Arizona is one of the best states to visit if you love to spend time outdoors and admire the beauty of nature. The state is home to the Grand Canyon, as well as many other amazing natural areas like Saguaro National Park, the Sonoran Desert, and Monument Valley. A true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, Arizona is filled with extraordinary, almost otherworldly landscapes that simply can't be found anywhere else on Earth. The state is commonly associated with dryness and sandy landscapes, but one of the best and most unique sites in all of Arizona is Havasu Falls.
A waterfall of Havasu Creek and located within the Grand Canyon, just over a mile away from Supai, Havasu Falls is situated within Havasupai tribal lands. It's a very popular recreational spot, often attracting families and groups of friends. The unique beauty of Havasu Falls, which features bright blue waters crashing down over red and orange rocks into a pool below, really makes this spot a special place for many people, and it's a great place to swim, relax, and have picnics. Here’s how to plan out the perfect day trip to Havasu Falls.
Getting to Havasu Falls
If you’re planning on visiting Havasu Falls for a day trip, you’ll need to start your journey quite close to the Grand Canyon, as getting to the falls can be quite time-consuming and a little complicated if it’s your first time. There aren't actually any roads leading to Supai or the falls themselves, so you'll need to travel there in one of the following ways:
- Hiking - Most people hike to Havasu Falls from Hualapai Hilltop, and the hike is quite a long one. You'll need to begin your journey at Hualapai Hilltop and then hike 8 miles to Supai. From there, you'll need to hike two more miles to the waterfalls. Those who struggle with health issues like joint or muscle problems may find this hike simply too challenging, and you'll need to have a certain level of physical fitness to make it all the way and back in a single day.
- Horseback - If you aren't able or willing to make the hike, you can reserve a spot on the back of a pack animal like a horse or mule. The costs of these animals can be quite high and you'll need to reserve well in advance, but the advantages are clear to see and you'll save a lot of energy by hitching a ride on a mule rather than hiking the whole distance by yourself.
- Helicopter - It is possible, as long as the weather conditions are right, to get a helicopter ride from Havasupai Hilltop over to Supai. You'll still need to walk the couple of miles from there to the falls, but the helicopter will cut out a large chunk of the journey and get you to Supai in just 15 minutes, so this is a good, but expensive option for those who want to make the most of their day trip.
Important Information and Tips for Your Havasu Falls Day Trip
- Reservations - Anyone wishing to visit Havasu Falls, even for just one day, will need to get a reservation and permit. These reservations need to be made prior to arrival and you'll need to book very far in advance if you want to get a spot as the Havasupai tribe limit the amount of people allowed onto their lands. The cost can be upwards of $100 per reservation and can be paid online. As you make your way down into the canyon towards the falls, representatives of the tribe will be standing by to check reservations and permits.
- Be Prepared - Hikers are recommended to pack lots of bottled water and some snacks to stay hydrated and energized, and be sure to wear good quality walking shoes too. You should also consider bringing a hat and sunscreen on sunny days, and the hike is best avoided in the middle of the day as the sun is at its highest point and it's very easy to get dehydrated. You won’t find many facilities or any drinking water spots along the way, so it’s up to you to prepare accordingly for your day trip.
- Visiting - Havasu Falls is a unique natural site of beauty, and it's a great place for outdoor adventurers to enjoy the views and feel a million miles away from big cities and civilization. It's a nice place for picnics and photography, and you can also continue hiking a little further into the canyon to see other waterfalls like Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. All guests at the falls are encouraged to be respectful of the site, picking up any trash and refraining from any disrespectful behavior or activity.