Definitely a once in a lifetime (for us) adventure in early June of 2010, We got reservations ahead of time for our group.Just the beginning of this trip took us 2 days to get to the trailhead. This included 5 hours to St. George, then another 6 hours through Las Vegas and the bottleneck over Hoover Dam. The preparations were intense. People are allowed to ride their own horses. However, I would NOT recommend this. I would not have wanted to find a place for my horses and haul all their food and our stuff. It worked out better to use their horses. After all, it couldn't be that bad. We had been riding our own horses all spring. We were in shape, right?
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|We spent the first night at the trailhead, in the back of our Pilot.|
|Horses packed with gear.|
|The Indians' horses seemed to have run of the place all over. There were also dozens and dozens of feral dogs ALL over.|
|Every day pack and riding horses head up the trail.|
The ride down was very hot (106), I dropped a water bottle in the first hundred yards...(No stopping, "keep going" the Indian guide kept saying. As a consequence I ran out of water. Luckily, Cowboy Bob had a camel back and shared his water with me. )
|Getting closer to the village. Photo courtesy Justin Nelson.|
|Photo courtesy Justin Nelson|
After 8 miles we were allowed to stop at the village to pay our fees. Poor turquoise boy said he didn't care, he was never getting on a horse again. He had to, or he would never hook up with the rest of his troop. We said, "Buck up, camper boy, you can do it." We helped him mount up again. But, he said no way was he riding a horse in a few days to get out of there. He wanted to opt for the helicopter ride. He did eventually join up with his troop. Don't know what happened to him after that. From the village, it was still 2 more miles to the campsite.
It was quite the adventure trying to find the pack animal that had our gear. Once we found it, we had another hike of 1/4 mile to find a campsite. The first night, I wondered what we had gotten into. Was this really worth it? I was bordering on heat exhaustion and dehydration. At least we had water close by to cool off in.
|Some of our group had nice campsites next to the water.|
|The second night we moved into a campsite with a little more shade.|
|We had to get our drinking water out of this spring and then filter or purify it. It wasn't that great tasting. I was so grateful that my son had brought plenty of Crystal Light Pure to add to the water.|
The second day, I thought I was going on a 1/2 mile stroll to hang out by a beautiful waterfall. Little did I know what was in store. I took my sarong, a towel, food, a book to read and wore my swim suit. The photo below does not do this justice...hiking down nearly vertically hanging onto chains AND hiking through a tunnel/cave like area. Whew! Oh, well, the bottom was worth it.
Then, had to wait our turn to hike up the ladders and chains again. Actually, kinda fun, but I swore I didn't want to do it again.
|Photo courtesy Bethany Price. This is a new waterfall created by the flood of 2008. That's my DIL jumping off the top.|
Later that day and the next, we hiked in the other direction to Havasu Falls. This, just involved about 1/4 mile through sand, rock and dirt..It's..that famous one you see in all the photos.
|The Sacred Datura that bloomed all over. I joked to someone "there's enough of that here to get the entire campground of 200 people high for weeks"|
|The ride out provided more adventures...at least it was a little cooler. My horse was #91 and Bob's was "Blackie"|
Also check out Desertbound's photos and narratives of the trip: