Grand Canyon and Havasupi
In January 2003, Jackie and I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where we stayed at Phantom Ranch. We had magnificent weather. We
stayed at Phantom Ranch for three nights and hiked during our two day layover. Phantom Ranch was built in the 1920's. We were booked to
stay in the dorms, but at the last minute we secured a cabin. We had big breakfasts and steak dinners in the dining room. On one of our hikes
at the bottom of the canyon, we saw several condors!
The best part of the Grand Canyon was our second hike into the Havasupai Reservation. The Havasupai Indian Lands lie 3,000 feet at the
bottom of Havasu Canyon at the western end of the Grand Canyon. It is in both Coconino and Navajo Counties. The land is at the end of
Indian Route 18, off of Historic Route 66. Currently, the tribe has 600 members.
Havasupai means “people of the blue green water.” The tribe has been in this region for more than 1,000 years. Throughout their history,
they have practiced the tradition of irrigation farming in the canyons during the summer and hunting on the plateaus during the winter.
We hiked into the reservation the day after we hiked out of the Grand Canyon. Because it was winter, we had no problem getting reservations
at the motel type lodging. The summers are booked two years in advance for both the lodging and camp ground. The only way into the
canyon is to walk, arrange a horse, or fly in by helicopter.
On our way back to Port Angeles, we visited Monument Valley, on the border of Utah and Arizona. Monument Valley is also part of an Indian
reservation. Access is limited unless one has an Indian guide. We got an Indian guide for the day, and because it was winter, we had the guide
all to ourselves for the whole day.