So….the Weather Channel said that there was a high wind advisory for Supai. AZ – sustained winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 55 mph. We called the lodge in Supai, AZ (which is really just a small village) and asked about it and were told that “We do not have weather stations down here. We do not use weather forecasts, we get up in the morning and deal with whatever the weather is.” So basically they had no advice for us and we felt kind of stupid for asking. We checked with some tour groups that offer tours in the canyon and they said that they were still going, so we decided to go ahead and start out hike. Coats would have been a good idea, but we did not pack them because the same Weather Channel said it was going to be 75 degrees before we left home. At least our back packs were lighter because we were wearing the majority of the clothes that we had with us to keep warm.
The hike to Supai is beautiful. We started at Hualapai Hilltop (first three pictures) and hiked 8 miles into Hualapai Canyon. The fourth picture shows the trail as it snakes down into the canyon. The first mile and a half is pretty steep with lots of switchbacks. As we were going down the hill, we all of a sudden heard this loud noise and then these mules rounded the corner. As you can see they were running by themselves. They are well trained evidently. Eventually a person on a horse came behind them, but it was clear they knew where to go. They were on their way up to the top of the canyon to carry down packs for people that paid to have them carried down (that would not have been us).
Once the path leveled off, we entered the canyon, walking on an old river bed. It was so beautiful as you can see from the next few pictures. It was very windy in the canyon with lots of dust blowing around. We were lucky because the 25 mph winds were pushing us – we felt bad for the people coming out that were walking against it. By the time we got to the sign in picture 12, we had walked 6.5 miles and were totally covered in dust, so we were very glad to see that we were getting close. We made the turn and walked just a little ways and came into an amazing oasis. Havasu Creek runs through the last 2 miles of the hike and it is absolutely beautiful (next to the last picture). The turquoise-green water was a sight to see in the middle of a desert canyon.
We reached the Supai village around 1:00 and were very glad to be able to sit down. The hike was really not bad, but was a whole lot more than we were used to doing, and carrying the extra 18 – 20 pounds on our backs made it a whole lot more than we are used to. The village is surrounded by small farms, and has a lodge, a store, a clinic, a small school and a café. There is a helicopter that brings supplies, as well as, ferries people in and out of the village. Don told Leslie that taking this out was a possibility when he talked her into going on this trip. When we arrived, he mysteriously remembered that it did not operate on the day we had to hike out. Not that she really planned on taking it, but it would have been nice to have an option. The village also has a post office. It is the last place in America where mail is delivered by mule train. Pretty cool.
Oh and by the way, after the response from the lady at the lodge about the weather that made it sound like we were city slickers having the ability to look at the weather….they have Directtv and Hughesnet down there.