Health no longer falls under the remit of just lifting weights or pounding the pavement. Nowadays, exploring the mountains, the desert and everything in between is a proven way to add quality to our lives. Immersing ourselves in new surroundings helps us focus on the present and create memories for the future, alongside the proven benefits for both our physical and mental health.
READ ON FOR NATE DODGE’S TAKE ON EXPLORING HAVASUPAI
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to explore the Arizonian desert, so when my sister extended an invitation to join her group in Havasupai, it was impossible to pass up.
Undoubtedly, this adventure is no easy feat – the planning for the trip began back in 2017 as it is incredibly competitive to obtain a Havasupai falls permit, but when we won the permit lottery and secured our visiting dates, it was on.
FOUR DAYS, AND THREE NIGHTS IN A DESERT OASIS
TO BLUR OUT WATERFALLS AND PRODUCE THAT SOUGHT-AFTER SILKY EFFECT – TRY SLOWING DOWN YOUR SHUTTER SPEED. IN THESE INSTANCES, ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT YOU’RE USING A TRIPOD TO AVOID ANY CAMERA SHAKE.
HOW TO GET TO HAVASU FALLS…
When the time for the trip came around, we caught a flight over to Phoenix and then spent the remainder of the day driving through a wide-open desert before arriving at what can only be said to be a very crowded trailhead. Our permit allocation meant that we were technically hiking the Havasupai trail in the ‘late season’ so arriving at sunset to find that many people there – we were a little in shock.
That being said, more than half of the individuals that arrived would no-doubt have their camping gear loaded onto pack mules for the 12mile trek to camp, whilst they hopped on a helicopter to arrive at the destination in no less than 10 minutes.
I might just be a purist, but I think that some places (such as this) should only be accessed by those willing to put in the work, to get there on foot. Regardless, eager to get moving and excited for the adventure ahead, we began our steep descent into the Grand Canyon.
Three hours later, we arrived at Havasu Village; grabbed our last-minute essentials and carried on to the campground. You know you’re close when you begin to hear the roar of Havasu Falls.
Rounding the final turn, you’re rewarded with a “pre-photoshopped” scene of bright blue water and glowing orange cliffs as the Havasu Creek drops 98 vertigo-inducing feet to the canyon below.
“THE WATER IS UNBELIEVABLE! IT’S CRYSTAL CLEAR AND MORE CARIBBEAN BLUE THAN A POST-CARD BEACH IN THE BAHAMAS”
- NATE DODGE
. . .
Up until this very point, I was under the impression that all photos I had seen from here were overly processed and saturated, but I can tell you that this is definitely not the case. I found myself actually desaturating some of my images in order to make them a little more realistic.
PLAN OF ACTION:
Set up camp, bathe in the river, and out to shoot the sunset as it dropped golden light down the canyon walls.
The next couple of days consisted of hikes and photo missions being checked off of my photography bucket list, one shot at a time: Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls and the countless other photo-ops and Havasupai waterfalls in between.