It used to be so much nicer down there. (though others would say something similar about what it was like before I started going down)
The only thing I would quibble about with your picture is the title. I have always understood it to be thus: the tribe is the Havasupai; the village is Supai; the canyon, the creek and the falls are all called simply Havasu. "River to Rim" by Nancy Brian (about Grand Canyon names) and the Grand Canyon Association's extremely informative trail guide for Havasu are excellently researched references.
As far as discovering it for the first time, I think those who gazed here first probably were more ecstatic about finding so much water in such an arid environment before they appreciated any beauty. And these falls looked vastly different just 100 years ago when they were called Bridal Veil Falls.
Right now, the quality of Havasu water and flow is under threat from uranium mining outside the Grand Canyon.
Thanks for your very detailed response. I will change the name for sure. I wish I could have seen these falls in their "prime"... the pictures from the past look amazing. Whens the last time you were down there?
The last time was about 5 Augusts ago. August used to be a very quiet month as most were put off by hiking in the heavy heat. During some trips in the mid/late 80s there may have been no more than 10 other campers. (Having experienced one, I am also more aware of the flashflood danger in the canyon during the August monsoon season. One of those shows on Discovery or NatGeo is about a recent flood in Havasu)
I left Havasu the last time preferring to remember earlier trips. As I said, though, those who were there in the 50s and 60s have even fonder memories than I.
I have heard that a really nice time to visit is in October when the cottonwoods are changing. But, you should definitely go back again. There is still some great photo opportunities to be had.
yeah I wish I could have had another two days to just take photo's. I basically just had one day so I stuck to this area. The experience alone was enough for me - something so different than the normal backpacking trip - it's almost a cultural experience.
I love the trail, but despite being 'maintained' it is tough. Rim to river, the NK is about 14 miles in length. Compared to the 7 mile South Kaibab (which I think offers the finest views of any trail into the canyon) the panoramas are less compelling. The reason is because the NK drops through side canyons and thus its views are constricted. (the SK is the only trail to follow a ridge line which gives magnificent sweeping vistas up and down the canyon).
However, the NK offers 2 waterfalls, fascinating side canyons, and once past Roaring Springs (about 5.5 miles from the top) a really great feel for the Grand Canyon backcountry as it follows Bright Angel Creek.
For a day hike, I would not recommend going past Roaring Springs. However, 2 nights at Cottonwood campground (about 1.5 miles past Roaring Springs) would give you an opportunity to do a day hike to the river (about 7 miles each way) near Phantom Ranch.
The climb up the NK is taxing. The North Rim is about 1200 ft. higher than the south and that extra elevation (to over 8000 ft.) can be a hardcore 'suck wind' experience. If you ever go rim-to-rim, go north-to-south. Your lungs will thank you