The Craziest Caverns

As we came off our Grand Canyon highs and lows, the Hoffpack switched gears as we prepped for our next big challlenge- getting ready for our first family backpacking trip!  We spent one night in Flagstaff to restock on essentials and get a quick fix of civilization.  Flagstaff is a great spot in the summer with its perfect temps and has so many beautiful places nearby.

We showed our oldest Boy Scout how to use our backpacking stove,

and met up with my brother and sister-in-law, who joined us for a morning in Walnut Canyon National Monument, and would be joining us on our much anticipated trip to Havasu Falls.

  

The kids enjoyed climbing around in the cliff dwellings,

and Gavin  completed yet another junior ranger badge by racing up the 240 stairs to finish his book before we had to head off before our Flagstaff checkout time.

  

With much anxiety, we had planned on abandoning our home-on-wheels at a never before seen location while we left all of our essentials behind on our first family backcountry camping trip.  We researched every option in the area, and with Grand Canyon Caverns policy of allowing you to leave your camper parked in a camping site for free, we decided this was our best option.

Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised.  The campground was tucked away in the back of the  property, and while almost every site was unoccupied, it was very nice.  When the security guard drove through, he even told us to feel free to leave our camper plugged in while we were gone so we didn’t have to use up propane on the fridge.

This place had so much to offer!  An old café where they served free breakfast (to those not taking off on a crazy hike at 3am before breakfast),

an eclectic collection of old cars and fire trucks,

a nice pool,

and more.

The campsite was a great launching spot to get all of our geared switched over to backpacking mode

while the kids were able to literally “hang out.”

  

  

The strangest part of all was the actual caverns.  Not only could you tour the caverns, you could eat dinner down there, sleep down there, or even take a paranormal tour.

  

The giant sloth was one of the craziest parts, having been well preserved down under for so long.  The actual sloth has been moved to a museum, but the replica was quite interesting.

Not only were the caverns a restaurant and hotel, but a fallout shelter!

Dave and Jess slept in the back of their rental pickup, while the Hoffpack enjoyed a short last night in the camper before our next big challenge!  We had a 3am wakeup call to head into Havasupai!  (travel dates 7/1-7/2/18)

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