We are fascinated by the Arizona landscape and we have been discovering new and interesting features on every trip. Recently we visited Havasu Falls and we found much to talk about there, as well as at several stops along the way.
We booked tickets to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a return flight from Las Vegas, Nevada. The idea was that we could watch the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, then head to Havasu Falls in Arizona, and finally return our rental car in Las Vegas and fly back. This worked perfectly.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta lasts for more than one week, but unless you are going to participate with a balloon of your own, you don't have to visit for more than a day. We arrived in Albuquerque in the early afternoon---just in time for a short walk around the historic Old Town (and a dinner at La Hacienda---an excellent Mexican restaurant, try the sopapillas). Then we headed to the Glowdeo event where the balloons are inflated and lit up occasionally. This is quite spectacular, and followed by fireworks. On the next day, early in the morning we watched a Mass Ascension which is something everyone should see at least once in their lifetime: hundreds of balloons of all shapes and colors taking off in phases and shining in the early morning sun.
After the Mass Ascension we headed towards Arizona. Our first stop was Petrified Forest National Park, which boasts one of the world's largest collections of petrified wood that you can explore as it is scattered around in its original condition.
Early on the next day, we arrived at the Hualapai Hilltop trailhead and started our trip down into the canyon. On more than one occasion we wished we had taken the helicopter trip down---the trail often stinks, as it gets used extensively by mule trains carrying everything from USPS mail to lazy tourists. We hiked past the Supai village, to the campground which is located right near the bottom of the Havasu Falls (the second falls in the Navajo-Havasu-Mooney cascade). We had two days that we spent around the campground: hiking down to the bottom of Mooney Falls (recommended if you are not afraid of some water sprays and some exposure while climbing), and exploring the amazing lime pools at the bottom of Havasu Falls (the water temperature in early October, around noon, was perfect for a short swim). The restrooms at the campground are of the mobile type, and they get serviced by helicopter. They tend to be quite smelly just before service, and quite alright right after being serviced (about once weekly). As a bonus we were able to watch some monarch butterflies in the bushes right behind the now almost abandoned composting toilets.
©1992-2012 Hristo Bojinov. Contact: hristo-at-bojinov-dot-org. This address is subject to change.
We will not be liable for any damages anyone suffers because of using this information. While we believe all we write is correct, there may be errors. The contents of this site are provided without any expressed or implied warranty of fitness for any purpose. Use your judgement, and use at your own risk.