“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.” –Shanti
‘Collect memories, not things,’ right? Isn’t that what we’ve been told? When the dust settles on the massive pile of shredded wrapping paper this Christmas, let’s hope you have one or two new pieces of outdoor gear to play with—because, nothing feels better than a New Year’s resolution that will imprint a permanent smile on your face.
This summer, a lucky few of us at Endurance Review collected new memories, as guests of Granogi—an outdoor adventure company who provides clients with meaningful experiences through yoga, meditation, and in this case, a whole lot of fun. We joined Granogi for a gathering in Supai, Arizona; a small, dreamlike portion of the Grand Canyon. This surreal locale has seen an overwhelming increase in popularity, despite the headache of acquiring permits, reservations and fees—not to mention the fact that it’s only accessible by a sandy 10 mile hike or (when available) helicopter. With the added interest, and number of permits kept to a strict limit, deciding to join a well-organized group like Granogi, removes much of the planning headache, and adds a whole level of enjoyment.
Havasupi is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Hiking through the morning toward camp, I wound my way down the trail, surrounded by towering red rock canyon walls, while chatting with like-minded adventure seekers—this alone was enough in itself to sell me on the experience. However, upon my first view of the main falls, barreling 90 feet into the incandescent pools below, I knew exactly why it was on everyone’s bucket list. The informal, hammock friendly campground, is on a first-come basis, with a fresh spring water source, and well-kept composting bathrooms available at either end. Meandering streams and descending turquoise plunge pools flow unhindered through camp, and provided me with some of the best sleep I’ve ever had.
Campers within the group were free to join any number of yoga, meditation and healthy living classes with Granogi, but were held to no expectations. That being said, I highly recommend the experience of sunrise yoga or the morning meditation, near Hidden Falls. Some of our favorite classes included nature photography with celebrated photographer Bill Church and trail running with Ultra Marathoner, Adam Hall. For this particular trip, clients also had the option to add an organic, whole foods meal plan, prepared by a professional chef, and the food was absolutely incredible.
Along with the classes we attended, our few days with Granogi, were filled with exploration, cliff jumping, hiking and copious amounts of laughter. I’ll even admit to being completely unproductive with a short hammock nap or two—my feet dangling into the cool river below. In addition to an evening drum circle at the base of the towering falls, we were treated one night to traditional dancing and a tribal blessing—graciously provided by members of the local, Supai Native American tribe (see video below).
I was thrilled about my overall experience with Granogi, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to anyone in attendance. All of the staff is approachable, and accepting regardless of fitness level. We even watched as they patiently helped a few weary, unprepared stragglers, who vastly underestimated the hiking conditions in the Grand Canyon. Update emails will keep you on track in preparation for your trip, and we were provided with great maps and directions. Every single client I spoke with, raved about their experience with Granogi, and expressed excitement in booking more trips with the company. So, it is without any reservation I can say, that I would happily collect more adventures with this remarkable company.
In 2017, Granogi has added additional dates for Havasupai as well as a guided trip to Nepal. They are quickly working on more options for the future, so I recommend checking back often for updates.