Exclusive Spring Break Family Vacation at Grand Canyon National Park and Havasu Canyon Awaits!
With Spring Break just around the corner, you’re probably daydreaming of the perfect family getaway. Perhaps some place you’ve never been, or maybe never even heard of? Some place that doesn’t require a passport or snowsuit? Read on, fellow traveler. Have I got the most flawless trip for you.
There’s a place in the Southwestern US that exemplifies America’s national parks and inspires the wanderer in us all to get out and find wide open spaces to breathe and feel alive. Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, celebrating its 97th birthday on February 26th, invites you to pack the kids and get ready to experience one of the world’s greatest wonders.
Start your trip in Scottsdale, five hours south of this national treasure, and drive from the saguaro cactuses of the Sonoran Desert through the ponderosa pines of Flagstaff, stretching your legs along the way with a hike in Sedona, before pulling into South Rim Village for your first glimpse of this mile-deep chasm.
Unlike the Griswald’s famous five minute vacation to “see” Grand Canyon, this trip provides the ideal balance of adventure with plenty of time to simply gaze upon the awe-inspiring, ever-changing skies and colors fluxing on the canyon’s walls from sunrise to sunset. Get a sense of the curious cultural and fascinating geological history as you explore the trails and museums found in the park.
After an evening enjoying the gourmet delights of El Tovar dining, get a good night’s rest to prepare for the week of your life, for tomorrow you say so long to the classic postcard scenes of Grand Canyon National Park and head three hours south to the Havasupai Indian Reservation nestled in the largest sidearm of the Grand Canyon called Havasu.
Havasu Canyon is picked up after a six-mile hike down the rocky, dry wash of Hualapai Canyon. You’ll smell the water before you see it, picking up those prickling notes of freshness. When you see the towering tops of softly rustling Cottonwood trees, you’ve made it to the clear beginnings of Havasu Creek.
In two more miles, find yourself in the village of Supai. The people here are known as the Havasupai, “Havasu” meaning “blue-green waters” and “pai” meaning “people,” thus these are the People of the Blue-Green Waters. Grab a cold drink from the market and a stamp to send a letter on your way out; after all, when else will a mule carry your mail back to the real world for you?
From the village, another two miles brings you alongside the soothing, mineral-rich waters of Havasu Creek that showcases its remarkable turquoise palette thanks to light refraction off of particles rich with calcium carbonate. To cap off the magic of this oasis, enjoy the surge of energy in your heart of hearts as you first lay eyes on the crown jewel of the canyon: Havasu’s fantastic collection of waterfalls.
Just when you think you can’t walk another step, drop your day pack and prepare to settle into a comfortable basecamp alongside the creek. Kick off your shoes and wade your way into the welcoming blue, eventually lowering yourself in full submersion of the year-round 70Â° waters. Welcome to your reset button on life.
The following days are spent discovering the secrets of the canyon, from lush fern grottos to dripping natural showers, from galena chunks in historic mines to 300-million-year-old fossils in Carbonate Canyon. Tackle the extraordinary descent down Mooney Falls, pass through a jungle of grapevines and make your way to ultra-photogenic Beaver Falls, weaving all the while in and out of the calm stream of Havasu.
Each morning, awaken to the call of the canyon wren, watching the light change on the Redwall Limestone gaping over camp, savor a steaming cup of coffee in the stillness of this Neverland, and get ready for another day of acting like your eight-year-old self. More swimming, more gasping for breath at the profound beauty, and more memories created with your kids, who’ve never seen you do so many cannonballs.
When it’s time to finally ascend from those long days in the canyon, fear not. That 10-miles is capped off with the satisfying reward of climbing 2,000-feet out of the greatest canyon in the world, followed by the ultimate prize of a milkshake and burger in the town of Seligman. That is, after you wake up from your inevitable nap in the car, opening your eyes to the world above the rim with a whole new perspective and deep gratitude for this trip-of-a-lifetime.
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