FLAGSTAFF — Hundreds of tourists who booked coveted overnight trips on tribal land deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon will have to reschedule after heavy flooding forced evacuations and shut down the area for at least a week.
Abbie Fink, a spokeswoman for the Havasupai Tribe, said 300 people had reservations for either the campground or the lodge in the next several days. Crews were assessing the damage Friday to determine when it’s safe for visitors to return.
“Every day it’s closed, it’s another set of people impacted by it,” she said.
The remote reservation outside Grand Canyon National Park is best known for its towering blue-green waterfalls that appear like oases in the desert. The tribe doesn’t allow day hikers, so visitors have to reserve overnight trips. The reservations fill up quickly.
Andrea Molina saw only two dates available until 2020 when she checked earlier this year. She and her partner booked a trip for Friday, rented camping gear and reserved a pack mule for the trip from Phoenix.
The flooding hit just before dark Wednesday and again before sunrise Thursday, forcing the evacuation of about 200 tourists. Some, wearing only their swim suits, had to abandon their camping gear.