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Havasupai Service Edventure

Havasupai Gardens – Agricultural Service Learning Adventure

Custom Dates: March, April, August, October, November

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Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Location: Peach Springs and Supai, Arizona
Price starting at: $1475.00 – Price can vary based on group size – please call for details.
Program Type and Difficulty: Hiking and Service Learning; Strenuous
Meals: Included.


This is the dirt-under-the-fingernails Havasupai Trip, not the regular splash and dash that most visitors to the Havasupai Reservation undertake.  Come, spend some time with the Havasupai people themselves.  Learn about their agricultural and pastoral challenges and successes and help them to maintain their ancient sustainability in this rugged environment.

Lend A Hand to the Havasupai Tribe and its Elders!  Join this service learning adventure and work and learn from Havasupai families in their Gardens and through the cycle of the year.  You will definitely get to explore a fabulous canyon system deep in the central Grand Canyon!  Primarily you to come to meet and work with the Havasupai People in their gardens.  Working alongside the Havasupai we will come to appreciate their good humor and their love of their lands.  The week will immerse you literally and figuratively in Havasu Canyon.  You will understand why we are so devoted to preserving and advancing their agricultural  and other cultural traditions.

Havasu Falls 2010-1368

Project Overview

Our project aims to assist the farmers of this town, elderly and youth alike, to maintain and upgrade their agricultural plots, their irrigation canal system, and their homesteads. We will work to help the Havasupai attain sustainability between their hunting, gathering, farming, and tourism worlds. You will be ushered into this world, and hopefully will come away in touch with your own inner hunter / gatherer / gardener / explorer. See the canyon from the Havasupai’s perspective. We will explore this remote world on its own terms.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – Check-in at Grand Canyon Caverns, Orientation
Hotel: Grand Canyon Caverns Inn
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 – Mobilize early to the trailhead.  Load packhorses. Down the trail to Supai.
Accomodations: Havasu Creek Camp
Meals: All

Days 3-6 – Working with the Havasupai people to build their sustainability.  Comprehending the Havasupai Reservation, the Falls, and the culture, excursions, lectures and presentations.
DETAILS  -- We will alternate our daytime activities between service learning and light hiking.  After all, you cannot love what you do not know.  We want you to fall in love with the canyon and its marvels just as we have.  Then it’s back to work.  Expect harvesting, digging, stacking, cleaning, and lots of laughter and swimming in the ever-present flow of blue green waters...  The Havasupai are jovial people and value our contributions.
Accomodations: Havasu Creek Camp
Meals: All

Day 7 – Up. Up, and away.  Hiking, horseback riding, or helicoptering to the rim.
Accomodations: Grand Canyon Caverns Inn
Meals: All

Day 8 – Breakfast and Farewells
DETAILS  -- On your own to explore the area or shuttle to Phoenix or Las Vegas and on to the next adventure….


The Education

The Havasupai and Havasu Canyon

The Havasupai, along with their neighbors to the West the Hualapai -and forming part of the larger group once known as the Ko'Audva-, were the current residents of Grand Canyon at the time of the arrival of the Europeans.  Their traditional lands once covered 15,000,000 acres along the southern shore of the Colorado through Grand Canyon and up the Little Colorado River. They were certainly one of the Cohonina identified by the Hopi.  Their modern reservation includes an 800,000 acre portion of their original range as well as traditional use lands along the southern flanks of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

The majority of the Havasupai livelihood takes place in a 600 acre village inside a narrow gorge halfway to the bottom of Grand Canyon.  Their reservation extends along the rim and abuts onto the South Rim Visitors Area of Grand Canyon National Park.   The Havasupai were the original inhabitants of Indian Gardens.  Supai, the town, sits amidst 60,000 acres of lush, spring-fed riparian habitat.  The Havasupai reside in a slice of paradise deep in The Grand Canyon. Supai, as the town is now know, is probably the most remote town in all of the continental United States. Supai remains as the only U.S. town in the lower 48 that still receives its mail by horse packtrain.

WATERFALLS!  -The  calcium-laden blue-green waters flow at millions of gallons a day and produce 6 phenomenal waterfalls.  68 degrees year-round!

As well as home to the Havasupai peoples for hundreds of years, Havasu Canyon has been a treasured destination for hundreds of thousands of hikers and visitors in the last decades.  Most just hike on through to the Falls.

This massive flood of humanity through the tiny hamlet of Supai has been both blessing and problem for these first peoples, the Havasupai.  The Havasupai balance precariously between the modern and the ancient worlds.

Another flood has even more sharply impacted the Havasupai recently. You may have heard of the raging floodwaters that have coursed through the town and campgrounds in 2008 and 2010, permanently altering the shape and character of this idyllic setting. Older Falls vanished and new Falls appeared.  The flood however also has made the future more precarious as massive erosion now tracks upstream towards the flatland where the village resides.

We work directly with the Havasupai Tribal Offices and their Programs for the Elderly as well as other local leaders.  We would like to introduce you to these wonderful people and their magical landscape.

CURRICULUM - Grand Canyon Geography and Geology; The Colorado Plateau; The Havasupai and the Cerbat Tradition - First Arrivals to the Americas?; SW First Peoples - Modern Issues and Solutions; Ethnobotoany of the Cerbat and GC Cultures; Southwestern Pre-History and Archaeology Overview; Ecology of the Canyon;  Travertine and Travertine Dams - Geology of the Falls and Havasu Creek; and so much more...

Your course leaders are professional naturalists and historians, as well as long-time associates with the tribe, and will bring the past and present together through interpretive arts and by arranging home visits and speakers from among the local traditionalists and progressives.