Monday, February 7, 2011
Backpacking Rim to Rim in Grand Canyon is a magical experience. Each October and November conditions in the Grand Canyon are ideal for this sort of trip. Dropping off of the North rim on this guided Grand Canyon Rim to Rim backpacking trip we will experience the N. Kaibab trail while hiking surrounded by the fall colors. The hike to the Colorado River from here travels along Bright Angel Creek past yellow Cottonwood trees and emerald green Ribbon Falls, a spectacular side trip that we take along the way. Two options exist while hiking out up the South Rim. Our three day trip, for fit hikers only, involves a full day climb out of the Grand Canyon, while the four day trip allows for a camp to be setup halfway up the South Rim where we are able to watch the sunset from Plateau point before bedding down for the evening, hiking out the following day. It is best to call us by June 1st if interested in October, and July 1st if interested in November as the Grand Canyon quickly books up for these two peak months of the year.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Havasupai Canyon is the crown jewel on the south west side of the Grand Canyon, just west of Grand Canyon National Park. It has been written about in Edward Abbey's 'Desert Solitare', among countless other travel journals for good reason. Havasupai is unlike any other place on earth. It is the home of the friendly Havasupai Reservation of Native Americans which Havasupai translates to "People of the Blue-Green Water". The village of Supai is an eight mile hike or horse ride and completely unaccessible by vehicle which is sure to provide an old west feel.
The journey to the lush oasis of Havasupai begins with an early morning start on the rim at Hualapai Hilltop. The trail quickly descends off the rim and levels out after a mile and a half. Mule trains bringing supplies and mail (that's right they still use a type of Pony Express Mail Service) pass on the trail with the rider usually giving you a casual nod as they trot past. Slowly descend through the winding corridors of Supai Sandstone resting for a snack and a refreshing drink of water. At mile six you run into the first signs of the magnificently clear blue water of Havasupai. Above you are the rustling leaves of old cottonwood trees providing a shady break from the hot desert sun. At mile eight you walk into the village of Supai, passing cattle and horses. The two red sandstone spires of 'Wigleeva', an ancient god and goddess according to legend stand, watch over the small village. The village is an intriguing mix of current day combined with a time long since past. After signing in at the office, you begin to hike past the helicopter landing pad and elementary school. Shortly after leaving the village you will see the two new falls (still unnamed as of this writing) carved from the flood of August 2008. Just before reaching the campground you will get a breathtaking view of Havasu Falls. You've finally made it! Being able to take your pack off and soak your feet in the cool, refreshing water is an indescribable feeling.
Your CenterFocus guides will set up camp and get dinner prepared as the sun begins its daily crawl over the canyon wall. After eating, enjoy talking about the days experience, then retreat for the evening, falling asleep to the sound of babbling water. Depending on how long you decide to stay in the canyon you can either relax at Havasu Falls, take an exciting day hike past thundering Mooney Falls to swim below Beaver Falls, or for the more adventurous at heart push all the way to the Colorado River and back (an 18 mile round trip journey). It doesn't take long to feel refreshed as you are disconnected from the hustle and bustle of modern day life. No cell phones to answer, no email to check, just red desert rock contrasted with the most incredible blue water you've ever seen.
Depending on how you decide to leave Havasupai will determine what time you leave on your last day. For those of you who decide to hike out, you will want an early morning start to spend as much time in the shade as possible. If you decide to take a helicopter or a pack mule, you can afford a little extra time waking up and enjoying your final moments taking pictures as the sun begins its daily journey across the clear blue sky. When you make it back to Hualapai Hilltop, most visitors have a feeling that they have gone back in time.
Contact CenterFocus today to make your reservation as Havasupai trips fill up quickly. CenterFocus also offers an eight day spring tour that includes Havasupai along with technical canyoneering at the Rocking X Ranch located in the beautiful Sierra Ancha Mountains and a visit to Sedona. Experience the best of the desert southwest with CenterFocus and remember "It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Our guided canyoneering operations in the Sierra Anchas should be in full swing by March. Conditions seem to be setting up nicely and we highly recommend taking a look at our two and three day guided Arizona canyoneering tours. http://www.thecenterfocus.com