There are no words to explain this trip…but I will try my very hardest. This place is like the Garden of Eden except with turquoise waters, the greenest of greenery, and the most peaceful, serene, adventurous vibes from the environment and all of the people there. If you’re thinking about going, I’ll give you a little rundown of our trip and what we did so you know what to expect:
I’m sure you know already, but you NEED to make reservations for your campsite several months, even a year ahead. Go to this site to get information on making your reservations.
- IMPORTANT! If you’re taking mules, make sure to weigh out your items! You have to strap/rope together your items or put it all in trash bags for the mules. Go here to get info on reserving your mules.
- Here is what I suggest you pack:
- Camelback – enough water for 11 miles
- Lightweight tent
- Sleeping bag or blanket
- Sleeping pad
- Clothing for 3 nights/4 days (will be a tad chilly at night and warm during the day!)
- Quick-dry towel
- Eco-friendly soap (recommend CampSuds)
- Refillable canteen
- Thermal mug or reusable cup
- Hiking shoes
- Thick socks for hiking
- Moleskin – to prevent blisters – BRING A TON IF YOU’RE SUPER PRONE TO BLISTERS LIKE ME!
- Water shoes – important!
- Extra Batteries
- Bug Repellent
- Lightweight hammock
- Rain poncho
- Cash for Supai store (cards have a $10 minimum purchase requirement)
- Card for helicopter
- Sneaky alcohol in canteens (alcohol is illegal down there, so carry it down on your back, not on the mule – just in case)
- Pool floaties if you’re going in the Spring or Summer
- Bug spray
- Icy hot or muscle rub
- Hand and feet warmers if you’re going in the Fall and you get cold easily, but doubt you will need them
- We divvied out the meals between ONLY two people so that there weren’t too many hands in the pot (pun intended), then divided up the costs between everyone. We made sure to get everyone’s food allergies and preferences and made substitutions (we had one vegetarian and one deathly allergic to peanuts).
- We froze EVERYTHING we ate beforehand and put it with dry ice in the coolers. The food stayed ROCK SOLID…so make sure to take out each meal to thaw it out well beforehand.
- Pre-frozen egg cups (made with eggs, veggies, and ham and baked in muffin tins)
- Bagels + cream cheese, eggs (frozen egg beaters) and bacon (pre-frozen)
- Oatmeal, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns (the dried hashbrowns that you find in the little milk cartons)
- PB & J’s
- Deli meat and cheese (not frozen but we ate this the first day)
- Chicken salad sandwiches (pre-made chicken salad, not frozen but we ate this the second day) – also did well for snacks!
- Dinners: we pre-made and froze our meals in big gallon ZipLoc bags.
- Turkey Chili (pre-made and frozen)
- Chicken and dumplings (pre-made and frozen)
- Spaghetti and meatballs (just pre-made the meatballs and froze them, and brought dry pasta)
- Hummus & pita
- Granola bars
- Little Clementines
- There is a spicket toward the entrance of the campground…don’t worry about water! Just bring some empty canteens or reusable bottles to fill up
- We drove up the day before the hike and stayed in Seligman, AZ. This is the town that the Disney movie Cars was modeled after! If you ever get there, you’ll see how cute it is…but make sure to watch Cars first! It’s about an hour drive to the trailhead, so we left at 6am the net morning.
DAY 1: THE HIKE
- I never thought in my whole life that I would say 10 miles was easy as pie, but it really was. It was all downhill and flat, and had the most spectacular views. I mean come on, you’re walking through the GRAND CANYON!
- Definitely take a Camelbak and some snacks.
- I get blisters so easily (anyone else have this problem or know why?) so I brought an extra pair of shoes with me on the hike as well as extra moleskin. It always helps me to switch off shoes to give some areas of my feet that are rubbing a break.
- It’s 8 miles down to the Supai tribe area where there’s a small restaurant and convenience store + the lodge, then another 2-3 miles in sand down to the campground.
- You’ll pass Havasu Falls on the way to the campgrounds…check it out!
- Your items on the back of the mules will be waiting for you after 3pm at the entrance of the campgrounds and you can wheelbarrow them into your campsite. We took 4 mules down for 9 people. Definitely a little excessive, but worth it so we didn’t have to carry 40 lbs on our backs. We also brought two coolers and a tub of dry food. Whoops.
- Pick a campsite next to the water! You won’t regret it.
DAY 2: MOONEY FALLS AND BEAVER FALLS
- We hiked down to Mooney Falls, which is just at the end of the campgrounds. The hike down to Mooney is INSANE. Like…”you slip, you die” type of insane. You climb down two little caves, then down 100 steep feet of holding onto railroad ties and chains whilst walking down a wet, slippery rock. To say it was terrifying is an understatement.
- BUT once you’re down at Mooney you will be absolutely speechless. It is 200 feet of the most breathtaking, spectacular sight you will ever see in your life.
- After Mooney, we hiked 5 miles down to Beaver Falls. The hike was insanely beautiful…you cross streams, rivers, pastures, valleys, small waterfalls. Literally the Garden of Eden. Bring a hammock and some lunch! There are trees and places to sit. Maybe even bring a small travel chair so that you can sit in the water and eat your lunch. There are places to climb and explore up at the waterfall, where there are more falls. It’s definitely sketchy, but worth it.
- You can walk another 2 miles down to the Colorado River. We didn’t do it because we got a late start and were already worried about making it back through the Mooney caves before sunset (and I got a TON of blisters on the hike there), but I’ve heard that it makes the entire trip! Next time, I will definitely make it a point to wear good shoes and get an early start to make the Colorado.
- I got about 12 blisters on the way to Beaver…I cannot stress enough: BREAK IN YOUR SHOES AND WEAR LAYERS OF MOLESKIN!
DAY 3: HAVASU FALLS AND LITTLE NAVAJO FALLS
- Havasu Falls isn’t far past the beginning of the campgrounds. It’s the one that you pass on the way in. We hiked (uphill, in sand) to Havasu Falls and it was breathtaking.
- We then hiked another mile (uphill, in sand) to Little Navajo where we had our own little private spot to bathe and eat lunch. This place was amazing. The water was a bit cold, but nonetheless amazing.
- After Little Navajo, we made our way up to the Supai tribe town which is another mile (uphill, in sand) to get some much beloved American snacks and drinks. A Diet Coke never felt so refreshing in my entire life.
DAY 4: THE TRIP BACK (BOOOO)
- We woke up early to pack up and head out. The mules leave at 7am to go back up, so we wheelbarrowed our stuff up to put it all on the mules. We only took 2 mules back, because we just walked our sacks up the 3 miles to the helicopters, as we were each allowed a 40 lb sack in the copter.
- The hike uphill in sand pre-coffee was BRUTAL. This was literally the worst part of the trip.
- We got in line early for the helicopters and had to wait about 3-4 hours. We got breakfast and coffee at the restaurant and hung out. It really wasn’t that bad. The helicopters are $80 with cash and $90 with a card.
- Two of our group members hiked out. Honestly, I had so much adrenaline and energy from the whole trip, I would have and could have hiked out. However I was hiking in socks the last two days of the trip because of my insane blisters, and I’m not sure if I could’ve taken up my entire 40lb sack. I also had never been in a helicopter and it seemed like a very opportune time to take one, as it was only $80 and it was through the Grand Canyon! Next time though for sure I will reserve another mule to take up my pack and hike out…just to get the full experience.
At the end of the trip…we were dirty, tired, smelly, hungry, and a bit mentally unstable. But it was literally the best experience in my life and I can’t wait to do it again!