Supai sits in a u-shaped canyon surrounded by cliffs of Supai sandstone. The two prominent spires of rock in the background are regarded by the natives as sacred……one male and one female……watching over the Havasupai people and their crops.
The Native American village of Supai has about 200 residents…..
A church and a school……and horses everywhere….. and dogs (some sort of short, stocky, strong looking breed – friendly enough, but just running kind-of ‘loose’ - (I didn’t get pictures of this)
If Grand Canyon Caverns seemed to be out of the 1950’s, we now seemed to have been transported to the 1850’s.
Nothing was in Supai that had not been brought in on foot, or by horseback, or by helicopter. Supplies were loaded onto pack animals at the top…….
And driven down by long horse/mule trains. Horses are the lifeblood of Supai
People in this village rode horseback or walked (though we did see a couple of 4 wheelers, one owned by the local police). We saw one woman riding out of the village on horseback, with a small child (maybe 2 years old) on her lap and two somewhat older children on a horse behind her. The older children were bouncing up and down as the horse trotted….laughing and giggling as they rode along. I would guess that the children in Supai grow up riding horseback. Another boy who looked to be about 8 years old came racing by us on a horse as we walked out of the town.
This is just outside of the tourist office in Supai, where every visitor must stop and pay an ‘entry fee’ of $37 and a $5 ‘environmental fee’. You must also have made a prior reservation (we had) for the lodge or campground, and pay the campground or lodge fees.
Once you have checked in, signed a waiver of liability, and paid your fees, you are given an armband. The armband is waterproof, like at a water park, and is stamped with your name, the dates that you have paid through, and ‘tourist’. No ‘blending in’ with the natives…… ;-)
We checked in, then following the advice in the guide book, we stopped at the store for an ice cream sandwich…..and then hiked on…..