Permit: Check. Hiked 12+ miles to the Havasupai campground: Check. Set up your tent and make your little spot a home: Check.
First, probably nap in the hammock you hopefully brought. Once you’ve accomplished the previous list, what to do depends on how long you’re down there.
If you have the luxury of spending two or more nights down there, you have a little more freedom.
I’d recommend going to Havasu Falls for the rest of the afternoon. This is a pretty short walk from the Havasupai campground (no more than a mile depending on where you’re camping) and spending the afternoon lounging in the sun and water. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your way back through the (horrendous) sand to Navajo Falls and pal around there. I only saw it from above, but I imagine the swimming is just as nice.
One of my buddies brought down Spikeball which made for a wonderful afternoon of laughs and excitement with the waterfall showering down in the background.
On your only full day at the bottom, this is when you get to go check out Mooney Falls and if you’re still up for a hike, Beaver Falls and/or the Confluence of the Colorado River.
Mooney Falls, which is only a short hike from the campgrounds (how short depends on where you camped), is a lovely spot to hang out. With the chains on the way down and how crowded it can be, you really only want to traverse this area once, in my opinion. There’s a rope swing on the far side and a couple picnic tables. Other than that, there’s not a lot to do unless you simply want to sit and relax (I won’t judge). The mental fortitude to go up and down the chains should guarantee you spend at least a couple of hours there.
Now onto Beaver Falls, we estimated it was about 3.5 miles from the campground. This is a relatively flat and simple hike that features multiple river crossings while on your way. We started the day at about 9:15 am and arrived somewhere around 12:30 or 1 pm.
If you keep going the Confluence, which is where Havasu Creek – and its turquoise water – meets with the muddy Colorado River, it’s an extra ~ 4.5 miles. In all, it’s 16 miles round trip to the Confluence. You’ll want to start your day early if you plan to make it all the way. Also, be prepared for chest-high water that you’ll have to walk through near the end (or I’ve seen photos of people doing it).
I personally didn’t want another 16 miles added onto the mileage counter in addition to carrying a camera I 100% did not want to get wet.
Furthermore, by only going to Beaver Falls, it allowed us to be back at camp by 4:30 pm and simply relax and take a quick snooze. I think people get caught up in doing so much down here that they forget to take a deep breath and soak it all in. You are on vacation in beautiful Havasupai and it doesn’t need to be 100mph all the time.
Now, I’ve forgotten to mention you could go into the village while you’re there for some local food options. I personally didn’t a) bring any money as it’s all cash, I’ve been told and b) brought plenty of food (too much actually) and had no need for it.
In all, there’s plenty of things to do down there to occupy your time, clear your head, and find peace in nature.
If you’ve come across some other cool things to do down there that I didn’t mention, please tell me!
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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