An Overview of Havasupai
Many of you have seen the beautiful turquoise waterfall pictures against the red sandstone like the picture below.
I would happily write a guide to obtaining a permit, the hike down there, a packing list or hiking to the Colorado River confluence. The truth is that those guides have been done so many times and have accurate information. Instead, I will outline our trip itinerary, some extra tips I learned during our time there and resources to use for planning your trip.
4:30AM- We began our hike down to the Havasupai Reservation. It was a predicted high of 95 degrees so we wanted to hike as much as possible before the sun started to bake us. This worked out well as we really didn't hit any direct sunlight until the last mile or so.
7:45AM- Arrive in the village after 8 miles of hiking, checked in, received wristbands to wear and a tag to go on one of the tents in our campsite.
9AM- Arrive at the campground and pick a spot to set up.
Noon- Go play in Havasu Falls! We went and relaxed in the water and finally cooled off. On top of the waterfalls being gorgeous, the cliffs surrounding them are almost indescribable. The best way to put it is that they look like they are mud melting.
Afternoon- Stock up on water and then go back to camp for a nap. You earned it. After napping and setting up camp we had dinner and played card games before going to bed early.
5:30AM- Wake up and get prepared for our day hike
6:30AM- Go to the spring and stock up on water for the day.
8AM- Start our hike down tot he Colorado River Confluence. First things first, is climbing down to Mooney Falls. This is not to be taken lightly as the ladders and chains are not the sturdiest and the mist from the walls gets everything wet.
10:15AM- Arrive at Beaver Falls. Thomas and I left our group at the falls there and continued on to the confluence. We weren't sure exactly how far it would be though as we heard varying accounts. We decided by the end to say it was 15 miles round trip from our campsite.
Afternoon- We had no watch or anything to tell us the time but we hiked until we got back to our campsite at 6PM. I highly suggest making the trek down to the Colorado River confluence if you can. The murky brown water mixing with the turquoise of Havasu Creek is really incredible. In addition is a beautiful slot canyon at the very end.
This was our lazy day, after already hiking 29 miles the past two days. We didn't even leave camp until after lunch. We read for hours and then went for a swim at Havasu Falls. The highlight was using Havasu Creek as a lazy river to get back to our campsite from the falls at the other end of the campground.
3:30AM- Started out 10.5 mile hike out. We were hoping to avoid what we could of the heat especially since most of the elevation gain of the hike was in the last 1.5 miles.
8:50AM- Finish our hike out! For the most part, we avoided the sun and we were hiking at a much slower pace than the rest of our group. They finished an hour before us. We were hiking at a pretty average pace and completed the hike in 5 hours and 20 minutes. We had about 10 minutes of hiking in the sun at the very start of the final ascent.
The best camp sites are towards the end of the campground and right along the creek. I'm glad we hiked the little bit extra to set up our campsite there.
You can get a really cool view of Mooney Falls from above by going to the right side of the creek. There is a great view of down the canyon from there too.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to day hike to the confluence of the Colorado River. And if you don't do that then at the very least hike to Beaver Falls which is 7 miles RT. There is a trail guide listed near the bottom of this article with info on how to get there.
The squirrels are the worst I have ever witnessed as far as scavenging for food. We tied all out bags high up on a line and one person was still at camp sitting in a hammock. He watched as a squirrel ran up the tree and chew through our para cord dropping all the backpacks. We found plastic orange home depot buckets that other campers left and those with a giant rock on top of them worked best. I would say if you have a bear canister for backpacking that you need it just for the squirrels here.
Bring your photo ID if you are the one who made the reservation. I didn't realize I needed this and it was left up in my truck at the trailhead. They would have had me walk all the way back up if my picture wasn't next to my name on the confirmation email!
Pack in a floatie of some sort. We didn't but luckily someone else left three and we were able to use them to float down the creek.
Resources for Planning
First things first on planning your trip is to obtain a permit. This is an absolute must as the Native American Reservation of the Havasupai Tribe does not allow any day hikes into the canyon.
Reservations must be made either online at https://www.sunrisereservations.com/campground/Supai+Campground or over the phone by calling (928)448-2180
Here are some links to great blog posts from other bloggers about obtaining a permit:
Before You Even head to Arizona You will have to pack for the trip. This is usually everyone's least favorite part of camping/ backpacking/ traveling! Luckily there are some great lists that have been put together about what to pack for a trip to Havasupai.
Now that you have packed and arranged your permits (February 1st, every year) it is time to prepare for your hike into the Havasupai Reservation:
Here is some extra information and tips too!