My family has just begun planning a trip to Arizona, and the Grand Canyon is a must-see on the itinerary. A lesser-known feature of this geographical landmark is the town located inside the Canyon that people have inhabited for over 1,000 years. Accessibility may be limited, but visiting the most remote town in the United States seems to be well worth the eight-mile hike into the heart of the Grand Canyon.
The Supai Village is the only town located inside the Grand Canyon and, because it is not accessible by road, you have to get a little creative in order to get inside the 3,000-foot hole: by hiking, riding an animal, or taking a helicopter. It is the only location in the country that must receive mail by mule. The town’s population consisted of 208 people in 2010 and is a part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation. The Havasupai Tribe have lived inside the Grand Canyon for more than 1,000 years. Havasupai means “people of the blue-green waters” and water is especially sacred to the tribe: “It flows not only across the land, but also through each tribal member. When you enter their land, you enter their home, their place of origin,” and therefore should be respectful of their home. The Havasu Falls, and other waterfalls in the area, are some of the most popular sites of the reservation for visitors.
Tourism makes up a large portion of the village’s income, but parts of the reservation are off-limits to visitors due to repair work or unstable ground caused by flash floods, a major concern for the tribe. Tourists and visitors are cautioned upon arrival about the delicate nature of the village’s environment, and are even charged with an Environmental Care Fee.
So, if you’re planning on visiting the Grand Canyon, and the world is feeling too crowded for you, consider taking the hike to the most remote town in the country to see the beautiful natural scenery and waterfalls inside the Grand Canyon.
Did You Know?
Another area of the Grand Canyon, called the Tuweep or Toroweap is located at an elevation of 4,500 feet. This area contains an abundance of vegetation and wildlife, as well as the Toroweap Overlook, another uniquely remote site that is 3,000 feet above the Colorado River and can only be reached by driving along difficult roadways.
Photo Credit: Public Domain