In our blog post, Best Summer Assignments for Medical Professionals, we talked a bit about visiting Supai, Arizona, home of the Havasupai Tribe. Located 11 miles from the Colorado River near Grand Canyon National Park, the area includes some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. Before adding Supai to your GPS and driving away, there are a few tips you need to know about Supai, Arizona for Medical Professionals.
Make a reservation.
Known as the People of the Blue Green Water, the Havasupai Tribe does not allow day-only or night-only hikers to enter the area; all visitors must make a camping reservation for their overnight stay through Havasupai Reservations. If you’re not wanting to camp, call Havasupai Lodge to make a reservation.
The campground is located along Havasu Creek between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls near the Grand Canyon. While a reservation is needed, there are no reserved spots; it is a camp wherever you want location. The campground is closed December and January and there is a maximum 4 day/3 night stay per reservation. If you wish to stay longer, you will need to make multiple reservations.
Prepare for a long hike.
For many Arizonans, hiking takes place on early mornings in locations like South Mountain, Usery Mountain, and Camelback Mountain, where you’re out for a few hours and likely still have cell phone service. While those are great hikes with beautiful views, hiking Supai is a bit more intense. For starters, you’ve got to leave your car at the trailhead and hike 10 miles of downhill switchbacks to reach the campground, likely without cell service. Consider the early or late part of the season rather than the heat of the summer, especially if you’re sensitive to the temperature and/or not used to dry air.
As with any hiking, we recommend carrying a backpack, water bottles, food, sunscreen, camping gear, and wearing hiking attire on your adventure. Keep in mind campfires are not allowed and neither are drones.
Watch for signs of dehydration.
In the summer, the temperature reaches 115 degrees so it is recommended that you get an early start and that each hiker carries one gallon of water. The air in Arizona is dry, likely more than you’re used to, making you more susceptible to dehydration. Wear a hat and rest in the shade as needed. Signs of dehydration include red cheeks, disorientation, moodiness, fatigue, and rapid heart rate. If you feel any of these or suspect someone in your party is dehydrated, rest and hydrate immediately.
Hire a Mule.
If you’re not ready to carry a 20-lb. backpack 10 miles in and 10 miles out with optional additional hikes when you get to camp, then we recommend reserving a mule that will deliver your pack at the end of the day. This allows you to hike with a daypack, saving your energy for additional adventures once you reach camp.
Once your party and packs are together, plan to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Havasu Falls as you rest and reflect on a long day of hiking. Head out on the clearly marked trail at dawn for a six mile hike to Beaver Falls. Wear waterproof clothes and shoes as this portion of the hike includes wading through water.
Our friend who hiked Supai said, “I was in the best shape of my life when we hiked Havasupai. It was September so it was still pretty hot during the day. We hiked ten miles, set up camp, and rested for the day. The next morning we headed to Beaver Falls. Along the trail I saw red rocks, green fields, climbed a giant rock which was out of my comfort zone to do, and then we got to Beaver Falls. I had been impressed with the falls near camp but this was at a whole new level of beauty. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since and can’t wait to go back again. We hiked out the next day which was physically taxing. I recommend taking an extra day to rest before taking the 10 mile hike out.” Sounds like an amazing experience!
Supai, Arizona for medical professionals promises to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to challenge yourself physically and experience nature as you never have. If you’re thinking about working in Northern Arizona or surrounding areas, please visit our Jobs Board to search for current openings.