Backpack to Havasu Falls in the Havasupai Reservation

Supai, Arizona

4.7/5
based on 23 reviews

Details

Distance

10 miles

Elevation Gain

-2000 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Jason Hatfield

Havasu Falls will take you on a trek to an oasis of cool blue water and thundering falls deep in the Havasupai Reservation.

The Havasupai Reservation is a remote area just outside Grand Canyon National Park, full of blue-green water and dramatic waterfalls.  Despite being an extremely isolated location, camping in the canyon is overwhelmingly popular and reservations are required. On popular weekends you will be sharing the campgrounds with hundreds of others but shoulder seasons can bring some respite. 

The trail to Supai Village starts at Hualapai Hilltop and is downhill the entire way. There is little cover, so lots of water and an early start is recommended; the way back will be even tougher. Once you reach the village you will pick up your permits and maps, any items needed from the small market, and continue another 2 miles to the campgrounds.

After setting up camp, Havasu Falls is a short trip back up the trail and your best bet after a long day of hiking. The following day you can spend time exploring Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, and the surrounding canyon down to the Colorado River; the full hike is 16 miles round-trip. After Mooney Falls the trail is much more rugged and includes multiple water crossings and some rock scrambling. If you have your camera with you I recommend waterproof protection while hiking in the deeper parts. 

Please be mindful on this trip and make sure you pack out whatever you pack in. Also please be cognizant of animal safety if you choose to use assistance on your hike in. 

Here is a great guide for everything you need to know for your trip to Havasupai.

Here are some of the key attractions along the trek:

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Features

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

The hike to Havasupai is a tough one but so worth it. I've backpacked and camped here on four different occasions. Its such a fun place to explore.

It’s a tough hike; there’s no sign of water for much of the trek. But the reward is worth it- the waters here are stunning. I jumped in as soon as I saw the turquoise water. This is my favorite trip to date. If you want to cliff jump (it isn’t allowed, so do so at your own risk), hike past Beaver falls. Stay on the trail before descending the stairs to Beaver, and you’ll find a rope down on the side of the cliff, overlooking a giant pool of blue water. The water is very deep (perfect for bigger jumps), but be aware the current is also strong.

The hike is tough! Very long but very possible even if you aren’t in the best shape. Totally worth the hike, but I️ recommend using the miles for your backpacks or pack extremely light! Do not count on getting food from Supai, they take extremely long to serve food and I️ believe they serve the natives first. Last, take a lot of pictures and get in the water!!!!

Been here twice, live in AZ, extremely well traveled, there's just nothing else like it. So many things to say... the most remote town in the continental USA, red desert oasis with kool-aid colored water, literally dozens of world class falls, cliff jumping, star gazing, learning about the culture of the tribe that lives down there, helicopters overhead, mules racing past you, indian fry bread, there's so much to do and you find yourself trying to hold onto what you're actually experiencing. The singular trip tops anything in Hawaii / Colorado / Utah / Yellowstone for me and knowing you hiked in / out on a 20 mile minimum round trip with everything on your back is some kinda sense of accomplishment at the end. I love the Southwest USA.

The animal abuse I witnessed there was horrific no waterfall is pretty enough to get rid of the terrible images that I saw. Whatever you do do not use the mules to pack your gear in. I think this place needs to stop being visited by tourists in general so that the animal abuse has no profit motive behind anymore. But if you do visit do not use the mules sto packing your gear if you can't carry your gear yourself and make the entire hike yourself do not go. The blood of these innocent horses is not worth a pretty waterfall. If you have any questions about how many hundreds of horses have died under this abuse just go to save Havasupai horses Facebook page and see for yourself.

This was an unforgettable trip for me, the whole thing from beginning to end. But you must be cautious about requesting the donkey service to bring up your belongings back to the hilltop, you run the risk of losing them. That's what happened to me and I flew home without my bag. It took 3 months of constant calling the front desk (2-3 times a week) for them to return my stuff. They did eventually with everything in tact. But I wonder what really happened that day... The ranger at the hilltop informed me that this regularly happens too. Please be aware and travel safe!

As others have said, it's really hard to articulate how mind blowing this place is. The hike in and out may be long, but it wasn't too bad. In the summer months, leave super early to avoid the head (think 3AM or so). Also, remember some cash, the tacos on town hit the spot when you get there after the hike in!

Overall the hike in and out isn't too rough, just boring until you get closer to Supai. I hiked it in the fall and the temps were reasonable in the 70s and low 80s, not so sure I would enjoy it in the summer. The campground can get pretty packed depending when you go so be prepared to share the amazing views with a few hundred other people.

Did this hike a couple years back with my family, and completely loved it. Sleeping right next to the river, and spending the hot days in the clear water made the very hot hike out at the end worth it.

One of my favorite backpacking trips to date! The hike can be difficult and hot but it's totally worth it once you arrive at the campsite. The amenities are great -- clean compost toilets, potable water source, and even a cafe and fry bread stand of you're too tired to cook every meal. The only issue now is trying to get back here again -- nearly impossible to get a cancellation / walk in permit -- you must book many months in advance!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike to the Confluence of the Colorado River and Havasu Creek

Hike to Beaver Falls

Hike to Mooney Falls

Hike to Navajo Falls

Hike to Hidden Falls in the Havasupai Reservation

Camp at Tuweep Campground