Category Archives: North America

4 Can’t-Miss Autumn Adventures in Spokane

Spokane, Washington is absolutely stunning in the fall.  

Though I’m a Seattleite now, the “Lilac City” will always be a second home for me, after living there for several years.  I loved being so close to nature, feeling the stark seasonal changes, and seeing new restaurants and shops open up as downtown grew. 

Every year when the days begin to shorten, I always get a bit nostalgic about my time there.   The heat loses its bite and the city is transformed into a canvas of bright colors as the trees prepare to drop their leaves.  For those of us not lucky enough to live there, it’s a beautiful place for a peaceful weekend away.

Here are some of my favorite autumn adventures to enjoy in Spokane.

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Pavillion By Night by Matt Reinbold is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Marvel over the Victorian houses and bright colors of Browne’s Addition

If you’re visiting Spokane for a short trip, you’ll probably be staying in one of the downtown hotels.  Once you’ve dropped off your bags, a good place to stretch your legs is by walking to Browne’s Addition, which is widely known as one of the best neighborhoods in Spokane, and is just west of downtown.  Spend an hour or an afternoon strolling through its quiet streets, enjoying the stately homes and marveling at the bright colors of the trees lining the roads.  The sugar maples, which blaze in bright reds and oranges throughout the fall, are particularly vibrant.

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EJ Roberts Mansion by Tracy Hunter is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

If you have extra time, stop by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture on 1st avenue (which is having a Halloween party this year!), or lengthen your walk by heading north, crossing the Spokane River on a footbridge.  From there, head East on the Centennial Trial to loop through Riverfront Park, where you’ll see more dazzling colors, before heading back to downtown Spokane.

Go apple picking at Green Bluff

A fantastic way to spend one of Spokane’s brisk, sunny autumn days is a visit to the orchards.  Greenbluff excursions are a strong tradition in Spokane, and it was always the day trip I looked forward to the most in the fall.  After your morning coffee, pile into the car with friends and family to make the short drive out of town to the north.  After about 30 minutes you’ll find yourself on a plateau, surrounded by a collection of orchards and farms.  Reserve an afternoon to stroll through the trees, filling a bucket with crisp, bright apples.  There’s a reason Washington is famous for this fruit! In fact, more than 100 million boxes of apples (at 40 pounds each) are produced in the state each year. 

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Apples by Shinya Suzuki is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Several Green Bluff orchards also have small presses where you can make a jug of sweet apple cider.  It doesn’t get any fresher than that! Just make sure to enjoy it over the next day or two, since there are no preservatives.  One way to use up that cider is to  try your hand at making a fancy fall cocktail

Taste seasonal beer from award-winning breweries

Though apples are Washington State’s most famous crop, did you know the Evergreen State also dominates the hop industry, producing around 70% of all hops grown in North America?

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Beer Sampler by Quinn Dombrowski is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Though cities like Seattle and Denver are well-known as craft beer havens, Spokane has been quietly been producing award-winning breweries.   There are plenty of good breweries around town, but No-Li Brewhouse on the river in the Logan Neighborhood, and Steam Plant Brewing downtown are great places to start. This time of year is particularly special, because “fresh hop” beers are in season, which is a must-try if you’ve never tasted them before.  

If beer’s not your thing, taste a “farm to table” craft liquor from DryFly Distilling or take a distilling class at Tinbender Craft Distillery

Take a scenic drive to Schweitzer and Lake Pend Orielle

When you think of the Rocky Mountains, what do you imagine?  It’s likely you thought of the wilds of Colorado, or perhaps Wyoming or Montana.  You might be surprised at how close Spokane is to the northern Rockies, which spill over into the narrow neck of neighboring Idaho.  Schweitzer Mountain Resort is a favorite skiing destination in the winter, but it’s also a gorgeous place to visit in the fall, and only about a 2-hour scenic drive.

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Lake Pend Orielle at Sunset by Bjorn is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Pack a picnic and make a detour to Farragut State Park, where you can explore Lake Pend Orielle or go on a hike.  Or, stop for lunch and window shopping in the quaint town of Sandpoint, located at the north end of the lake.  Shortly after leaving Sandpoint, you’ll begin the zig-zagging journey up the mountain, feeling the temperature cool as you climb.  When you reach the resort, stunning views of the mountain range reward you.  For adventurers who’d like an even better view, grab a chairlift ticket to the top of the mountain, where 360-degree views will take your breath away.  

Martha Burwell

Hola, Bonjour, Sabaidee! Having traveled the world, Martha Burwell is a writer and consultant based in Seattle who loves sharing stories about places she’s been. But her heart will always be in the Pacific Northwest, where she explores the nearby mountains on foot, by mountain bike, and by snowboard. Martha regularly writes for www.StreetAdvisor.com, and also consults on gender equity via www.MarthaBurwell.com and blogs about intersectional gender equity at www.EqualiSea.org.

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An Insider’s Guide to Visiting San Diego

San Diego is a picturesque beach town located in southern California. With warm weather year-round, surfers can be found out trying to catch a wave any day of the week. If you’re headed there for your next vacation, here’s an insider’s guide to visiting San Diego.

San Diego California

Image via Flickr

Visit La Jolla Cove

If you want to see seals, this is the place to come. Dozens of these creatures can be spotted daily lying out on the rocks, catching some rays. If you head down to the water, seal pups can be seen playing with each other in the water and trying to ride the waves. For a few dollars, you can visit the Cave, where a long set of wooden stairs takes you down a dark tunnel right into a hidden cave where the water comes in.

Spend the Day at Pacific Beach

San Diego has some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. From Pacific Beach to La Jolla, there’s no shortage of places to lie on the beach or swim out in the ocean. Pacific Beach not only has sandy beaches, but is lined with restaurants and bars for when you need to refuel. Local attorney David Hiden elaborates on this, stating:

My favorite thing to do in San Diego is to go to the beach and enjoy the fine sand and the great water because San Diego is such a beautiful city and the beaches are well known to be clean and wonderful.

Walk Through Balboa Park

When you’ve had enough of the ocean, head over to this urban park to get in some exercise. At almost 2 square miles, it’s a green oasis perfect for jogging. There’s plenty to stop at along the way, including the famous San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art.

Visit a Lighthouse

If you like lighthouses, you’ll love visiting the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. This beautiful lighthouse was first in operation in 1855 to help ships navigate through the fog to the shores of San Diego. While it stopped being used in 1891 in lieu of a new lighthouse in a different location, the building has been very well-preserved. You can go inside the lighthouse, as well as see the old living quarters from the 1800s.

Marissa Pedersen

Marissa is a freelance writer, travel blogger, and social media marketing manager from Seattle. She runs the travel blog Postcards to Seattle, which captures all her journeys from around the world. She likes to stay active wherever she goes, from kayaking in Italy to snowboarding in the Alps.

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JetBlue weekend getaways from Long Beach

Sometimes, you just want to get out of town for a couple of days.  And with JetBlue’s affordable, nonstop flights from Long Beach, you can jump on a plane after work on Friday and be sipping a cold drink in another state by the time the summer sun sets.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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Airplane by Tracy Hunter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Long Beach to Seattle: 2h 38m

Escape the heat and jet off to the beautiful Emerald City, surrounded by mountains and resting on the shores of Puget Sound.  Summers here are known to be sunny and pleasantly warm, usually in the 70s and 80s during the day.  Start by exploring Seattle’s fun and unique neighborhoods, each one with a different feel.  Wander through the Fremont market, roast marshmallows over a sunset campfire on the beach at Golden Gardens Park, or sip a cold beer at one of the dozens of craft breweries.

Long Beach to Vegas: 1h 8m

Skip the long desert drive and jump on a short flight to Sin City for a weekend away. Though the nightclub and live music scene is world-famous, you might not know that Las Vegas is also an extremely popular destination for sports competitions and conferences.  For those who can manage a weekday getaway, many hotels are half price, and you can find nonstop JetBlue flights for as low as $49.   

Long Beach to Portland: 2h 11m

If you’re looking for some great outdoor concert series, but would rather not spend hours sweating under the blazing sun, try Portland.  The cooler climate is the perfect host for dozens of concerts and festivals in and around the city.  As a bonus, most have an abundance of craft brews available, which the city is famous for.  If that’s not your scene, take a stroll around the famous Pearl District, or rent a bike to explore the Rose City’s beautiful neighborhoods.   

Long Beach to Austin: 2h 52m

If you’re a museum or music buff, Austin is a fun weekend destination.  People flock from all over the world for the famous Austin City Limits and SXSW music festivals here, as well as the nightly live music scene up and down 6th avenue.  History lovers will want to spend hours exploring Austin’s museums, including the Mexican American Cultural Center, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum, among others.  Not sure where to start?  See what the locals recommend in Austin.

Martha Burwell

Hola, Bonjour, Sabaidee! Having traveled the world, Martha Burwell is a writer and consultant based in Seattle who loves sharing stories about places she’s been. But her heart will always be in the Pacific Northwest, where she explores the nearby mountains on foot, by mountain bike, and by snowboard. Martha regularly writes for www.StreetAdvisor.com, and also consults on gender equity via www.MarthaBurwell.com and blogs about intersectional gender equity at www.EqualiSea.org.

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4 Reasons You Need to Explore Park City’s Backyard

Although the Uinta Mountains may not be a household name outside of Utah, with their vast beauty, they really should be. With their proximity to one of the nation’s best mountain towns, an abundance of stunning lakes, and endless trails, the Uintas can’t be beat. Take all the beauty of the Uintas plus the fact that you can potentially have the trails limited to you and maybe a handful of people, and you’ve got yourself a serious hidden gem. Enjoy the amenities of Park City, then head to the Uintas to explore their natural splendor.

1. Cataract Gorge

Like waterfalls? This hike and scramble leads you along the river and down into Cataract Gorge where you’ll pass by dozens of waterfalls, very few people, and catch amazing views along the way. Learn more.

2. Island Lake

You can turn this day hike into an overnighter if you bring your pack and your camping supplies. Either way you choose, be sure to enjoy your surroundings and have a little fun cliff jumping and swimming in this pristine lake. Learn more.

3. Grandaddy Basin

Hike up to Grandaddy Lake and if you’re looking for a slice of paradise to yourself, don’t stop there. Keep trekking a little further to one of the twenty lakes in the surrounding 2 mile radius. Learn more.

4. Amethyst Lake

This challenging hike is for the more adventurous traveler. Hit the the trail on this 13 mile roundtripper and if you time it right, be sure to snap your sunset picture of the peak reflecting off the lake.  Learn more.

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Arlington, Virginia’s Top 4 Basecamps for Hikers

Arlington, Virginia has a lot more to offer than government buildings! With miles of trails and parks scattered across northern Virginia, travelers looking to get away from the urban jungle of D.C. have a variety of trekking options. We found four places in and around Arlington to discover!

1. Potomac Overlook Regional Park – Key Bridge Marriott

A great option for families, Potomac Overlook Regional Park boasts well-maintained trails, averaging 2 miles each, known for their pleasant woodland environment and perfect for an easy stroll. Hikers can also unwind by checking out the park’s nature center and outdoor summer concert series, all while enjoying a picnic. The Key Bridge Marriott is a less than 10 minute drive from the park, and provides comfort and convenience at a hard-to-beat price.

2. Glencarlyn Park – Comfort Inn Arlington Boulevard

Another great option for hikers looking for a slower pace, the beautiful and secluded Glencarlyn Park’s nearly 100 acres feature picnic shelters, fishing, and nature trails, like the Four Mile Run, perfect for a stroll. A bonus for those wishing to bring along a furry friend – Glencarlyn boasts a well-loved dog park! Conveniently located 5 minutes away by car, the Comfort Inn Arlington Boulevard is the perfect place to unwind after a day spent exploring Glencarlyn.

3. Martha Custis Trail – The Westin Arlington Gateway

For more experienced hikers, the Martha Custis Trail, a 4 mile “point-to-point” trail (one designed to be walked from one point to another) is located near Arlington and rated as difficult due to its hilly vistas. The trail is accessible year-round and connects to the Key Bridge into Georgetown and to the Mount Vernon Trail. Those wishing to stay as close as possible to the Custis trail should look no further than the Westin Arlington Gateway, which is just a 5 minute drive, or a 25 minute walk, away. The Westin Arlington Gateway is also conveniently located within two blocks of the Ballston Metro Station, for those wishing to venture into nearby Washington, D.C.

4. C&O Canal Towpath – Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge

Running from D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood all the way to Point of Rocks, Maryland for a whopping 185 miles, the C&O Canal Towpath trail is a must for history buffs with a taste for the outdoors. Those looking to stay overnight during their hike have 30 campgrounds, located along the entire length of the trail, to choose from, all of which are free and operating on a first-come-first served basis. There are also restored “lockhouses,” for interested lodgers, which were originally used to house employees of the canal. The Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge is just a five minute drive from the Georgetown portion of the trail, which features historic barge rides along the canal.

7 Things To Know Before Traveling to Cuba

While adventurous travelers are urged to visit  Cuba before authenticity goes the way of a Starbucks on every corner, travelers should take a little extra time preparing, as heading to the island still isn’t that easy.  Whether planning to spend time relaxing on sandy beaches or exploring on a bike, the all-inclusive resorts of Varadero  are a great options for those just seeking some R&R.  Just note the following before booking your trip:

  1. Prep for the Sky

Direct flights from the US are still scarce and expensive, but that’s bound to change. Make sure to purchase traveler’s insurance when purchasing tickets — it is required to enter Cuba, and customs will likely do an insurance inspection upon arrival in Havana. Regardless of the route take to get there, get to the airport at least three hours before departure time, as check-in procedures are bound to take longer than usual.

  1. Go off the grid

Most hotels will have Internet cards for sale, and Wi-Fi in their lobbies, but with no real infrastructure, access is always spotty. To avoid frustrations, book any tours or activities, before arrival. Download local maps or purchase paper ones, and print out all travel documents that may be needed while abroad.

  1. Get around

Vintage cars converted into taxis are everywhere in Havana, and as glamorous as that may seem, it is important to note that they are not retrofitted. Beware that most cars, both government and privately owned, will have no seat belts, no air-conditioning, and no meters, even though they are supposedly mandatory.

  1. Get rid of the Benjamins

Cuba has two currencies, the CUC (Cuban Dollar) and the CUP (Cuban National Peso.) Tourists should exchange their cash into CUCs, as non-Cubans are not supposed to be in possession of CUPs.

There are very few ATMs around, but if if withdrawing cash is a must, the best bet is to do so at the Havana airport upon arrival.

Exchange rates are horrible for American dollars, and much better for Euros and Pounds—consider exchanging dollars into Euros before heading to Havana, and then exchange them into CUCs once in Cuba.

This may change in the near future, but as of now, it is nearly impossible to use credit cards to pay for anything in Cuba. In any case, make sure to inform the bank and credit card companies about any travel.

  1. Try the Cubano

There is still a heavy embargo on food, so meals may not be as spectacular as expected.  As a rule, “paladares” or privately owned restaurants will always be much better than government-run eateries. When in doubt, stick with local fruit, coffee with milk or “cafe con leche” and a Cubano sandwich, known in Cuba as a “jamon con queso.”

  1. Pack it light

Small doorways and cobblestone streets are not conducive to carrying a lot of luggage. With 24.1 billion bags being mishandled by airlines each year,  there is an advantage to packing all the essentials in a carry-on. Even bare necessities can be hard to track down in Havana,  so try to anticipate any needs.  Forgetting a toothbrush, means it may be days before finding one for purchase.

  1. Learn a lesson

A Spanish phrase here and there will go a long way with the locals. Most people will want to chat but very little english is spoken outside of the resorts. Any effort to speak the language will tend to be appreciated. For those looking to enjoy some salsa dancing, take a couple classes before embarking on the trip. Lessons will only better the odds for joining in on the fun on the dance floor!

Man Vs Nature

Off the Beaten Path: North American Adventures

Craving a grand adventure, one that won’t make you pay $100 + just to get in, only to be surrounded by thousands of other sweaty people, all spending half of the day waiting in long lines (I’m talking about you, Disneyland)? That doesn’t seem like much of an escape, or any adventure I’d want to partake in. So why not take the road less frequented, head outside of town, and immerse yourself in an unfamiliar wilderness. The western United States is wild and full of rare beauty that should be witnessed. Below are a few of my top destinations for that adventurous spirit of yours.

Man Vs Nature

California: Lost Coast

Black beaches, spectacular ocean vistas, alpine forests, redwoods, and sweeping grasslands make up this rich 80 mile stretch of coastal wilderness. The Lost Coast is tucked away in an unusually quiet, undeveloped corner of California. Highway 1 had to be constructed around this area because it was too rough, leaving this area peaceful, pristine, and secluded. There are only four roads that will lead to this coastline, two of them being one-lane dirt roads; all of them are steep and winding. But it is certainly well worth the tough trek out there.

Arizona: Painted Desert

lost coast bixby bridge

On the outskirts of the Grand Canyon and just north of the Petrified Forest is the colorful mingling of badlands, buttes, and plateaus that seemingly extend forever – the Painted Desert. It is aptly named after the richly colored land of lavender, pink, white, gray, yellow, orange, and red and stunningly set against the blue sky backdrop. Travel a bit further from the peripheral to bask in the solitude and remarkable beauty. The vibrant color and otherworldly features must be seen and if you stay up late it is one of the finest places to stargaze in the country.

South Dakota: Wind Cave

Underneath South Dakota is one of the world’s longest caves with more than 130 miles of passageways home to many unusual and stunning mineral formations. And as you may have guessed by its name… it is windy down there. Don’t take forget to take in the scenery on your way to the caves – the above ground ecosystem is just as remarkable. The park is host to a myriad of species, miles of grassland surrounded by dense forest. I recommend going late spring when the wildflowers are in bloom and plentiful and the summer vacation season hasn’t yet begun.

Washington: North Cascades Backcountry

gates of the arcticJust three hours from Seattle is an intricate mix of rugged glacier topped peaks, countless streaming waterfalls, deep and densely forested valleys, and richly populated meadows. The two sides of the mountain couldn’t be different – dry on the east, damp on the west – making the Cascades a uniquely complex and varied ecosystem. Its home to a number of different habitats and hosts more plant species than any other park. Make a trip late summer, the snow on the higher trails is still quite ample at the start of summer.

Alaska: Gates of the Arctic

Most people fly in… the only other option is to walk. And that isn’t really recommended. You can, but it is a tough route to the interior. Bush pilots say the real Alaska begins where the road ends. The land is harsh, the wilderness is vast, and the weather is unpredictable. Definitely go in the summer, you don’t want to be stuck up there in the winter – it is entirely north of the Arctic Circle after all. Even in the summer, with its never-ending days and relatively mild temperature, rain and snow are not uncommon. They see few people up there (it’s for the truly adventurous), but visitor numbers have been increasing.

Alan Carr

Alan Carr is an avid aviation and travel aficionado learning about the aspects of the flying world from the business to the technical, while also frequently writing on what he finds. He currently works with globalair.com to provide resources on aircraft related information.

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Backpacking the Havasupai trail in the Grand Canyon

Navajo falls, Havasupai

Within 36 hours, we were as far away from civilization as possible. From San Francisco, we had flown 500 miles to Las Vegas, driven 220 miles to Hualapai Hilltop, hiked 12 miles along Havasupai trail and were now standing at the rim of a gorgeous blue-­green waterfall named Navajo falls. We were in the heart of the Grand Canyon near a village called Supai and this was our first sight of the blue-­green waters of Havasupai. My first thought was, we should jump in now! In front of me lay a surreal but thrilling sight. A pool of water as clear as glass, shining with the iridescence of emerald-sapphire in the sunlight. But let me not get ahead of myself, I should first explain how we found ourselves in this paradise.

Hiking the Grand Canyon from rim-to-rim might be more popular, but surely most people would find it impossible to forget their first sight of turquoise-blue Havasu Falls. It’s no surprise that Havasupai is also known as the Garden of Eden. It’s famous waterfalls – Navajo, Havasu, Mooney and Beaver form lush oases of blue-green beauty which are in surreal contrast with the red-rock desert.

View of the canyon from Hualapai Hilltop, Havasupai

Hiking on a Native American reservation is a unique experience. When hiking in a national park, we are aware that no human actually lives inside the park. What we see and experience is inside a protected area, kept pristine by limiting human activity. But a Native American reservation like Havasupai is home to many people. People who live and work on the land, reside in villages, have families, build communities – same as what we do. But what makes this unique is the remote nature of their lifestyle. Supai village is far away from anything resembling urban modernity. In fact, Supai is the only place in the entire United States which still receives its postal mail by mule! Which is not to say that the locals do not live comfortably and have access to internet. But for a village which is deep in the valley of the Grand Canyon where the only way in and out is by hiking, riding a horse or taking a helicopter, the sense of remoteness becomes part of it’s identity. For me, coming from a lifestyle where I was used to being online and available every waking moment, I was looking forward to experiencing this remoteness firsthand.


Backpacking on the Havasupai trail

We drove from Las Vegas to Hualapai Hilltop and started hiking before noon. The trail is rough and strewn with rocks and pebbles. Watch out for fragrant mule dung! We walked through tall narrow canyons with walls pressed in closely on us. We watched the red-rock desert sand glint in a thousand different shades of gold and vermilion as the sun shone brightly overhead. The crunch of sand underneath our feet echoed off the canyon walls. We scrambled aside on hearing the thundering hooves of a fast-approaching mule train. To truly experience Havasupai, it is imperative that one hike it.

There are no evident signs on the trail so most people try to complete the hike in daylight. As we walked, the night got darker and once familiar sights & sounds took on a scary life of their own. Even though we were a large group, there was silence as everybody focused on walking. All was well until a horse neighed loudly in a field next to us and made us all jump out of our skin! Soon a signpost encouragingly informed us that we were a mile away from the village. As we approached Supai, it appeared completely deserted and empty. A few dogs howled loudly, raising a racket as they sensed strangers passing by. It was a spooky welcome but we were looking forward to a good night’s rest after backpacking 10 miles!

Rejuvenated the next morning, we headed out to explore Supai’s famed blue-green waters. Geared up in swimsuits and daypacks we hiked to the nearest falls a mile from the village – Navajo falls. The original Navajo falls used to be 75 foot high, but the present falls were created by the 2008 flash floods. The destructive nature of the floods is evident by how the earth’s crust has been ripped apart and the river has made its way through, as a gentler waterfall. The area is now surrounded by a lush green oasis in the middle of the desert landscape.

Havasu falls, shades of turquoise and blue

From Navajo we continued hiking to Havasu falls which is half a mile away. You’ll hear Havasu before you see it! The water leaps off from a height of 100 feet, crashing into the canyon below. Nearby, Havasu Creek makes a perfect swimming spot with it’s warm mineral-rich waters. The sight of these turquoise-blue waters was so tempting that we jumped in without hesitation for a lazy afternoon swim.

An afternoon swim in one of the many mineral-rich pools formed by Havasu Creek

After swimming and a picnic lunch we had time left for one more waterfall. Beaver falls is stunning, but a good hike away. We decided to visit Mooney instead. Mooney is well known for it’s treacherous and exhilarating climb down the vertical canyon walls to get to the base of the falls. All we could grab onto as we slid down the slippery red-rock canyon walls were rusty chains and huge nails hammered into the canyon. I don’t recall why we were insane enough to do this, but once we started, pure adrenalin just kept us going.

Hiking down the slippery vertical canyon walls of Mooney Falls – Adrenalin rush!

The canyon walls are slick with water since the falls are right next to us. There is no actual path, except for chains and nails. A few wooden sticks and planks are strewn across resembling makeshift ladders. At one point I was swinging from one chain to another like a monkey! Glad to report that this monkey and her monkey friends made it down to the base of the waterfall safely.

We made it! Ecstatic at the base of Mooney Falls

Supai village has a population of approximately 200+ people who live and work on the reservation. They own horses and mules which are necessities for getting around in the desert. Incoming tourists help to keep business going. We saw several locals who were busy driving the mule trains and carting tourists back and forth on horses or flying them in helicopters. They always gave us shy smiles and friendly nods.

Supai Village scene: horses grazing, wooden cabins, red-rock canyon walls

Our day in Havasupai was so wonderful that we did not want to leave! But as it always does, morning came all too soon. As we started hiking back on the trail slowly and steadily, several mule trains passed us. It was a surreal wild west scene, cowboy hat clad locals on horses and mules, galloping along at a hurried trot.

A mule train kicks up dust as it thunders past us on the trail

An old Native American man I met on the trail told me he did this hike twice or thrice every week. He was used to it by now and said he enjoyed the exercise. Since he couldn’t afford a horse, this was the only way for him to commute. I was in awe of his endurance and energy to be able to walk 18 miles round trip every time he needed to go into town!

As we made our way back to Hualapai Hilltop, I looked back and marveled at how even a short time spent in any place, no matter how remote and desolate, opens up its beauty to us. Hiking in the desert, swimming in the waterfalls, talking to the locals, watching out for mule trains and experiencing the raw beauty of Havasupai will stay with me forever.

If you go:

Make sure you get a permit to hike in the reservation. More information here.

What to see: Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls
Where to stay: The Havasupai Falls Lodge
Photo credits: All photos are by Trupti Devdas Nayak

Trupti Devdas Nayak

Trupti Devdas Nayak is a freelance writer and photographer who is as passionate about travel as she is about writing. Her greatest joy is when she combines these interests to craft a story that is both compelling and evocative. Among other things, Trupti has trekked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, snorkeled with sharks in Oahu, witnessed horses dancing flamenco in Andalusia and has hiked in over 30 national parks around the world and counting. She writes about her experiences at Exploring the Blue Marble.

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