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Triple Shot: From exotic to luxurious

Try these fun summer trips in Arizona

 by Katie Kelberlau  published on Thursday, April 28, 2005

Located just west of the Grand Canyon, Havasupai is a great place to experience great backpacking and beautiful waterfalls.  Pictured here is Havasu Falls, about 100 feet high.  
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Brandon Quester / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Located just west of the Grand Canyon, Havasupai is a great place to experience great backpacking and beautiful waterfalls. Pictured here is Havasu Falls, about 100 feet high.
 
Less than a five-hour drive from Tempe, Lake Powell in northern Arizona offers great summer recreation. Visitors can tour the lake by boat, kayak, tour and even dive below it.   
/issues/arts/693126
Brandon Quester / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Less than a five-hour drive from Tempe, Lake Powell in northern Arizona offers great summer recreation. Visitors can tour the lake by boat, kayak, tour and even dive below it.
 

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Everyone has them -- friends, significant others and acquaintances with awesome summer plans.

Some are going river rafting on the Bhote Koshe of Nepal, some sea kayaking around a tranquil island in the Bahamas. Others are heading to Europe to fill their befuddled minds with famous art by day, and drink themselves into oblivion by night.

Then there are the rest of us -- those who don't have any plans except to escape the roasting heat in any way possible.

But summer can be much more than holing yourself up in your apartment or going to see yet another summer blockbuster, maybe for the second time.

So, when chipping melted Chap stick out of your car seats, drinking water so hot it bubbles, and sweating copiously starts getting old, then it's time to pack up and head to one of the following three local but cool getaways.

Exotic

Can't afford that week on a tropical isle? Don't despair. Arizona has its own makeshift tropical paradise in the form of Lake Powell.

Located about two hours north of Flagstaff on the Arizona-Utah border, Lake Powell has everything you need for a tropical break: kayaking, cliff diving, swimming, scuba diving and sandy beaches. Plus, it's cooler than the Valley.

Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir that fills Glen Canyon. Due to the unfortunate recent drought, the water level has reached record lows, revealing beautiful layers of the former canyon. The reservoir is 186 miles long, but with its numerous inlets and side canyons, there are almost 2,000 miles of shore open for exploration.

The best way to see Lake Powell is by kayak, which allows adventurers to explore narrow side canyons and inlets. Plus, gliding through the turquoise water while checking out the orange, red and pink layers of exposed canyon rock is as close to tropical paradise as one can find within Arizona's boundaries.

Travelers can rent kayaks from numerous outfitters in Page, Ariz. Check out Kayak Powell, which offers rentals, half-day tours and customized multi-day tours. Kayaks rent for $35 to $45 per day. For more information, call (888) 854-7862 or visit www.kayakpowell.com.

For more information on trip outfitters, hotels and restaurants in the area, visit www.page-lakepowell.com.

Adventure

If the thought of a week-long safari in Honduras appeals to you, then check out the Arizona equivalent: a hike to Havasupai.

While hiking in Phoenix past about April is like riding a slow, packed bus through hell, there are still places in Arizona where a summer escape is not only possible, but really quite pleasant.

Just west of Grand Canyon National Park lies Havasu Canyon, a beautiful, considerably easier, and far more culturally stimulating alternative to the hordes at the south rim. In the canyon bottom lays the Native American village of Supai.

It's an 8-mile hike from the Hualapai hilltop to the village of Supai. Two miles past the village are the campgrounds, bordering two spectacular waterfalls.

Havasu Falls plunges 100 feet into an aquamarine pool, with dramatic vistas of the canyon walls in the background. Below the fall is, beyond a doubt, the best swimming hole in Arizona.

Mooney Falls is just beyond Havasu Falls and is a 200-foot cascade that surges gracefully into pools below. The hike to the base of the fall is only possible using a series of chains and ropes that are affixed to the muddy slopes.

From the campgrounds, it is possible to hike 8 miles further to the Colorado River, spend a day lounging by the waterfalls, or head back to the village of Supai to attend a church service, shop at the general store, or brunch at the cafe.

The entrance fees to Havasupai Reservation are $20, and the campgrounds are $10 per night. There is also a lodge in the village. To make reservations, call (928) 448-2120 or visit www.havasupaitribe.com.

Luxury

Ski resorts offer their best rates in the summer, which is the time to snap up deals on luxury accommodations.

In Arizona, the Sunrise Resort in the White Mountains opens for summer on Memorial Day weekend with rooms starting at only $59 per night. A suite with an in-room Jacuzzi is only $99 a night in the summer. The resort has an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, outdoor whirlpool, sauna, two restaurants, a bar and a game room.

Located in the White Mountains near the town of Show Low in eastern Arizona, Sunrise is in the heart of some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. Plus, it is 218 miles away from the unbearable heat of the valley.

Sunrise Resort is next to Sunrise Lake, where it is possible to rent boats and fish. There are also inexpensive horseback rides (starting at only $25), and scenic rides up the chairlifts.

Mountain bikers are allowed to bring their bikes up on a chairlift, which allows them to enjoy the thrill of riding downhill without the sore quads.

Reach the reporter at katherine.kelberlau@asu.edu.



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