A group of SCNM students recently had quite an adventure at Havasupai Falls. Sasha Matthews told us about their close encounter with a flash flood while viewing the beautiful falls. While there is so much fun to be had outdoors in beautiful Arizona, always be sure to check the weather!
We did an overnight trip to Havasupai and it was amazing! Being mostly first timers to this adventure, we had no idea what to expect.
After our ten mile hike to the village then the campground, we continued down to Beaver Falls which was another 2-3 miles deeper into the canyon. Just as we started to hike back to the campground, a helicopter from the village came down the canyon to tell us to turn around and head back to high ground because a flash flood was coming. We met up with 44 other people on the cliffs above Beaver and waited for the helicopter to come back (we thought we'd get lifted out of there). The helicopter came back and told us to hurry back all together!
In a group of 44, we trudged back through the beautiful waters up to Mooney Falls then up the ladders up the cliffs. One tribe member named Frank followed closely behind to make sure no one fell behind. Just as we were waiting to climb up the ladders, the two people behind us started yelling for us to hurry up! We scrambled up the ladders and through the cliffs and heard crashing behind us. When we got to a level spot, we looked back to see the infamous blue waters of Havasupai that we had just taken pictures in 3 minutes before had turned to mud and the creek below had doubled in size on the ground we had just been standing on. The water had spread and was just about to reach the canyon walls we were climbing up. We made it out just in time before the flash floods hit!
We were so thankful for the tribe members that made sure our safety was a priority! We walked back to our campsite through the campground being flooded by mud water and sat around a picnic table talking. We went to sleep in our tents and hammocks then woke up the next morning and hiked the ten miles back out.
This was a trip that will never be forgotten! We learned a very important lesson about flash floods in the desert. Even if it's not raining where you are, watch the weather and the sky. If it's raining anywhere around you, get to high ground. Flash floods are unforgiving and move quicker than we ever could've realized!