DISTANCE
21.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,628 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

cave

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

backpacking
2 days ago

Spectacular hike. Well worth it and totally doable. We were a group of moderately in shape adults and one 11-year old, and while it was definitely a challenge it was totally doable. Hike EARLY or LATE to avoid the sun, because it is brutal. We didn't use the mules or the helicopter and 100% recommend doing it this way! You feel so much more accomplished when you finish, and it's totally worth it.

We started the hike down at 5:00am and were to the campground at about 10:00am. The campground is great and there is plenty of shade and great places to hang hammocks (we were worried about this before, but we didn't have trouble finding trees to strap to). The spring water at the bottom is clean and doesn't require a filter, which is awesome!

We carried 4 L of water each down and up. On the way down we had plenty of water to spare, but on the way up we were cutting it close. We left about 4:20pm and hiked up waterfall to waterfall, making the distances in the sun short before getting to the next waterfall to spend a few last minutes in and immerse ourselves before continuing. We arrived at the village at about 7:00pm, where we filled our water one last time and began the final ascent, arriving to the parking lot a little before midnight. Make sure you have plenty of water and a good snack waiting for you in the car. Hiking in the dark wasn't bad and it made the weather perfect for the hardest parts of the hike! The trail is pretty easy to follow, as long as you are paying attention. Also the stars were spectacular, seriously maybe the best I've ever seen, so that's an added bonus to hiking at night.

We didn't see any snakes and only one scorpion on the way up, which I was relieved about. The squirrels are a real issue, just make sure you don't leave stuff out and you should be fine.

THIS HIKE IS WORTH EVERY MOMENT. I have never seen water that color before and it was just spectacular all around. YOU CAN DO IT.