Day 3: The Treacherous Trail and the Falls

We all slept peacefully. It was the getting out of bed that was so difficult. The miles from the day before were taking their toll on our bodies. However, we were determined to not let that prevent us from another day of hiking. After a good breakfast, and a little yoga, we were ready to go.

Since we had chosen to stay the night at the far end of the campground, we were technically already on the trail leading to Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. It was only a short walk to get to the overlook. From there, following the trail was a little more difficult. Instead of having the standard switchbacks to get down, we had to hike through tunnels carved into the face of the cliff. After emerging through these tunnels, the trail takes a sudden drop to the bottom. The only way down is to lower yourself through a series of ladders and chains that are slick with mud and mist from the falls. It was a treacherous trail, but when navigated carefully, it was quite the thrilling experience.

I need to explain the photos of Kyle with the Larabar products. It’s not just because we are such big fans, at the time he was on the marketing team for Larabar at General Mills. We had brought a good supply of the bars and balls along with us on this trip, so we wanted to take some pictures for Kyle to take back to his co-workers; partially as a joke, and partially to get ideas for future marketing. We got a good laugh at modeling the products.

Some in our party had a difficult time getting down. However, in the end, we all were able to get to the base of the 190 foot Mooney Falls. In my opinion, these falls were equally as impressive as Havasu Falls, showing off the same contrast in red, green, and turquoise. Even now, I am still in awe at the beauty of this area.

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But, we couldn’t stop there! Our hiking had just begun. The base of Mooney Falls lead us to the trail to the next falls. It lead us along the sides of the canyon, in and out of the turquoise water, next to countless cascades, and by a single palm tree. Our hiking time was substantially decreased because we were all taking in the incredible views and enjoying splashing through the water as we walked. As we neared Beaver Falls, we had to go through another, smaller series of steps and ladders, however the absence of water made them much easier to traverse.

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Three and a half miles later, we laid eyes on Beaver Falls. This series of waterfalls had a much different impact, but were no less beautiful. It provided a great backdrop for a picnic, as well as the perfect swimming hole for those who wanted to take a dip. The water was cool and refreshing. Ideal for sore muscles.

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We weren’t able to say as long as we would have liked, though. It was springtime, and we were also in a canyon, meaning the sun’s light wouldn’t last too much longer. Not wanting to scale back up the slick cliff in the dark, we decided to make a more efficient return three and a half miles to get back to our campsite. I put away my camera, and we all made much better time on the way back. We made it back up the treacherous trail, and luckily, the only thing that fell was the water. It was another wonderful day of hiking.

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