Havasu Falls Travel Tips, Havasupai Reservation, Arizona

We gathered our things, with eyes still sleepy, and prepared ourselves for the upcoming ten-mile hike into the Havasupai canyon. I was thankful Scott agreed with me about paying for a mule to carry our large packs. Ten miles is a long hike and it would have felt dreadfully longer with the weight of our camping gear and food.

Havasu Falls Travel Tips - Havasupai Canyon

We were headed to Havasu Falls, a gorgeous oasis in a remote part of the Grand Canyon. Havasupai means people of the blue-green waters and we soon found out how breathtakingly blue-green these waters really are.

If you are considering a trip to Havasu Canyon, you will want to come prepared. Not only with gear, but also armed with knowledge and tips from those who have gone before you. We learned a few things the hard way, so this post is intended to prevent others from making the same mistakes we did.

Havasupai Reservation - Hike to Havasu Falls Arizona
 

Planning a Trip to Havasupai Falls

Distance to Havasupai Lodge: 8 miles one way

Distance to Havasu Falls Campground: 10 miles one way

Closest Airport to Havasu Falls, Havasupai: Las Vegas airport is about 4 hours away

Reserve pack mules at least one week in advance.

We didn’t reserve a mule because we planned on carrying our packs. Right before we set out on our hike, we asked a tribe member if we could rent a mule even though it was last minute. He took our bags and we thought we were all set. Once we got down to the lodge (8 miles down the trail) the woman told us our bags were not guaranteed to make it to the campground (another 2 miles into the canyon) because we had not booked in advance. We spent the next 5 hours at the campground wondering what we would do with no clothes, food or camping gear because neither of us were in any condition to hike 10 miles back up the canyon. I don’t suggest this route.

Reserve a camping spot or make a lodge reservation at least three to four months in advance. For camping reservations, call 1-928-448-2141, 1-928-448-2121, 1-928-448-2174, or 1-928-448-2180. For lodge reservations, call 1-928-448-2111.

Plan to spend the night in your car (or pitch a tent) at the Hualapai Hilltop the first night so you can get an early start the next morning.

If you are hiking during the summer or fall, plan to begin your hike at first light. This will give you plenty of time for breaks and will make sure you are shaded from the scorching sun for most of the hike.

If you plan to take the helicopter, instead of hiking the last 8 miles out of the canyon, get there by 7 am to secure your place in line.

If you don’t get there early, you could be waiting until late afternoon for a ride out.

Havasu Falls, Arizona - Navajo Falls
 

How to Get to Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls, Navajo Falls and Mooney Falls are located in the south rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. The trail down to these falls begins at Hualapai Hilltop parking lot (which is where you will be sleeping the night before if you want to get an early start on the hike).

Hualapai Hilltop is at the end of Indian Road 18 which is 65 miles north of Route 66. Beware of cattle and wildlife on Indian 18 – especially after dark! This is no joke. We had to stop several times for cattle in the road and had to dodge a few bunnies.

GPS coordinates: 36° 9′ 44″ N, 112° 42′ 34″ W
36.162222, -112.709444
 

What to Bring to Havasu Falls

Good Shoes and Socks – Make sure your foot does not move around in your shoe. The downhill will give you blisters if you don’t have the right socks and shoes! Hiking shoes are recommended.

Water Shoes: Necessary for swimming and walking in the river. These shoes are perfect because they protect your toes, have grip on the bottom, and they dry quickly. I would use these to hike from waterfall to waterfall once you are in the canyon.

First Aid Kit: If you are camping, the nearest store is 2 miles away and they sell mostly food items. J&J sells an inexpensive mini first aid kit.

Mosquito Repellent: We got bites even though we were good about putting this on. We brought this one because it was small enough to add to our pack.

Camping Stove: We have done extensive research on the best and lightest backpacking gear for these types of trips. This backpacking stove is tiny, weighs next to nothing and it heats stuff up fast.

Cookware: We just bought this tiny cookware set for backpacking trips and it’s extremely compact.

Sleeping Bags: This sleeping bag is great for backpacking and it gets excellent reviews.

Tent: We love this lightweight Marmot 2-person tent.

Sleeping Pads: These ones are amazing!

Backpacks: If you are looking for a durable, light, and inexpensive backpack, we recommend the Teton Scout.

Solar Charger: We carry this solar charger to charge our phones and camera batteries.

Waterproof Camera: We use the GoPro Hero4 Silver with LCD.

Rope – For hanging clothes and trash (so the squirrels can’t get to it).

Biodegradable Soap – For washing dishes and bathing in the river.

Food – If you plan on camping, bring as much dehydrated food as possible to lighten your load. They sell dehydrated food packets at most camping stores. Other ideas for food include beef jerky, instant mashed potatoes, oatmeal, trail mix and nature bars.

Water – Bring enough water to get you through the hike down. You can buy water at the store near the lodge or if you are camping there is a natural spring to fill your water bottles for the rest of the trip.

Havasu Falls Campground Arizona
 

Best Time to Visit Havasu Falls

This will depend on personal preference, but our opinion of the best times to visit Havasu Falls is March through June.

We visited in early September and got hit with a few gnarly thunderstorms. We thought this would be the perfect time because the water is warmer than in the spring, but thunderstorms and constant rain can definitely ruin a trip where you plan to hike and swim all day.

Also, be aware if you visit during monsoon season (July to early September) that this area has a likelihood of flash floods.

 

Prices for Havasu Falls Camping, Pack Mules, Helicopter and Lodge

Prices as of September 2015 and all prices are in US Dollars:

Entrance Fee: $35 per person

Campground Fee: $17 per person/per night

Environmental Care Fee: $5 per person

Round Trip Pack Horse (Campground): $187

One Way Pack Horse (To or from campground): $93.50

Round Trip Pack Horse (Lodge): $120

One Way Pack Horse (To or from lodge): $70

Helicopter: $85 per person – One way

Lodge: $145 per night, plus $35 Entrance Fee. ($40.00 deposit per room/per night)

Please visit the official website of the Havasupai Tribe for more information.

 

Closest Hotels to Havasu Falls

If you are visiting during the winter or you just don’t want to sleep at the hilltop the night before you hike in, here are a few of the closest hotels to Havasupai Canyon.

Maswik Lodge Hotel – 66 miles from Havasu Falls

El Tovar Hotel – 67 miles from Havasu Falls

Canyon Plaza Resort – 60 miles from Havasu Falls

 

Plan Your Trip to Havasu Falls

After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.

Flights:

  • Momondo is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. It searches hundreds of sites for the best fare and includes both standard and budget airlines. The price calendar feature shows the cheapest days to fly in your preferred month of travel.

Accommodation: 

  • Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

 

Love to Travel?

Want to know how to travel the world? I’ve put together a page full of useful travel resources with tips and tricks I’ve learned after consistently traveling for over ten years. Learn how I make a living while traveling, how to find the best prices on flights and accommodation, my best travel tips, how to start a travel blog, and more.

For more ideas on gorgeous places to camp, visit this post with some of the best places to camp in California.
 

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. The price stays the same for you, but if purchased through this link, the company would pay us a small percentage of the sale, which helps to cover the costs of running this site.

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on .

  • Great information. I’d love to do this trip.

    • You should! Let us know if you end up going!

      • Jason_cb

        We are planning on going the first Week of May. We are wanting to camp for two nights.

        • Hi Jason. If I were you, I would try to make reservations now. They don’t take your credit card info, so if you decide you can’t make it, you won’t lose any money. Let us know if you need anymore tips. You are going to love it!

          • Lindsay

            We have called and called and left messages with no reply. How will we know if our reservation is accepted?

  • Marlys Alfiler-Schuermann

    That looks so great! We were in Arizona last year on a Four Corners driving holiday but never got to any real trails. Hoping to organise something next year.

    • There is definitely a lot of beautiful places in Arizona that I have never even considered before either. Hope you can plan a trip there soon!

  • Technosyncratic

    I had never heard of Havasu Falls before reading your posts on it, but now I’d really love to visit.  Road trip!!

  • Sounds like you learned some lessons on this trip! Thanks for sharing them. Would like to take this trip and see the falls. Beautiful pics!

    • It seems we are always learning lessons while traveling. lol. 🙂

  • Trans_Americas_Journey

    Excellent post, it really is everything you need to know for a successful trip. Havasu is one of those rare places that is truly unique and breathtakingly beautiful, and more than worth the (considerable) effort of getting there. If you don’t mind a little plug of our own, here is the post from our hike to Havasu back in 2009 – http://trans-americas.com/blog/2009/10/havasu-falls/

  • wow beautiful pictures and the water looks s clear and pretty

  • Tobias

    Great information. Hadn’t heard about this place before. Looks spectacular!

  • Thanks for the info and awesome photos! Havasu Falls is on my list of places to visit. 🙂

  • Lisa

    The views are stunning. I would love to experience that waterfall. I cant imagine your horror at wondering if your packs would arrive. That is very important information to have. 

    • It wasn’t our finest hour. 🙂 Although, it did give us the opportunity to meet our camping neighbors who turned out to be really awesome and we still keep in touch on FB.

  • Wow!  No clue it took this much planning.  Good to know!

    • Yea, it’s not the easiest place to visit, but that’s what makes it so cool!

  • Sherry

    I never really paid attention to the cost to go here, but dang – its expensive! I should’ve been much more thankful when I went. At the time it was a high-stress kind of place and preparation had a lot to do with it. This list would’ve been so useful. I guess now I know better. But through it all, we still had a wonderful time here, as it really is well worth it.

  • Beautiful falls and great tips, it sounds like it’s a lot more complicated than simply just showing up.

  • That looks awesome!  If I’m ever out in that area, I’ll definitely give it a visit!

  • Do they even let people camp out here? I would like to go here.

  • Camping Glamis

    Thanks for sharing your very useful tips! Great pictures! A place worth visiting. I would love to visit this place. It looks like a great place to de-stress and relax. 🙂

  • Great photos and write up of Havasu Falls!
    It’s been on my must visit list for years. When I heard there was a flood a few years ago taht wiped out and changed some waterfalls I didn’t know if it was still as special a place, but it definitely still looks amazing!

    • It’s definitely still worth visiting if you don’t mind the hike! 😉

  • kat

    Hi! Thanks for all the great info and amazing pictures! I am planning a trip to Havasu Falls in late March. I was wondering how many days/nights you spent in the canyon? How much hiking did you do while in the canyon? And, the picture of the girl in the river with the tent in the background, is that the campground??? It is soooo beautiful!

    • Hi Kat!

      We are so glad you found this post helpful! We spent 2 nights in the canyon and 1 night in the parking lot. We would have loved to stay longer and would suggest at least 3 nights in the canyon if you have the time. We hiked around a bit from our campsite. Scott went down to Mooney Falls, but unfortunately didn’t get to stay very long because we were hit with a scary thunderstorm with powerful gusts of wind.

      We hiked up to Havasu Falls and Navajo Falls quite a few times. These are fairly short hikes. Our legs were very sore from the hike down, so it would have been nice to have a day to recoup so we had more energy to hike even further down the canyon.

      That photo is Christy right in front of our campsite!! It is really an amazing place. Highly recommended. Let us know if you need any more info!

  • gene

    planning going camping Nov. havasupai…….any tips

  • matt

    me and my wife are planning a trip there next spring. your posts have been very helpful in scheduling and budgeting 🙂

  • Never heard of Havasu Falls also. But base on the pictures and your post sounds like its a really wonderful place and a one of a kind tourist destination. Would love to travel sooner there.

  • Micah

    Hi i am planning this trip and I live in a alaska so I am going to fly. will I have to rent a car when I get to the airport? or is there another way to get to the hilltop parking area (ie a bus or a taxi-ing service)?

    • We drove from San Diego, so I don’t know the particulars about flying. I would check with the tourist board in that area and see if they can give you any info on public transportation or taxi to the hilltop. My guess is that it would be less expensive to rent a car. Good luck!

  • Misty

    I have been there 3 times. It is one of my favorite places in the whole world!

    • It’s definitely one of those places you can visit over and over. I don’t think it would ever get old!

  • Karina Hernandez

    WOW, I found the information I was so looking for. THANK YOU! I see however this was about a year ok.. I have an additional question I am needing to know if there is any water crossing, because we will be taking camera equipment and kids ranging from 8-15 years of age. So just wanted to know if you can provide a little more detail about the hike. It will be a total of 11 people 4 adults 7 children/youth ages? I am assuming the hike with the kids will be slower for us…

    • Hi Karina. I’m glad you found this information helpful! There were no water crossings when we were there. Our feet stayed completely dry and we brought plenty of camera equipment. You may get slowed down a bit with kids, but I guess it depends on the kids. Just be prepared for sore legs the next few days and you may want to consider the helicopter ride on the way back up!

      • Karina Hernandez

        Awesome, thank you for the info… kids are all athletic so they are very well prepared for soreness. I am so looking forward to this trip.

  • Guest

    My dad, great friend and I are heading down this weekend! I have had a few friends that have gone, I made sure to make a reservation. Luckily we are going in the spring, so my dad and I are not bringing a tent. Him and I are from AK, so dealing with bug bites is in our blood. My question is, I understand being sore from the hike and wanting to recover, but can you give a scale of 1-10? And do you mind me asking how active everyone you went with was? I’m trying to gauge what to expect, if you get my gist. We are short on time, and will only be sleeping in the canyon for one night and I am a little nervous it wont be enough. We are planning on driving up to the “parking lot” and sleeping the night prior to the hike, to ensure an early and rested start. Also, are there plenty of trees in the campground to hang a hammock?

  • Kms

    My dad, great friend and I are heading down this weekend! I have had a few friends that have gone, I made sure to make a reservation. Luckily we are going in the spring, so my dad and I are not bringing a tent. Him and I are from AK, so dealing with bug bites is in our blood. My question is, I understand being sore from the hike and wanting to recover, but can you give a scale of 1-10? And do you mind me asking how active everyone you went with was? I’m trying to gauge what to expect, if you get my gist. We are short on time, and will only be sleeping in the canyon for one night and I am a little nervous it wont be enough. We are planning on driving up to the “parking lot” and sleeping the night prior to the hike, to ensure an early and rested start. Also, are there plenty of trees in the campground to hang a hammock?

    • Hi! I think you will be fine doing the hike two days in a row as long as you are relatively in shape. Just bring lots of water! The hike has plenty of flat areas, but be prepared for plenty of hills as well. I’m not sure how to scale it. For me the hike was an 8 or 9 just because of the length. I’m not used to hiking 10 miles of hills in one day. I usually do 4-6 miles max. Your legs will be sore, but I’m sure you can do it! There are trees in the campground, but it would depend on which site you get and I’m not sure if they allow hammocks on the trees? I would call to make sure. Otherwise, you can sleep on the picnic table. We considered it when our gear almost didn’t show up. Enjoy!

      • MaryE2

        Hammocks were okay in 2015.

  • Tina

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you flew into AZ and then drove to the Hilltop? If so, how long was the drive or what would you recommend is the best way to get to the trail.

    • Hi Tina. We drove from San Diego, so I’m not sure how to get from the airport to the hilltop. You may need to rent a car. Have fun!

  • Tina

    How difficult would you the trail is on a scale 1-5. Is it overall safe?

    • I would say it’s a 4, just because there are a lot of hills and because of the length — 10 miles each way. It’s completely safe and there are no sketchy spots. Just be ready for a LONG hike! 🙂

  • Tax Ifornia

    all great information..
    Will the girl in the picture be our guide?

    .Thanks

  • Can you park your car for free at the hill top for the few days you stay at the bottom? Also approximately how long will the hike take from the hilltop down to the campsite? I would call myself a novice hiker, but I am in shape. Thanks for all the info this helps a lot!

    • Hi Jordan,

      Yes, the hilltop is free. It took us about 5 hours, if I recall correctly, with frequent stops. Have fun!

      • Joyce Luciana Silva

        Hello everyone! I’m going to visit Vegas by mid august and I’m planning to visit South rim GC, and Havasu Fall, I rent a car for the trip. I’m planning to get in hilltop by early in the morning like 7:00 am, and reserve a helicopter ride to the campsite, and enjoy the havasu waterfall in one day and rent a camp for just one night and leave early in the morning?? Because I still have to drive to south rim to spend another day, so I’m planning to do this trip in 3 days.. 1 and half in the havasu fall and another 1 and half at south rim.. what you guys think and what you suggest..because I still need to spend the other 4 days in Vegas!!

        • If it were me, I would stay at Havasu Falls all 3 days instead of trying to do both. If you are set on doing both though, getting the helicopter both in and out will save you some time, but be aware that you have to wait in line for the helicopter and it can take hours to get a ride out. We were almost first in line, but they let the locals go first (and they don’t have to stand in line) and there is only one helicopter, so we waited over two hours before we got a ride up. If you are in good shape, it might be quicker to do the hike up instead of waiting for the helicopter. Have fun!

  • Tommi Howell

    Ordinary Traveler,
    If there are no reservations available, do you know if you can still hike down and see the falls without having to stay and camp down there?

    • I don’t see why not — as long as you are prepared for hiking twenty miles that day or taking the helicopter down in the morning and hiking back up.

    • E Star

      Try calling back as they often receive cancellations last minute. We called the week before we left and got a reservation for the lodge. The air conditioning, cool shower and a bed were worth the price.

      The hike isn’t technical, it is just difficult due to length, sun exposure and heat. We hiked down in 3 1/2 hours but took 5 to hike out due to lots of rest breaks and a siesta. Bring a lot of water. We drank a gallon on the way down and more on the way up.

      There were hammocks in the trees.

      Well worth the planning.

  • Lili Uokalani

    Thanks for this info! We plan to go first Saturday of August until Tuesday 2013. So the camping gear rental place will deliver the gear to any location, like a hotel in Las Vegas? How did you return the gear? Thanks again! -Lily

    • Yes, they will have it shipped to your requested destination and you just ship it back! We had it shipped to our house and once we got home, we shipped it back to them. Have fun!

  • Dana

    Awesome! I’m doing the hike for the first time in September with friends! My husband has done it a few times but he’s not as detailed as you so this is VERY helpful. Question, though. We are only planning on staying one night but I’m starting to think we should stay two so that we can really see the sights. What say you?!!!

    • Definitely stay two if you can! If you are anything like me, you won’t want to do much walking after you get to the campsite the first day. My legs were jello. :0 I definitely recommend a day in between the two 10-mile hikes. Either way though, you will love it!

      • Dana

        Thank you! That’s exactly what I was thinking. This will only be my third time camping in all my 38 years! The other two times were in college and they were a disaster. I’ve hated hiking my entire life until I had my second child last year and now I can’t get enough of it! So excited!

  • Guest

    Wow !!! Its all image is too beautiful of havasu falls, Arizona. Its really best place for travelling. Its too good.

  • Jade

    I’m planning to go to Havasu Falls in this Oct. but I’m not planning to hike due to my disability. I would like to take a helicopter ride round trip. Do you have more information on the helicopter ride? I was told that waiting list is very long and its not first come first serve.

    • Hi Jade. We got in line for the helicopter ride at around 7am and we were one of the first in line. The helicopter doesn’t arrive until 10am and they will take tribe members first. It’s a lot of waiting, but as long as the weather is good, you will get down the mountain. Just keep in mind, if you plan on camping, there is another 2-mile hike from where the helicopter drops you off. There is a hotel near the heli pad if you want to avoid the hike. Have fun!

  • Bridget

    Hi!

    This has been the most helpful informaton I’ve found on the web. THANK YOU!-Especially the gear rental tip! 🙂 My husband and I are thinking of going to Havasupai Falls next spring. We’re novice hikers and have never gone backpacking before. I’ve been researching and researching and I’d love some advice(and maybe a reality check) from someone who’s done the trip.

    We’d be driving in from Seattle so our trip would look a little like this:

    Day 1-Drive 12 hours from Seattle-Salt Lake City spend the night in hotel
    Day 2-Drive 11 hours from Salt Lake City to the Hilltop (we want to get there before dark) Spend the night on the hilltop
    Day 3-wake up before sunrise and hike down
    Day 4-spend the whole day in canyon exploring/relaxing
    Day 5-spend another whole day in the canyon
    Day 6-spend a 3rd whole day in the canyon
    Day 7-Fly out of the canyon via helicopter & drive 9 hours to the Los Angeles area to hang out on the beach
    (we want to make the most of our trip while we’re down that way and check out the coast-do you think we will be mentally/physically too tired to do this?)

    Day 8-hang out on the beach all day/explore/relax
    Day 9-hang out on the beach al day/explore/relax
    Day 10-Drive north to Mt. Shasta to do some camping
    Day 11-spend full day at Shasta
    Day 12-leave Shasta in the morning, drive 9 hours back to Seattle.
    Sorry for the epic comment.
    Thanks!!!!!
    Bridget

    • That sounds like an amazing trip! I think you will be fine and not too tired considering you will be spending three full days in the canyon. That will give you plenty of time to relax. If you want to visit San Diego instead of LA, you can find suggestions on beachy things to do on our site. Either way, I think it sounds like a great plan!

      • Bridget

        Thank you! I’ll check out your suggestions on the beaches around San Diego!

  • luvlululemon

    would you recommend going to the falls the first day after the 10 mile hike or the next day before we go back up? I am planning my trip for the last weekend of October and I know it will still be pretty cold.

    • If you only have two days total, I would try to leave as early as possible from the hilltop and do the falls on the way to the campground. You will need more time hiking up, unless you are really strong hikers. Have fun!

      • luvlululemon

        Thanks for the advice. I was also wondering about the water & food source. Can I drink from the stream if I bring a brita water filter? I the small cafe next to the waterfall or the hotel. We are staying at the havasupai lodge. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

        • No problem! There is a cafe next to the Lodge. I’m not sure about drinking the water from the stream — I only know about the water from the springs at the campground. You can buy water at the market near the Lodge though.

          • luvlululemon

            A couple more questions. How close is the campsite to the lodge? I also understand that we need to pay for an enterance fee, where can I do this?

          • I don’t know about the entrance fee. We paid for camping, so I’m not sure how it works if you are staying at the lodge. You can ask once you get there. The campground is about 2 miles from the lodge.

          • Guest

            Thank you so much for all the information. I have a group on 12 hiking with me. Just trying to be organized and prepared. After this hike I am thinking about Yosemite park half dome. Have you done this hike?

          • No, we haven’t been to Yosemite. It’s on our list!

  • Ashley

    Are there any primitive areas in which people can set up camp along the riverside? I want an isolated getaway so I can go skinny dipping! And I can’t find anywhere other than the Havasupai Res that interests me

    • Not that I know of. I think they want you to stay in the designated camping areas.

      • Molly Milano

        Thank you so much for the info!! I’m trying to get a reservation for late September, early October, they don’t open for reservations until February 1, and they said they will be swamped with calls for reservations… So is it extremely difficult to get a reservation?

        • No problem! It definitely takes some persistence. Just keep calling and you should be able to get through. Good luck!

  • Marilyn Abbink

    Thanks for the great advice, thinking about a March trip…

    • No problem! March would be a great time — although I’m not sure how cold the water would be for swimming. Enjoy!

  • Altu Phaltu

    Thanks for this site! I seem to have under-estimated this trip and it looks its not a ‘one-day trip’ from Vegas. Since we have a bit of time on our hands (group of five) for an overnight thing –

    1) What is available at the Hilltop to rent or buy (items or tour offices)

    2) What is available down to eat (vegs please :))
    3) Is Dec holidays ok to do the hike
    4) What is the wildlife we need to watch out for (and enjoy!)
    5) Is there only one Helicopter service (the one I called is not operating currently)

    • Hi Altu. Yes, a day trip wouldn’t be possible. There is nothing to buy or rent at the Hilltop — it’s just a parking lot. I don’t remember exactly what they have in the stores for food. Nothing too special — lots of canned goods. I’m not sure if they are open in December, so I would call first. We didn’t see any wildlife. 🙂 Yes, there is only one helicopter service. You may want to visit at a time when they are operating.

  • Elisa Mestres

    Dear Ordinary Traveler !
    Great article ! lots of useful information ! it looks soooo beautiful !
    i have a few questions ! 🙂 Me and my boyfriends are planning a trip to havasupai falls and we were thinking to sleep in the car or wherever around the car the ” night before ” at the hilltop parking . Then get up really early to start the hike before its too hot , sleep at the lodge , take the helicopter to go back up the next day, and go to spend the night in las vegas ! Do you think this is doable ? ( we are in really good shape but are not used to hike a lot . )
    Thank u so much in advance for all your informations
    Elisa

    • Hi Elisa. It’s definitely possible. Just make sure to get an early start on your hike down as well as getting a place in line for the helicopter. Have fun!

  • Carl Joe Wright

    I’ll take note that the best time to go in Havasu Falls is from March through JUne. I learn a lot from your blog. Thanks Ordinary Traveler.

  • Deb

    Do you have to book your entrance fee in advance? I hear there is a limit on number of visitors per year. Also, I know you did not stay at the lodge but I understand that it is a few miles from the actual falls, is that correct? Does the helicoper leave from the village vs. nearer the falls? Thank you for any information you can share with me.

    • We camped there, so I’m not sure about any sort of entrance fee. I personally wouldn’t show up without any reservations. Yes, the lodge is a few miles from the falls. The helicopter pad is very close to the lodge, not the falls.

      • Deb

        Thanks for the information. We do know that this is a trip to be planned in advance—- we hope to go next spring.

  • Veaney Enriquez

    Hello, how long does the 10 mile trek take you? I was told by another person in a traveling website that this Havasu Falls trip is a 3-day trip minimum: One to hike down, one to stay at the falls, and one to hike back up. But this seems like a lot. Also, did you get to see any of the other falls? Mooney, Beaver (I don’t really know how far they are from each other)? By the way your article has been one of the most helpful. I had been trying to search exactly where you park before the hike and now I know that it is Hualapai Hilltop parking lot! I’ve lived in Arizona all my life and never been, so a trip to the Falls is definitely needed.

  • Theis Roksvåg Pedersen

    Hi, Christy!

    Me and my girlfriend are planning on visiting Havasupai in June. Unfortunately, both the lodge and the camping ground are fully booked by now. So we’re thinking about sleeping in the car at Hualapai Hilltop, and then start our hike before sunrise in the morning – and return before the sun sets in the evening.
    I therefore have three questions:
    * Do we have to book a parking lot at Hualapai Hilltop in advance?

    * How many hours did you use to walk one way?
    * When does the sun set in the area in June?

    Best from Norway,
    Theis and Natalie

  • Agnieszka Spuzak

    What do you do if you go there first and you have other destinations to go and have some laptops and etc in the car?

    • I think this was one of the only trips where we didn’t bring our laptops. I would suggest leaving them in the car — out of sight.

  • Tae Srisurapol

    Thanks for good insight! How many days do you think is the right amount toe spending time at all the falls without rushing?

  • ryan

    Not sure if this thread is still open, but planning to go to Havasupai in May, and wondering where the best place is to fly into that is not too far of a drive to Hualapai Hilltop?

    • The closest airport is Vegas and it’s about a 3-4 hour drive from there.

  • ashley

    did they not let you sign up for a reservation until feb? Thanks for all the tips!

    • I honestly don’t know the procedure. We didn’t try to book anything in January.

  • Wendyl

    Hi Christy, Great info provided in your article. Just wondering if there are grills at the lodge for cooking. We would like to bring some of our own food. Planning 3 day trip in August 2015.

    • They didn’t have them when we were there. I highly doubt they put any in, but I’m not 100% sure.

    • Rafael Cardoso

      Hello Wendyl, when are planing to go?

  • Jan Kroon

    Hi Christy. Great blog.
    Do you know by any chance of there are rental tents at the campground.
    We are planning trip end of september this year. Lodge is fully booked 🙁 so camping may be good alternative and maybe even prettier.
    But we are nog able to take tents and gear with us.

    Regards from Holland.

  • Hayley

    Planning a road trip for last week in May. Grand Canyon is our first stop and I’d love to see Havasu falls. Can you also rent a stand up paddle board or kayak once you get there? Any and all advice would be appreciated! Thank you!!

    • I don’t think they have any of those type of rentals down there — unless something has changed since we visited.

  • Jamie

    Thanks you Christy for your knowledge of hiking and sharing. My family and I are planning to hike to Havasu Falls in May and I have a question about what is the proper shoe to wear. Are sneakers OK on the trail or do you recommend a hiking boot? My hiking boots are rather heavy and tend to weigh me down so I am concerned they will tire me out before reaching the bottom. Thanks for your input!

  • Ruth In Wisconsin

    Prettiest place in the US. I’ve liked down 4 times!

  • Ruth in Wisconsin

    Prettiest place in the US. I’ve been down 4 times Always stayed in the ‘hotel.”

  • Jaycee

    Hi,

    I’m planning to go and celebrate my birthday here on June. I called them and didn’t get any reservation cos it’s all booked until November. I was thinking that if i go there without a reservation. Do they still give you camping spot?

    • No, they won’t give you one and you will be stuck having to hike the 10 miles out again. It’s gotten extremely popular since I visited and it looks like it’s tough to get a reservation.

  • Maggie

    What’s the deal with the helicopter? First come, first served? Does it just run all day? I can’t find much info on it. I am hoping to go next month (couldn’t get a lodge reservation) but was thinking maybe it could be a day trip if I helicoptered at least one way (maybe??).

    • Day trip would be extremely tough and would really depend on how early you could get a flight down. We got in line for the helicopter a 6am and still had to wait until about noon to get a ride. They allow the locals to go first and they can only fit a few in each helicopter.

  • Josue Climaco

    Looking foe any available reservation for the 1st week of june. 2 days
    dio1climaco@gmail.com
    I’m desprate!!!! i plan to get laid that nite…aka i’m a virgin
    thank you!!!

  • Rafael Cardoso

    I would love to visit such a beautiful place. Would someone like to go from Las Vegas? If so, please let me know! I will be in the U.S. until January 2016

  • Jade Newman

    Would you suggest taking the helicopter? Or did you hike?

  • Colby Hazard

    We have a reservation for this coming weekend. The weather says 50% chance of rain. Is it still worth going? Do you know of a reliable website that can show how big a storm is going to be? I don’t want to drive 14 hours or hike in if there is going to be a big storm. I might just have to wait for another time.

  • MaryE2

    Just to make people aware that you need to be a skilled rider to take the horses up the trail since they run up the canyon as they are competing for trail space with the pack horses. I suffered severe injuries when I fell off. Also, if you take the helicopter and plan to camp, consider using a packhorse for your pack. It is a rough two mile walk to the campground.

  • Crystal Stanley

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me more about the campsites? Are there restrooms, do they have a lot of trees for say putting a hammock up? Do all the campsites have picnic tables? I saw in some pics it looks like people used sand bags to secure there tents instead of stakes? Does that work better? Suggestion on the amount of water one should hike down with? I was thinking 4 liters/person, does that sound about right? Tell me one thing you wish you would have brought but did not?

    • Hi Cera. The campsites do have picnic tables, although, I’m not sure about the ones across the river, but I think those do as well. Lots of trees, but I guess it really depends on your campsite whether or not there is a good spot for a hammock. Tent stakes are fine. Four liters per person is the recommended amount of water for the hike down. If it’s really hot going up, I would take more if you can.

      • Cera

        Thanks for the info! ???????? what type of pack did you hike with?

  • Lauren @ atipsygypsylife.com

    Ah I’m making the drive from New Orleans to San Diego and wanted to stop by… I completely forgot about monsoon season :'(

  • Mickey

    Awesome information! Thanks for all the great tips! Cant wait to go next year!

  • Wicked photos. That waterfall is epic. Definitely a place I have to visit. I am in Phoenix right now, so it’s only a hop and a skip away 🙂

  • Jenn

    I’m trying to figure out as I’m researching before I book my reservation at camp group … How do people get coolers down into the canyon. I can’t imagine a mule would be able to carry an ice cooler..

  • All the waterfall images are great.

  • holly

    I am considering going for spring break in march. What do I need to do in order to make it happen?

  • Katie

    I know this was posted 4 years ago, I found this very helpful. I know someone that has gone. This planning helps alot! But I was also wondering what the absolute best shoes are for the trip? Planning on first week of may.

  • Colleen

    I called their office and was informed that mules and horses are no longer provided by the reservation, unfortunately.

  • Rebecca Oh

    ANy tips on getting a reservation? I’ve called all four numbers like 100 times all day. I get only busy signals or rings then prolonged silence. Thanks!

    • I wish I did! It might be a bad time to call since it’s February 2nd. I believe they start taking reservations on February 1st for all of 2016 camping, so everyone is trying to get through right now.

      • Rebecca Oh

        haha ok thanks!

  • Alicia Baker

    Great overview! I’m so excited to go. I was on the phone for 17 HOURS total this week trying to get my reservation. May and June were booked so I’ll be going July 7-11th. Hoping it doesn’t rain! -Alicia @www.girlonahike.com

  • Jaclyn Vasquez

    I have been trying to get in contact with the campground for DAYS and every single time I call it’s BUSY… Can anyone help with other ideas pleaseee?!!?!?!

    • Kmaw

      I have also been trying for several days. I have been twice now but it’s never taken so long to get through. I wish they had a better way of contacting or reserving. I guess keep trying, and cross your fingers.

      • Jaclyn Vasquez

        Were you able to get through? I also came across two email address to email them but so far no response :(. I’ve continued calling and still no luck. I wonder if they have anything into May still available. Thank you for replying! 🙂

        • See my reply to Rebecca from yesterday for more information about how their reservations work. Also, there has been a lot of recent press on Havasu Falls so it’s likely going to be a lot tougher to get a reservation from here on out. 🙁

          • Jaclyn Vasquez

            Thanks for the reply! Yes I have been calling everyday since Feb 1st and can’t get through :(. I wish they had a better answering system they really need it.

      • Jourdan Fluke

        I’m in the same dang boat! I’ve been calling all four phone lines every day since Monday and it either rings and rings or just cuts out and the call doesn’t go through after 3 rings or so. Sent an email on the 1st and still no response. I’ve been in touch with them since last fall to keep confirming that Feb 1 is when i have to wait until to make the reservations and had no problems getting them on the line then. Selfishly, it’s been so frustrating to see all the media surrounding Havasu falls – i cringe every time i see all the outdoors/wilderness instagram accounts posting photos now because i know its just making it harder to get down there! Haha but i’m sure it’s great for them and the town of Supai. If anyone has any luck i’d love to hear about how you succeeded! I’ve given up on thinking i’m going for memorial day weekend and now am shooting for September hoping there’s still spots open then. I read somewhere on someone’s blog that while showing up without a reservation is not recommended – and they will charge you double – they’ve never heard of them turning anyone away if you have money in your hands. So wondering if it’s worth it to pay extra to make it happen and risk just showing up down there during a time when you’d think it’d be a little less busy…i mean it’s still probably cheaper than a luxurious vacation to another sweet place!

        • I hear you about the recent publicity. When we first went over four years ago, nobody knew anything about Havasu Falls. Part of me wanted to keep it a secret back then, but with Instagram, it’s nearly impossible now. We’re going again in September (we booked the lodge a few months ago) and I’m wondering how annoying it will be to have everyone trying to get the same shot that all the Instagrammers always take. Lol. I personally wouldn’t show up without a reservation just because I know what lies ahead if they turn me away. I would probably be hiking back up the trail well into the dark and whining the entire way after already hiking 10 miles that day. I wonder where they would put people that just show up if there are no campsites available? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous place and totally worth the effort of getting a reservation, but it’s not the ONLY gorgeous place. There are so many spots in the USA that are just as gorgeous, in my opinion.

          • Jourdan Fluke

            awesome – thanks for the insight. I think i read you have to call the lodge, too? No online booking there either, correct? Are they easier to get a hold of?

          • Yes, phone calls only. I doubt they are any easier to get in touch with right now since everybody is trying to get a reso. It’s just a really bad time to try to get through.

          • IH

            What is all the recent press?

  • Lance Gore

    Did you have problems calling to get a reservation?

    • Jourdan Fluke

      I still can’t get through!!! To any of the phone lines or the lodge! And it doesn’t seem like they’re legit phone lines because they all end up just going dead or making a weird noise or not ringing at all!!

  • Erica Brooks

    If anyone has a spot they’d be willing to sell to me and my friend at the campgrounds anytime in the last week of May, please email me at brookser@vt.edu I will pay lots. Unfortunately they are out of camping sites until August, as I’m sure most of you know.

  • Jose G

    Do you know if anyone has enter the camp without a reservation? Anyone? I keep calling and calling but I cant make a reservation. Anyone please!!!

  • Kristin

    Hello! My husband and I are planning on doing this hike next year! We are so excited! We were wondering what kind of food the lodge offered? Is it junk food, dehydrated food, or snack type foods?
    Thanks!
    Kristin

    • Hmm… There were some sandwiches at the restaurant, but I can’t remember what else. I’ll update the article when we go later this year because I’m sure we will be eating there. 🙂

  • Emma

    Hi Christy, thanks for this article. Our trip is towards the end of July and there are a few people in our group who are super concerned about not having the blue waters due to all of the rain. It looks like you guys were able to still experience that despite the rain? Any words to calm them down? Thanks!

    • I honestly don’t think the water turns brown unless it’s a pretty intense rain — like close to a flash flood. If that is the case, you won’t want to be anywhere near the water anyway. 😉 Hope that helps!

  • Jamie

    I’ve heard that there is a 10% Tribal Tax on the Entry Fee and the Campground fee. Did you find this to be true? Thank you! My husband and I are planning our trip for September this year and we are so excited!

  • Lacy Caldwell

    Hi there, great information! My friend and I have an opportunity within the next three weeks… not sure if it’s enough time but we going to see. Would love to pick your brain on a couple of things if you are available!

  • Lizbeth Vargas

    Hi I found your post to be extremely helpful.. Is a guided tour needed or can you hike to the havasu falls from the campground on your own?

    • The falls are less than a mile from the campground and everything is self guided in the canyon. Enjoy your trip!

  • IH

    You mentioned it might be harder to visit given the recent press – what are you referring to and why do you think that is? Just curious as I am planning a trip at the end of April. Thanks!

    • I blame Instagram. 😉 Lots of Instagrammers post about it and I’ve seen it on big sites like the NY Times in the past 6 months.

      • dariusz

        hi
        mi and my wife are going to havasu falls next week could you tell me just about entrance fees where do we buy it???
        regards
        dariusz

  • Rachele Maskrey Cooper

    What is the best airport to fly into? And aprox. how long is the drive from the air port to the trailhead?

    • Las Vegas airport is about 4 hours away. I recently rented a car in Vegas and my biggest advice is to give yourself PLENTY of time when returning the car. It seems there is always construction going on around the airport and it can be difficult getting to the rental car return garage if you get stuck in the construction traffic.

  • HazzyLizzy

    Does anyone know if u are allowed to hike to any waterfall without having to stay a night? I would like to do a day hike without staying.

    • I think so. Just be prepared to hike 20 miles that day unless you get lucky and get a helicopter flight down early and hike back up. It’s not an easy day trip.

  • Christina

    Hi, great article! I know you did this with your husband but I was wondering if this trip would be too much for someone to do on their own. I’m in my early 20s and in good physical shape, I’ve done a lot of hikes before (never ones this long though), and I’ve camped (but never gone by myself). Thanks!

    • Sorry for the delayed reply! You should be fine. There are a lot of other people on the trail. Have fun!

  • Tracy Gee from CA

    Thank you for this article. My dream was to go my birthday weekend (August 11) but Ive come to find out thats monsoon season and that scares me. We just came back from a 5 day roadtrip from Colorado to CA. We hit up Arches, Zion, Grand Canyon South Rim and Hoover Dam. After visiting South Rim, I’m determined to visit Havasupai. As of today 4/30/16, they are already booked for camping and at the lodge for the entire season. No chance of getting in this year 🙁 However Im already planning for 2017. Im super excited after reading your article. Thank you so much for all your tips. I cant wait to go and share all about it. We hope to visit in May 2017.

  • Joey

    Since you drove to Havasu falls and I am doing the same, Google Maps isn’t showing me how to get there. It’s only showing me the closest city which is North Rim. How do I find the parking lot where I can park?

    • GPS coordinates: 36° 9′ 44″ N, 112° 42′ 34″ W

      36.162222, -112.709444

  • Rick

    Hello, and thanks for all the great info. It’s good to get some insider scoop on the Havasupai trip. I’m a fellow photo enthusiast & enjoyed your pix. Regarding your shots that are taken from very high up above the falls, are these along the normal hiking trail, or did you take a side hike to get to that elevation? Thanks.

    • Hi Rick. I honestly don’t remember. I don’t think it was tough to find that vantage point. We’re visiting Havasu Falls again in September, so we’ll update the guide with more tips after that trip!

      • Rick

        I’m back! We went last week. Stunning, stunning, stunning! Came back with 800+ pix & now down to 700. The most photogenic place I’ve ever been to. Not sure if it was your info where I read about the grotto just past Mooney, but that was my favorite spot. Thanks for all the great info you post about Havasu as well as the other locations. It’s invaluable.

        • That’s so great to hear! Did it feel crowded? I’m a little nervous about how much it’s changed in 5 years. I’m so glad the post was helpful!

  • sri reddy

    Hi Christy,
    Thank you so much for the detailed info on HavasuFalls trip.
    I called them and they said the campsite is booked until end of the year 2016.

    I am wondering if we are allowed to visit the Havasu/Navajo Falls without the Prior Reservation.

    My Idea is I’ll fly-down in first helicaptor, spend couple of hours at falls and walk back the same day.
    or hike down, spend couple of hours at falls and then flyback up in the last helicaptor.
    Or I’ll do the same day trip(like grand-canyon rim-river-rim same day hike)

    Thank you
    Sri Reddy

    • I don’t think that will be a problem. Keep in mind that the wait for the helicopter can be a pain. We waited for almost 3 hours, I think. Good luck!!

      • sri reddy

        Thank you very much Christy and it is very kind of you!!(promptly replying to so many questions from everyone.)

  • Adrienne

    Did you leave your tent and gear at the campsite when you did daily hikes? Would you recommend brininging a day pack for the trips to beaver and mooney falls or brining my bigger pack with stove and essentioals?

    • Definitely leave your things at camp. I would just bring your money and camera equipment for the day hikes.

  • Madison

    I’m trying to plan a trip for next summer, and I’ve read a ton of great information so far. My only question is, what is the parking at the trail head like? I plan on camping for four days, is it safe to leave my car unattended and pretty far away for that length of time?