Our Backpacking Adventure to Havasupai Falls: An AZ Wedding + Family Photographer's Journey
I credit my mom with giving me my adventurous spirit, a desire to take in the beauty that the world has to offer. I had friends throughout my childhood that encouraged me to climb just a little farther to see what was on the other side of that hill or mountain or to reach the top of a crazy peak in Sedona without a trail (I'm talking to you Laura Skiba).
As I got older, however, I spent more time at the hotel pool than wading through streams and hiking through canyons. While away on a business trip, my husband picked up the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed and brought it home thinking I'd like it...I read it in a week, I couldn't put it down! And after I finished it I wouldn't stop talking about it! If you haven't read it it's about a women's journey to, as she puts it, "hike her way back to the woman her mother raised her to be." Her personal struggle was incredibly moving but what inspired me the most was her description of the hike itself. The idea of "putting myself in the way of beauty" spoke to me as a photographer but also as someone who'd lost the adventurous spirit of her youth.
So, when I heard about a plan to hike the Havasupai Trail I jumped at the chance! A good friend of my sister-in-law, Brandy, I like to call her our fearless leader, organized the trip, submitting for the permits (you need to reserve space with the prior to hiking), advising us on what to pack (we packed too much), and creating a hiking schedule for when to take our breaks while on the trail. She did an INCREDIBLE job! She kept a smile on her face when we asked the annoying question of "Are we there yet??" and kept us motivated the whole way.
A little info about the hike. The Havasupai Trail is 8.5 miles to the village of supai, this is where you can replenish your water, grab a non-beef jerky snack and use the bathroom. To get to the campsite it's another 3 miles. There are campsites a little closer but we wanted to camp near Mooney Falls. To get back to Havasu Falls we hiked the 2-ish miles back out. If you want to visit the Little Navajo Falls and New Navajo Falls that would be another mile back toward town...we did not get there lol.
After spending a full day exploring the canyon and all the Falls had to offer we were still pretty beat up so instead of hiking out with our packs we loaded them onto the handy helicopter that they have in Supai for people like us who want to hike back without packs or for people who don't want to hike at all they can take it right back to the parking lot at the end/beginning of the trail. The decision to hike back without our packs was probably the best idea we've ever had! Between the fatigue and the intense heat I think we would have had to live in the canyon had we taken our packs. Thank the lord for modern day amenities like helicopters!!
despite the heat and the discomfort we made it to the top, the feeling of accomplishment almost brought me to tears. I am officially hooked and if you ask me, "Would you do it again?" my answer would be without a doubt... "yes!" I can't wait for our next backpacking adventure!
Here are some images from our time in the Canyon. I hope they inspire you to "put yourself in the way of beauty." I tried my best to do the canyon justice. Enjoy!
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