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Hiking from Mooney Falls to the Colorado River!

Hiking from Mooney Falls to the Colorado River confluence is a must-see on your adventure to Havasupai! Only half of the people visiting will hike to Beaver Falls, which is on the way, yet almost nobody will make the entire trek down to the confluence. A confluence is where two rivers meet - in this case the turquoise Havasu Creek meets the brown Colorado River, creating an interesting mix of colors and water temperatures. 

Hiking to Havasu Falls, Arizona

Hiking to Havasu Falls is not your typical day hike - it requires a 10 mile trek through the desert, a large canyon, and finally through the small village of Supai, AZ. The people of Supai are apart of the Havasupai tribe, which is an American Indian tribe that has lived in this area of the canyon for the past 800 years. Havasu means "blue-green water", and pai means "people". Havasu Falls is one of the most well-known waterfalls in the world due to its paradise-like location.

Backpacking to Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge National Monument sits within Lake Powell on the Utah side, and although is one of the largest natural bridges in the world, this national monument is one of the smallest managed by the National Park Service. Rainbow Bridge itself stands 290 ft tall from the base to the top of the arch, and is 275 ft across, making it nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The most popular way to access Rainbow Bridge is via boat on Lake Powell. You can take a boat tour to this area, then walk 1 mile to the bridge. This is a very expensive option, but again, the most popular. If you are looking for more of an adventure, plan to backpack the 15 mile trail instead.

Today's Guest Post is brought to you by Mitch Stevens, the founder and lead guide of Southwest Discoveries.

Take a Hike - 7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

These trips of a lifetime will challenge you physically and engross you spiritually, leaving an unforgettable and enduring impression of the richest wild places on the planet. The southwest contains literally thousands of amazing hikes. Therefore, we decided to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the absolute cream of the crop. We rounded up 7 of the grandest adventures in the southwest, treks we have experienced firsthand. 

Hiking to Ribbon Falls, Grand Canyon National Park

On Day Two of backpacking The Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, we woke up at 5am to do a day hike to Ribbon Falls, a 6 mile hike from the Bright Angel Campground. It was pouring down rain that whole day, which made Ribbon Falls look even more glorious. Ribbon Falls is about 140 ft high, and the flow of water has created a giant travertine spire below the falls, which collects at two small pools, one at the base and one at about 50 ft above the travertine. You are allowed to swim in the falls, but when we hiked here, the temperature was about 45F with rain. Too cold for a swim! You can hike up and beneath the falls. Though Ribbon Falls takes a lot of planning combined with backpacking permit in the Grand Canyon, the 2.5 hour hike from the Bright Angel Campground is well worth the effort!

Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park has been one of my long-time backpacking goals. I had been to GCNP about 6 years about, but wasn't able to hike below the rim since I had a dog with me (dogs aren't allowed below the rim). Yes, I could visit the overlooks, but I couldn't get a feel for how deep, wide, gorgeous, and massive the Grand Canyon really was. I knew I had to get back.

Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area

Horseshoe Bend is one of my favorite overlooks in the U.S. Horseshoe Bend is along the Colorado River, and is only 3 miles south of Page, Arizona along Highway 89, 5 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, and requires a 3/4 mile walk to the overlook. The 1,000 ft drop to the bottom offers fantastic views, and if you have a wide angle lens or panorama option, you can capture the full horseshoe-shaped river and canyon.

Monument Valley, Utah, Arizona, Monument Valley Wildcat Trail

Our first full day in Southeastern Utah, we drove to Arizona to visit Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. From our base camp at Goosenecks State Park, it was only a 45 minute drive. When we were planning our trip here, we initially thought we would take a guided tour. Monument Valley & Tribal rules state that you are not allowed to get out of your car on the scenic drive to hike around the famous Mittens or other rock structures, unless you are with a Navajo Guide and/or have a permit. The tours were a little expensive for our budget ($75/person for 2 hours), so we researched other options in the park and found that there is ONE trail open to the public - The Wildcat Trail.