Havasu Falls
Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls is a remarkable waterfall in the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Arizona USA, within the Grand Canyon National Park. Vibrant blue water, contrasted with striking red rocks provides the canyon with an aura of ethereal beauty. A wide sandy beach and a plethora of shady cottonwood trees create the perfect spot for relaxation. The Havasupai tribe, who look after the reservation, have an intimate connection with both the water and land. The water is said to flow not only over the land, but through every member of the tribe.

Where is Arizona?
Havasu Falls are in the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand Canyon Map
Havasu Falls are just north of Supai (center of the map) in the land owned by the Havasupa 

History of Havasu Falls

The Havasu Falls have been in a constant state of change for the past hundred or so years. Rewind 100 years and the falls were totally unrecognisable. Water tumbled down the cliff in a 200ft (61m) curtain, rather than the single spout we are familiar with today. The most recent change came with the 2008 flood, where part of the current veil detached, resulting in the water now flowing out of only one side of the notch.

Interesting facts about Havasu Falls

‘Havasupai’ means people of the blue-green waters.

The stunning turquoise blue water at Havasu Falls is a result of dissolved calcium carbonate and magnesium that naturally occurs in Havasu Creek.

It’s possible to swim behind Havasu Falls, where you can enter a small rock shelter.

Havasu Falls was originally known as Bridal Veil Falls, before a flash flood roared through the canyon, changing the Falls appearance forever.

How to get to Havasu Falls

There are a number of ways to get to Havasu Falls. For active bodies, hiking is an option. The path to Supai starts at Hualapai Hilltop (the Havasupai trailhead), and leads you 10 miles down a trail that can be considered moderate in difficulty. Note that there are no services at Hualapai Hilltop – in fact, the nearest services are 106km (66mi) away in Peach Springs. Getting to the trailhead itself is something of a challenge. It takes an hour and a half to drive to the trailhead from Peach Springs and 3 hours from Flagstaff.

A popular alternative to hiking is to take a guided horseback ride into the canyon from Hualapai Hilltop. This is clearly a more expensive option in comparison to hiking, but it takes far less effort and can allow you to truly experience the canyon like a native. Finally, for the extravagant among us, Supai is serviced by Airwest Helicopters of Arizona. Once in Supai, it’s only a short, easy hike to the falls.

Visiting Havasupai Falls & Permits

In 2018 the rules and pricing changed. You can no longer buy a permit for a single days access. You have to have accommodation reserved in either the official Havasupai campsite or the lodge. The accommodation fees include all the necessary permits and taxes. There are three ways to see the falls; you can hike or visit the falls by helicopter or horse.

The Havasupai Campground & Havasupai Lodge

Havasupai Campground is next the base of the falls. If you want to stay in the Havasupai campground you will need to book well in advance. Reservations can be made on the tribes official website – havasupaireservations.com. You can book a minimum of 2 ($141) and a maximum of 4 nights ($202). These prices include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes. The camp ground is usually closed in December and January.

The Havasupai Lodge is 2 miles from the falls. You can only book over the phone; (928) 448-2111 or (928) 448-2201.

You should be aware that facilities at both the lodge and campsite are basic. There is water at the campsite but you need to take all your equipment and food with you. There are no catering facilities at the lodge but food can be bought in the local village.

Top safety tips

Stay hydrated. There’s no drinking water along the trail, so be sure to bring plenty of water. A minimum of 2 litres is advisable.
Do not wear headphones. You definitely don’t want to be ignorant to the possibility of a mule pack train coming up on your rear.
Avoid hiking in the middle of the day. The midday heat during summer can become unbearable – you do not want to be caught hiking in temperatures topping 100 degrees.

Where to stay near Havasu Falls

If you’re looking to extend your stay in the area surrounding Havasu Falls Creek, there are few options available to you. The nearest town is Peach Springs (1.5 hours drive from the trailhead) which is the nearest place for fuel, food and equipment. There are limited accommodation options in Peach Springs, Seligman and Kingman. More more options are available in the towns that serve Grand Canyon Village such as Williams and Flagstaff.

Guided Tours of Havasu Falls

If you enjoy guided tours, there are a number of companies offering trips to Havasu Falls. We recommend Wildland Trekking, who are highly rated on TripAdvisor, and take care of everything from meals to pack mules that will transport all of your gear in and out of the Canyon. Tours are often a good idea for those who are interested in learning more about the history of the region.

Best time to visit Havasu Falls

The best time to visit Havasu Falls depends on your priorities. If you want to swim in the stunning turquoise waters of Havasu Falls, then you should visit during either May/June or September/October, when the water is at a pleasant temperature. If you are looking to hike, then conditions are best in the earlier spring and later fall, though the water at this time of year will be cold enough to send a shiver down your spine. Finally, in the midst of summer, the hot temperature will heat the water to provide fantastic bathing opportunities but also results in hiking conditions that are far from ideal.

Havasu Falls Arizona
Havasu Falls Arizona

Picture taken early morning from the base of havasu falls.

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havasu-falls-arizona

havasupai-indian-reservation

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18 COMMENTS

  1. The tribal council have just increased the fees. To be fair it is the first time in years but be prepared for higher fees and also the need to pay in advance. The basic entrance fee is now $50 not $35, the camping fee has increased $8 to $25 per night. Don’t forget that there is also an ‘environment fee’ which is now $10 per person. I think taxes are on top of those fees.

  2. […] Escondida em uma das laterais do Grand Canyon, o lugar abriga uma das belas obras primas que o Rio Colorado reserva para nós, pobres mortais, a Havasu Falls. […]

  3. I would love to take my grandchildren but I don’t want them exposed to the inhumane treatment of the horses and mules go on to SusanAsh’s web site. Thank you

    • We just visited 2 weeks ago. The horses are fed and treated humanly and all look healthy and same with the mules. Heck even the dogs running around the village and camp ground were healthy. It is not a place for people under the age of 14.

      • really i am 12 and i have hiked numerous hills and canyons in mid-summer i also own lots of huge dogs I also love to go camping and own 3 horses and live near someone who owns mules so i think you are around spoiled kids to think that you have to be over 14

        • That is the most amazing run-on sentence I’ve read this year. I think you may want to spend less time hiking and more time working on your English and grammar.

          • You realize they are 12. You told a 12 year old their sentence was a run-on sentence. Maybe you should be the one who needs to take a long look in the mirror.

  4. Well here’s what this article doesn’t tell you…. it’s permit only if you get down to the village and you have no reservation permit you will be told to turn back around and leave. Permits are not easy to come by you must apply by phone or the official website. Oh and yeah you and 1 million other people are applying for permits as well. And here’s the bad news the campground only holds about 200 people. So the chances of obtaining a permit is slim to none. My friends from Arizona refer to getting a havasupai permit as “winning the lottery”. But if your rich like a couple grand a permit rich you can hire these travel companies because they seem to buy up 80 percent of the 200 open permits per weekend in the prime time weekends. Which makes it even harder to obtain a permit oh and of that don’t seem unfair enough Arizona Residents also have priority over out of state or out of country.

    • OK, so if that is the case…that is a pretty important piece of information! Why did the article not mention that. Can you imagine driving across the country to be turned around?? Shame on the writers of this article for “forgetting to mention” that little tidbit!

  5. Demand for permits is likely seasonal. I went there in November, called and received a permit a couple of weeks before going. There were about ten visitors total on the couple of days I was there. Oh, and the water was still warm then as well.

  6. Me and my fiance are looking for a honeymoon location and we both would love to visit the falls its on our bucket list what would the price range for a 3-4 night stay at the falls cost what kinds a of things are there to do there and when is the best time to visit the falls

  7. Honeymoon somewhere else .. this place isn’t worrh the hassle of permits and lodging conditions not to mention the fact of being crowded and the prices are outrageous. The tribe and employees are not helpful in answering questions and if you use a hiking service company you are being even more overpriced. Visit the cavens in Peach Springs or take a trip to Cibeque Falls same beautiful water and less hassle. This trip to Havasupai Falls is not tourist friendly and not easy to make or adjust any permit dates or hotel lodge reservations.

  8. These people are discusting the animal cruelty is ridiculous and sick the people of this tribe should be starved and worked to death. What a horrible worthless group of people.

    • The tribe are not as horrible and awful as the tour companies exploiting the locals and tourists looking to experienced this place. Criticize the greedy capitalists who have poor values, no respect for people, and have think money is more important than culture and history.

      You and Everyone else who accesses Havasupai should express deep gratitude to the people of Havasupai (past and present) and to land and space.

      The fact that it exists and has been protected by the people and is open and accessible to the public is something one should express gratitude for.

      Show some respect.

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