It has been a week since I have been back from my backpacking trip and I thought I would do an update post about how it went, my experience hiking 10 miles to the camp ground in one day and what I wish I had brought and what I wish I had NOT brought.
I did my backing trip with my boyfriend and another couple. Our goal for the day was to get to our halfway point, which was Kingman, Arizona. Our plan was to stay there the night and start our journey to Havasupai Falls the next morning. It took us 5 hours to get there and once we did we spent the evening “carbing up” for our long walk.
Our journey started at 0430. We still had another 2 hours before we got to the trailhead and we wanted to start our hike at about 0800 in the morning. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and I was amazed at how green and different northern Arizona is in comparison to the souther part (I usually drive through the souther part to get to my grandmother’s home in El Paso, TX).
We arrived to the trailhead and were blown away by the grandeur of the canyon and spent about an hour preparing ourselves both mentally and physically for our hike down the canyon. We were full of energy and very excited to begin and after reviewing that day in my head, I would say we were also a little naive about how it was going to go.
It is a very steep climb down for the first few miles and with a heavy pack, we quickly realized how long of a trek we had until we made it into the camp, but even with that realization we didn’t let it dampen our moods and the excitement we all shared.
The way down to the campground took us quite a long time. We were not letting ourselves rush the experience and took the time to take many pictures, many rests and enjoy the overall experience. We did however want to make it to the campground before the rain was going to start. We constantly saw the ominous clouds behind us almost catching up to us.
We made it to Supai Village in the late afternoon about 1430 and spent about an hour and a half eating in their cafe and resting our feet. It took us six and a half hours to walk 8 miles. By the time we were ready to start back up, the rain clouds had reached us. We donned our rain jackets and ponchos, covered our packs and continued with the last two miles to the campground.
The last two miles were definitely the hardest. I was DYING! My feet were already hurting, I felt like I had blisters and my knee was starting to bother me. My first big mistake about this hike were my shoes. I wore my High Sierra hiking boots and even thought I thought this was going to be the best shoe, but it definitely was not. They are great hiking shoes, but not long distance walking. I did end up with a few blisters, which did make my walk back really miserable. I actually ended up hiking and walking back up the canyon in my Birkenstocks. You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but they didn’t squish my feet especially when they started to swell because of the long distance. What I would take next time would be my Merrill Women’s hiking shoes or my New Balance shoes that could have cushioned by feet better. I also should have worn a compression sleeve for my knees. I realized that walking down a hill the outer part of my patella starts to pinch. It made me walk a lot slower especially as we got closer to the campground where it descends once again into the campground. My boyfriend was my cheerleader and kept me motivated to continue.
Finally, we make it to the campground and we see the beauty of the first waterfall in the canyon. The water is clear blue and surprising warm. Nature is absolutely amazing and every time I got hiking and camping I revel in it’s beauty.
“The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see” – Albert Einstein
We set up camp around 1745 and make our dinner. However, we had to say goodnight to each other by 1900 because it started to pour! We were right by a creek and with the amount of rain, we were nervous that it would end up flooding the creek. Thankfully it did not, but we did have to have our cup of noodles in our tent.
Whenever you go camping, you will most likely wake up early. It always happens that as soon as the sun starts to peek through I am up and ready to start my day. Usually thats with a cup of Joe and waiting for everyone else to trickle out of their tent.
It was also going to be my first meal trying MRE’s (Meal, Ready to Eat). I had a breakfast skillet for breakfast, which consisted of potatoes, eggs, onion, and bell peppers. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was actually pretty good. All you need to prepare these pre-packaged meals is hot water and then you let it set for a few minutes and then its ready to eat.
I was definitely surprised, but also super happy to actually enjoy them because if not, I would have had to force myself to eat them anyway since I had no other meals to eat.
One big downfall to the rain was the fact that the pretty blue color of the creek and waterfall had now turned to a muddy brown. It no longer was the picturesque scene that we were hoping to see during our trip.
We didn’t let this deter us, we still enjoyed the day and did a few hikes. We spent some time at at several different spots and enjoyed lunch. We also did a second hike called Mooney Falls. This one we didn’t really know what to expect other than there was a ladder we would be climbing down.
I loved this hike because we had to climb through caves and scale down the mountain. It required upper body strength, but also a sense of adventure because we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
Our last day consisted of us hiking back to our car. I wore my High Sierra boots, but after 3 hours, I ended taking them off and switching to Birkenstocks because my feet were swelling and I had blisters that kept rubbing on the inside of my shoes. The last mile was tortuous. Its a steep incline and with Birkenstocks and a heavy pack, it requires a lot of self motivation and perseverance to keep going. Again, my boyfriend was my cheerleader and constantly was cheering me on to keep moving forward.
Our hike back this time only took us 5 hours to complete and then we had another two hours until we reached Laughlin, where we were to stay the night before setting back home the next day.
We spend our night in Laughlin showering the long day, eating a good meal and falling asleep early.
What I wish I had brought/ had not brought on this trip
My list for this section is pretty small, I already named a few things earlier in this post such as better shoes and compression sleeves for my knees.
I think the biggest take away from this trip was overpacking. I had all of this stuff to pack into two pack and it ended up being too much. I was nervous about not having enough food/snacks and we had way too much (food definitely contributed to a large amount of our weight). Another thing that my boyfriend and I realized was the amount of clothes we both brought. He ended up only wearing one bottom all three days and two different shirts, and I essentially did the same. For such a small trip we didn’t need 4 bottoms/tops and two heavy jackets. We also didn’t need to bring our big camelback. One like this one would have been more convenient as it is compact. Next time I’ll be even more prepared after this experience.
3 thoughts on “Havasupai Falls: How my 1st backpacking trip went”
What an incredible trip!! Thanks for sharing your experience and all of the wonderful pictures!! Seems like you enjoyed yourself, even with the blistered feet and achy knees. At least you know what adjustments to make for next time. 😊 You guys looked so cute. ☺️
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Thank you dearie! It definitely was an experience, one I would do again, but with the adjustments that I learned from this first trip. Meaning better shoes for sure!
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💕 I hope your footsies are all healed up now. 😊