Hiking Havasupai Guide

If you follow any sort of travel medium, you’ve probably seen the posts about Havasu Falls. Supai village, located on the Havasupai Reservation is the most isolated village in the continental US, which is the gateway to the most beautiful contrasting landscape possible. Gushing blue/green waterfalls flowing over red rock carved canyon walls.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Reservations
  3. Packing List
  4. The Hike
  5. Itinerary

Havasupai Overview

The Havasupai Reservation gets its name from the people of the blue-green water (Havasu means “blue-green water” and pai “people.”) You 100% need a permit to hike into the village which we cover in more detail down below. The permit allows you 3 Nights / 4 Days to camp or stay at the newly renovated lodge.

The Waterfalls on Havasupai

Your journey will give you an opportunity to visit five different waterfalls pm the Havasupai Reservation.

  • Upper Navajo Falls or 50 Foot Falls.
  • Lower Navajo Falls
  • Havasu Falls – the one you probably have seen countless pictures of.
  • Mooney Falls – where Beyonce shot her Lion King Music video.
  • Beaver Falls
  • The Confluence – not a waterfall but 100% work the hike. Where the Havasu Creek meets the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Reservations

All campground reservations are now 3 Nights / 4 Days and you must get a permit ONLINE. All reservations are 100% done online, please do not call them. For all the info, please visit the Havasupai Official Website. The total price as of 2020 is between $300 – $375pp depending if you go on weekends.

Tips:

  • Pre-register and have your account info ready before booking.
  • Wait about an hour after it goes live. The website will crash for hours and no one will be able to book for the first hour or two.
  • If you do miss out, still plan on going around the dates you want to go. You have a high possibility of being able to grab a resale spot close to those dates. People panic book when they reserve a spot and often have to bail.

(Summer) Packing List

I went in the peak blazing hot summer temps of early August. This was packing for two people triple so we split the weight into common items. After reading hundreds of blog posts and Facebook groups, we decided to go hammocks over tents.

  • PROOF OF PURCHASE: Don’t forget to print out your confirmation or screenshot it.
  • Government Identification
  • Kelty Internal Frame 50L – was way too large for everything I had. Easily could have down with a 30L.
  • Single Wise Owl Hammock
  • Single Wise Owl Bug Net (wouldn’t bring this back)
  • Single Wise Owl Rain Fly
  • Six Walmart tent pegs
  • 1 Air-Core inflatable sleeping mat (helps keep you warm sleeping in a hammock AND keeps your hammock stiffer if that’s your thing)
  • 1 Klymit inflatable pillow
  • 1 High Sierra insulated 4L daypack (2L of water)
  • 1 32oz Nalgene
  • 1 Microfiber small towel
  • 1 headlamp + spare set of batteries.
  • 1 phone with an extra battery case. I left my phone on airplane mode the whole time and didn’t come close to dying with an extra battery case.
  • Toiletries
    • Chapstick
    • Sunscreen bottle (shared)
    • Toothpaste (shared)
    • Life straw
    • Small medical kit (extra moleskins for blisters)
    • 1 pack of bug repellent wipes (we didn’t really need)
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Small back of baby wipes
  • Clothes
    • Thrift store found under armor T-shirt
    • Two all-white Amazon UV shirts
    • 1 pair of shorts
    • 1 pair of sweatpants (to sleep in)
    • 1 pair of swimming trunks
    • 1 pair of wools socks for each day + 1 extra
    • 1 pair of underwear for each day +1 extra
    • 1 Bandanna (useful to soak in water and keep dust out of your mouth)
    • 1 large straw hat I bought at a gas station right before.
    • 1 light Northface windbreaker/rain jacket.
    • 1 pair of Oboz hiking boots with extra gel insoles inside.
    • 1 pair of Teva sandals used for day hiking/water shoes.
  • Kitchen
    • 1 Jetboil kit (we got the canisters from the campsite stockpile leftovers)
    • 1 multi utensil set.
    • 20 sandwich zip locks.
    • 1 collapsable cup for mostly coffee.
    • 1 collapsible cooking pot
    • Pedialyte packets
  • Food – we were fortunate enough to have a house in Pheonix beforehand to prepare so we made out own MRE/dehydrated style foods beforehand with a vacuum sealer. However, there are plenty of places to buy dehydrated meals. There is also a store in the village with essentials and then some. The locals also make food stands and sell bread although it’s very inconsistent.
  • Cash for local stand snacks like frybread
  • Extra carabiners + paracord.
  • Small grocery plastic bags – TAKE YOUR DAMN TRASH WITH YOU.

DO NOT BRING

  • Chemical products like shampoo (it damages the water ecosystem)
  • Speakers
  • Booze (they check your car while coming in.)
  • Pool floaties

Hiking Havasupai Overview

The Havasupai Tribe has a map to follow. The trail to Supai and Havasu starts at Hualapai Hilltop and is 8 miles to the Supai village. Once you check-in at the Supai village, it will be another two miles to the campground. The first mile down into the canyon, you will descend 1,000 feet (remember this coming back…ooof) After descending, you will follow the trail through the canyon for about ~5,5 miles till you hit Havsu creek. You will head downstream and enter the village where you check-in.

Thank you Big Boy Travel for the map

Trail MarkersDistance
Hualapai Hilltop to Campgrounds10 miles
Hualapai Hilltop to Supai8 miles
Supai Village to Campgrounds2 miles
Campgrounds to Mooney Falls~0.5 miles
Campgrounds to Beaver Falls4 miles
Campgrounds to the Confluence8 miles

Getting to the Havasupai Trailhead

There are two major airports from opposite directions used to fly into Havasupai. You can fly into Phoenix, which is about an extra hour or fly into Vegas and drive from the east. Regardless, you should drive to the closest town with lodging beforehand and stay the night so you have an earlier start time. Their website says to plan around 4-6 hours in (we did right below 5) and 5-7 hours out (we were closer to 7 on the way out. ) The trail is closed form sunset to 4 am, so the earliest you can start is at 4 am. I highly recommend starting at this time in the summer.

FROM PHOENIX
Duration: 4.5 hours
Recommendation: Drive to Grand Canyon Caverns the day before and sleep/fill up on gas. You can wake up 70 miles from the trailhead.
Directions:
1. Head north on I-17 and exit onto AZ-69 N at Exit 262 toward Prescott
2. After 21 miles merge onto AZ-89 toward Chino Valley
3. Continue on AZ-89 to I-40 and go west on I-40
4. Take the I-40 Business Exit, Exit 123, toward AZ-66/Seligman/Peach Springs
5. After about 22 miles you’ll see the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn on your left (closest lodging to the trailhead)
6. Keep your eye out for Indian Road 18 heading to the right (north), and turn onto it.
7. Follow Indian Road 18 for approximately 60 miles, where the road ends at the trailhead

FROM LAS VEGAS
Duration: 3.5 hours
Recommendation: Drive to Peach Springs the day before and sleep/stock up. Youll be 70 miles away from the trailhead in the am.
Directions:
1. Take US-93 South from Las Vegas and follow it for 102 miles
2. At Kingman, merge onto I-40 E/US-93 S toward Flagstaff/Phoenix and stay on for 4 miles.
3. Take the Andy Devine Avenue exit (Exit 53) toward AZ-66 E/Kingman Airport
4. Turn left onto US-93 Bus S (E Andy Devine Avenue) and continue to follow E Andy Devine Avenue
5. E Andy Devine Avenue becomes E Highway 66/AZ-66, and follow this for appx 50 miles
6. Look for Indian Road 18 on your left. If you reach Grand Canyon Caverns Inn (on your right), you’ve driven past Indian Road 18.
7. Follow Indian Road 18 for appx 60 miles, where the road ends at the trailhead

Itinerary

How should you spend those 4 Days / 3 Nights?

Day 0: Depending where you start, drive to nearest hotel near the trailhead, which is listed above in the directions. Stock up on anything you need, make sure to top your car off with gas, and get a good nights rest.

Day 1: Arrive to the trail head a little before 4am and get set up. Hike in before the heat comes. You can buy some neccessaties from the store or explore the town a little after check in. Spend some time resting and explore some of the higher falls like Javasu and Little Navajo.

Day 2: You can hike all the way to the confluence, 8 miles, and then Hit Beaver Falls and Mooney on the way back/before. You will go past both on your way.
You can also just trek to Beaver Falls, 4 miles from camp and enjoy Mooney Falls on the way there/after.

Day 3: Decide which falls are your favorite closer to camp and have a relaxing/resting day at the falls with minimal hiking. Youll wants to give your body a little break before hiking out tomorrow. Make sure to pack up everything you can the night before.

Day 4: Wake up early and hike out.

Extra Tips:

  • Check out the Facebook groups for up to date info. Lots of items like food buckets and propane tanks are left behind. We didn’t bring either and there was plenty at camp.
  • WATCH OUT FOR THE SQUIRRELS – they were ruthless. We saw so many tents destroyed from them chewing away in.
  • I recommend a hammock (especially in summer) over a tent for the above reason and lightweight to carry.
  • There is a spring there with clean drinking water so you only need enough water hiking in. In the summer, I wouldn’t bring any less than 3L.
  • Leave a pair of fresh clean clothes in the car to change into after.
  • Lots of people leave a cooler with frozen drinks in their car after completing the hike out.
  • Don’t be an ass and blast music on the trail like people we passed hiking.
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