With the exception of the Grand Canyon, Havasupai Falls, also known as Havasu Falls, is arguably one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Arizona. Its aqua-colored cascades flow down into a pool that's surrounded by Arizona's trademark red rocks, creating a stunning visual for those who take on the hike to reach it.
With that being said, this hike to the ultimate Arizona waterfall is not an easy one. There are some things that hikers should know before committing to Havasupai Falls, but the trek is definitely worth it to get a first-hand glimpse at the baby-blue waterfall that awaits at the end. Here are ten things that everyone should know when visiting - and hiking to - Havasupai Falls.
10 Those Visiting Havasu Falls Will Need A Permit
Anyone hiking to Havasu Falls will need a three-day permit in order to do so. This is one Arizona hike that does not allow day trips and requires hikers to commit to a full three days prior to arranging their visit. The best way to ensure a reservation for the upcoming season is to book permits on February 1st at 8 AM since they do sell out very quickly. This can be done through the Havasu Falls reservation site and is fairly easy - just make sure to do it early on in the year.
9 When Making Reservations, Be Aware Of These Things
In addition to the three-day reservation, hikers should know that a booking profile is required, along with a personal profile and credit card information. In the event that the selected dates are sold out (which is a definite possibility), potential visitors should always have a set of backup dates just in case. Additionally, only one name is allowed on the reservation, which means that the same person must be present in the park at the time of the reservation.
8 Reaching The Trailhead Is A Bit Of A Process
The trailhead to Havasu Falls can be found at Hualapai Hilltop near Highway 66. For those traveling from Phoenix, it will be a four-and-a-half-hour drive, while those traveling from Flagstaff can expect a three-hour drive. For those who have the opportunity to turn this day trip into a road trip, there's plenty to see along the way when coming from both cities.
7 The Hike Itself Is Ten Miles, In-And-Out
Although the trail itself is ten miles, the hike isn't necessarily a challenging one. While endurance will be the key, the trail follows the ascent down the canyon with a trail that is easily navigated. At the eight-mile mark, hikers will find themselves at the town of Supai, and will find the Havasu Falls campground another two miles into the hike. The hike is rated as 'difficult' on AllTrails, likely due to the hike back out, which includes the declines that will now be inclined as hikers make their way back to the trailhead.
6 The Season Predicts The Best Weather
As with any hike and Arizona's weather patterns, the season will dictate when hikers can expect the best weather. This desert landscape entails cooler nights during the months of February through April, with warm weather really kicking in during the months of May through June. The hottest temperatures of the year will be between July and August, while September through November offers cooler temps, but low potential for swimming due to chilly waters.
5 You Can Hire A Mule For Additional Hiking Support
Yes, hikers can get a bit of support from the friendly mules (or donkeys) that are available to reserve online prior to the hike. For $400/mule, they'll carry up to four bags that are no more than 32 pounds each. The bags must also be soft-sided and will need to be dropped off at the trailhead by 10 AM, or by 7 AM at the campground.
4 Camping Nearby Is Permitted
Speaking of which, hikers have a number of options when it comes to camping at Havasu Falls. Since the three-day reservation requires overnights, campers can take advantage of several options. The campground at Havasu Falls goes from there to the top of Mooney Falls. The campsites themselves are first-come, first-served, with three bathroom areas spread in between. While one campsite is not necessarily better than another, the only difference is their proximity to each waterfall.
3 Be Prepared With Fresh Water Or A Way To Get It
One of the most important things to note is that there is no drinking water on the way to Havasu Falls. This means that drinking water must be carried in, or hikers must find a trustworthy source from which to get it. Once at the campsite, there will be a spring where hikers can fill their canteens and water bottles, or get water for cooking. For those who aren't comfortable drinking natural spring water, a water filter is recommended to purify the water source.
2 There's Really No Bad Angle For Photos
The beautiful thing about visiting Havasupai Falls is that there's no bad angle from which to get photos. The overlooks are easy to find and the falls are so open that they are practically a photographer's dream. Additionally, nearby Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls, along with the Colorado River, lend additional photo opportunities.
1 When Visiting, Respect The Tribe Lands
While Havasu Canyon can be found in the southwest corner of Grand Canyon National Park, it's important to realize that it's also inhabited by the Havasupai Tribe. For more than 800 years, the tribe has lived near and presided over Havasupai Falls and has taken care of and lived on the land. Hikers should be respectful around Supai Village and respect the tribe rules and the land itself.