Heading into the Grand Canyon with the #OmniTen: Havasu Falls

After the fun of the previous couple of days, the majority of the reporters and other peeps had to head back home in order to get back to their lives in the real world. However, for the OmniTen and a few others, the fun had only begun! We were heading into the Grand Canyon!

Sunday morning dawned wicked bright and early…like we had a meetup time of 5am! Now, we all know that I am an early morning person, but this was even a bit too early for me to get motivated. Once we got on the bus, this may or may not have happened:
Photo cred to Rebecca
Luckily, Jon is a great guy and gave me permission ahead of time to use him as a crash pad 🙂
We arrived at Hualapai Hilltop on the south rim of the Grand Canyon around 10:30am. Ideal time for hiking into a desert environment, right?! HAHAHAHA. I make myself laugh! The temps were damn near 100 degrees and definitely just went up as the day went on, but we didn’t mind. It was roughly an 8 mile hike to Supai village, followed by another 2 easy miles to our campground. The first mile of the hike was the steepest as the elevation dropped 1,000 feet. Naturally, this wasn’t a big deal coming into the canyon… but I know everyone was considering how it would feel on the way back out!
That lone tree in the center of the photo is a survivor! It survived the floods in 2008 and still remains upright!
Supai Village
I really took my time and enjoyed the hike in. I’ve done the Grand Canyon hike a few times, and even completed the rim-to-river day hike back in 2004 (Please note: park officials DO NOT recommend that you do the rim-to-river hike as the majority of people are choppered out with medical emergencies such as severe heat exhaustion. In short, I once again did a stupid thing that worked out okay!)
The view on the hike in
Jon and me mid-way through the hike
This was the perfect chance for me to legitimately try out the OmniFreeze Zero clothing, and once again, the clothes shined! I really liked the shirt and although it got absolutely filthy because of its white color combined with the red dirt, I enjoyed the way it felt against my skin. The fabric is super soft and even though I had short sleeves on, I didn’t feel like I was suffocating in the triple-digit temps. Was it still freaking hot? Hell yes. But….I daresay that the shirt (and that beloved hat!) made the weather more tolerable!
We all neared the campground at roughly the same time, and our guide Brian from Arizona Outback Adventures gathered us around to take in a beautiful view. Want to see the stunning view, too?!
Rock Falls
As if this stunning sight wasn’t enough to mentally hydrate even the most hot and dusty trekker, we then rounded the bend to see the main attraction of the area: Havasu Falls.
Could that water be any more beautiful? I think not! We spent an hour splashing around in the water, cleaning off the dirt from the day and enjoying the refreshing temperatures against our skin. After we had sufficiently recovered from the 10-mile sweatfest, Brian took us to our home for the next two nights.
Y’all, I’ll be honest: I was wicked unsure about completing this trek with a guide and company (not that I had a choice, I’m simply saying!) After all, I usually do it all myself, and it seemed very bizarre to have someone else set up my tent and cook my meals. However, AOA was awesome and really did a wonderful job. When we arrived at camp, the tents were ready and waiting and the kitchen was working in overdrive in order to produce us a wonderful dinner. In short, it was awesome and I could definitely get used to this type of treatment next time I am at 14,000 feet! 🙂
The rest of the evening was spent hanging out and relaxing. However, I truly was not tired (I think I had a serious advantage because I live at such a high elevation!) so I wanted to do some exploring. Jon and I found some miner caves and spent some time tunneling back into the mountain.
Photo cred to Katie
Yes, I’ll admit that it got a little scary as we went further back into the tunnel. I may or may not have made Jon go ahead of me and he is more than likely NEVER going to let me live that down!
Ok, I know it gets really annoying when bloggers do recaps of trips and they drag on for dayyyyyyyyyyys at a time. I was really trying not to be that person, but it turns out that I am 🙂 I swear, tomorrow will be my last post regarding my Columbia trip, and then I’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming. Thanks, y’all!
PS If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an entry to the Colorado Dirty Dash!
How was your weekend? What did you do?
How do you feel about backpacking or long hikes (double digits) where you have to carry a large backpack?
Have you ever used a guide before?
Prior to this trip, I had only used guides in South America where it is suggested by local custom, if not law. Sometimes it was not required, but the locals relied on the tourist dollar for a source of income, so we really tried to respect that.


  • Reply Katie at

    honestly, I was a little wary of being guided too! the trail was super easy to follow and camp was easy to find. however, it was AMAZING to have logistics and food taken care of for us. that’s the thing I dislike most about planning trips – logistics! knowing we didn’t have to worry about permits and meal planning made it a lot easier to enjoy the trip.

    the only other time I’ve gone guided was a summit climb in Mount Rainier. I didn’t, and still don’t, have the skills to do it safely on my own, and I’m definitely not shy about looking into guiding for trips like that!

    awesome recap 🙂

  • Reply Ingunn at

    Love your photos! I remember being surprised by how beautiful the hike itself was – I had seen photos of the falls, of course, but none of the trail. Very pretty!! And then I remember the hike back out…we started hiking around noon since we’re idiots, and we ran out of water right before that big hill at the end. I was 25 lbs heavier than I am now and not in very good shape, so that hill took a loooong time. On the other hand, the moment of bliss and pride when I reached the top (and found Vitamin Water in our car) can’t be beat!

    • Reply Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal at

      That’s EXACTLY how I felt doing the Rim-to-River in 2004! It ended up being like 16-17 miles in a day with 100 degree temps and all the elevation gained/lost, and I got back to my car in the evening WHIPPED. I was the only one with water left (because apparently women retain better?!) but I was so sunburned. Lesson learned! 🙂

  • Reply Ericka @ The Sweet Life at

    your photos are always my fav!

  • Reply Amanda - RunToTheFinish at

    hmm with a guide and a cook i might be more likely to camp…plus with views like that I probably need to get over my issues of sleeping on teh ground it’s totally worth it

  • Reply Katie Boué (The Morning Fresh) at

    🙂 I’m going to go through some serious withdrawals when we all finally stop posting about the trip. Can’t we just keep reliving the adventure forever?

    • Reply Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal at

      I say we just keep going on more adventures! Besides, we’ll all probably stop posting about Havasu just around the time we go on Ski Vacation 2013…and then we’ll start right back up again!

    • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

      I second what Katie said. We all may need a recovery group. Love reading everyone’s different take on the trip in their recaps.

    • Reply Jonathan at

      I concur. I told Heather I’ve had some serious hard times coming home. I love Indy but there aren’t many friends or people I know here that are into having Adventures like this – so meeting all of you amazing people and having such a great time made it that much harder to leave that and come back :). So thank you guys for being amazing!!

  • Reply Harold L. Shaw at

    I am living vicariously through your photos, this is one of those places that I want to go hike someday. I pinned this post to my Pinterest Bucket List.

  • Reply Julie at

    Seriously beautiful!!!! I really need to think about a trip there. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  • Reply Danielle at

    Beautiful! I always get a bit sentimental when people talk about the Grand Canyon- I did a R2R crossing (in 1 day) last year with my dad and it continues to be one of the best memories/experiences of my life! We didn’t go with a guide (as you know park rangers kind of discourage what we were doing), just a bunch of dumb ultra runners. I also carried a 100oz camelbak with tons of fuel. I ended up refilling that thing about 5 times!

    Great pictures- thanks for sharing!!

    (I hate to “toot my own horn” but if you’re interested, my pictures/recap of my crossing are here- http://www.long-may-you-run.com/2011/10/grand-canyon-rim-to-rim-crossing-part-i.html)

  • Reply Christine at

    I love reading your recaps and seeing your pictures. You all clearly had an amazing experience and it’s been great to live vicariously through you! It brings back great memories of backpacking in high school and college and makes me want to do it again. I haven’t been in FOREVER. Hmmmm…

  • Reply Renee at

    That is super sweet. Please show us pictures…since I’m sitting here at home with no beautiful scenery around. I have done very little hiking, but I really think it would be something that I would love.

  • Reply Kayla Carruth @ kpLoving It at

    Beautiful views!!
    It’s already triple digits down here. UGH!!! GET ME OUT OF HERE!
    so….did you get Jon’s number??? 🙂

  • Reply Ali Mc at

    WOW Heather I love every photo and that water looks like I may just want to jump into it 🙂 and I agree with Kayla – Jon is a hottie!!! I hope you did get his number 😉

  • Reply Shannon at

    I love the pix of the Grand Canyon. My Hubby and I were supposed to go there on our honeymoon, but we got turned back due to forest fires. Saw Zion and Bryce instead, which were also on the plan. I have to get to the Grand Canyon someday. 🙂

  • Reply jriggins at

    Enjoyed the blog.. Reading about this adventure just makes me want to do it even more.

  • Reply Beth at

    AOA? Who were your guides? One of my high school best friends Maryanne works for them! (And boyyyyy do your pictures make me anxious to get down and visit her!)

  • Reply Suz and Allan at

    This is a totally different view of the Grand Canyon than when Allan went a few years ago and I saw his pictures (yours are much better!). I would have made Jon go first in the caves too. Ladies don’t always have to be first!

  • Reply Heidi Nicole at

    These recaps are not annoying at all! Far more interesting than a family vacation or whatever! I keep them unread in my Reader until I have the time to really sit down with them!

    I think you’ve been spoiled with camping and hiking – thats a really sweet deal to have everything all set up and ready for you! You already bring a regular chef along on your 14ers, now you just need to find a man toy to set up your tent! 😉 Although I can offer no advice there as I set up our tent last…

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