A beautiful beast!

Once you get up to Spade Lake, you enter an alpine fairyland that makes you forget the struggles of the past miles. Did this as a three day-two night trip, with the first night at Waptus Lake, second at Spade, including hiking up to Venus the day we arrived at Spade. I would definitely recommend planning enough time to get to Venus - the stretch between the two lakes was the absolute best part of the trip - meadows, hidden waterfalls, swimming holes, scrambling big granite slabs (note: the Green Trails map will tell you to ascend to Venus on the left side of the waterfall, which seems ludicrous to me when looking at it. Much easier to go up the right side. In general, the trail is a faint boot path, but it's pretty clear which direction you're supposed to be going). While the destination is completely worth it, the trail itself is a slog. The leg to Waptus is one of the more monotonous stretches I've encountered in WA, which is the only reason this adventure gets four stars from me. Definitely stop in Roslyn before/after - such a great little town!


Seeing a lot of comments recommending cliff jumping here or along the way. There are signs EVERYWHERE saying that cliff jumping is not allowed. If you actually stop and take some time to talk to the rangers they will tell you why this is such an important thing to them. Please be respectful of the land and the Havasupai people who are sharing it with you!

Unreal landscape

Just completed a 15 mile loop in the Chisos and had a backcountry site on the SE rim. Keep in mind they close this section of the rim from Feb. 1 to May 31 to help the peregrine falcon population that nests here, so work around that if you're planning on including this portion of the trail. There was a lot of bear activity in the mountains but the park has amazing backcountry sites with food storage lockers at each designated camp site so there's no need to pack a bear bin. There were occasional water sources but it's better to pack in all you need so as not to take away the limited water resources from the wildlife who need it. Sunrise and sunset over the south rim was just magical!