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We've been pumping you full of images this week from our trip to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon, and the magic of the natural wonders has no doubt revved up the adrenaline for adventure travelers. But we realize there's a large segment of people who, despite being attracted to the beauty of nature, don't feel confident that they have the physical ability, outdoor skills, or the array of gear needed to pull off such a trip safely.
This is completely understandable considering it's an 11 mile hike just to get to Havasupai, and it certainly doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Like just about every outdoor excursion on the planet, you can jump on board with an organized outfitter to make the journey to Havasupai. On our trip, we accompanied AOA Adventures as they led a group on a five day, four night trek into the Canyon. Below, we dish on our experience.
Photo Galleries / Havasupai Falls / Arizona Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Adventure Travel / Grand Canyon Hiking / Supai Travel / → All Tags
View of the scenery along the Havasu River about a mile above Havasu Falls
When revealing what you should know before going to Havasupai, we posted a few photos featuring a trail that leads hikers to where the Havasu River meets the mighty Colorado. In today's gallery, we take you down the trail with us.
The hike is about 10 miles one way, winding you through a variety of ecosystems and geological features. The starting point is Havasupai Falls, and if you missed that gallery, you can catch up on it here.
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Our crew crossing the Havasu River in the Grand Canyon
When you're out in the Arizona wilderness, the right gear can make all the difference. And it's not just about the heat. In an environment like the Grand Canyon, the mix of the elements is what threatens your comfort. Aside from the extremely obvious camping gear and necessities like a tent, sunscreen, water bladders, and a hat, there are other ways to equip yourself so your trip to Havasupai Falls actually feels like a vacation.
Here are a few suggestions based on the gear we used for our recent trip:
Adventure Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Havasupai Travel / Arizona Travel / Hiking / Camping / → All Tags
Our photo gallery of Havasu Falls highlighted the stunning beauty that awaits adventure travelers who make the journey into the Grand Canyon, and from those you can see that milky turquoise water, stretching canyon walls, and jagged rock formations stole the show for us visually. But there were also many interesting and unexpected aspects of the area that surprised us, some that provided context that enhanced our trip and others that, simply put, surprised the hell out of us.
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Havasu Falls at the end of the Havasupai Trail in the Grand Canyon
Most people only see the Grand Canyon from above, looking out from a viewing platform on the South Rim near the visitor center. But getting down into this Wonder of the World provides an incredible perspective on its size and scope, not to mention its beauty.
Adventure travelers have been immersing themselves in the Canyon for centuries, backpacking rim to rim or rafting their way along the Colorado River. Last week, we took one of the easier routes of submersion, hiking the 11-mile Havasupai Trail to what we consider to be the Canyon's, and perhaps North America's, best oasis.
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Since the physical rush of skydiving is bound to occur regardless of your location, the components of a good skydiving destination are found more in the surroundings than in the act of jumping itself. Aka, the scenery.
Why jump out of a perfectly good plane? One answer is the view. After the first ten seconds of freefall, everything begins to calm down as you reach terminal velocity. Suddenly, it doesn't feel like you're falling - it feels like you're floating in a wind tunnel. Aided by your guide who will point out major landmarks, the perspective and outlook over the landscape below is absolutely amazing. Once the parachute is open and you gently descend back to earth, the ground gets closer and the scenery begins to engulf you, a calm complement to the rush of the plunge.
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We're down there... somewhere.
Most people only see the Grand Canyon from above, looking out from a viewing platform on the South Rim near the visitor center. For those that need a reminder of its "grandness," the canyon is 277 "river miles" long, one mile deep, and 18 miles at its widest point.
It's an amazing sight, for sure, one of which we need a much closer look. This weekend, we're headed off on a multi-day backpacking trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, making our way to Havasupai Falls, about an 11-mile hike from the top of the canyon.
We've been pretty vocal about our excitement for the season of live music, aka summer, and have dished on a number of opportunities to get into the spirit in the coming months. That, coupled with our upcoming trip to discover new realms at the Rainforest Music Festival in Kuching, it's time we pay homage to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, a place that sparked our appreciation of the world's musical offerings.
If you think the name - or the fact that it's a museum - makes it sound like a snooze, we've got an eye-opening wake up call for you: It is one of the most engaging displays of culture we've ever visited, and a must for any self-professed music lover.
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Zookeepers at Washington DC's National Zoo, which literally shares a driveway with Jaunted's DC headquarters, have been doing their best to keep the public informed about the pair of baby lions born in late January to mother Nababiep. Medical exams of the cubs have revealed that they are "adorable" - that's an actual quote - and for the first few weeks fans from around the world could track the infants on the zoo's lion cam.
Recently, however, the lion cam feeds have gone dark in anticipation of another impending litter, this time to Nababiep's sister Shera. There's a more robust explanation of where each lioness hangs out, and how that influenced the decision to cut the feeds, here. But the short story is that - for now - the Internet has one less place with baby lions.
Whatever are people to do?
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There’s been plenty of deals to drive rental cars out of certain states and into other states as well; however, we’re not sure that has been the case at the same time. Hertz is either confused, or they just are really excited about the state of Arizona. The rental car company is now offering up one-way deals for those looking to depart from or arrive to the Grand Canyon State.
Heading into the state is the better option, so we’ll start with that. Drive into Arizona deals can be had starting at $5 per day on economy cars, and if you’re looking for something a little better—they also promise a good deal on other car classes. You need to book your reservation sooner than later, and pickup the car prior to March 10. Just utilize RQ “ICFLT1” to score the deal, and be sure to grab your car at a participating location. This includes options rented in and around Southern California, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, and the state of New Mexico.
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You can hear the whipping of the bat through the air from the on-deck circle, the crunching of the cleats in the dirt. You can see the beards on their faces and hear the words from their mouths, whether it’s a player, coach, or umpire. Autographs are easy to come by, and “good” seats turn into “great” ones thanks to the small stadiums. If you’re a baseball fan, that’s pretty much all that needs to be said to convince you that Spring Training is a worthwhile jaunt.
If you’re a casual or less-than-serious fan, the atmosphere – relaxed and summer-esk and filled with beer drinking in the sun during the winter month of March – should do the trick. While baseball is certainly the main event, the entertainment goes well beyond the ball field.
The state of Arizona is already sick and tired of this government shutdown bologna, and it's not going to sit around and watch its biggest assets lay dormant. The state isn't sending men in black suits to Washington, DC or anything like that, but it is trying to open up some of its natural attractions—and is prepared to foot the bill that comes along with it.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has offered up some cash and funding to the feds—state money, not her own—to keep the Grand Canyon up and running during the pesky government disagreement. Sounds like a reason for permit holders to celebrate, but unfortunately the federal government couldn’t care less. Apparently the National Park Service has rejected the state’s offer to help open the Canyon for business. Some local businesses also offered to pitch in, however, once again no means no.
Two Senators from the state are now getting involved, so stay tuned if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon anytime soon. We’re kind of thinking that the outside funding requests will eventually get their way, and that big hole in the ground will once again be up and running. Until then, you'll have to find something else to do in Flagstaff.