Hiking to Havasu Falls

Hiking to see Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon is an adventure you should add to your bucketlist if it’s not there already. Travel Channel has named Havasu Falls one of America’s Best Secret Swimming Holes and it’s easy to see why when you visit for yourself. If you hope to one day visit Havasu Falls you’ve come to the right place to find out all the best information about how to plan your visit to the waterfalls, and how to get there.

 

Where can I see this waterfall?

Havasu Falls is a 100ft (30m) tall waterfall found in Arizona, USA on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon. It is one of 5 major waterfalls found in this part of the Grand Canyon, called Havasu Canyon.

This area is only accessible on foot, by hiking 10 miles (16 km) into the canyon on a dusty and uneven trail. Permits are required for every person planning to make the hike and are issued by the Havasupai Indian Tribe. You can find more information about the tribe on the Havasupai Tribe website, or contact the tribe with the information below:

  • Phone: (928) 448-2121
  • Email: httourism0@havasupai-nsn.gov

You can also check out this helpful information about how to reserve Havasupai permits published by Arizona Outback Adventures, a local tour company who leads guided hikes into Havasu Falls.

Learn more about the location of Havasu Falls.

 

Can I visit the waterfalls in a single day?

No. Havasu Falls and the other major waterfalls in Havasupai are very remote and the hike to visit them is difficult. If you attempt to hike into visit them and back again in the same day, you will be planning to hike 20 miles (32 km) on a hot and dusty trail. The Havasupai Tribe generally does not allow this and will require you to pay the overnight fees and stay overnight.

There are many beautiful sights to see in the canyon, most people opt to stay at least 2 nights to allow for one full day of relaxation while exploring. Hiking into and out of the canyon requires at least half of a day and will take most of your energy. It is difficult to do much else on hike-in/out days.

 

Where can I stay when visiting Havasu Falls?

If you make the trek to visit Havasu Falls, you will need to stay overnight. You can choose to camp in the Havasupai campground or stay at the Havasupai Lodge. The lodge is the only true accommodations in the canyon. It is located in Supai Village, about 2 miles away from Havasu falls on foot. The lodge consists of very simple accommodations with no food or kitchen provided. The per room cost is rather high for the quality of accommodations. Most visitors choose to bring their own tent, stove, and other gear and camp in the campground.

Read on for more tips on Planning Your Trip.

 

All about the hike

Depending on your hiking experience and fitness level, the difficulty level of the hike into Havasupai can range from moderate to challenging. Before undertaking this hike, you should be confident that you are capable of walking 10 miles carrying a pack with at least 3 liters of water, four is recommended. The hike into Havasupai takes most people 4-5 hours to complete. Hiking into the canyon is not necessarily easier than hiking out. It takes some effort to adjust to walking on an uneven canyon bottom comprising of mostly sand and loose rock.

The trail from Hualapai Hilltop where you will park your car to  the Havasu Campground is sometimes steep and is always uneven. There is very little shade on the trail for the first 6 miles. Over the course of ten miles, the trail descends about 2,400 feet (730 m). Most of that descent is in the first 1.5 miles, which is all switchbacks. The switchback section of the hike has some steep drop-offs but the trail is rather wide. At the bottom of the switchbacks the trail flattens out and transforms into a wide, dry riverbed covered in gravel, sand and rock that weaves through the red cliffs of the canyon. If you start early enough in the day, the canyon walls will provide some shade, around mile 5 the canyon narrows and the walls stretch up around you. Take care when entering this section of the hike if there is any rain in the forecast due to risks of flash floods. The creek appears alongside the trail near mile 6.5, here there will be trees providing shade until you reach Supai village at mile 8.

See more Hiking Tips.