if off your bucket list! :)

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
5,377 posts
158 reviews
6. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

In light of the time of year you're visiting I too say take GC West and the Skywalk off the agenda. It's too hot there in July and virtually no shade. If you were visiting at another time of year I would be more enthusiastic about GC West, but not July.

How about this: on the 13th, hike out of Havasu Canyon, then head for Grand Canyon South Rim (about a 3 hour drive). Do some low-key sightseeing around Grand Canyon Village or just relax for the rest of the day, spend the night. Yes, GC Village will be crowded, but the old hotels and gift shops are neat to just poke around since many date back to the early 1900's. The rim trail is a nice easy walk.

On the 14th: head for Page Arizona via the East Rim Drive of the Grand Canyon. Normally it takes about 2.5 hours to make this drive, but you can easily extend that by stopping at the many viewpoints along the canyon rim such as Grandview Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point and Desert View. You'll encounter fewer crowds in these areas, since most only visit the Village area (but you'll still encounter people, it is summer after all). The drive will also take you through the Navajo Indian Reservation. Spend the night in Page, maybe visit Antelope Canyon (slot canyon), take a swim in Lake Powell.

15th: Head back to Vegas, about a 5 hour drive from Page.

If you'd want to get hotel rooms for these nights, you should reserve them pretty quick; or consider tent camping.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
117 posts
104 reviews
7. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

You guys are terrific! Thank you so much...I've brought these suggestions to our group and we are beginning work on changing up our itinerary to include the South Rim at the very least, and nixing the West Rim.

Some of the group are taking a 1 day, 40-mile Colorado rafting trip while others go to the GCNP, following the suggestions herein.

Because we've never been "out west", these comments have been very helpful. If anyone has anything else, we're open! :D

LB in GA

Santa Monica...
Level Contributor
30 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

I'm looking to go to Havasupai around August 30th.. Where's the best place to camp out if we're at the GCNP for 2 nights? Also how long/hard are the hikes to any of the falls? thanks

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
5,377 posts
158 reviews
9. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

borat4prez, you might want to try posting your question as a new inquiry..

Anyway, the trailhead to Havasupai is located at a a place called Hualapai Hilltop, about 1 hour from the town of Peach Springs, AZ, about 4 hours from GCNP. There is a campground in Havasu Canyon itself, it's located between Havasu and Mooney Falls. Reservations for this campground are an absolute must. For more information, visit www.havasupaitribe.com

As to how hard the hike is, it's 10+ miles from the Hilltop down to Supai Village, then about 2 miles from Supai Village down to Havasu Falls, then another mile or so down to Mooney Falls (the highest of the bunch). The trail to the falls is moderately difficult, very sandy, then the descent from Havasu Falls to Mooney Falls is very steep. Then to get from the top of Mooney Falls to the base requires a rather treacherous scramble down a travertine cliff, using a series of chains and ropes as handholds. And remember - what goes down must come out!

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
67,373 posts
250 reviews
10. Re: July Havasupai and then....?

Havasupai and the GCNP are two different trips. They are about 100 miles apart and a half day drive between the two staging areas. Pick one and do it. With only 2 days you can't reasonably do both. I'd go to the GCNP first. Fall in love with the GC and plan a return trip to explore it in more depth (literally).

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