My boyfriend and I just got back from our hike and we exhausted! I wanted to post about our trip, mostly the hike to the confluence part.
I was able to score the permits at the beginning of March; I got someone on the phone right away, asked for first available dates, they said they had few spots in March but that was too soon so I took next date, which was in November.
We spent the night in Hualapai lodge, left there at 7.30 and got to the Hilltop around 9 am. We decided to carry our backpacks all the way down and up. The hike down to the village took us around 3.5 hours at comfortable pace, we took few breaks for pictures but nothing longer than few minutes. Once in the village we stopped to eat at the cafe and then continued down to the campground. That last hour was pretty bad, up until then the temperature was very comfortable around 70, but in the afternoon it got hotter and we were really tired. We stopped for few minutes at Little Navajo and Havatsu Falls just to take pictures and continued to the campground. Overall it took us about 5 hours to get there. Like everyone says the best sites are located toward the end of the campground. It looked like more than a half of all sites were empty. We found a spot on a little island, which was very picturesque but made me a little nervous we would get flooded in case of rain but since there was no rain in the forecast anywhere within 100 miles we decided it was ok to take a risk. Luckily the night wasn’t very cold (we had 30F sleeping bags and we were very comfortable, the temperature was in low 40s). Next morning we got up at 7 am and headed out to the confluence. We got to Beaver Falls around 10.30 and continued on. The trail is confusing at times, but like someone here said you are in a canyon with walls on both sides so it’s not like you can get lost. I guess the most important part is to remember the point where you descent from the Beaver Falls overlook into the river, we missed that spot on the way back and had to go back to find it. The trail is pretty well marked so we just followed the marks. You need to cross the river few times so water shoes are the must. Also I strongly recommend wearing long pants, I was in shorts and my legs were all scratched. We got to the river at 12.30. It was spectacular. The last stretch was a beautiful slot canyon and the way the creek waters merge with the river looked awesome. There were rafters hanging around and we watched them take off to continue down the river. After about an hour break we decided to head back. Like I mentioned before we didn’t have any issues except for missing the point where you’re supposed to climb up over Beavers. We stopped at Beaver Falls for like 15 minutes and continued on. We were back at the campground around 5.30 and it was already getting dark so I was glad we didn’t hang around the confluence any longer because nothing scared me more than climbing Mooney after sunset. It took us 10 hours total but it was so worth it! I couldn’t believe how few people do this hike (or even hear about it). We only met 5 people on the trail (excluding rafters). It is totally doable, well marked, mostly flat once you pass Beaver Falls and so rewarding! You need to cross the river few times but the water is up to your knees at the most.
Next morning we headed out and got to the village around 10. The hike to the village was brutal, my legs were tired from all the walking. We took like half an hour break and continued on. I was really tempted by the helicopter ride especially since there was almost no line to fly out, but in the end we decided to toughen up and hike. We kept pretty good pace up until the switchbacks. That last part was deadly and took us forever. Finally we made it to the parking lot after 3 hours 45 minutes from the village.
Overall it was an amazing hike. I kind of wish it was warm enough to actually chill in the pools but then the temperature was very comfortable for hiking. I may come back one day in a warmer time if I’m lucky with permit again. I highly recommend the confluence hike to everyone!