INFORMATION FROM THE HAVASUPAI WEBSITE: Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Havasupai Tribal Council has extended the suspension of tourism through the remainder of the 2022 season. No date for the reopening of tourism has been set yet. Reservation holders with Campground reservations that have arrival dates between June 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022, will be rescheduled for the same date in 2023. This applies to Campground, Lodge, and Pack Mule reservations. No new reservations will be available for purchase while tourism is suspended.
As travel writers, we often get asked about our favorite place in the world, and Havasu Falls is on the top of our list of epic experiences that should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Ever since we visited this amazingly beautiful waterfall, we have answered endless questions for readers who have reached out for advice in planning their own trip. Common questions like when to visit, how long to stay, what to pack, where to stay before and after their hike, and what photography equipment to bring.
After responding to dozens of emails, we’ve finally decided to compile all of our most frequently asked questions into a single post so that you will have everything you need to know before you visit Havasu Falls.
Note: You will see photos in this post that include pool floats. They were allowed when we visited in 2017 but as of 2019, there is a new rule banning all flotation devices. Best to leave any pool floats at home. We sincerely apologize for any confusion.
Don’t forget to check out our web story: Ultimate Havasu Falls Guide: Reservations, Permits, Hiking, & Camping!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
Havasu Falls, Arizona: Permits, Camping Reservations, and Hiking Tips
Havasu Falls: The Basics
What is Havasu Falls and why does everyone want to go?
Havasu Falls is a stunningly beautiful waterfall that is located deep in the Grand Canyon. It is a part of the canyon that is owned and managed by the Havasupai Indian Reservation. In order to visit Havasu Falls, you are required to obtain a permit from the tribe. Permits go on sale on February 1st of every year and the permits for the year generally sell out within the first two weeks.
Where is Havasu Falls?
Havasu Falls is located in the Havasu Canyon in Northern Arizona, on the west end of the Grand Canyon National Park. While it is in a canyon that feeds into the Grand Canyon, it’s not actually in Grand Canyon National Park. Havasu Canyon and Havasu Falls are part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation and are managed by the Havasupai Tribe.
What is the best time of year to visit Havasu Falls?
Havasu Falls is open to visitors from February 1st until November 30th every year. You’ll find that the summer months are hot, which makes it perfect for swimming under the falls but pretty miserable during that long hike in and out. Spring and fall are cooler so you’ll only want to get in the water in direct sunlight.
What is the weather like at Havasu Falls?
Average high and low temperatures at Havasu falls by month are:
- January: 58° / 34°
- February: 65° / 38°
- March: 71° / 43°
- April: 80° / 48°
- May: 91° / 56°
- June: 101° / 65°
- July: 104° / 70°
- August: 102° / 68°
- September: 95° / 61°
- October: 82° / 50°
- November: 67° / 41°
- December: 58° / 34°
Getting a Reservation for Havasu Falls
Do I have to have a reservation to visit Havasu Falls?
Yes! The land is owned and managed by the Havasupai Indian Reservation and you would be trespassing if you didn’t go through the proper steps to obtain a permit. There are Havasupai tribe members who operate checkpoints at various spots in the area. If you don’t have a permit, you’ll be asked to leave or pay a fine.
How do I get a reservation for Havasu Falls?
Reservations for the entire season (February 1 – November 30) are available on February 1st of every year at 8 am Arizona time. They generally sell out within the first two weeks. Mark your calendar and visit the Havasu Falls reservation website right when they go on sale for the best chances of scoring your desired dates.
Also, starting in 2019 the reservation website has a “get ready” date beginning on January 8th. You’ll want to visit the website to set up an account prior to attempting to make a reservation in February. Sign in to your account at any time before 8 am to get ready. At 8 am, the “make a 2019 campground reservation” button will activate and you can start.
There will be no phone reservations, you’ll have to reserve online. The tribe asks that you refrain from calling unless you have an actual customer service issue.
Try to be flexible on the dates and remember that weekdays aren’t as popular as weekends.
What information do I need to make a reservation?
Have a confirmed count of how many people will be joining you. You’ll have to provide their names when making the reservation but the only person who will get their ID checked is the party leader. The reservation will only be under one name. Also, that person must be present at the Supai Village with a valid ID on your starting date for the reservation to be valid. All visitors are required to carry a valid ID while on Havasupai land.
Be flexible on your dates in case the week you want is already taken. Weekends are more popular than weekdays and tend to fill up fast. Summer months are also the most popular time to go.
How many people can be on a reservation?
There can be up to 12 people per reservation.
Does everyone on the reservation need to register online?
Yes! All visitors to Havasupai must create an account on havasupaireservations.com prior to arrival to confirm their agreement to the reservation rules and laws. And all visitors must have proof of their account (a printout or screenshot of their Account Information page), proof of their campground reservation (a printout or screenshot of the reservation for their group), and photo ID at all times while on the Havasupai reservation.
How much does a Havasu Falls permit cost?
Reservation pricing is as follows and may be subject to change:
- $100 per person per weekday night
- $125 per person per weekend night (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
These prices include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes. Prices for 2023 are highly likely to increase but have not yet been released.
As of 2019, all reservations must be made for 4 days and 3 nights. So the total cost for a Havasu Falls camping permit will be between $300 – $375 per person depending on what nights of the week you stay there.
When are Havasu Falls permits available?
The Havasupai Tribe begins taking reservations every year on February 1st at 8 am Arizona time.
How long should I stay at Havasu Falls?
As of 2019, all reservations must be made for 4 days and 3 nights. So you can stay for less time but you will still have to pay for three nights. We say you might as well stay for all four days as it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to.
Can I just go for the day?
Unfortunately, no. Not only because the hike just to get to the falls is 10 miles from the trailhead (making it a 20-mile round trip hike), but also because the Havasupai Tribe does not allow day hikers in Havasu Canyon. All visitors must have a reservation at either the campground or the lodge.
Can I change my dates once I make a reservation?
That depends on availability. You’ll need to call and speak to someone directly, but you’d be advised to wait for a few weeks as the tribe is incredibly busy during the month of February. Fingers crossed you reach someone who is friendly and helpful in the Havasupai Tourism Office at (928) 448-2121.
Can I transfer my reservation to someone else?
Yes. The reservation system now has an official transfer system for campground reservations. If you don’t need a spot on your campground reservation or want to transfer the entire reservation to someone else, it’s now easy to do online. Just view the details of your existing reservation, choose how many spots to transfer, and generate a “transfer link”. There is a 10% fee but once someone else purchases the spots you’ll get the money back on your card.
When do I pay?
All reservations must be paid in full at the time the reservation is made. These are non-refundable, non-changeable, and non-transferable (except via the new official transfer system on the Official Havasupai Tribe website).
Getting to the Havasu Falls Trailhead
Where is the Havasu Falls trailhead?
The Havasupai parking area is located here – about 67.5 miles Northeast of Peach Springs, AZ. This location is also known as “Hualapai Hilltop” if you want to look it up on Google Maps. You’ll need to park there to begin your hike to Havasu Falls.
What airport should I fly into?
Flagstaff, Arizona is the closest airport at about 165 miles from the trailhead. Las Vegas, Nevada is about 225 miles away and typically has the cheapest airfares. And Phoenix, Arizona is about 260 miles away.
Are there any hotels close to the Havasu Falls trailhead?
If you are looking for more luxurious accommodations, there are several nice spots in Flagstaff, Arizona, including the Little America Hotel Flagstaff and the Residence Inn by Marriott Flagstaff. The Residence Inn even has a hot tub that you’ll love to relax in after your long hike out of the canyon.
If you’re on a budget, check out the Hotel Aspen in Flagstaff.
Here are our recommendations for hotels near Havasu Falls:
The Grand Canyon Caverns Inn offers modest, comfortable rooms equipped with a bathtub and flat-screen television. They also offer free bicycles to borrow and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. The reception desk is open 24 hours in case you need to do your check-in really early or late in the evening. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property.
You’ll love to relax your sore muscles in the seasonal hot tub and heated outdoor pool at the Hualapai Lodge! The rooms are spacious and very clean, and the beds are incredibly comfortable. Plus every room is equipped with toiletries, a mini-fridge, a flat-screen television, and coffee-making facilities.
Little America Flagstaff Hotel has spacious, comfortable rooms with rustic decor. All of the rooms have air conditioning, flat-screen television sets, mini-refrigerators, and seating areas. Kids will love the outdoor pool! The Little America Restaurant and Bar serves up delicious meals and alcoholic beverages. A free airport transfer service is available for guests.
You will LOVE that the Residence Inn by Marriott Flagstaff has an indoor pool and a hot tub available for guests to use. The hot tub will be awesome to relax those muscles after hiking all day. Plus the rooms are huge and lavishly decorated. There is a fitness center available if you still have some energy at the end of your Havasu Falls adventure.
There are also several lodges and campgrounds in Grand Canyon National Park, but you’ll need to book them well in advance.
Can I camp at the Havasu Falls trailhead?
The official answer is “No”, but people seem to get away with it especially if you are only planning on sleeping there for a few hours. That being said, the toilets at the parking lot are dirty and smelly and there really isn’t an ideal spot to pitch a tent so we wouldn’t recommend it.
Where is the closest gas station to Havasu Falls?
Both are about 70 miles away – in Peach Springs and at Grand Canyon Caverns.
Is it easy to park at the Havasu Falls trailhead?
There should be plenty of parking for everyone. There are no parking fees and no permit needed (although you should note your license plate number to provide to the check-in office). Do not park in the “no parking” areas or in the road. You can park along the road, just be sure that cars can easily get by you.
Hiking to the Havasu Falls Campground
How long is the hike to the Havasu Falls campground?
You’ll be hiking eight miles to the Supai village where you will check-in, and then an additional two miles to Havasu Falls. It should take 4-6 hours depending on your fitness level.
Is the hike to Havasu Falls challenging?
From the parking lot, you’ll immediately start your descent into the canyon. It’s about a mile and a half of switchbacks to the bottom and the remainder of the hike is flat. This section is hard on your knees on the way in and it’s incredibly steep and challenging on the way out.
Hiking poles will help to make the trek to the bottom of the canyon easier on your knees and will keep you balanced.
What should I pack for Havasu Falls?
Read all about what to pack for Havasu Falls here!
What time should I start hiking to Havasu Falls?
It’s a good idea to get an early start to hike out to Havasu Falls. The parking lot fills up with cars and it’s a more pleasant hike if you’re not doing it in the heat of the day. And the reservation check-in office in the Supai Village is rather slow. If there are people in front of you, you’ll be in for a bit of a wait.
How physically fit do I need to be to do the hike?
That’s a tough question. I consider myself to be in reasonably good physical condition. As such, I found the trek back to the car to be incredibly challenging, especially since the hardest part is at the very end. If you’ve never walked 10 miles at one time in your entire life, this might not be the best time to try. But if you hike or bike or run fairly regularly, you should be totally fine.
Do I need to wear hiking boots?
If you need good ankle support, I would recommend wearing hiking boots. The canyon floor is rocky so you won’t always have stable footing. However, you’ll be hiking in hot weather and hiking boots will make your feet even hotter. Check out our favorite hiking boots and shoe options here.
Is there water along the trail to Havasu Falls?
No! You should bring at least a gallon of water per person for the hike in as you cannot fill up your bottle anywhere along the 8-mile hike to the village.
Are there bathrooms along the trail to Havasu Falls?
No. There are a few porta-potties and compost toilets at the trailhead but none along the trail. Be sure to use one of them before setting off!
Do I have to hike to Havasu Falls?
No, you don’t. If you don’t want to hike in with your heavy pack, you have a few options. First, you can hire a mule to carry your backpack. Mules can carry a maximum of four bags with a maximum bag weight of 32 lbs per bag. If you don’t want to walk, you can ride a horse either to the Supai Village or all the way to the campground. The maximum body weight to ride is 250 lbs and you’ll need to have at least some prior riding experience. You’ll need to reserve at least one week before your trip on the Havasupai website.
Keep in mind that there is some debate as to how well the mules and horses are treated. You should do your research prior to selecting this option.
Another option is to book a helicopter ride from the Hualapai Hilltop to the Supai Village. The flight only takes about 10 minutes but they don’t run every day, and flights are dependent on weather conditions. Contact Airwest Helicopters for more information. They are on a first-come, first-served basis and members of the Havasupai Tribe get priority. So get there early and expect a wait. There are also size and weight restrictions on your baggage.
Can I bring my dog to Havasu Falls?
No. Dogs and other animals are not allowed at Havasu Falls.
How do I reserve a pack mule?
This is new for 2019 – all pack mule reservations must be made online. After making your campground reservation, you will have the opportunity to put in a waitlist request for a pack mule. There are new care standards so there may be fewer pack mules. If you don’t put in an immediate waitlist request, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a mule.
Also, people who reserve mules for round trips get priority. If you only want a mule one-way, you may have trouble securing a reservation. A waitlist request is NOT a confirmed reservation.
Mules can carry up to four bags. The maximum weight is 32 lbs per bag. The maximum size is 36 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 19 inches tall. The baggage must be soft-sided with nothing hanging off of the outside. Ice chests and coolers are not allowed.
How does the Havasu Falls check-in process work?
Once you arrive at the Supai Village, you’ll need to stop at the tourist office to check-in. There is only one name on the reservation – the party leader – and they will need to show valid identification. You’ll receive wristbands that you’ll need to wear for the duration of your stay as well as a tag for your tent or hammock.
The Havasu Falls Campground
How many campsites are there at Havasu Falls?
There are around 300 campsites at Havasu Falls.
Can I reserve a specific campsite?
No, all campsites are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Campers are coming and going all throughout the day so you don’t necessarily need to arrive early to get a good spot.
How do I pick a good campsite?
Don’t worry too much about picking a good campsite, you probably won’t spend a ton of time there anyway. But consider the following when selecting your site:
- How close is it to the water spigot?
- How close is it to the toilets? (You should be close but not SO close that you have to smell them)
- Do you have some privacy? (The spots on the other side of the river tend to be less populated)
- Does your site have plenty of trees around for hanging a hammock, your food and garbage, and to provide you with shade?
Should I sleep in a tent or a hammock?
That depends. Would you prefer to have a lighter backpack but be less comfortable at night? Or a heavier pack and sleep like a baby? If you’ve never spent a full night attempting to sleep in a hammock, you should probably try it before committing. I find it incredibly uncomfortable to be forced to sleep on my back with my feet elevated.
Don’t forget to check the weather before you set out if you’re going to be in a hammock. You may need to bring a tarp if there is rain in the forecast, or a sleeping bag if nights will be chilly.
If you do bring a tent, be sure you invest in a lightweight backpacking tent if you are hiking with your pack. Otherwise, your backpack will be unreasonably heavy for a 10-mile trek. We love the Marmot Crane Creek Backpacking Tent.
What is the water situation at the Havasu Falls campground?
There is a continuously flowing spigot of fresh spring water in the campground and every campsite is just a short walk from it. We brought a foldable water container to reduce the number of trips we had to take to the spigot for drinking, cooking, and doing dishes.
Do I need a water purifier?
No, the water coming out of the spring is fine to drink without any additional purification. Just be sure to get your water from the spring, not from the creek.
If you really want to take a water purifier, we love our SteriPEN because it weighs almost nothing.
What is the bathroom situation at the Havasu Falls campground?
Clean compost toilets are conveniently located throughout the campground and they are usually stocked with single-ply toilet paper. They have garbage cans outside of the toilets but you should plan on packing out all of your trash rather than leaving it there.
There are no showers at Havasu Falls but since you’ll be swimming all the time, it doesn’t really matter. I always take these biodegradable baby wipes on our backing and camping trips because I know I won’t be able to shower for several days.
Are there garbage cans in the Havasu Falls campground?
Yes, there are garbage cans outside of the compost toilets but you are not encouraged to use them. Plan on packing out all of your trash when you leave. You’ll get a hefty fine if you leave garbage or anything else at your campsite.
Are there animals that will get into my food?
Yes! There are some VERY pesky squirrels at the Havasu Falls campground. They absolutely will get into your food and/or trash. We hung our garbage from a tree and they still managed to tear into it. We would highly recommend investing in a wire mesh bag to store anything that has a smell, as well as some rope to hang it from a tree.
Do not keep ANY FOOD in your backpack or in your tent. The squirrels will chew through it!
Is the Havasu Falls campground safe?
We never felt unsafe at any time while we were visiting the Havasupai Reservation. All the tribe members and other campers were extremely friendly. We left all of our things in our tent while we were out exploring all day and had no issues whatsoever. Except for those pesky squirrels that got into our trash.
Even if you’re traveling to Havasu Falls on your own, you shouldn’t have any concerns about safety while camping. If you have any concerns about leaving your things in your tent while you’re away, bring a small combination lock and lock your tent zippers together.
Are there any Havasu Falls campground rules?
Yes! They are as follows:
- No alcohol
- No campfires
- No weapons or firearms
- No climbing
- No jumping or diving
- No fireworks
- No drugs
- No drones
- No smoking
- No loud music
- No dogs or animals
- No photos of the Havasupai people
Also, a new rule in 2019 states that boats, rafts, kayaks, inner tubes, pool floats, pool toys, and water guns are prohibited.
What is the punishment for breaking the rules at Havasu Falls?
You’ll be fined. The punishment for various offenses are:
- $1,000 fine for cliff diving or jumping
- $1,000 fine for littering and/or leaving trash at your campsite
- $1,000 fine for possession of alcohol and/or drugs
- $1,000 fine for flying drones (plus your drone will be confiscated)
The tribe is VERY serious about their no alcohol rule. Apparently, they have issues with some tribe members and alcoholism. Their website states that “Possession, distribution, or consumption of alcohol on the Reservation is a Tribal and federal crime, punishable by up to one year of imprisonment”. Don’t chance it.
Is there electricity in the Havasu Falls campground?
There is no electricity at the campground. Make sure your cell phone, camera batteries, and other electronic devices are fully charged before you enter the Havasupai Reservation.
To light up your campground at night, we recommend bringing a few solar-powered Luci Lights. They are easy to strap to the outside of your pack and then inflate when you arrive at the campground. Plus, they’ll recharge during the day while you’re out exploring so they’ll be ready every night when you get back.
If you’re concerned about running out of juice on your phone or other devices, be sure you invest in a portable power bank. We love the Anker PowerCore II 10,000 mAh because it’s super lightweight and has plenty of juice to recharge our phones 2-3 times.
Is there wi-fi in the Havasu Falls campground?
No. Why in the world would you want Wi-Fi when you are in the most amazing place in the world? Avoid the internet at all costs and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
If you have an emergency or you desperately need to get your social media fix, there is an open Wi-Fi network in the Havasupai Village. The signal seems to be strongest around the cafeteria and right outside of the campground registration office.
Do I have to camp at Havasu Falls?
No, you don’t. There is a lodge in the Supai Village with simple rooms available. Currently, all reservations must be made via telephone at (928) 448-2111 or (928) 448-2201.
Keep in mind that Supai Village is located about two miles from Havasu Falls, whereas the campground is right near the falls. So you’ll be adding an additional four miles each day to your trekking (to get to the falls and to get back again).
What amenities are available in the Supai Village and campground?
There are several restaurants in the Supai Village as well as a small store and a post office. We would NOT recommend waiting until you get to the village to stock up on groceries as they have a very limited (and expensive) supply.
Remember that the Supai Village is a two miles hike from the campground. It’s not really feasible to eat your meals in the village if you’re staying at the campground. However, we do recommend buying your last meal in the village before you begin the long 8-mile trek back to your car. After cooking over your camp stove for three days, a giant heap of cheesy nachos really hits the spot!
There is also a fry bread stand right at the entrance to the campground. We heard a lot of people rave about the fry bread but we felt it was a tad underwhelming.
Exploring Havasu Canyon
How scary is the hike down to Mooney Falls?
The path that leads from the top of Mooney Falls down to the bottom is steep and slippery. The worst part is when you are near the bottom. You’ll hold onto chains and climb down a metal ladder. The reason that this part is the scariest is that the mist from the waterfall turns everything into a wet, slippery mess. I found it far scarier to climb down than I did to climb up.
You may want to invest in a pair of anti-slip gloves to improve your grip on the chains.
Can kids hike down to Mooney Falls?
That totally depends on your child. It would probably be very difficult to do with a baby on your back, but kids over the age of 8 would likely find it easier to do than you will.
How long is the hike to Beaver Falls?
From the base of Mooney Falls, it’s another 2.5-ish-miles to Beaver Falls. It is mostly flat but there are several water crossings along the way.
Can I go to Beaver Falls without doing the hike to the bottom of Mooney Falls?
Unfortunately, no. You’ll have to make the descent to the bottom of Mooney Falls in order to hike down the canyon to Beaver Falls.
How are the water crossings to Beaver Falls?
There are several water crossings that you’ll need to do to get to Beaver Falls. The river bottom is filled with muck which is fine to do in bare feet but will feel pretty gross. You may want to invest in a pair of water shoes for your trek.
Is it worth hiking out to Beaver Falls?
Yes! We left early in the morning, took our time taking photos along the way, and had Beaver Falls all to ourselves before other people started arriving. The entire canyon is spectacularly beautiful and it would be a bummer to miss it!
Any questions that you still have about Havasu Falls? Comment below so we can answer them for you!
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