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The Grand Canyon Trek

An Exploration of the Grand Canyon - April 27, 2002 - May 4, 2002

- Click Here For Larger Image -A Shaded Rest Stop on Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail is the busiest trail in Grand Canyon. This trail drops 4,000 vertical feet from the south rim. Tourists ride mules down from the rim on this trail. Those wanting a bit more exercise will hike down and venture to the over look above the Colorado River.

For us, this trail is the begining of the end of our visit to Grand Canyon. We trudged up Bright Angel and took a welcome rest break at the rest stop, refilled our water bottles, took a few more photos and continued up the trail.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Approaching Canyon Rim

It has been a long hike from Indian Gardens. We have watched the scenery expand as we climbed higher and higher on the trail. At one point we were fortunate to see a soaring Giant Condor! That was a thrill!

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- Click Here For Larger Image - Canyon View from the Top of Bright Angel Trail

The scenery from in or near the Canyon has been spectacular. From the up close spectacle of the Monument at Monument Creek to the broad expansive views of the Canyon Rim, we continually were in awe of its grandeur.

Standing at the rim, one wonders at the majesty of spectacle that is the Grand Canyon.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Grand Canyon Panorama from the South Rim

We had taken a shower at the public facilities, had a meal, and were off on the next phase of our desert adventure. But first we had to stop for one more look back and a panoramic view of Grand Canyon.

We will come back some day and explore other parts of the canyon!

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- Click Here For Larger Image -View From Havasupai Hilltop

Havasupai is the name of the local indigenous peoples. It means people of the blue green water. From this point there is no water to be seen. From the Hilltop we have this expansive view of desert beauty.

The trail head is a large parking lot. It is necessary to accommodate the locals and their horses and the tourists that pay to ride to Havasu Falls. Since there are no roads this is the primary route to Havasu Village and Havasu Falls. Havasu Village has the distinction of having the only post office in the U.S.that has mail delivered by horse.

The Havasupai use their small desert horses to carry all their goods and necessities to Havasu Village. The tourists that ride will pay to have their large family tents and coolers filled with beer to their camp sites at Havasu Falls. To our great dismay, we saw how these little horse were used and abused. They were overworked and underfed. Most of the horses had exposed ribs and hip bones and infected saddle sores. We understand that the use of the horses is necessary for the locals. But we want to make more people aware of the plight of the horses. Maybe more comments from concerned people will cause some positive changes for the horses. I should have taken a photo of the horses to prove my point.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Trail to Havasu Village

From Havasupai Hilltop, the trail descends into the broad desert valley, then it turns into a narrow arroyo. The floor of the arroyo is mostly gravel and sand like a river bottom. The walls have a sculptural effect caused by eons of water erosion.

The reddish color of the rock adds to the visual impact.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Havasu Village

Approaching the village, the dry arroyo has become a pleasant running stream and the trail has become wider. Even though there are no cars here some of the locals use 4-wheel drive ATV's for transportation.

In Havasu, we made a stop at the tourist information center to pick up our camping permit. Since we had reserved our permit in advance it took the clerk only a few minutes to do the paperwork and we were back on the trail to Havasu Falls.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Trail to Havasu Falls

The trail to Havasu Falls is a short two mile hike from the village. It follows the stream, and the greenery that lines it banks seem to belie the dry desert conditions and, marks a distinct contrast from the tan and gray of the rim rocks.

The desert truly does have it's own beauty.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Water Fall near Havasu Village

We hadn't walked far from the village when we spotted this small water Fall. It's not Havasu Falls, but it did capture our attention with the lush foliage that it appears to “spring” from.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Havasu Falls

For anyone visiting Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is a “must see” side trip. It is astounding to see a water fall of this magnitude spring from the dry desert. The rock formations surrounding the falls are reminiscent of those found in subterranean caverns. The color of the water is like the blue green of our alpine glacier fed lakes, but it definitely doesn't taste like our glacier fed streams. It has distinctive desert taste because rain water percolates down into the soil and through sub strata, thus acquiring the distinctive tastes of various mineral deposits it runs through.

The canyon below the falls is very narrow with sheer rock walls rising up 200 - 300 feet. There is a narrow patch of grass and trees along the stream, which is where the camp sites are located. After selecting a suitable camp site we walked back to the falls where we soaked our feet and legs in the cool water. Several tourists were enjoying a swim and we had to be selective in our photos trying to keep them out of the picture. We did however, manage to capture the afternoon sun glinting of the tumbling water.

We had a most pleasant night at the falls. And the next morning, as we packed up to begin our hike back to the village, decided to add one more item to our adventure.

A helicopter ride, adding one more unique canyon view to our adventure...!

We flew back to Havasupai Hilltop, with the views of the desert canyon lands below, which made a great ending to our desert experience.

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