When my dad first asked me to hike down to Havasu Falls with him, I thought he was insane - just an excuse to use all of his beloved “gear”. What teenager would want to hike 10 miles down into the canyon and back up just to see some falls? Well, as I soon found out, I would.
We convinced my friend Danica and her dad Mike to join us, and soon, the four of us ventured down into the canyon. The hike was difficult at first because it was raining, but 10 miles later it was all worth it. Our campground was really nice and close to a little creek. Danica and I took a look around and immediately crashed in our tents from the long hike. When we woke up the next morning, our crazy fathers were already cooking breakfast. We all had a quick bite to eat then threw on our bathing suits and walked to Havasu Falls, which was conveniently close to our camp.
Once we laid eyes on the falls, Danica and I understood why our dads had been so excited to take us there. It was beautiful. We were able to walk in the water and even sit in parts of it. After taking some pictures, Danica decided we needed to wash our hair, so we stuck our heads right in the water and started washing with our biodegradable shampoo.
The next day we paid a visit to Mooney Falls. We all thought Havasu Falls was stunning; well Mooney was breathtaking. As we stood at the top and looked down onto the falls and all of its gorgeous pools, Danica and I found ourselves wanting to go down there. We got her father, Mike, and minutes later we were working our way down to the falls. Little did we know that we would need to traverse the face of a cliff! The trail was a bit long, and it had its obstacles. The first thing we came to was a cave. The second I saw it I thought of my dad and how he would hesitate before going in. But with Mike leading the way, the three of us went right through. At the other end, a second cave greeted us, but like the last one, it was very small.
After we had gone through both caves, it got a little trickier. The slanted trail started to get straighter, and there were chains we had to hold on to. From there we could see two ladders that we had to climb down. The first one was small, but the second was bigger, and Danica and I were a little nervous. But it was very sturdy and a few moments later, we were at the bottom. As we got off the ladder and turned around, we both froze in our tracks. Mooney Falls was like nothing we had ever seen before. One huge waterfall that was gushing down an enormous rock wall created the giant pool we were all standing in.
Everywhere we looked, there was this gorgeous, pure blue-green water. (As my dad kept telling me, the word Havasupai means people of the blue-green water.) It all looked so natural and clean, and fairy-tale like that Danica and me couldn’t believe we were actually touching it. A few minutes after we’d gotten down there, she noticed my dad was on his way down one of the ladders. I rushed over with my video camera and filmed the whole thing. When he got down, we wandered over to another pool that had a rope-swing you could swing off of. It was hanging above a little waterfall that was just a few feet tall, so you could safely jump if you liked. Mike was feeling pretty good and decided to go for it. I didn’t do it personally, but judging by Mike’s face, it looked like it was a blast.
Everything about those falls was unreal. On the third day of our trip, Danica and I weren’t ready to leave them behind, but unfortunately we had to. So we took our final pictures, and started the hike up. Along the way, we passed this place where helicopters were landing to take people to the top of the canyon. I asked my dad to spare us the 10-mile hike back up, and he fancied the idea, but our pack-mule friends, Danica and Mike, told us we needed to tough it out. And as hard as it was, I’m glad we listened because it felt like such an accomplishment when we reached the top.
My trip down to the canyon was an all-around amazing experience. If you are interested in taking an incredible hike, seeing the famous falls, and bonding with those you love, I definitely recommend this for you and your family.
Danielle Ruberto is the 15 year old daughter of Key publisher Tom Ruberto and is a sophomore in high school.