The spectacular views draw tourists from all over the globe; the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and should not be missed. However, rather than visiting the highly traveled Rim and Bright Angel Trails of the National Park Service, where the crowds and traffic can be a bit overwhelming; why not visit the peaceful and far less touristy trails of Havasupai.
Havasupai, accessible farther west along the south rim, where in addition to the spectacular canyon views, one can also see and swim in awe-inspiring waterfalls and more importantly help out the Havasupai Tribe.
The Havasupai Indians have resided in the canyon for over 800 years and depend heavily on tourism to support their struggling economy. The Havasupai Tribe, who lost almost 90% of their aboriginal land to the US government, and who continues to strive to regain their lives the “white man” infringed upon long ago.
As you walk down the trail and through the village you will witness the lives of Indians young and old who are trying to find their place in this modern world while still holding on to the culture and traditions of their ancestors. Private homes, livestock, wild dogs, a small grocery, a church and an inn are scattered about the village. A Peach Festival, beauty contests and rodeos are part of the entertainment of daily life while some less desirable negative aspects include dead decaying mules (that died while carrying supplies to and from the village), garbage, and a drunken Indian passed out along the trail. The grimmer realities these canyon dwellers are struggling with in 2010!
Only accessible by foot, mule or helicopter, the Havasupai Village is a remote part of the Grand Canyon that far fewer individuals have the privilege of visiting. So, when it comes time to plan that quintessential trip to the Grand Canyon, I encourage you to head to Havasupai, the road less traveled.
Happy and more meaningful trails from Irv’s Luggage!!!