Outbound Collective logo

Mooney Falls

Supai, Arizona

based on 6 reviews



1.36 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type



Added by Jeremy Meek

If you hike down to Havasupai and stop at Havasu Falls, you will have missed the grandest of the waterfalls in the Grand Canyon: Mooney Falls. At a towering 200 feet tall, not only is this waterfall scenic, but getting to the idyllic pool at its base is an adventure unto itself, requiring you to use chains and ladders to hike down through the old mining route tunnels in the cliff face.

Hiking down to Mooney Falls is a great, short adventure when camping at the Havasupai Campground. Not only that, it is certainly the most adventurous waterfall to reach, requiring travelers to hike down through a menacing passageway cut through the side of the canyon wall by miners at the turn of the 20th century. Descend to the base of Mooney Falls at your own risk; the falls are named after a prospector (Mr. Mooney) who fell to his death way back when, prior to the existing path being in place (still dangerous now). While Mooney Falls makes a great destination, I would strongly encourage it to be only one stop along your way to the many cascades and Beaver Falls further downstream.

The hike to Mooney Falls is a relative short hike, ranging anywhere from 3/4 of a mile to a few hundred feet depending on where in the campground you make camp. The northwest end of the campground is precisely where you will find the trail down to Mooney Falls. If you are going to do this hike, I would advise that you go early in the morning to avoid a long wait trying to get down the passageway cut into the canyon wall. Personally, my favorite time to do this hike is at first light (make sure you have plenty of light to safely descend!). This will also allow plenty of time to explore many of the cascades downstream of Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, or even an all day adventure hiking to the Colorado River and back. Spending some time downstream of Mooney Falls will help get much of the downhill traffic out of the way, allowing for a somewhat easier ascent in the early to mid-afternoon so two way traffic in the tunnel is minimized. I have made this descent in ‘peak traffic’ and have had to wait as long as 20 minutes on the side of the canyon wall waiting for slower travelers to descend. If you have a fear of heights or are not in a state of great physical fitness, please do everyone a favor and either don’t descend, or descend late in the morning after ‘rush hour’.

The trail down to the base of Mooney Falls is not for the faint of heart. Sturdy chains bolted into the rock assist hikers in safely descending the slippery path down to the plunge pool at the base of the falls. Make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction. The mist from the falls keeps the rock moist and slippery. Take your time and proceed carefully using the chains to stabilize yourself. The view at the bottom is well worth the challenging descent.

After exploring the base of Mooney Falls, continue downstream along the creek to see more stunning waterfalls and azure pools. About a mile downstream you'll come to a fork in the trail. Going left will take you to Beaver Falls, a series of delicate cascades flowing into turquoise pools perfect for swimming on a hot day. The right fork leads downstream to the Colorado River. This makes for an ideal full day hike of around 5-6 miles round trip from the campground.

Pack plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy up. There is no shade along the routes downstream so wear a hat and sunscreen. The falls and swimming holes provide a refreshing respite from the Arizona heat. A permit is required to access Supai and the falls. Plan ahead and reserve your permit early as they do sell out, especially during the peak spring and summer seasons.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app
Download GPX File


Swimming Hole

Mooney Falls Reviews

The climb down Mooney Falls is fun and exciting. The tunnels and chains made it feel like I was in the Goonies Movie and that there would be a pirate ship at the bottom. Very cool spot.



There's nothing quite like Mooney, just look away when the tourists moon everyone hahaha.

This was definitely the most stunning of the falls and the most dangerous. The hike down is fairly easy if there aren't 200 other people all moving slowly down it with others trying to squeeze by you on the way up. Once down at the falls there's a lot to explore around it and some fun swimming spots.

Hands down the most beautiful place I've ever been.

It's a beautiful falls and a great spot to swim, and sometimes you can climb the wall and jump, if it isn't too mossy. But it's can be very dangerous. One of my friends almost go sucked under the falls. The water is so powerful there's not much he could do. I had a good family friend die there, so pleas be careful around the falls and be smart

This hike was excited and challenging and completely worth it

Leave No Trace

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


Beaver Falls

Navajo Falls

Hidden Falls in the Havasupai Reservation

Confluence of the Colorado River and Havasu Creek

Havasu Falls in the Havasupai Reservation

Thunder River Loop