One Black Woman's Wild, Fabulous Hiking Adventure in Arizona

Everything started with a "yes." A few former co-workers have been traveling the world together. After every Instagram post, I would offer myself as a tag-a-long to experience their travel awesomeness. One day, they said, "let’s go!" So, I agreed to join them on a trek of a lifetime to the Havasupai Reservation in Arizona. Here’s my photo story!

Whitney Mitchell Aug, 12, 2016

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Our trip began in Las Vegas, city of sensory overloads and slot machines. We quickly shopped for necessary last minute travel materials and stopped at the Seven Magic Mountains to gain a little Zen from the Vegas frenzy.

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The path from Vegas to Phoenix is surely interesting.

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Our caravan crew cruised along the Historic Route 66 and enjoyed the rustic old feels of many gift shops, cars and gas stations.

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After 3 hours we reached our vans stopping point. As we gather our lives, to prep for a 10 mile hike, we stopped to enjoy the quiet and each other as the sun sets.

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The lot around us was completely full of empty cars without a single person in sight. All, seemingly a foreshowing of what was to come – after we lock the doors of our vans to join the folks that left their cars behind.

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From the top of Havasupai’s canyon, red rock and dirt surrounded us and showed no promise of life, water or a campground utopia. I was immediately intimidated at the size and height of everything around us.

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After waking up at 4:30am to hike 10 miles, a trail of boulders, loose rocks and steep switchbacks, this was at the end of the rainbow. We’d found Arizona’s secret.

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Havasupai is a haven for crystal waters, misty air and the greenest trees. I felt like my skin was excited to be between dirt and waters, earned by my commitment to mystery.

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My dear friend and travel buddy Megan (@bijouluna) carried this inflatable the entire journey. Percy the Pegasus was the cherry on top of our 10 mile hike.

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Our campground was nestle beneath a cooling canopy and surrounded by water. Having a hammock was clutch for letting go and letting the day dictate an everlasting calm.

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Every morning, @bijouluna and I watched the sunrise. We’d lug Percy ¾ of mile to Havasu falls at 6am to enjoy the essence of the waterfall and the quiet before the lot of campers woke up.

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@bijouluna was a big fish in these waters!

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To leave Havasupai, we woke up at 3:30am to hike out of the canyon in complete darkness. The last ten miles of this adventure was completely uphill and a definite internal test. Getting out could only be done if you wanted it to be done. With all of your belongings on your back and your headlamp guiding the way. 

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We celebrated finishing our hike (at 8:00am) by driving up to Horseshoe bend, to enjoy and lay by another glorious structural anomaly at Phoenix’s edge. Thank you for reading about my adventure!


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