Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Hello! My name is Chelsey from @myexplorewithme, and I can't wait to tell you all about this magical hike I did to Havasupai Falls.
Have you ever imagined visiting some of the bluest and brightest waterfalls that there are in this world? Then you are going to want to visit Havasupai falls in Arizona. Havasupai falls is in the middle of an Indian reservation. These falls create the clearest and most turquoise waters that you may ever see in your life.
The village of Supai is located deep within the Grand Canyon. There are a few ways to get down to the bottom. You can either backpack down, ride a mule down or you can ride in a helicopter and view the falls from above. I chose the backpacking option. Just so you are aware, there are no day hiking options.
The people that run the village of Supai are trying to maintain this waterfall in pristine shape. In order to do this they only allot a certain amount of permits to be given out per day. In order to be able to see these falls you will need to make a reservation in advance. Reservations open February of each year and fill up within hours. Therefore, you’re going to want to call in as quickly as possible to try to receive a permit.
Here are a few tips to help you obtain a permit. Make sure to call the very first day that reservation phone line opens. If you don’t obtain a permit right away then I suggest you continue to call each day and check to see if there are any cancellations. Personally, this is how I obtained my permit along with 6 other permits. The best thing to do is to be flexible with your dates. As I said there is limited availability for each day so being flexible is key.
To make a reservation and obtain a permit, call one of the numbers listed here during the hours of 7am to 7pm.
928.448.2180 / 928.448.2237 / 928.448.2141 / 928.448.2121
Also, they have now also created an online reservations process for permits. Follow THIS link to obtain a permit online.
HIKING TO HAVASUPAI
Let’s talk about the hike itself! I am going to talk about the hike as if you were backpacking it because that was my experience. The hike is a total of 19 miles round-trip. It begins with a mile of switchbacks, which makes for a brutal end to your hike on the way out. But, trust me, it's still worth it.
You keep descending down until you reach Havasu Canyon. You will hike along a dry river bed for about 6.5miles. At mile marker 7.5 you will reach the cutest little village. Check in at the tourist office for your permits.
Tip! There is a great convenience store at this stop. So, make sure to stock up on whatever you need or may have run out of. They had it all! Chips, jerky, frozen gatorades, water, and much more. Take a minute to recharge before you finish the hike and reach the campground.
After leaving the village, you will continue descending down for another 1.5 miles, and then you will reach the breathtaking Havasu Falls. The waterfall plunges about 100 feet into a beautiful turquoise pool of water.
Stop at the top! Soak it all in-take some pics. This is such a beautiful sight. Don’t rush it. Once you have finished your viewing from this spot continue on down about another 0.5 miles to the camping area.
CAMPING/STAYING AT HAVASUPAI
Come one come all it’s a free for all! Haha but seriously you aren’t assigned spots ahead of time, so choose whatever you want. I chose to be next to the river, so I could fall asleep to the sound of rushing water.:)
When you first enter the camping area there are restrooms for you to use as well as a faucet with fresh water to fill up with.
Now I know what you’re thinking.. what am I supposed to do all day while I’m down there? Well, there is actually a lot to do!
There are lots of “side trails” and day trips you can take from Havasu Falls itself. Or, if you prefer you can always just hangout at the campground and play in the water all day at Havasu Falls. It is beautiful enough to be at all day, but if you are feeling a little more adventurous, then here are some possible options for day trips.
DAY TRIPS FROM THE CAMPGROUND
First up, is hiking to Mooney Falls. This is another beautiful waterfall just about a mile from Havasu Falls. Personally, I liked this one even more than Havasu Falls. Mooney Falls sits at 190ft tall and can be enjoyed from both above or below if you dare. You can reach the bottom but, be aware that the trail down is quite treacherous and has a steep drop off. Again, I think it’s worth it though to make it to the bottom.
To get to Mooney Falls you will hike all the way through the campground till you see a sign that says continue at your own risk. You will begin your descent down, you will come to a tunnel carved into the rocks. Walk through the tunnel until your reach the chains section. Hold onto the chains the rest of the way down until you reach a ladder to complete your hike to the bottom. Be very careful as it can be slippery!
Another popular option is hiking to Beaver Falls. I personally did not do this hike due to time constraints, but I would have loved to. If you want to hike to Beaver Falls you will continue down the trail for another 3 miles or so. According to other articles I read, this hike is much more enjoyable if you have bring water shoes. You will get wet on this trail, and with water shoes you can spend a good portion of the trek hiking through the river.
The trail can be difficult to spot, just continue downstream and you will be fine. Along the hike you will see the Havasupai Vine Desert. The vines cover the whole length of the canyon and are a great photo opportunity. You will soon reach a point where you can climb up a ladder to continue the hike, or cross across the river. You will want to cross the river. If you take the ladder, you will have to hike around the whole base of Beaver Falls to get to the swimming pools. Beaver Falls’ pools are a great place to go for a swim and do some cliff jumping.
Let’s wrap it up with some final tips that I think you will find useful. I highly recommend bringing bug spray, water shoes, and a water floatie to hangout in the waterfalls with. My last tip and warning is to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to take note of what season you will be visiting the falls in. Monsoon season (summertime) can cause unexpected flash floods and can be very dangerous. So, please check the weather ahead of time and only go if it is safe.
Have a blast and enjoy the fall!