Complete Guide to Hiking Hidden Havasu Falls 2024

UPDATED January 2, 2024After being asked a bazillion questions about my recent adventure, I wrote this complete guide to hiking Havasu Falls. Many people ask me how I scored permits to visit Havasu Falls in Northern Arizona. Others don’t know that you need advance permits, and think that you can walk in and get reservations and permits on the spot. (More on THAT later.) I saw a need for a Havasu Falls hiking guide.

Your Havasu Falls Hiking Guide

Blue green waters of tall Havasu Falls falling down red rocks of Arizona

Table of Contents

Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls Pinterest post

Those are only two of the reasons that I decided to write this “Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls.” Another motivation for this Havasu Falls hiking guide was that it is just so dang difficult to get reservations and permits, and if you don’t know how, you’ll probably never be able to experience the idyllic waterfalls and pristine canyon country of Havasu.

I want to share what I’ve learned over the years. But first, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

What is Havasu Falls?

Havasu Falls is a remote waterfall of blue-green water that crashes over a 90-to-100-foot ( 27-to-30-meter) vertical red rock cliff. The striking geologic feature is one of several waterfalls along Havasu Creek, which eventually flows into the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. A 10-mile (16-kilometer) hike through hot, dry Arizona canyonlands leads to the remote falls. Part of the distance can be done via helicopter; however most adventurers travel by foot.

Havasu Canyon and Havasu Falls Arizona are located on the Havasupai Reservation, which is governed by the Havasupai Tribe. If you are blessed enough to get a permit from the tribe, they allow you to share the wonders of their homeland, which include a series of blue-green colored waterfalls.

Now this is important:

This remote part of the Grand Canyon is NOT under the jurisdiction of the Grand Canyon National Park. The permitting process and campsite procurement is much different from the National Park system, so don’t expect it to be anything like National Parks lottery programs.

The Havasupai tribe governs the Havasu Falls and surrounding area and those with proper permits/reservations are there at the invitation of the Native People. This is so important that I am quoting it from the tribal website:

 “… hiking without a valid Campground or Lodge reservation is NOT permitted anywhere on the Havasupai Reservation.”

I could not call this a ‘Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls,’ if I did not include this quote for you.

Havasupai Tribal Seal

Where is Havasu Falls?

Havasu Falls is two miles from the village of Supai on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. The almost 100-foot falls is on Havasu Creek, a drainage to the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

The Havasupai Reservation is located on the southwest side of the Grand Canyon outside of the national park boundaries in Northern Arizona, USA.

The only access to the remote Havasu Falls Arizona is by foot. See Getting There: Step-by-step Itinerary below.

Why me?

As the author of several hiking guidebooks, I’ve written, hiked and lived in Northern Arizona for over 25 years. I’ve trekked into Havasu Falls from the top four times.

I know what you’re thinking… four Havasu Falls hiking trips doesn’t seem like a lot.

However, when you consider how difficult it is to get reservations and permits for the Havasu Falls hike. For instance, I met a fellow canyoneer on my last hike who said that she tried for five years, 5 YEARS! to get reservations/permits – you soon realize that I have solid experience, better than most to write this Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls.

Early on, I was blessed to be invited on trips where friends procured the hard-to-get Havasupai reservations and permits. For my latest Havasu Falls hike, I paid my dues and was the person who took the time and energy to snag the elusive reservations, which now include permits.

It was so tough that I want to share what I learned with you.

Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls

Switchbacks from above on a steep section of the Havasu Falls trail
Switchbacks on a steep section of the Havasu Falls trail

Hiking Havasu Falls

One of the things that I love about this trek is that you can reserve a pack mule to haul your backpack.

Of course, I carry a daypack with three liters of water, lunch and snacks, my camera/smartphone and a small first aid kit for the 20.6-mile roundtrip canyon adventure.

However, I hire a mule to transport my backpack (max weight 32 pounds) with tent, sleeping bag, stove and food. (See my downloadable Packing List for Havasu Falls Hike.)

New in 2024:

Since 2019, no pack mule reservations can be made in person. You must reserve your mule in advance online and at substantially increased prices. See Reserving Pack Mules below.

How to get Reservations for Havasu Falls

Photo of computer screen with Havasupai Reservations message: We're experiencing high volume

Procedures are always changing, but this is how the Havasupai Reservations worked for me. (I will keep this information updated as it changes.)

In 2024, Campground Reservation pricing is per person and includes all necessary permits, fees and taxes.


1. Create your account at By creating your account now, you save valuable time on the opening day of reservations. I’m telling you, the time you waste setting up an account on opening day might just be the difference between getting the coveted reservation or not.

2. New for 2024: you can now add your credit card before the opening date for reservations. That will save you SO much time, because, for me, the overloaded system on opening day always bombed after I put in my credit card info. You’ll have to sign up for “Link.”

3. The system will then prompt you to create a potential Alternative Trip Leader for your campground reservations. Because the Trip Leader must be present at the Tourist Check-in Office, the system will recommend creating several “Alternative Trip Leaders.”

4. Once you’ve created your account, add your email and click the SUBSCRIBE button at the bottom of the page to sign up for Havasupai and Havasu Falls campground information and updates.

5. Then you just wait for the opening day of reservations. Opening day happens once per year, and on that day everybody and his brother will be vying for reservations (which includes permits, too) for the whole year on that one day.

For 2024 Havasupai Campground Reservations:

  • All campground reservations are for 3 nights / 4 days.
  • Prices: $455 per person for 3 nights
  • Prices include all permits, taxes and fees necessary for camping in the Supai Campground (also known as Havasu Falls Campground and Havasupai Campgrounds.)
  • You must pay with a credit card at the time that you procure reservations.

My plan was to make reservations for a group of three: my two young friends from Belgium and me, so our 2024 price would be $1365 for the 3-night campsite. (It cost $900-$1125 in 2019, BTW.)

As a side note, the Havasupai Tribe now offers a transfer system for campground reservations, so if you can’t use one or more of the spots on your reservation – or you wish to transfer your whole reservation you can do that with a transfer fee.

To see the specifics on transfers, create an account at and refer to the “Dashboard” page.

Presale Havasupai Registration Period | New for 2024

Havasupai Reservation Presale provides an opportunity to purchase a limited number of permit reservations in advance of the public on-sale date. Note that a presale reservation does not guarantee a reservation spot.

However, it does increase your chances of securing a reservation because, after the close of the presale period, a randomized process assigns a limited number of reservation dates among those who have purchased a presale entry. 

Here’s the Havasupai Tourism Office Notice:

For the 2024 tourist season, the Havasupai Tribe Tourism Office is offering a presale reservation system, allowing you to register in advance and purchase priority access to a limited number of permit reservations.

The presale registration period opens at 8 am Arizona time on January 5 through 5 pm Arizona time on January 18, 2024, and provides an opportunity for you to purchase a limited number of reservations before the public on-sale opening day on February 1, 2024.

Presale entries do not guarantee a reservation spot, however, participants who purchase a presale registration significantly increase their chances of securing a reservation for one of their preferred dates.

How Does the Presale Process Work?

Presale Registration: Tourists can register to purchase a 2024 reservation for the campground and/or lodge by selecting three (3) desired reservation start dates, as well as a designated month as an option in the event that the desired reservation start date(s) are unavailable.
Reservation Limits: Campground reservations are limited to one reservation (up to 12 permits) per trip leader. Lodge reservations are limited to up to three rooms (4 people per room, 12 permits total) per trip leader.
Presale Fee: Complete the presale selections by paying a non-refundable fee of $15 per permit for a chance to secure a reservation on one of your selected dates.
Presale Closure: The presale period opens at 8 a.m. Arizona time on January 5 and closes at 5 p.m. Arizona time on January 18, 2024. Once the presale period has closed, a randomized process will then assign a limited number of reservation dates among tourists who have purchased a presale entry. Please note, all presale registrations are randomized following the closing time and is not dependent upon the date you purchase your presale.
Presale Notification: Tourists will be notified of their awarded dates no later than January 26, 2024 via email. The total reservation payment will be processed at that time. Tourists may log into their online account(s) to view the reservation details. It is highly encouraged to have your PATL(s) included on your reservation at the time of your presale purchase.
Public Availability: The remaining permits will become available to the general public for purchase on February 1, 2024, beginning at 8 a.m. Arizona time.

Opening Day for Havasupai Reservations

February calendar with colored pencils laying on it
Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

In 2024, Havasupai Reservations opens on February 1 at 8:00 am Arizona Time. Here’s how it went down for me a few years ago:

On February 1, I perched myself in front of my computer screen at 7:50 am. Since the entire order was completely sold out almost instantly on Opening Day 2018, I signed into my account and sat ready to go.

If I remember correctly, the system didn’t open precisely at 8:00 am.

But here’s the problem:

With thousands of other people also poised at their computers awaiting the opening day – one hiker told me she was on the Havasupai Reservations website at 6:00 am – the website began to crash as soon as it opened.

I would be halfway through choosing my dates, and the site would crash. On the website, you can view available dates on a calendar, and I could see the dates disappearing as I watched helplessly.

Dates would appear and disappear like ghosts in the night as others tried to reserve and then were bombed out. I worked for almost an hour before I could select dates and then click on the “PAY NOW” page. As I entered my credit card information – dat-da-da-dahh! – the website crashed again.

I was unsure if the site “took” my payment. So, as I tried to resubmit, I also went to my online credit card site to see if the payment was recorded.

On three different occasions, I got to the payment page – so happy and confident that I’d reserved dates for three people – and the site would crash again. AUGH!

During the process, I was messaging my Belgium friends on Facebook. At the beginning of this post, I said, “More on THAT later.”

Well, here goes…

At the two-hour mark, Charlotte messaged back, “A friend of mine went there something like 4 or 5 years ago, and he could make the réservation on the spot.”

What, no advance reserves? Does someone in Belgium know better than local folk? AUGH again!

I’ve been going into Havasu Creek since 1995, and we ALWAYS had to have advance permits/reservations. I didn’t need this off-hand amidst the Havasu Falls reservations fray! My keystrokes on the keyboard became frustrated pounces.

And it gets better…

Later, one of my Flagstaff friends confessed that she, too, thought she could get by with no advance Havasupai reservations (permit.) She was fined $100 for hiking up Havasu Creek from the Colorado River.

She’d hiked into the Grand Canyon from outside the Havasu Rese. She was walking up Havasu Creek, not stopping or camping, but yes, she was still not allowed without an advance permit or reservation. That was over 20 years ago.

Three hours of exasperation turns into four…

After three hours of exasperation, my husband urged me, “Just give up. It’s not going to happen.” That just egged me on, thank you very much!

“I’ve already invested three hours, I can’t give up now,” I shouted back, working the “ENTER” key as if it were the arm of a slot machine. Just one more pull and I’ll have it!

I kept searching for available dates that jumped around like moving targets until, after four hours of blood, sweat, and tears, as I hit the final “ENTER,” the website took my payment. I crumpled onto my keyboard in silent relief.

The result

We ended up getting three weekend days in April, so my credit card was charged $1175 (3 nights x $125 x three persons) for the Havasu Falls reservations. Charlotte and Claire each paid me back later via PayPal, which works well for in-country and overseas payments.

It took some time for the three of us to agree on reserving a pack mule, so we did that last of February. See Reserving Pack Mule below.

Lessons Learned about Making Havasupai Reservations:

Photo of computer screen with Havasupai Reservations shown

As I said earlier, making Havasupai Reservations was so tough that I want to share what I learned with you.

First, keep a paper calendar in front of you with your “WISH LIST” of dates highlighted. I had three sets of dates highlighted on my calendar – I got none of them. Nevertheless, the calendar also helped me keep track of the three-week window of dates that Claire and Charlotte would be in Arizona.

A second word of advice: Be flexible. Be willing to move your preferred dates to other — available — dates.

I’m saving my Best Tip for last…

Pass the Buck: Have one of your friends negotiate the online Havasupai reservation process – it will eliminate a lot of headache for you. On the other hand, make sure that friend is patient and tech savvy. If not, they might not have the persistence to stick with it for four hours as I did.

The Havasu Falls Hike - Distances at a Glance

Two women hike into narrow canyon toward Havasu FAlls on the Havasupai Reservation

Interestingly, its not easy to find distances for the various legs or stages of the Havasu Falls hike. I gathered data for this Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls from many sources. I was not so surprised to find that they sometimes contradicted each other. The following distances seem to be most reliable:

Partial / Cumulative Miles and Kilometers – One Way

0.0 mi / 0.0 cum     Trailhead at Hualapai Hilltop – Free parking. Water is not available.
0.0 km / 0.0 cum     One-hour drive from the nearest motel, Grand Canyon Caverns Inn.

8.0 mi / 8.0 cum      Supai, AZ (population 208) The headquarters for the Havasupai Tribe. BTW, this is the only place in the US where mules still deliver the mail. Check in at the Tourist Check-in Office. Show them your reservation form and ID, and then you will receive a tag for your tent. They will also issue armbands for each member of your party. You must wear it at all times while on the Havasupai Reservation.
12.8 km / 12.8 cum

1.5 miles / 9.5 cum     Navajo Falls
2.4 km / 15.3 cum

0.5 miles / 10.0 cum   Havasu Falls
0.8 km / 16.0 cum

0.3 miles / 10.3 cum   Supai Campground (also called Havasu Falls Campground and Havasupai Campgrounds) is located along Havasu Creek between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls.  With a camping reservation/permit you can camp wherever you like within the campground. Water available at Fern Spring.
0.48 km / 16.6 cum 

0.7 miles / 11.0 cum    Mooney Falls
1.1 km / 17.7 cum

2.0 miles / 13.0 cum    Beaver Falls
3.2 km / 20.9 cum

4.0 miles / 17.0 cum    Confluence of Havasu Creek with the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
6.4 km / 27.4 km

Supai Campgrounds AKA Havasu Falls Campground and Havasupai Campgrounds

Sign reading: Welcome to Havasupai Campgrounds

The Supai Campground covers the area between the restrooms below Havasu Falls and the restrooms above Mooney Falls. There are no designated campsites so you are welcome to camp anywhere within this campground area. Good luck with that!

Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls Insider Tip: If you see 5-gallon plastic utility buckets with leak-proof lids on picnic tables, it doesn’t mean the campsite is taken (as I originally thought). It means they were left behind for the next camper – you! There are also 5-gallon collapsible heavy-duty polyethylene water jugs and wheelbarrows at the Havasupai Campground or Ranger Station that are free to use.

Wheel barrows and buckets await Havasupai Falls campers
Buckets serve as squirrel repellent, wheel barrows help with moving bags from the pack mule paddock

Getting There: Step-by-step Itinerary

Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) also called Grand Canyon Village Airport

How to Get to Remote Havasu Falls – 4 Steps

1.) Fly into Phoenix, Flagstaff or Las Vegas

I recommend flying into Flagstaff, the closest airport to Grand Canyon. Airport code: FLG, also called Grand Canyon Village Airport. You can make up for the additional airfare of about $90 (check out my “How to Buy Cheap Flights Report by subscribing to this blog) in gas, extra meals, and more time relaxing.

2.) Drive to Seligman or Grand Canyon Caverns Inn to sleep the night before your Havasu Falls hike.

Phoenix to Seligman    174 miles     3h 9m
Flagstaff to Seligman    75.8 miles   1h 12m
Las Vegas to Seligman   180 miles    2h 46m

I know this sounds strange, but…

Ensure your rental car has a spare tire, jack and lug wrench. When I hiked out of the canyon on my last trip, two hikers’ rental vehicles had flat tires. One of those had no jack or lug wrench. When we asked others to borrow the jack and lug wrench, two others opened the trunk of their rental cars and found that they, too, had no tire-changing hardware.

3.) Spend the night in a hotel

Stay in Seligman, where there are five motels, or at Grand Canyon Caverns Inn.

Click here to find accommodations on, my favorite hotel booking site.

Grand Canyon Caverns Inn is the closest accommodations to the Havasu Falls Trailhead. It is 26.3 miles from Seligman and, therefore, thirty minutes closer to the trailhead than Seligman. Since you must get up very early for the one- or one-and-a-half-hour drive to get on the trail around 6:00 am, I recommend staying at Grand Canyon Caverns. They offer a breakfast that starts at 5 am.

Click here to book a room at Grands Canyon Caverns Inn on

But please don’t make this mistake…

Many people think they can fill their water containers at the trailhead… but NOT so! Wherever you stay, make sure to fill up your water before you leave your hotel room. There is no water source at Hualapai Hilltop.

Disclosure: This article contains AFFILIATE LINKS, which means that when you link to a seller listed on this page and make a purchase, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey may receive a small commission. Your price is not affected – you are not charged more, but the commission does help keep this blog up and running to deliver travel information to you.

For Veteran Havasu Falls Hikers

In the past, you could camp or sleep in your vehicle at Hilltop before your Havasu Falls hike. We love telling stories about our crazy crammed vehicle overnights at Hilltop in years past. This is no longer allowed.

See the warning from the Havasupai Reservations website:

Text warning camping is not allowed at Hilltop when hiking to Havasupai Falls
From the Havasupai Reservations website
Charlotte-unlocking motel door at Grand Canyon Caverns Inn
Our room at Grand Canyon Caverns Inn, launchpad for Havasu Falls hike

4.) The next morning, drive to Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead

Seligman, Arizona, to trailhead:   90. 4 miles 1 hr 54m
Grand Canyon Caverns to trailhead: 66.5 miles 1 hr 35m
From either departure point you’ll drive northwest on Old Route 66 to Indian Road 18. Turn right onto Indian Road 18, and drive to the Trailhead at Hualapai Hilltop.

ACHTUNG! You will be stopped and searched

ACHTUNG! You will be stopped and searched by Havasupai law enforcement officials before you arrive at the trailhead. Cones and signs set up on Indian Road 18 will direct you to stop. You will be asked for your ID and reservations.

It is best to print out your reservations, as there is limited cell service in this remote area. One Havasu Falls hiker reported that the car in front of him at the Security Checkpoint held up the line as the driver got out and circled his car with smartphone pointed to the sky in an attempt to get cell service to retrieve his email reservation confirmation. A screenshot would work, too, but what if you lost power, or worse yet, lost your phone? Just print your reservation, OK?

Your vehicles and bags may be searched for prohibited items. Our cooler, backpacks and vehicle were searched for alcohol, drugs, drones and weapons, all of which are illegal on the Havasupai Reservation. 

When is the best time to go to Havasu / Havasupai Falls?

Author Unstoppable Stacey sits in 70F blue-green waters of Havasu Creek

The best time to go to Havasu Falls

I prefer April or early May because temperatures are not so hot (April highs 76F / 24.4C, May highs 85.9F / 29.9C.) Water temperature is 70F / 21.1C year-round, and since I was raised in Minnesota, the temperature is perfect for me in those months.

The most popular time is May–August, when temperatures spike in the triple digits, and all hikers are happy to cool off in the blue-green waters. The campgrounds are closed in December and January.

Reserve Pack Mules for Havasupai Hike in Advance

Pack mules and horses in Havasu Canyon

Like I said before, I love the ability to send my backpack on a pack mule or horse. However, you should be aware of the changes in recent years for reserving mules. For instance, no pack mule reservations can be done in person.

You must reserve your mule in advance online. In addition, fees are now per pack animal, not per bag.

How to Reserve Pack Mules for Havasu Falls Hike

Once you have secured your camping reservations and have your dates, you’re able to request to get on the Pack Mule Waitlist. Go to and click on your “Campground Reservations.” It is from the detail page of your Campground Reservations where you will make your Pack Mule request. Because roundtrip requests have the first priority, I recommend making a request for a ROUNDTRIP pack mule reservation. Heaven knows if there would be availability for a one-way on your dates.

Here’s the Havasupai Pack Mule details:

  • One pack mule carries up to four bags.
  • Cost of roundtrip pack mule is $400 (price subject to change at any time)
  • Maximum weight: 32 pounds or 14.5 kg per bag.
  • Maximum bag size: 36 inches long x 19 inches wide x 19 inches tall (91 cm x 48 cm x 48 cm).
  • All baggage must be soft-sided and have nothing hanging off the outside.
  • Ice chests and coolers are NOT permitted.

Pack Mule Baggage Handling Tip

I was impressed to see that a group of hikers from LA had each of their backpacks inside an IKEA storage bag. What a great way to keep out the trail dust and mule grime. I used a heavy-weight garbage bag that arrived at the bottom torn and dirty, so I will definitely order the IKEA bag for my next Havasupai Falls hike. The bags seemed to be the FRAKTA Storage Bag.

Order the FRAKTA Storage Bag from Amazon here: rel=”sponsored”

Each bag should be clearly labeled with the following information:

  • XXX##X (Your Pack Mule Reservation Confirmation Code)
  • Name on Mule Reservations
  • IN to Campground Month and day
  • OUT to Trailhead Month and day”

Save and print your Pack Mule Reservation Confirmation so you can bring a copy of it with you. I also recommend taping other copies of your Pack Mule Reservation Confirmation to each backpack in case no one is at the Hilltop Trailhead to receive your bags. That happened to us, BTW.

Sign on pack mule paddock reading 'Baggage Drop Off Pick Up Zone
Mule Paddock near entrance to Havasupai Campgrounds. AKA, oh, you know...

Back in 2008, the pack mules took your backpack to the Visitor Center in Supai, and then you had to schlep it two miles through the sand on the well-traveled trail to the Campground Entrance.

Now that has all changed and the mule train drops your backpacks in the mule paddock at the Campground Entrance. Expect to see your bag around 3:00 pm. On the way back out, bags should arrive Hualapai Hilltop around noon.

Havasu Falls Packing List

My Havasu Falls packing list is so detailed, that it’s posted it on its own page. You can download the Havasupai Packing List as a PDF here: Packing-List-Havasu-Havasupai-Hike

Or read the post here: Packing List for Havasu Falls Hike

DOWNLOAD the FREE Havasu Falls Hike Packing List by clicking here: Packing-List-Havasu-Havasupai-Hike

Why is the water so turquoise in color?

Blue green waters of Havasu Creek at Beaver Falls

One of the most asked questions that I heard once I got down to the Havasu Falls was “Why is the water so turquoise in color?”

Here’s the answer – short version, of course:

As the water drips through the layers of sedimentary rock that make up the Grand Canyon and surrounding area, it picks up calcium carbonate and magnesium. The water comes out of the rock and the leached minerals that it contains make the water appear blue green.

What to do at Havasu Falls / Havasu Creek?

Picnic table with candle - tent in background

Since we now are required to buy three nights for the Havasupai Reservation, people ask, “What is there to do at Havasu Falls? Here’s UNSTOPPABLE Stacey’s recommendations:

Day One: Hike, Check-in, Set up Campsite

The first day is a long day of hiking – four to six hours or longer depending on the speed of your group. After eight miles, you must check-in at the Tourist Check-in Office in Supai.

Show them your reservation form and ID, and then you will receive a tag for your tent. They will also issue armbands for each member of your party. You must wear it at all times while on the Havasupai Reservation.

After checking into the Tourist Check-in Office in Supai, hike directly to the Supai Campground – also called Havasupai Campground – to secure a campsite. There is lots of competition for campsites, so don’t dillydally in the town of Supai.

The day before we hiked into Havasupai, we met people at Route 66 Motoporium/Copper Cart store in Seligman who had just walked out of Havasu Falls that day. They offered us good advice and I pass it along to you now.

Hiking Havasu Falls ​Insider tip

Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls ​Insider tip: Walk down through the whole camp before you decide on a campsite. The best available campsites may be near the back of the campground. We were looking for a picnic table, so that narrowed the availability of campsites for us.

We left personal belongings at the campsite along with our Havasu Campground tag displayed prominently to mark our spot. FYI, the first night we had to share a picnic table with our neighbors. The next morning we moved our tents to a different campsite that had a picnic table.

Expect the mules to drop off your backpack around 3 pm. That means you’ll have plenty of time to play in the water and visit Havasu Falls after you find your campsite, and before your bags arrive. Havasu Falls has a beach area where you can lay in the sun, have a picnic or simply relax to the sound of falling water.

Day Two: Beaver Falls Hike

Unstoppable Stacey selfie at Beaver Falls in Havasu Creek
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey, author of Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls

Beaver Falls Hiking Tips

Leave right after breakfast to get to Beaver Falls in time to spend part of the day in the sun. Since Beaver Falls is further into the depths of Havasu Canyon, the tall canyon walls block the sun for most of the day. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that and so had only about half an hour in the sun before it was gone once we arrived at Beaver Falls.

The best time to be at Beaver Falls would be 11 am to 1:30 pm. On this trek, you will hike past Mooney Falls. The 6-mile roundtrip hike (some say 8 miles) is slow going. There are many ladders to climb and often you’ll have to wait patiently as other hikers climb ahead of you.

Some hikers freeze on the chain-assisted climb that scales the cliff face at Mooney Falls, and will take a little coaxing to get them up or down the ladders that have a lot of exposure.

Day Three: Mooney Falls Hike, Colorado River Confluence Hike or hangout at Havasu Falls

Hikers climbing down steep ladder at Mooney Falls
Mooney Falls ladder from the top

Day Three offers several choices of things to do in Havasu Canyon.

Mooney Falls Hike

You could hike to Mooney Falls, which you passed by on the way to Beaver Falls on Day Two. A rope swing on the far side of the canyon across from the Mooney Falls ladder makes for a fun pastime.

Havasu Creek dumps into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon Confluence of the Havasu Creek and the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Colorado River Confluence Hike

The 14-mile roundtrip Colorado River Confluence Hike is another option. Some say it is a 16-mile roundtrip trek from the campground. The discrepancy could be Colorado River Confluence Hike because of the changes in the canyon after the badass flood of July 2008.

My girlfriend Meredith and I hiked to the confluence of Havasu Creek with the mighty Colorado River on my first Havasupai hike in 1995. The hike is amazing, but long. You can’t swim in the Colorado River because it is too forceful as it squeezes through the Grand Canyon. But it is incredible to see the blue green waters mingle with the red waters of the Colorado. Colorado means ‘the color red’ in Spanish, btw. I also enjoyed playing in Havasu Creek near the confluence when I was on a Colorado River rafting trip a few years ago.

Here’s what we did instead on Day Three…

Sandy beach with people laying in the sun - Havasu FAlls in the background
Havasu Falls beach

Wanting to stay chill and hold onto our laidback vibe, we hung out at Havasu Falls for the day. The ankle that I sprained on Day One was probably a determining factor as well. Check out my story, Feeling like a non-native species: Havasu Falls Hike, Arizona for the full scoop of my Havasu “trip and fall” experience.

Day Four: Hike Out

On Day Four get an early start on your hike out. You’ll need to drop your bags for the pack mules by 8:00 or so. But I recommend to start at 5 am to beat the sun. You’ll bring a lot of lifelong memories with you. If you have further questions, please leave them in the comments below.


Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls Pinterest post
Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls

Recommended Reading: Havasu Falls and Havasupai Culture

Havasupai Reading List

Havasupai and Havasu Falls Facebook Group:

Hirst, Stephen. I Am the Grand Canyon: The Story of the Havasupai People. 3rd ed. Grand Canyon, AZ: Grand Canyon Association, 2006. Print.

Iliff, Flora Gregg. People of the Blue Water: A Record of Life among the Walapai and Havasupai Indians. Tucson, Ariz.: U of Arizona, 1985. Print.

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4 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Hiking Hidden Havasu Falls 2024”

    • Thanks for your kind words, Tracy. I just had someone tell me that her friend, very connected to several Havasupai people, said the info here is all “right on.” So good to hear your feedback!

  1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Havasupai tourism has been suspended for the Havasu Falls campground and lodge.

    Reservation holders with 2020 campground reservations that were affected by the closure may reschedule reservation for dates within the 2021 tourism season at no cost. That means that for the rest of us, 2021 reservations will be harder to get than usual. Check the official reservation website in the link in the article to get current updates.

    FYI, campground and pack mule reservations are non-refundable. I recommend travel insurance when purchasing future Havasupai reservations.

  2. From the Havasupai Facebook page: “TOURISM SUSPENSION HAS NOW BEEN EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 2022 – Update: June 11, 2021
    According to the tourism closure will continue until (at least) February 2022, and all reservations that have not been rescheduled yet will now be automatically rescheduled for 2022.
    Per Resolution 41-21, the Havasupai Tribal Council has extended the suspension of tourism to February 1, 2022. No date for the reopening of tourism has been set yet, but announcements will be made in advance of reopening or further extension of the closure.
    Reservation holders with reservations that have arrival dates affected by this closure will be rescheduled for the same date in 2022. This applies to Campground, Lodge, and Pack Mule reservations.
    Note that and account dashboard access will be temporarily disabled while closure affected reservations are being rescheduled. Confirmation emails are sent out to those whose reservations have been rescheduled.
    After the rescheduling process has been completed for all closure affected reservations, individual account access will be fully restored. This includes access to any active reservations, account information, and the Transfer System (including previously posted reservations to the Cancellations/Transfers list, if applicable).
    No new reservations will be available for purchase while tourism is suspended, but existing reservations may be available through the Transfer System.
    If you have a rescheduled reservation with dates that do not work for you, you can post the reservation (spots) up for Transfer through your reservations account. If purchased by another account holder, funds will also be returned to the original reservation holder.
    Updates and new information will be posted on and as it becomes available. For questions, please email
    NOTE: The Havasupai Reservation and Supai Village remains on lockdown and are closed to all tourists. Please do not travel to the Havasupai Reservation or Supai Village. All tourists are prohibited from entering.”


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