2017 Havasu Falls Camping Guide: Planning your Havasupai Backpacking Trip

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A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

2017 Havasu Falls Camping Guide

I recently visited Havasupai Indian Reservation for a weekend of Havasu Falls camping. MIND. BLOWN. I knew it was going to be cool, but I didn’t realize how incredibly magical it was going to be. See this one-minute video for proof!

In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know about Havasu Falls camping, including trailhead information, how to get a permit reservation, the layout of the Havasupai campground, and what backpacking gear to bring to Havasu Falls.

For a more detailed Havasu Falls packing list, visit this post.

Where is Havasu Falls / Getting to the Havasu Falls Trailhead

The Havasu Falls trailhead is located Hualapai Hilltop which is marked on the map below. The two closest airports to Havasu Falls are Las Vegas (4 hours) or Phoenix (5 hours).

Directions to Havasu Falls from Las Vegas

From Las Vegas, take the 93 South towards Kingman, Arizona and then head east on Route 66. After 57 miles, turn left on Indian Road 18. Drive for 60 miles until you reach the end of the road. There is a large parking lot with bathrooms at the trailhead. There is also a place to camp just below the bathrooms, but there is no water available at the trailhead.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

The Best Time to go to Havasu Falls

The best time to go to Havasu Falls depends on what you want to do there. Do you want to swim? Or do you want to avoid the crowds? Here are different pros and cons for visiting Havasu Falls for the different seasons.

  • Spring/Late Fall

  • Pros: Less bugs and less people
  • Cons: Variable weather could mean less than ideal swimming temps. This year has been abnormally warm and in mid-March it was about 80 during the day and the upper 40s at night.
  • Summer/Early Fall

  • Pros: Hot weather means you can sit and hang out in the water all day
  • Cons: Hot temps mean hiking could be miserable. In the heat of summer, when Havasu Falls is the busiest, people get up at 4am to begin the hike out. Summer is also monsoon season with flash floods being most likely from mid June to late September.

How to Get a Havasu Falls Permit & Camping Fees

(New Reservation Process and Fees Updated for 2017!)

  • How to Get a Havasu Falls Permit

The biggest obstacle to planning a backpacking trip to Havasu Falls is getting a permit. Advanced reservations are required, and generally permits sell out for the entire year within the first couple of months of the year. Your best chance of getting a permit will be to call at the beginning of the year as soon as the reservation lines open. If you get a busy signal, keep trying until you get through. I’ve heard of people calling for 15 hours straight before they finally reached someone on the other end.

Another way to increase your chances is to have flexible dates. Mid-summer when everyone is on summer vacation is going to be the most competitive time. If you can go mid-week in April or late-October , then you’ll have a better chance of getting a Havasu Falls permit.

Here’s another a quick tip. When I first called to make a reservation, I was told that there were no permits available. A week later I called back and asked again. Turns out someone else had cancelled their reservation for the dates I wanted. Because of that cancellation, I was able to get a Havasu Falls permit, and a couple of weeks later, I was camping there. There is no guarantee this will work, but it’s worth a try, and your chances will increase if you have some flexibility in your dates.

The reservation line for the 2017 season opens February 1!

Reservations are made by phone through the camping office on the Havasupai Reservation. To make a reservation and obtain a permit, call one of the numbers listed here during the hours of 7am to 7pm. Make sure to write down your reservation number, as you will not receive any sort of confirmation by email or mail.

  • (928) 448-2121 or
  • (928) 448-2141 (not sure if this second number still works)

*** NEW FOR 2017 *** You can also make reservations ONLINE HERE. ***

** Note: I’ve been getting a lot of emails about people having trouble getting through to the reservation line. My guess is that the phone lines have been very busy, and unfortunately, I can’t offer any assistance with getting permits or advice on how to reach the camping office beyond what is offered in this post. **

  • 2017 Havasu Falls Camping Fees

  • Camping Fee: $25/person/night
  • Environmental Fee: $10/person
  • Entrance Fee: $50/person
  • Tax: 10%

The longer you stay the lower the cost per night since your entrance fee and environmental fee get spread out over the course of the trip.  In past years, there have been no discounts for children, and Native Americans will a valid Tribal ID card have been exempt from the entrance fee.

Example: For a two night trip for 1 person, the cost is: ($25 x 2) + ($10) + ($50) = $110.

  • Other things to Know Before Calling

  • All fees are due at the time of reservation
  • Only a single credit card can be used on each reservation
  • No refunds and no name transfers

When you first get to the Reservation, just keep following the path and eventually you will find the office located near the center of the Supai village directly on the trail. Once you’ve paid your fees, the office will provide each person with a wristband that you must wear through the duration of your visit, as well as a tag for each of your tents, which will be checked daily by a ranger who patrols the campground.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

  • Can I go without a reservation? Or can I dayhike?

If you go down there without a reservation, according to the Havasupai Website, the Camping Office will charge you double, and that’s assuming there is room for you. I have no experience doing this, so I can’t provide too much advice and don’t recommend it. However, if you decide to wing it you need to be prepared for an increased fee. No day hiking from Hualapai Hilltop is allowed, and even if it was, the falls are much too far to hike there and back in one day.

For more information on the reservation process, visit the Havasu Falls camping website.

The Trail to Havasu Falls

 Total distance to the Havasu Falls campground: 9.5 miles (19 miles round trip)

Total one-way elevation change to campground: -2,400 feet

Havasupai Indian Reservation Map

Havasupai Trail Elevation ProfileElevation profile courtesy of RockHounds.com

The total distance to the Havasu Falls camping ground is approximately 9.5 miles (19 miles round trip), and the trail begins at the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot at an elevation of 5,200 feet. Immediately the trail begins a 1,000 foot descent over the first mile, dropping you into Havasu Canyon. Once you reach the wash, the trail follows the dry river bed for the next 6.5 miles, gradually dropping another 1,000 or so feet until you reach the village of Supai at mile 7.5.

The hike on the way in is long but not too difficult, and the initial descent is on a well-maintained series of switchbacks. Once you are in the river bed, the hiking can be a bit slow due to the sandy gravel, but the trail is very easy to follow. If any point you think you’ve lost the trail, just keep following the river bed until you meet back up with the path.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Once you pass through the Supai village, it’s another 2 miles and a couple hundred of feet down to the Havasu Falls campground.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Hiking back out is a bit more challenging. By the time you reach the climb at the end, it’s likely that you’ll be a bit tired. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks for the return.

Also, there is very little shade on the trail, so depending on the time of year, the hike out can be deathly hot. That extreme dry heat can suck the life right out of you, and even in March when the temps were in the mid-80s, it was quite hot hiking out. If you are doing this hike in summer, plan to start the trek out in the very early morning, like 4am early.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Do take time to enjoy the scenery as you hike. People say that the hike itself isn’t all that exciting, but the colorful canyon walls really are quite beautiful and worthy of some photos.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

The Havasu Falls Campground

The area for Havasu Falls camping is about a mile long and sits between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. Campsites are scattered throughout. A majority of the sites are right on the river that runs through the campground, and all of the sites have a picnic table. Note that there are campsites on both sides of the river with several foot bridges that make for an easy crossing.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

The crowds seemed thinner the further we walked. The only disadvantage of being near the Mooney Falls end of the campground is that the water spigot where you fill up your water bottles is located near the start of the campground. There are four toilet facilities evenly spaced throughout the campground, and they were surprisingly clean with plenty of TP. There are NO showers, and there are no campfires are allowed in the Havasu Falls camping area.

When you are camping it’s also important that you practice Leave No Trace in order to keep the campground and the falls clean for everyone to enjoy.

** Read More: Outdoor Ethics – The 7 Basic Principles of Leave No Trace **

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

The campground is also hammock heaven, with tons of trees to swing from. I slept in my ENO Hammock for the first time ever on this trip, and I believe there are many more hammock nights in my near future. If there’s a chance of rain, don’t forget to bring a tarp if you plan on sleeping in a hammock.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

What Gear to Bring on your Havasu Falls Camping Trip

Packing correctly for your Havasu Falls camping trip is important since your backpacking in. To make sure you don’t forget anything, check out our complete packing list for Havasu Falls.

You can also review our standard backpacking gear checklist for 3-day adventures. Don’t forget these few special additional pieces of gear for Havasu Falls:

Swimsuit

This is why you are going to Havasupai, yes?

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Water sandals

You’ll definitely want a pair of shoes you can hike through the water with, like a lightweight pair of Tevas. When you go swimming it will make entering and exiting the water much easier. Also, they come in handy on the hike to Beaver Falls. On this trail, there is a river crossing and getting your feet wet is unavoidable. I did the entire hike to Beaver Falls in my Tevas, while my friends wore their hiking shoes and took them off for the crossing. Either way works, but having the sandals makes things more convenient.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Camera gear

Havasupai is a great place to practice your photography skills. The landscape is diverse and with so many waterfalls, it really is a photographer’s dream. If you want to try and get some of those silky waterfall shots, you will want to bring a tripod. Mefoto makes a sturdy, compact tripod for backpacking that I recommend. If you want something lighter and less expensive, Joby makes some great flexible tripods for trekking.

I shoot with a Sony A7S, and when there are waterfalls, I always bring a variable neutral density filter to allow for slower shutter speeds even when it’s bright out.

A GoPro is also awesome for Havasu Falls since the GoPro is waterproof when it’s in its case. Getting fun video footage is super easy with a GoPro as well. I shoot with a GoPro Hero5 Black.

Get my Favorite GoPro Tips & Tricks

Best GoPro Tips & Tricks for Awesome Travel Photos

 

 Hydration Bladder and Water Filtration

There is a fresh spring in the campground that is tested for contaminants on a monthly basis. On my trip, this is where we filled up, and we didn’t worry about filtering our water. However, there are times when the Camping Office will recommend you filter the water, and for that reason, it’s always good to have a backup plan. Good options include simple purification tablets or the Platypus GravityWorks Water Filtration System (read my full review) which is super lightweight and effortless to use.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

There is also no water available at the trailhead, so make sure you have enough with you for the hike before you drive all the way out to Hualapai Hilltop. This means you should have a way of carrying 3 liters of water for the hike in and out, such as this 3 liter Osprey hydration reservoir. I especially like this bladder because the back side is hard, making it easy to slide in and out of your pack. Multiple water bottles also work, and I’m a big fan of the Platypus Soft Bottles.

 A Small Daypack

It’s a good idea for someone in your group to have a small daypack that you can use to carry gear on day hikes to the waterfalls. This is especially important if you are planning on going down to the base of Mooney Falls. That trail is slightly treacherous and you are going to want both hands as you make your way down. A small collapsible daypack like the Cotopaxi Luzon will ensure you don’t have to worry about hanging on to your water and camera.

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

 Quick dry towel

It’s nice to have something to dry off with when you get out of the water. A simple quick dry towel like the REI Multitowel Lite takes up little room in your pack.

 Insect spray

The bugs were nonexistent when we were there in March, but we were told by the ranger that once the trees start to bloom, they come out in full force and bug spray is necessary.

 Sunscreen

The sun is crazy intense out there in the desert, so don’t forget some waterproof sunscreen.

 

Havasu Falls Camping Guide // A complete travel guide to a one-of-a-kind Havasu Falls camping experience with everything you need to know about the trail, permits, campground, & gear.

Other tips for Camping at Havasu Falls

 Watch out for marmots. They are sneaky and will get into your food if its left out where they can get to it. When you leave your camp to go for a swim or a hike, make sure to hang it or stash it away.

 There are options to use pack horses or helicopters to transport you and your stuff. I say challenge yourself and get yourself down there with all of your gear on your own two feet. It’s cheaper and a better workout. Plus, we noticed people who seemed to waiting quite a long time for their stuff to arrive. You wouldn’t want to waste your precious time sitting around in the village. But if you really need some help, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just inquire with the camping office about alternative forms of transportation and they can tell you your options.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPERIENCE HAVASU FALLS CAMPING? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET ME, OR WRITE ME A POST ON FACEBOOK

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I receive a tiny bit of compensation at no added cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried out and truly love, and any purchases you make help keep this blog going. Thanks for all of your support, and if you ever have any questions about any of the products featured on my site, please email me. Thanks! Kristen
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About the author

Hi! I'm Kristen....blogger, hiker, sunset-watcher, and dance floor shredder. I feel most alive in the outdoors and created this website to help you enjoy the best that the West has to offer.

323 Comments on “2017 Havasu Falls Camping Guide: Planning your Havasupai Backpacking Trip

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  1. Great trip report. It’s on my “must do list” the next time I’m out west!

      Awesome Adam! Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks! Kristen

        Good afternoon,

        Great read! I have been trying to call to make a reservation at the Havasupai Falls camp grounds. I’ve called everyday for the last three weeks but can’t get through. Do you have any suggestions on how to get through and actually make a reservation?

          Hi Chris – Sorry I don’t have any other tips. I think they aren’t answering because they are fully booked.

            Just thought I would let others know that I got through today and they confirmed they are completely booked for the rest of the season. PS thank you for your wonderful guide

          Hi!

          Just thought I’d let you know that we have been trying since the beginning of February to get a reservation for April 15-17 but they have been fully booked. We kept calling and lucked out; when I called on Friday (April 8) there had been a cancellation and we were able to get a reservation! So keep calling…it may be worth it!

            Awesome. Thanks for letting us know! Have fun down there!

        Can we pitch a tent at Hilltop Trailhead, or is that discouraged? Great blog and photos!

          They have a very small area where you can pitch a tent and it is first come first served. There is also no water available at the hilltop.

        Kristen, I’m terrified of heights so I’m wondering how scary Havasu would be for me. Are there many heights?

          Havasu Falls would be fine. Mooney Falls will be challenging…but maybe a good way to face your fears 😉

    Thanks for this helpful info! I came across this blog post after seeing some of your Havasupai pics on ig. Beautful photos! I’m hoping to go in June but wasn’t able to get a reservation. Yet. I’ve called them everyday this week and will keep it up. Ill reference this post again before I go. I cant wait to explore your blog more. Happy travels to you!!

      Kim – It’s great to connect with you! Please keep me posted about whether or not you are successful getting a permit for June. I imagine that is one of the busiest times of year, but my fingers are crossed for ya. Once you start planning in more detail, let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks so much! Kristen

    You have a wonderful blog. Your writing style is very engaging. You also write with your reader in mind, which is not always the case with blogs. I was thinking of doing this trip spontaneously next week, but after reading this, I’m thinking that permit availability will kill that idea. Oh well. It’s not going anywhere. P.S. I’m the guy that met you and bRad at Gaylor Lakes before you headed south on the JMT last year. You had good timing. Permits are hard to come by this year for the JMT. Though, I’m planning on doing a few sections where permits are easier to obtain, and dogs are allowed. And just so you know, I am reading, and re-reading your JMT reports for planning purposes for good places to camp. Your write up on the JMT was excellent. Hope you are doing well.

      Hey Brent! So nice to hear from you! Maybe give the Havasupai office a call anyways. You never know. I made my reservation less than two weeks in advance, but as summer gets closer, I’m sure permits are harder to come by.

      I really appreciate the compliment on my write-ups! I really try to make them informative so people can replicate the adventures on their own. I am also hearing the same thing about permits this year, but honestly I think it’s a good thing that they are revamping the system. There were a lot of places last year where the trail was pretty crowded and that really detracts from the wilderness experience. What sections are you going to do?

      Thanks again for your support here. Remind me what your photography facebook page is again? I’d love to get some tips from you as I’m really trying to improve my skills this year.

      Cheers, Kristen

    I am planning on doing the Ansel Adams section as that is dog friendly. I also intend to do the Bishop loop from North Lake – South Lake which takes you through Evolution Valley and over Muir Pass. Beyond that, I am not sure. I am considering Sonora Pass – Tuolumne Meadows. At this point I am planning on HYOH – hike your own hike. Which translates to solo hiking. I have done extensive hiking in my day, but not too many overnight solo trips. So I want to some shorter trips and make sure that I like it, and am comfortable traveling that way before taking on a longer trip.

    I do not have a photography FB page. Just a website, which is: brentdavisphotography.com

    I’d be happy to offer some mentoring. Let me know when you are in the proverbial neighborhood and we’ll make it happen.

      That sounds like a great itinerary. And going by yourself will be liberating I’m sure. I haven’t done too much solo hiking except for a handful of day hikes. I’ve also thought about doing a solo backpacking trip…probably to somewhere not too isolated at least till I’m comfortable. Please let me know how it goes! And thanks for sharing the link to your website. I’m looking at your site now. AMAZING! I especially love your night photography…that’s something I really want to improve on. I still can’t quite grasp how people get shots with so much color in the night sky. Like this one: http://www.dawndavisphotography.com/Brents-Photos/Panoramas/i-KB6gvz7/A What time of night was this taken? And what kind of camera and wide angle lens do you typically use? Thanks Brent!

    I am so jealous! I’ve been wanting to do this.Are there backpacking destinations to travel further into the canyon?

    Hey Kristen:

    I love the follow up to your previous Havasu post: lots of helpful information packed in ways making my mouth watering to get out and check it out!

    I also like your recent redesign in the header area. Can I ask, who was the designer that came up with the design? If you like, you can let me know via my e-address rather than in public post here.

    Super awesome as usual. 🙂

      Thanks Yok! Glad you found the post helpful and also stoked you like my new logo. I’ll shoot you my designer’s contact info now. -Kristen

    long journey and great place, are you doing this alone or with friend?

      I did this hike with a couple of friends. I would like to do a solo backpacking trip one of these days though.

    So glad I came across this post! There were still a few things i didn’t know about, like being able to camp near the parking lot, which I was trying to find out about. I’ll be heading out there next week. So excited!

      Cindy – Great connecting with you and thanks so much! Get ready for an amazing weekend. That place is heaven! If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out. Thanks! Kristen

        Thank you for this post! It is very informative! I am thinkin about hiking in March with my two kids who are extremely active and athletic. I am concerned about the hike out for my 7 year old though. Do you know if there is an option to hike in and then helicopter out?

          You can take the helicopter out. You should contact the reservation directly and they can give you more info about that.

    Wow! I would love to do some camping and hiking here! Amazing pictures. The water looks so clear and beautiful for swimming! Thanks for sharing.

      Dana – It was incredible. I hope you guys can go here soon!

    Thanks for the great info! I enjoyed reading your blog very much! I backpacked Havasupai 15 years ago when I lived in AZ and swore I’d come back again one day because it was so magical. We were able to hike all the way to the Colorado River which was especially wonderful. Although I live out East now, I am finally making it back this year!!

    My only concern about our trip this year is the time of year we are going. We couldn’t get reservations until Nov 8. I am not concerned about the weather (cold doesn’t bother me, though it will be a bit of a bummer if it’s too cold to swim, but that’s not a priority). I am more concerned about the photography. Do you know if the trees will be all brown and the canyon in shadow due to the low sun angle that time of year? Last time I went in April and I just remember how awesome it looked to have the contrast of the green leaves against the red canyon walls, aquamarine water, and bright blue sky. I was hoping we could still get that in November. Any thoughts or knowledge on how different it will look in November?

    Thanks in advance for your advice! It’s very cool of you to use your blog to help others have amazing experiences outdoors!

      Kim – Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I didn’t get to hike to the Colorado River…next time for sue!

      I actually think November will probably be a nice time to visit. The campground will probably be empty which is a plus. I’m not sure about the angle of the sun though. I’m sure you’d at least get a couple hours of sun in the canyon for some primetime photos. Many of the trees hadn’t yet bloomed when I went this year and it was still very pretty.

      Excited for you to return there and hope you come back and share some pics with us! -Kristen

    wow, thanks for the tips ans updates, we will go this summer in july. I did not get a reservation yet because it’s full, but I will try every day ! We will get there and take a chance anyway. Hope it will ne ok ! It doesn’t matter for us to pay extra charge. It’ such an amazing place ! I went in july 2011 in the lodges. I’m just hoping we won’t have to go back up the same day…

      Yeah – that would be a tough day. there and back. My fingers are crossed for you…please keep me posted! -Kristen

      Hi! i just was wondering if you got a reservation and if not did they let you camp? Planning on doing the same!

        I did have a reservation. If you don’t, I hear they charge double. But I wouldn’t recommend hiking all the way in without a permit.

      Hello, my group of friends have 3 lodges reserved and I could not get a permit it’s all full. I’m wondering what are my chances of getting a permit that same day? Don’t mind paying the extra fee just don’t know if there would be any available? Also, option B what are the chances of just blending in with the larger group?
      Any advice is greatly appreciated!

        Hello! We haven’t heard of anybody getting a permit on the same day but according to the Havasupai website, it is possible they will just charge you double. Personally, we don’t know the chances of this working or of anybody having this work for them. I would strongly recommend against “blending” in with a larger group.

    Great blog! I’m not used to having to pay this much to camp, but with how beautiful this place is, I’m sure it is worth it! How many days/nights would you recommend staying?

      Thanks Lindsey – I totally agree about the paying to camp, but Havasu Falls is definitely worth it. I stayed 3 days / 2 nights, which gave us time to hike to Beaver Falls. Next time I might stay three nights. It was that good! Have fun out there! Kristen

    I’ve been looking for a swimsuit similar to the blue top and black bottom one in your photo. Would you mind telling me where you got it? Thanks!

      Hey Jen – I got it at Macy’s. I believe it’s made my Jessica Simpson. The bottoms were purchased separate and just a basic black bikini bottom. Thanks for stopping by! -Kristen

    What wonderful information! It will save me endless phone calls to the reservation office!

    Your information on timing is making me rethink the time of year we’d planned on going–late May. When you were there, how was the water temperature? Ok for swimming? We’ve got a couple people in our party who don’t handle heat well, so March or April would probably be better. Thanks!

      Angela – The water was chilly but still swimmable in April. I’m pretty sure the water temperature is constant year round. May would definitely be nicer for swimming, but you’d want to get up early on your last day and hike out before the heat sets in. Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you have any other questions, just let me know. Thanks! Kristen

    I am happy to report that my persistent calling paid off and I was able to get a reservation for the end of June! I called every few days for the past couple of months. I started to feel like a jerk but I am glad I kept calling.

    I was curious about camping at the trailhead? Did you see alot of campers up there? I have heard from someone else that its a really small parking lot with limited parking spaces and no room to camp. Have you seen motorhomes parked there? There are 6 of us coming from CA so I think taking a camper is best – no camp to break down early in the morning before we hit the trail.

    This post is the best resource I gave found for everything Havasupai! Thank you so much for putting it together! And I’m going to reference some of your other posts to prep for the trip.

    Also, who makes your sleeping pads? A float by day, a sleeping pad by night. Genuis!

      Kim – That is awesome news! You are going to have an amazing time. As far as camping at the trailhead, there is only a very small campsite. I dont really recall seeing any RVs in the parking lot, but I would assume that is fine. You could always call and ask. Alternatively you could get a hotel in Boulder City or Kingman and stay there the night before and just get an early start on the road.

      Sleeping pads – Check out this post I wrote on how to choose a sleeping pad. Any of the thicker ones should float. The only one I know doesn’t float out of these is the ProLite: https://bearfoottheory.com/best-sleeping-pad-for-backpacking/

      Hope that helps and let me know if you have other questions. Thanks! -kristen

    Thanks for posting this!

    I, like many people above, am still trying to secure a campsite reservation. If anyone has a reservation in August they wouldn’t mind sharing… 🙂

    Your post is the only one that Ive found that references the campground by the parking lot. Is it simply a first come, first serve kind of deal, or is there a place to make reservations? Thank you!

      Morgan – I believe it’s first come first served. But you might ask the camping office when you call to get your permit, since I’m not 100% sure. Thanks for swinging by and glad you found the guide helpful! -Kristen

    Hi Kristen, my husband and I are backpackers from Brazil and are intending to go camping in Havasu but we could not get the permit. We tryed the phone call for many times, and also some friends of us that live in the US. My husband is completely convinced that in case of arriving there without a permit we are supposed to camp anyway. Do you think it is possible(we now we are being taxed in double)? Or there is a risk of being asked to walk back? I’m afraid but he ins’t…hihihihi!As we do not know if we are coming back soon to the US this is our life opportunity…thank u so much…best regards, J.

      Hi! Unfortunately I can’t really say for sure since I don’t have experience with this. I do know if there is room, they charge walk-ups double. I would presume that they hold a few sites for walkups, since hiking back out in one day would be very difficult for most people. BUT, you shouldn’t take my word for it. I would recommend calling them directly to ask. In the mean time, I’ll try to dig around on the net, and if I can find any more info, I’ll let you know. Thanks and good luck! -Kristen

      I’ve heard that if you keep calling maybe every few days or so that it’s possible that you could eventually get in. Who knows, some people might call and cancel and that opens up some spots. Definitely worth a try.

        Hey Travis – Yep – That’s how I scored my permit. Like your packing list, btw. Very helpful! Thanks for the comment! Kristen

    Hey! My husband and a few friends are planning our trip and wondering how long it took you to hike in and hike out respectively?

      Hi Lauren- That’s awesome you are going to Havasu Falls! If I recall correctly, I think it took about 4-5 hours each way, including breaks. Have fun and let me know if you have other questions! -kristen

    Love this article. Learned a lot from your JMT stuff and this is the same caliber.

    I dont like to do the same places twice as long as there are new places to go, but this was amazing. The hike back is actually really challenging and I found those switchbacks more difficult then any that I did on JMT (though I didnt make it to Golden Staircase)

    One other thing to not is the wandering dogs. They are nothing to worry about when you are camping, but something to worry about with foods. There was a pack of strays in town we were told to watch out for. I love dogs and had no issues, but fit people afraid of them, it is somethinf to be aware of. You also need to be aware of the burrows traveling along the road. We brought bandanas to put over our faces and had to listen for them.

    The places was amazing though. I downloaded some music from the tribes originally based jn AZ area and listened to them (with 1 earplug) and it really kept me in the mood. We slept jn the car and left really early to avoid the heat, even though it was pretty cold at the parking lot.

    Mooney falls climb down is intense. I cant wait to go back with my gopro…

    Hey I have a question about the permits. Can you get the permits directly from the reservation or do you have to do it through the Grand Canyon national park service? or Both? it was a little confusing when I was reading about it on another site

    Hi I was getting a little confused on the permit situation on the website. Do we need to get a permit with the office and one of the back country permits from the Grand Canyon service office?

      Hey Tori – You only need to get a permit from the Havasupai tribe. You do not need a permit from the National Park Service. Hope that helps clear things up! -Kristen

    Hi Kristen- My husband & another couple have been talking about doing this hike, but i was wondering if its possible to hike the North to South Rim & do a detour to Havasu Falls – I have been trying to look at maps to figure it out, but geography has never been my stong suite. 🙂 Any suggestions!

      Rachel – You can’t hike from the Grand Canyon to Havasu Falls. If you had a car waiting for you at the South Rim you could drive to the Havasu Falls trailhead but it’s still about a 4 hour drive. On google, to find the trailhead for Havasu Falls search for Havasupai Campground Parking Lot. Sounds like an epic trip either way!

    drooling.. planning to go in November! tnx for the thorough post!

      Awesome! You are going to have the best time. Glad the post was helpful!

    U mentioned no campfires in the campground. So how are we going to cook food? Did u bring pre-made food?
    What did u use to prep ur food?

    Hi!
    I’m planning to stop into havasu for the day/ night in November. I called but was told they’re completely booked solid for the remainder of the year. So if we came just to walk down for the day and potentially sleep in the car that night that would be an issue? I had noticed that you said no day hiking was allowed. This has been on my bucket list for forever and I will be heartbroken if I can’t see the falls!

      Hi Kristian – Unfortunately the falls are located pretty far from your car. You are looking at a minimum of 9-ish miles to the first falls, so I’m not sure it would be realistic to make it all the way down there and back to your car in one day. Additionally there are rangers out there checking permits. My advice would be to keep calling back and see if there is a cancellation in hopes that something will open up. It says on their website that if you show up without a reservation, you will be charged double. But I haven’t heard from anyone who has experienced this. I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you. On the bright side, they told me they were full and I was able to score a permit by cancellation. So my fingers are crossed for you!

        Hello,

        I also want to go in november, but the camping is full.

        Do you know any camping near by so we could plan a full day of hike to the Falls?

        Thank you!

        Simon

          Hi Simon – They don’t allow day hiking to the falls, and frankly for a majority of hikers, it is way to far (almost 20 miles) to try to accomplish in a single day. My advice is to keep calling back in hopes of scoring a permit that someone cancelled or try for a later date. Hope that is helpful and good luck. -Kristen

      Hey Kristian, my hsband and I are also planning going there without permit and stay at the campground. I’ve searched on the internet some people who went down and could stay. Also talked to a couple who did a day hike and payed 44$ each. It’s a hard trail to go and get out at the same day but I guess it worth life…kkkk….we are going down on the 26th sep…good luck
      J

        Hey Joanna , I would to know finally how yours trip without permit???? I will going there without too.. My friend is a sick and does not have time to wait until next year for permit .

        Thanks

    Not tryingto be negative, but you are taking a big chance here. This is jot Yosemite where you show up and get lucky at trail head with a permit from friendly park rangers and can stay in a local town or just drive home when you are rejected. You sleep in a parking lot which is very cold (very steep switchbacks as soon as you leave parking lot). There are signs everywhere that say no day hiking. Then you hike 8 or so miles to the town where you can try for a permit. If the answer is no, you are stll a couple miles from the first really nice waterfall. If you get told no, that is a tough hike back with the last mile being pretty brutal. If you keep going to falls, that is 2 miles, some time playong in the water, then hiking back up 2 miles to get a permit later. I’ll isa a tough hike back up elevation the whole way with the last 2 miles are the worst. Then you are a good 90 min from any civilization from the parking lot.

    Just want to warn you how remote this really is. When you get in, you are also in a pretty poor town on a reservation, so it’s not like you are dealing with Park Rangers an hour drive from civilization if you get turned down

      @Brian I don’t think your comment is negative. Rather you are offering a detailed alternative view that readers can now include in their planning stages. Without further research I wouldn’t have known the above were the case.

    Hello!
    Great article! It has answered so many questions I have had and given me more information than I even knew was out there.
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Havasu in Dec. 2016 or June 2017 (depending on his school schedule and when I am able to get vacation from work). We already have our trips for summer 2016 planned or I would try to go sooner. And I want some more time to train and test out our equipment before being so far from civilization.

    I was wondering what you recommend for backpacks? Did you use the same bag you hiked in with for day hiking around to the other falls? I have a REI 65L and an Osprey Hyte 46. The 65 is what I took on a 6 week backpack trip through Europe but it was very heavy for me (I have some back problems), but I am worried the 46 will be too small. Did you pack an extra bag to use throughout the day or do you recommend a smaller bag to pack in with you to take out for the day?

    Thanks in advance!

      Hey Tawney –

      Right now for weekend type trips I’m using the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 Liter backpack. It’s low profile, very comfortable, and I’m able to fit all of my stuff in there…but most of my gear is pretty light and compact. You can see the basics of the gear I’m currently using here.
      https://bearfoottheory.com/best-lightweight-backpacking-gear/

      I also have the Osprey Aura AG 65 pack and like it. If you opt for that one, I’d definitely recommend trying it on at REI first. Some people like the fit, others not.

      If you have a 50 liter pack, I think you can just cinch it down and use it for a daypack as well. I sometimes like to carry this pack. It’s very simple, holds a hydration bladder and packs down very small:
      https://bearfoottheory.com/product/cotopaxi-luzon-18l-daypack/

      Hope that helps and let me know if you have other questions! -Kristen

    Nice write up and great website, glad I stumbled upon it.

    In case you want to see what the falls look like after rain here is a picture. We went there in 2006 and lucky for us this happened on our last night, not so lucky for those just coming down.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/another_adventure/977858778/in/album-72157601107453150/

      Whoa! That’s crazy. A whole different experience, and the pool looks so full. Thanks for stopping by my blog and glad you enjoyed the post!

    Hi! Newest fan here. Your blog is so awesome that I’m now following you on other platforms! 🙂 Thanks for all your information.

    I have a few questions :

    Planning this trip next September, permits permitting. Would a group of 3 or 4 females be safe in your opinion? Does anyone leave a motor home in the hilltop parking lot? Would you say vehicles are generally safe from vandalism/theft?

      Hi Tammy – Yes I believe it’s safe for a group of females. It’s a well traveled trail and there are plenty of people in case something goes wrong. You might consider bringing a SPOT GPS transmitter. That’s what I use when I hike. You can check out my full review here:

      I believe I remember a small motorhome or two. I can’t promise anything but we didn’t have any problems. As always, I would say don’t leave anything valuable visible in your car. Good luck and have fun!

    Loved this article! thinking about visiting sometime next year.
    From experience, would you personally do his hike alone or would you recommend going with someone?

      Hey Austin –

      I think this would a fine hike to do solo. There are a ton of other people out there, so if you go alone, you can easily make friends. For hiking alone, I also recommend carrying a SPOT which allows you to call for help if something goes wrong and you have no cell service. I did a full review of the SPOT here: https://bearfoottheory.com/spot-gen3-review/

    So my boyfriend and I are just getting into hiking and we haven’t really hiked anything extensive before (especially me) and we really want to go on our spring break (2nd week of March) do you think this trek would be doable for such beginners?

      Hi Shelbi – Yes I think it’d doable. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and you can prepare by doing some day hiking beforehand to get your legs ready. Also check my gear lists under my gear closet to see the types of things I bring hiking. The only thing is if you want to do this in March, you need to call asap to make a reservation. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

    Hello – what type of camp stove would you recommend? I’ve been reviewing penny stove’s, alcohol stoves, etc. Would you go with this type or a propane style? Also, sleeping bags? Any suggestions on style, thickness, weight, heavy duty, etc?

    any help would be appreciated and I really enjoyed your information and have been finding it very helpful.
    thank you

    Hi Kristen,

    This is super helpful when trying to plan a trip like I am! I am planning a 4 day/3 night trip for the beginning of my honeymoon. I was wondering if you had any advice or suggestions regarding food to take or the best way to get food to the camp site…??

    I was wondering if alcohol is permitted at the camp grounds? I planned on packing a bottle of wine or two but I read somewhere that alcohol is not allowed, do you know anything about this? Thanks!!

      There are signs that say no alcohol allowed, but we didn’t see anyone checking.

    Hi! I\’m planning to do this in the end of April. But as of now, I plan on driving from Denver area, which would be a 14 hr drive to the parking lot. Do you know if people can camp out in the parking lot to sleep overnight and start the hike early in the morning? Did you drive a long ways or did you fly and then rent a car? I\’m just nervous of having to drive that long. But it might be less stressful than trying to fly and rent a car. Thank you! Great post

      There is a small first-come first serve spot to camp in the parking lot. There is a bathroom but no running water. I drove from Vegas super early in the morning, but that’s only a couple hours a way, and then I started the hike as soon as I got there. Perhaps you can break up the drive into two days?

    Hi everyone.

    For making reservations is that only for camping there or is that for hiking and going swimming as well?

    Thank you

      Samantha – The reservation is for a campsite permit and must be made for the number of people in your group, and the permit allows you to hike and swim.

    Hey Kristen!! I’ve been reading some of your posts on here. My friend and I are planning to go to the Havasupai Reservation in May. Your post has been super helpful with hints and tips about the trip. Our biggest concern is how to actually get to AZ & the hilltop parking area. We will have to fly in from Virginia. We want to also maybe do the black canyon water trail too. Do you have any suggestions about where to fly in closest to the parking lot? Or suggestions as to renting cars, busses, trains, taxis, etc? Ps love your blog- inspiring me to get outside more!

      Hi Amanda, You are going to have an awesome time at Havasu Falls. The closest airport is Las Vegas. I don’t believe there is any public transportation, so you’ll probably just want to rent a car at the airport. And you can definitely tie in the Black Canyon as it is on the way to and from Vegas. Hope that helps!

      Amanda – Did you end up booking to fly into Vegas? I’m beginning to plan this trip for my husband’s 30th and was just wondering how other east-coasters have done it (we’re from Maryland).

    We’re going to the Grand Canyon for our first time and trying to figure out the best way to explore. How many days would you recommend camping to see all five waterfalls? Also interested in any other recommendations in the park like south rim, etc. thanks

      John – Havasu Falls is not accessible from the same area as the south rim and is in fact several hours drive away. I actually haven’t been to the south rim, so I don’t have any recommendations for you just yet, but I’m hoping to get there this year! For Havasu Falls, I think you would want to stay a minimum of 2 nights at the campground.

    Hi Kristen,

    I am trying to reserve a campsite for about 10 people for this upcoming summer. Did you see areas that would be large enough for groups at the campsite? It looks like the office doesn’t open until 9am. How early can you check-in and start the hike to the campsite?

      I’m not sure, but I’m sure there is a place four group as long as you are able to secure a reservation. If the office doesn’t open until 9, I assume thats the earliest you can check in. If you arrive before then, you’ll want to wait there as the campground is about 2 miles past the office and you won’t want to backtrack. But I can’t imagine you arriving before 9, even if you started the hike very early in the morning.

    This post is so informative. Thanks! My boyfriend and I are planning to hike Havasu in May. This will be our first ever hiking/backpacking experience and figure it\’ll be great practice before we head out to hike the Inca Trail in September. I\’m curious, what did you do about meals? We\’re planning to pack no-cook, no-heat meals for our 4 day adventure.

    Hey, I am trying to see if any of you lovely people have 2 extra spots for Memorial weekend. I would love to buy the two spots off of you, since a few people have confirmed that those dates have been booked up. Thanks!

      Just a heads up, no one is allowed to sell permits. Permits are non-transferable and anyone caught re-selling may be banned from Supai for life. When you arrive you will be asked to provide photo ID that must match the name associated with the reservation. You might want to just try your luck next year. Make sure you book online before they sell out!

    What a great post, Kristen! My boyfriend and I are planning for May but we can’t get through the phone lines to reserve! We’ve been calling an average of 100 times each for the past 3 days. Did you have trouble making reservations?

      I didn’t have an issue, but I think this place has gotten a lot more popular in the last year or so. You’re not the only one who has been having issues though. I’ve been hearing this from quite a few people.

    What a great guide! I was on the phone for 17 HOURS this week total trying to make my reservation. May and June were booked so we’re going in July! I know it’s going to be super hot, but that’s what all the swimming is for, right!? LOL. Can’t wait! I also read that bringing some rope is a good idea to dry out clothes and hang food so the squirrels don’t get to it. -Alicia @ http://www.girlonahike.com

      Hey Alicia,

      It’s going to be pretty dry and hot, so I wouldn’t worry too much about your clothes staying wet. But you do need to keep an eye out on your food and don’t leave it on the ground. We just put it in our packs and hung our packs up on a branch. Have fun and come back and tell me how it goes.

    Hi Kristen, Thank you for this write up, this is lot of useful information. I am planning a trip and have been trying to get the reservations calling them up. While I do that, I have a question. How deep are the water ? I did not find this information anywhere and it would really help the people in my group because some of them don’t know how to swim.

    Thanks in advance.

      Hi, the water is deep in some places, shallow in others. But they should be able to wade in or at least dip their feet. You’ll just need to be careful because the ground in some areas around the pools isn’t sturdy since it’s made of limestone.

    My friends and I have been calling non-stop for the past 3 days (since permits opened for the year) to obtain a permit. The phones will either be busy, hang up on us, or ring for 5 to 10 minutes THEN hang up on us. Has anyone else experienced this? Do we need to continue to call and just be patient? At the risk of sounding like a whiney brat…the 8 of us have been planning this trip since July and the permit is the only thing stopping us!

      I’ve heard this from other people as well. My only advice is to keep trying. This place is extremely popular. I would imagine eventually they will change their permit process, but until then we just have to go by the procedures on the website. Sorry that’s not more helpful!

      Hi Christine, we are experiencing the same problem. Four of us have been calling for over a week now. At least 500 times a day each and same exact issues you have…. Very frustrating but not giving up!!!

    Hi there! Wow this is some great info! Thank you for being so helpful! My 2 questions are…we’re planning on going July/early August. What’s the weather like during that time? Is that a good time to go? Also, so I see the havasu falls campground trail is 9.5 miles and 19 miles round trip. Im just a little confused because I saw posts about helicopters and horses carrying your bags. Now I’ve hiked mt Zion and we had to take a shuttle to the top then hiked the 16 miles down the narrows. Is it like that with the round trip? Like people take a helicopter to the top then hike the 9.5 miles down to the campground..? I hope I’m making sense, haha. Thanks for any advice!!

      It’s going to be very hot…probably the hottest time of the year.

      You can take the helicopter both ways if you want or one way, or you can hike and tae no helicopter. I don’t have too much info on the helicopter because I didn’t do it, but if you call they should be able to provide you the info. I may be wrong, but I believe the helicopter on the way out is first come first serve.

      Hello,
      The number tat I called for the Helicopter was 1(623)516-2790. You’ll get an automated message and it has all of the information that you need for the Helicopter.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

    Is there an issue if not all people end up going for campsite reservations? I made a reservation for 6 people but I\’m not sure if 2 of them will be able to make it and their office is crazy busy right so I can\’t get thru to ask. Will I have to pay for those 2 people if I don\’t notify them ahead of time? Any information on this is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

      Erica – You should do your best to reach them and update your reservation. I would imagine they would not charge you if the issue is on their end, but I can’t say for sure. Sorry I don’t have more solid info.

      Erica, what dates are you going? My boyfriend I tried to book a campsite but it’s all sold out for June, July, and August.

      Erica me and my cousin are looking for dates in May do you happen to have the permit for then?

    Hi Kristen – I previously took your advice on jetboil and sleep mattress and I’m very pleased with both. Thank you again and I love your blog. I’m planning on camping at Havasu first week of June. Do the evenings cool off quite a bit? I’m wonder how heavy duty or light weight of a sleeping bag to take. Any recommendations?

    thanks,
    Colleen

    Hi Kristen!

    Thanks so much for this detailed post! I have been researching Havasupai falls and your page has the most comprehensive guide (and best pictures as well) that I’ve seen.

    Anyway, my question is this: How many nights would you recommend camping to be able to explore everything?
    It looks like you would want at least one full day at the falls to explore, but is one day enough? Do you think two nights of camping is enough or would you recommend 3?

      I would plan on at least two nights, but if you have three that will allow you a little more time to relax and enjoy them all.

    Hello Expert!
    I am having quite a hard time requesting a reservations via the 928448 phone numbers on the several sites. I’ve also sent an email. We have a mature scout group that really want to appreciate the outdoors! Would you point me in the right direction, or give me some feedback on how to make this reservation for the summer??

      Hey Dan – You’re not the only one who is having problems. The only thing I can say is to keep trying the numbers listed on the website. I expect they are getting a ton of calls and they don’t have the staff to deal with the volume. Sorry I don’t have anything more helpful to say, but best of luck!

    Great information! Thank you! I haven’t read all the questions/comments so I hope this isn’t repetitive. I just secured a reservation for March 31 – April 2 (rather than the end of April dates I had hoped for). I’m worried it might be too cold. It seems you went in March and it was warm but it looks like average temps are in the 60’s…could that be right? I’m unsure whether to look at Supai weather or inner canyon Grand Canyon weather. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks much!

      I expect it will be ok during the day and pretty cold at night during that time. Just keep an eye on the weather…I think Supai will be most accurate. And makes sure to bring a lot of layers. Have fun out there! Kristen

    I\’m planning a trip I already got the lodge booked and paid for I am too excited!
    I am using your blog post to plan my trip. It is seriously helpful!! 🙂
    Thank you!

      Awesome! So stoked for you and glad the post was helpful!

    How early can/should I start trying to get a permit? At this point I am planning on doing May 2017. Is there payment required when I call? And is there a cancellation fee? Also, do you know about camping options beyond Beaver Falls if we were to continue hiking to the Colorado River?

      When I did it they did not require payment over the phone and there was no cancellation fee. I expect that this may change in the future though since it sounds like it’s busier this year than in years past. I think they open up reservations in the start of the year, but you might call and double check. No camping is allowed between Beaver Falls and the Colorado Rive, so if you continue on, it’ll be a long day and you’ll have to make it back to the main campground.

    Kristen-can you give me an idea of how many nights we want to stay? What\\\’s the minimum number of nights we should plan to enjoy ourselves?

      I think you’ll want at least 2 nights, maybe 3, to fully explore the area and not be rushed.

    Hello Kristen,

    Is the campground safety?

    When We leave the campground because we will start walking to the other falls. Can we just leave all our stuff inside the tents? What do you recommend? Is there any security like a patrol?

      Hi Juan – I believe the campground is safe, but there is no security. So I’d suggest not leaving anything valuable (cash, cameras, etc) in your tent when you go to explore for the day.

    Thanks for the guide! Two girlfriends and I are going in June. I’m bringing a waterproof camera, but I’m also debating on bringing my nice DSLR camera to get some good shots. I’m worried about it getting wet and breaking. Any advice? Do you think it’ll be safe to bring the camera?

      I brought my nice camera and was happy I did. You can bring a small dry bag to store your camera in if you are worried about it getting wet. Just be careful with it like you would any other hike and you should be fine.

    Kristen,

    Great write-up! You just convinced me to hike/camp this on my upcoming solo trip in the fall! it will be my first time to the geat SW, so i am not too familiar with the weather conditions, anymore suggestions for camping in say Late September/October? Another question, is there any place to shower along the way??

    Great pics BTW, what model camera do you use?? I have a Minolta Freedom Zoom 65- its wonderful.

    Any other suggestions would be most welcome, thanks in advance for any adive!

      Hey Marc – That’s great to hear! September there is a risk of flash floods, so you’ll need to keep an eye out (but that’s all over the SW), but the temperatures in Sept/Oct should be quite nice. Warm during the day and cool at night.

      There is no shower anywhere along the trail.

      I use a SONY a7s. it was an investment but I’m super happy with it. Happy hiking!

    Great pics and info! Thx so much. Sitting here trying everyday to get a permit for my son and I to hike end of Feb. Cannot get through no matter what time. So expensive to fly us both from Georgia to Vegas, rent a car and take a tour so I’ve been trying like crazy to get through. Trying to decide if I want to just pay for the tour company or wait and maybe can do a longer trip with rafting as well when it’s warmer. Thanks so much

    We have reservations and are super excited. Our group will be coming from different states and meeting up. We’re trying to determine if we should just plan on meeting up at the hilltop so that we can get an early start, or if it would be better to stay in Seligman, etc. Any thoughts, experience? Thanks in advance

      I don’t know much about Seligman. But there really isn’t much between Boulder City and the hilltop. So you could meet in Boulder City (or vegas) the day before and caravan out there together (it’s a couple hours from Boulder City). Or you could just meet int he parking lot the morning of. There is a place to camp in the parking lot, but with the number of people who do this hike, there may not be much space. There is also no water in the parking lot.

    Hi Kristin,
    You have been so helpful!
    I am an active single mom of two active 20 yr old and 16 yr old sons I think we can handle the hike! We are planning a trip to Havasu in April. I am wondering….can I rent paddle boards anywhere at the campground or near there to take in the water to the falls?

    Thanks
    Trish

      hey Trish! you’re gonna love it down there…but I’m not aware of being able to rent paddle boards down there.

    Hi Kristen!

    I am going this May with my family and am so excited! I was wondering though how long it took you to make the 9 mile hike?

      I don’t remember exactly, but I think it took about 5-6 hours each way.

    My wife and I are in Vegas with no plans from Jun 3-6th. We were planning and would love to go here, but of course there are no reservations available at all. Does anyone have an idea for an alternative trip that would be similar? Any hel would be appreciated. We are flying in to Vegas from Indiana and can’t reschedule or cancel the trip. Thanks

      Check out paddling the Black Canyon. I have a full article about it on my site.

    Also, I was a bit unclear. If we don’t have reservations, is there a way for us to spend the day hiking and seeing the falls, as long as we don’t camp overnight? Or is that not allowed?

      That is not allowed…and it’s also not really feasible. It’s a long hike and would be too much to do in one day.

    Hey there.

    Loved all your info, very informative!
    Im coming from Michigan and my plan is to fly. My biggest concern is getting from the airport to the Hilltop. Can you share some advice? I feel the easiest route is to camp at the hilltop
    Also do you know if there is space for hammock camping at the hilltop?

      I don’t recall if there are any trees at Hilltop. And I think the best thing would be to rent a car in Vegas and drive from there. Have fun!

    I would love to do this for a girls bachelorette party before I get married. I just hope that with all the fees, and everything that you pay for to camp there, that it wouldn’t be too expensive for everyone. It would be cool to go in late summer or early autumn. I definitely want to go there when we could swim and explore. I would be coming all the way from San Diego so I hope it wouldn’t be too much driving as well.
    This was very helpful though and I will definitely email you to ask you questions if I ever decide to do this!

    Thank you for the great tips! It’s hard to get good info on this place! We are planning our trip and your summary was very helpful!

    Do you know how we can reserve a mule to haul our stuff to the campground? what number we call. we have been trying and no luck to get thru on the 928-448-2180.

    Hi Kristin;
    Thanks for this blog. A group of girlfriends and I are headed out in April so thanks for the info!

    Hi! I see people are also having a difficult time getting reservations, I finally got through to make a reservation for the last week of April next month, but it is already booked solid for the year which we unfortunately already purchased our flight tickets for this without realizing when exactly they began taking reservations or the limited options. I know you continued calling and were able to get a reservation through a cancellation, how often did you call to follow up.- daily, weekly, etc. I don’t want to be a pest to them and hover over the phone lines but also don’t want to cancel plane tickets and potentially lose out on a lodge or camping site. Also, did you just take any date they had open, or were they willing to work with you on when you already planned on going?

    Does anyone reading have a reservation with extra space who would be willing to share (with reimbursement to you of course)

    Thanks so much!

    Hi! Great info on this!! As far as taking a helicopter in and out the same day, do you still need a reservation or permit? I know you didn’t use one but we really want to see the waterfalls but are not looking to camp overnight- is this a thing haha:) Any info would be awesome thank you!

    Great read! I found your site very informative. Thank you. I do have questions… My group plans to start our hike around 3am or earlier… Would you say that the trails are very easy to follow especially the first 6 miles? My worries that we might get lost during the dark before dawn. Thank your for you time.

      Hey Brian – Once you make it to the end of the switchbacks, you are pretty much just walking in the wash. If you are going in the dark, it might be worth using some sort of GPS app to make sure you stay on track.

    Hi,Thankyou for this awesome post! Me and my siblings are planning a trip to havasupai but we have been told everything is booked til November . I still have hope that we can get at least a night to camp out there and am calling everyday incase someone cancels. I do have one question. I’m not quite sure if you did state this but is there any way we can go and do the hike down to havasupai falls and leave that same day ? Is that not allowed ?

      hey lucy! they don’t allow day trips to the falls. Plus it’s over 20 miles roundtrip, so you’d pretty much be hiking from sunrise to sunset and not have much time to enjoy the falls. Good luck with a permit…fingers are crossed for ya!

    hi, I had added a comment on here a couple days ago but I don’t think it posted. Your information on here is really helpful so thank you for that. I do have a question about the falls, I am planning on taking a trip there, I have made reservations already so I am pretty much all set, the only thing is one of my sisters wants to join us and she cannot swim to save her life. How deep are the waterfalls and is it okay for children?

      Some of the pools you can wade in, others are quite deep. Use your best judgement, exercise caution, and you should be ok. Have fun!

    I got lucky and got a snap Reservation with a four digit confirmation number juat a few days ago for the end of this month. Is this my permit as well? I guess I’m just confused if you get a reservation to stay at the campground does the permit come with that?

      Yes that’s correct. Just take that number and give it to the office when you arrive at the campground office and they will issue your permit.

    is it safe to park car at Hualapai Hilltop parking lot? Thanks!

      I can’t say for sure, but we didn’t have any problems with our car.

        Hi Kristen! We are from St. Louis My wife And I planning our trip in September we’re doing Hiking and Mountain biking in Colorado, Arizona and Utal and we’re planning bring our mountain bikes along the trip hopefully it is safe to leave our bikes there for three days.

          I can’t really say for sure, but I hope so too! Sounds like an epic trip.

    Hello, thank you for the trip report. Did it cost money to park at the parking lot? How safe is it for rental cars over the weekend?

      Parking is free, and I can’t say for sure, but we didn’t have any problems with our car.

    Hey! Thanks for the post, So i have a question. Not that I’m saying I’m condoning this or that you are, But If someone hypothetically planned on sneaking in, and hiking to the falls, do you have any idea what the chances of getting caught are, what happens if you get caught, etc? Also, is a reservation required just to camp or to actually go in there and camp at the campgrounds? Thanks!

      Hi Austin – I wouldn’t recommend doing that. As I recall every single person is given a wristband and you also have to display your permit on your tent. And they do come by and check. And there is nowhere to camp besides in the campground, and a permit is required just to be there.

    Hi there! My friends and I are planing a trip, but we would prefer to stay at the lodge instead of the camp ground. How do we go about obtaining permits for swimming/ hiking the falls of we go this route? any advice you could give is greatly appreciated!

      Hi Kristina – If you are able to get a reservation at the lodge, I’m pretty sure you don’t need a separate permit to visit the falls. Hope that helps!

    Kristen:

    Thank you, all the detailed information on this trip is very helpful. I will be going in a couple days, on March 28. My wife, two children, and I have never been backpacking before, so we decided to book a tour, which includes all the gear, food, mule assist, and a guide. Do you recall if there are any showers at the camp? I am from LA where the ocean water tends to be cool in spring (60), so we use spring suits and I am wondering whether it would be worth it to pack them in? Also, what about snorkel gear, is there anything to see under the water?

    Many Thanks

      There are no showers at the camp, but hopefully it will be warm enough during the day to swim. The water itself isn’t freezing, but it’s not super warm either. If you are having the mule carry your stuff, then I guess it wouldn’t hurt to bring them. Definitely don’t need snorkel gear. Have fun!

    Hi Kristen,
    Love your blog and pictures. I have started my research on this trip for next year in April 2017. Your blog is the most updated one I have come across. Would you happen to know how far in advance to book a reservation for camping permits? Other websites advise how far in advance but I am not sure how up to date they are, I know things have changed and it is getting more popular these days. Some sites say to book 4 months in advance, some 6 months, and now i read even a year in advance hence why I feel the need to call for next year. Thanks!

      This year the permits for the entire year were swooped up by March. So you’ll want to call and reserve right after the New Year. Good luck and have fun!

    Kristen, great blog! This is so helpful when planning a visit to the falls. I am planning a trip at the end of the month and I\’m wondering about the over night requirement. Is one able to hike to Havasu Falls first, and then camp overnight? Or how does that process work? I am considering taking a helicopter first thing in the morning (10am) and then hiking back to the trailhead. Is a camp ground or lodge reservation still required for this option? I appreciate your time. I have been trying to call the main office for the past hour with no luck. Thanks in advance!

    Diana

      hi Diana – You know I’m not really sure what the rules are if you take a helicopter in. Havasu Falls is located basically right at the campground which is a mile or so past the office and landing pad. On the website it says “Visitors who wish to utilize helicopter services, please contact Airwest Helicopters at 623 516 2790” Maybe try that number to see if they can provide info. Good luck!

    Hi Kristen! Thank you for your post! Are the only permits you need for the campground? So if we were to stay at the lodge, no permits are required? Also, do you know when they start accepting reservations during the year (if I want to call and book for next year)?

      if you stay at the lodge, you don’t need a separate permit. I believe they open reservations at the beginning of each calendar year….but you’d have to call to confirm.

    Are you allowed to camp between the hilltop and the town? Meaning, taking 2 days to get to the falls instead of doing all 10 miles in one day.

      I don’t believe that is allowed. There is also no water source between Hilltop and the falls.

    Great blog post – amazing pictures! This is on my “list”, a must do! When you call to make reservations/get a permit are you required to secure this with a credit card? Basically just want to know how the “booking” process works. From everything I have read it sounds quite difficult to make reservations.

      When I did it last year, they did not require a credit card at the time of reservation.

    Since it seems like they are fully booked for this year already, do you think they have next year booked? Is there a store where you can buy food in the town or should you bring it in with you? Any electronic outlets in the camp sites?

      Emilie – They will start taking reservations for 2017 at the beginning of next year. And you need to bring all of your own food and there are no electronic outlets. It is primitive camping.

    Really helpful post. I can’t believe we missed this on our trip to Arizona last year. We’re definitely going to have to go next time we’re out there…and sleeping in the Eno is the best.

    Great read and great tips! All this information was very helpful! thank you!

    HI THERE!
    my friend and i plan to make a trip to havasu and we don’t want to camp out, would we still have to get a permit and everything or can we just show up, pay, hike and enjoy for the day? thank you! 🙂

      Day hiking is not allowed. All hikers must obtain a permit and stay overnight.

    Hi, I have 3 kids, 13, 10, and a 2yr old. The two year old will be in a backpack. Is this a hiking trip kids can do? Did u see families down there? They r not super Olympians or couch potatoes, just average are we there yet mom kids. Thanks

      I don’t have kids, but I think it’s a kid friendly trail as long as they have some experience hiking. It’s just a bit long and the hike out is a bit steep.

    Where is a good place to stay the night before in order to get an early start on the trailhead? I see the Grand Canyon Caverns hotel, is there any cheaper camping options?
    What do most folks do the night before on this hike?

      I drove from Vegas early the morning of my hike. Boulder City is another place you could stay that’s only a couple hours away with plenty of hotel options. There is also camping at the trailhead, but there is no water available.

    Awesome post! I am planning this trip 2017! Taking a month off to get some hiking in with my daughter before she graduates! .I see they have discontinued the one day hike in and out but…..can you take the helicopter in and out in the same day? I would love to hike it all but we will be traveling with our pup…can’t really leave him overnight somewhere.

      Hi CJ – I didn’t do the helicopter and I don’t know too much about it. I think it’s possible, but you’ll want to call and check. Either way sounds like a fantastic trip you have planned.

    Hey Kirsten, lame question but are dogs allowed in the campground? We have a traveling trail dog that goes MTB, camping, hiking with us.

      You know, I’m not sure….but I’m not sure it would be practical. I think you’re going to have trouble getting your dog down to Mooney falls and beyond where there are a series of ladders you have to climb.

    Hey I have to say I concur with all the nice things and complements left by everyone. You rock and so does your website! I had a question though, my wife and I are driving cross country and we set up the back of the station wagon so we can sleep in it. Do you think it’d be a bad idea to sleep in our car at the parking lot?

      You are allowed to camp in the parking lot, but there is no water available.

    Great post!!!! 🙂 Do you know if we can reserve permits for the 2017 year? Also, do they ask how many people will be in your party at the time of reservation?

    Thanks!!!

      Not yet. Reservations for 2017 open in January. And yes, you need to reserve for the number of people in your party.

    If you make a reservation at The Lodge, do you also have to make a reservation for a permit separately? Or is the permit included in The Lodge reservation? Thank you! (BTW – thank you for this post, it is awesome)

      I don’t believe so, but you should call and check.

    Hello! I am hoping to make this journey in late october! I had a question though, with the hike down did you pitch a tent over night and split the ten mile hike into two days? Is there any regulations about this, or can you just camp anywhere on the trail down? Thank you!

      You have to camp in the campground. There’s no where good to camp between the parking lot and the campground at the falls. Plus there is no water available anywhere along the trail. So you’ll have to do the 10 miles in 1 day.

    Hi there, We are planning on traveling to a waterfall for a bucket list item for our amazing pup. However after seeing the distance I am not sure this is the best distance for him or terrain. I was wondering if you have any recommendations for maybe shorter hiked trails. Even if he cant swim in it.

      Dogs are not actually allowed on the trail to Havasu Falls. Maybe look at spots around Lake Powell and Lake Mead instead.

    Hello, we are looking into planning a trip for next year and were wondering about the shower situation. When you say there are showers, are they actually at the campground? I was unable to find any other information on this so was just curious. We are used to backcountry camping, so it is no big deal, but it is always a perk! Thanks!

      There are no showers at the campground. only toilets. Just go swimming if you need to rinse off 😉 Have fun!

    Hi Kristen! Awesome Post!!! Very helpful info and tips!
    Do we need to go with guide to hike down to the campground and back? Or the permit is enough?
    Thanks.

    Thank you so much for this great in-depth post! In January, I am going to start calling to get a reservation for late spring, and I will be dreaming and drooling over your pictures until then! I am sure I will have lots of questions for you as the time gets closer, but you have done such a great job documenting this amazing adventure. I can’t wait!

    Interesting the picnic table shot with 2 people has a bottle of Jack Daniels. I heard alcohol was not permitted?

      Hey Bonita – I was not aware of that rule when we hiked to Havasu Falls. But I have since taken the photo down since I don’t want to encourage people to not follow the rules. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Hey Kristen, what time of year did you do this? I’d like to do it in January for my girlfriends 30th, but was worried it might be too cold to swim. What do you think?

      I did it in April. I think January will definitely be too cold to swim But you’ll likely encounter far fewer people and the falls will still be gorgeous

    Kristen, this is totally random.. In your pictures above, are you using a sleeping pad as a floaty? I can’t swim but I do wish to get in the water and enjoy the falls. I’ll probably won’t t have room to pack a floaty but I do own a Therm-a-rest NeoAir sleeping pad!

      Jennifer – If you can’t swim, then I’d be wary of depending on your pad as they are not intended to be a floatation device. Have fun out there!

    Hi I love your blog, love your instagram! Thanks for the great advices, now I know how to get there from my home in Joshua Tree. But I suppose there’s no power outlets in the campground.. right?

      You are totally right. There are not any power outlets in the campground for campers!

    Stumbled upon this blog during my Havasu research and only realized halfway through reading it, to my pleasant surprise, that I was reading Barefoot Theory! 🙂

    My wife and I have wonderful memories from the Trans-Catalina Trail and your write-up got us through that successfully! Thank you!

    Hope to do this one mid-June. I’m assuming mid-February is way too cold for swimming?

    Hi Kristen, I had heard some folks had trouble with the locals. Some locals had harassed a couple while camping in Havasu falls. My family and I will be going there sometime this year and wanted to know if these stories were true.

      I can only speak for myself, but we found the people to be friendly and welcoming. They are sharing their land with A LOT of people…as long as you a respectful, my guess is you will be treated the same.

    Kristen, I really appreciate for all detailed information regarding Havasu Falls. Now I can plan my schedule for the trip.
    One question to you: Should I stay 2 nights/3 days in the campground?

      I stayed 2 nights last time. This year I’m staying 3. Either works though!

    Thank you for all of the great information. What kind of deposit was required for the reservation over the phone?

      When I went they didn’t require a deposit. Things may have changed but we just paid in full when we arrived.

      Hey there. The rules have changed now, as of this year. They have raised their prices this year, and now require FULL payment at time of booking, and all names of people going. The entrance fee is now 50$, and 25$ per night for camping, and 10$ for the environmental fee. And I believe if you cancel, there will be NO refund.

        Hey Cindy– We actually have to give them names of each permit holder? Does that mean they will ID us when we get down there? This is getting ridiculous. They know they have us by the short hairs.

          You have to give them the name of the permit holder. Otherwise, how would they know who to hold the reservation for?

        Where did you get this information? Did young get permits yet?

    Hi there, when does booking start for camping this year? I heard it was early February. Can anybody confirm?

      I spoke with someone in the office the other week and she confirmed that permits are available beginning Feb 1.

      Kara – I believe they start booking Feb 1st

    is the water very cold in late March? would you recommend wetsuit? How about weather, is it cold at all?

    Have the hiking permits different than the camping permits? I don’t have either and am trying to get through to the main line today. Thanks for the help!

      The hiking and camping permits are the same thing.

    Has anyone had success getting through for 2017 permits? I know its very difficult, just wondering if there are any pointers beyond the redial button.

    I’ve called this morning for over 4 hours straight…nothing but busy signals and “all circuits busy messages”. Not sure how anyone gets thru!

    great post. very informative. can camp there during the winter months? say january? and can i access all the waterfalls during that month?

      I believe it’s closed in January….but you’d have to call to confirm.

    Hi, I was able to get reservations for the first week of May. How do you think the weather is then? What time of year or month did you go? Thanks!

      I went in April and weather was really nice. I think May will be great.

    I have Havasu Falls permits for 6 people (25,26 April 2017) and we are unfortunately not able to go. I was told these tickets are non transferable, but feel its sad that the permits will go waste otherwise. Has anyone experienced this? Any suggestions on how to make the swap/change/transfer? If anyone is willing to buy/exchange these permits, we can figure out a way to make this happen (try calling together to make the permit name change).

    Hi Kristen, we have a small group to hike Havasu Falls on April 23 this year, however, my husband and I do not plan to stay overnight, but we paid for the fees anyway. We do not plan to hike back either. Is there always an available heli to take us back in the afternoon after we visited the falls?

      There is a heli, but I’m not sure what time it leaves. A google search indicated that the last flight out is at 1pm, which doesn’t leave you much time at all, but I can’t confirm that. I’d suggest calling the camping office and see if they can provide information.

    I was able to get through and make reservations but she did not give me my reservation #. She said it would be emailed to me. As of today I do not have it. How can I get that #?

    Hi!
    I am going in early May and we plan on hiking to the colorado river. would you suggest water shoes or scandals like chacos or tevas?

    Thanks

      Yannelly, your upcoming adventure sounds great! I have the Keen Whisper sandals from REI for water adventures and love them. If rocks or sand getting in your sandals bother you then you can always wear them with water socks.

    Hi Kristen, the website http://theofficialhavasupaitribe.com/Havasupai-Camping/havasupai-camping.html did not particularly state that a permit is required for staying on the campground (or it is already included in the mentioned costs):

    Campground Information:
    Camping Fee: $25.00 per night, per person + Tax (10%)
    Entrance Fee: $50.00 per person + Tax (10%)
    Environmental Fee: $10.00 per person + Tax (10%)
    For Example:
    1 night $93.50 per person

    Information about the lodge is:
    Lodge Fees
    Up to 4 persons $ 145.00* per night
    Deposit $40.00 per room/ per night entrance fee
    permit $40.00* per person
    *All fees are subject to change without prior notice. All fees are non-negotiable. All fees are taxble by 10%.

    What do you think? Is the permit of $ 40.00/person already included in the campground fee or do we need to calculate $ 120.00 extra for 3 persons?

    Thanks 🙂

    2 queries ?
    Camping rentals – All necessary things will be available to rent, right ? Including life jacket, portable chairs and the floater. Please advice.
    2. Food – Any suggestion, recommendation would be helpful.

    Thanks a lot for your time.

    Hey, first time backpacking and looking into camping gear. I see that you used a hammock, did you use that to sleep in all night? If so, how was it as far as temperature? Did you use an under quilt? Just looking into my options and I obviously want the most light weight option, going mid April. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

      I put my sleeping pad in the hammock along with my sleeping bag. It was cool at night, so you’ll definitely want layers and something to keep you warm.

    I love this post! It is very helpful thank you 🙂 How heavy was your pack? I am going in October so I am debating if I should bring a sleeping bag or not.

      You DEFINITELY need a sleeping bag. The desert gets cold at night.

    Hey! I love your blog and all the helpful information you provided here. I was able to secure a reservation in late April for two nights and was wondering if you knew anything about day kayaking opportunities near-by. I have not been able to find any day kayaking services available so far and thought you might have some insight. Thank you!

      Unfortunately,there aren’t really any kayaking opportunities near the falls.

    Hi Kristen!
    My group and I were able to secure a one night permit at the Havasupai campground (wahoo!!). We want to start the hike down as soon as possible so we can maximize our time in the canyon. We need to pick up our permits…do we do this in the village in the canyon? or before we hit the trail?? thanks!

      You pick up the permits at the camping office in the village

    Hi Kristen! I wondered what kind of food did you bring with you? Our permits are for August for 2 night, so we realize it will be on the warm side! Any suggestions? We have a JetBoil and backpacking stove.
    Thank you and love your Blog!!!

    Hi, how does the parking work? Do you need to display a parking pass or does permit cover parking? And what if there are multiple vehicles per group permit?

      You didn’t need a permit to park when I was there. The parking lot is very far from the main road, so the only people there are people hiking to the falls.

    We have already reserved our trip for the end of June. Your tips are excellent! Thank you!

    Hello!
    Awesome article and great read! I was wondering if I wanted to car camp at the trailhead is that possible for the Havasu Falls?

    Thanks!

      Yes you can camp at the trailhead next to the parking lot. But there is no water available. so make sure to come prepared. -Kristen

    Hey there!

    Thank you for the information you wrote about Havasu Falls. Your blog has been really helpful. Totally love it.
    I’ll be going to havasu on early May for two days. This will be my first time backpacking. I’m just wondering if it is okay to leave tent, sleeping bag, and some other stuff at the camp site while hiking to the falls? I appreciate your response. Thank you!

      Yes, that is totally fine. I’d just make sure to store your food so animals can’t get to it. Have fun!

    Hi, looks absolutely fantastic! We have permits for this week and will be doing the hike down and back up. Just wanted to know, is there a place you can leave bags on the day leaving the canyon? We only have permits for one night and want to visit Beaver falls but don’t want to carry our backpacks. Any suggestions? Is it also easy getting horse back or helicopter out of the canyon? Thank you 🙂

      I don’t recommend taking the horses. They didn’t look that well cared for. Trying to hike down to Beaver falls and then hike all the way out to the top of the trailhead is going to be a long day. I also believe the helicopters leave early in the day so you wouldn’t make it back in time to catch one…but you should inquire in the office when you arrive. As for your packs, there’s nowhere to leave your stuff except your campsite. Sorry that’s not more helpful, but I almost recommend checking out Mooney Falls and enjoying Havasu Falls rather than trying to cram so much in.

    Hi, I am in love with your blog, thank you for sharing about all of your trips. My family and I are going on a road trip this summer across the west coast, starting in Arizona and ending in Seattle. We love hiking and the outdoors and this is #1 on our list. However, we only have one day in Arizona, is it possible to do this hike in one day? I have heard about how you can take a helicopter into Supai and out, do you know anything about that? I cannot imagine not doing this hike as we most likely will not be able to come out west again.

      It is not possible to do the hike in one day, and the tribe doesn’t allow day hikers. The helicopters leave in the morning, so you wouldn’t make it down there in time to catch a helicopter out.

    in total how much did you pay for the permit ?

    Hi Kristen,

    I have a trip coming up to Havasu during Memorial day week for 3 nights. So, I started doing some research and have finalized most of the stuff.

    While finding info over the web, I came across your blog and to be honest I found it much more useful from a practical point rather than just a trip log. Thank you very much for answering many questions on the blog from which I got most of the info.

    I have few more questions for which I’m not finding answers anywhere so thought of getting your help. Would you be kind enough to help me on the below questions:

    1. We are a group of 5 and are taking couple of tents. We are confused as to what kind of sleeping pad to go with. Would a simple thermarest with 1-1.5″ thickness would be sufficient ? or is the floor too uneven that we need a more thicker pad ? We have a separate sleeping bag to go along with this

    2. We will be carrying few DSLRs and tripods. Wondering once we are done with photos and are getting into water, can we just leave the Camera/Tripod in the daypack on the shore of the waterfalls ? Is it safe ?

    3. How helpful are hiking poles ? We are backpacking and would be carrying around 35 lbs each. Some of my friends are suggesting if we take the poles we can just take one pole whereas I’m of the opinion that we need a pair. Please advise (a) if need hiking poles (b) if we need it, do we need 1 or 2 poles ?

    Thanks a lot for your time on this and really appreciate your help in advance !

      Hey! I’m stoked for your trip.

      1) That’s pretty standard for a sleeping pad. Have you seen this post: https://bearfoottheory.com/best-sleeping-pad-for-backpacking/ It will help you as you decide on a sleeping pad.

      2) I found it to be safe, but you’ll have to evaluate yourself when you are there.

      3) You can use 1 or 2 poles whichever you find to be more comfortable. When I use them, I prefer two, but even one would be helpful for your ascent out of the canyon.

    Hey Kristen! I see in the photos that it looks like you are using your sleeping pad as a pool float! I think that’s so innovative, and I’m totally thinking of copying you. But I was wondering if it can damage my sleeping pad?

      Hey Amy – We didn’t have any problems with Thermarest, but I can’t speak to other brands, and it probably depends on the valve…but I don’t think so. Just make sure you don’t scratch it on the rocks when you are getting in and out

    My husband and I are going in August. We are staying at the lodge. When I called to make the reservation she said nothing about a permit. Do you think that will be added to the lodge amount along with the other fees? Also our plan it to hike down, check in, hike to the falls, hike back to the lodge, sleep and helicopter it out the next morning. Do you know if that’s possible? Any help would be great. This information already gives me a lot of clarity. Thank you so much!

      You don’t need an additional permit if you are staying at the lodge.

      That plan is possible, but with the helicopter, locals get first dibs, so you may be waiting for several hours before you can fly out.

    And this is why I love your blog – great tips and everything one needs to know in one post!! Thank you so much!!!

    Hi! When storing and hanging your food you just used your regular pack? You didn’t buy or need anything special to keep the animals out? Is it better to hang from a tree than zipped inside the tent? This may be an obvious question, but this is our first time primitive camping 🙂

      Yes, you definitely don’t want to leave the food in your tent. They squirrels will chew right through your tent. We stored and hung our food in a normal stuff sack. Have fun!

    Best information I’ve ever seen on Havasu & I’ve been looking. Great Job, thank you!!!

    Best information I’ve ever read on Havasu & I’ve been looking. Great job, thank you!!!

    In mid-July would you think a sleeping bag is necessary? I am planning on using a hammock but possibly bringing a tent as well… I know the desert can get chilly at night but can’t make up my mind.

      Yes, you should bring a sleeping bag. A light summer bag will be adequate, but I would not recommend going without anything at all.

    What are the pros/cons of those ultralightweight camping cots (now available for ~$40 on Ebay) versus hammocks, in the Havasupai campground?

      Hello Grant! Thank you for your great question. I’m not 100% sure which cot you are referring to–generally, cots are a bit bulkier when packing compared to a hammock.

    How long did it take you to hike out?

      Hello Rose, on average the Havasu Falls hike takes about 5-6 hours to hike out, it really does depend on your hiking pace–keep in mind it is really dry back there so stop frequently for breaks!

    Do you know if there’s mule transportation?

      Hello Rosa, yes mule transportation is available for a fee.

    Thank you for this summary. I enjoy your articles. How many nights did you stay there? How many nights do you recommend? Thank you.

      Hi Jenn, it really depends on the time you have available. Definitely stay two nights–Kristen is hoping to go back for a full week sometime soon!

    HI,

    I have reservations but due to an error in booking I have my permit for one only and was going to bring my boyfriend. I have my permit paid for and site reserved. if he comes will they send him away or can he camp with me and pay the fee even if it is double for his permit? I am not sure what to do since I can’t get back in to fix the error or get through the phones.

    Thanks!
    liltxfreebird

      So sorry to hear that! Sounds very frustrating. You can try to get him a permit the day of (paying double) but there is no guarantee and yes, if he doesn’t have a permit they might turn him away. So sorry to not be much help. Wish you the best of luck!

      @Liltxfreebird, call the campground and see if you can add an extra person to the permit. It may take you a while to get through — it took me several weeks of calling every single day. They often max out on the number of permits before maxing out on the number of people, so there’s a decent chance you will be able to add another person. Technically, the old practice of showing up without a permit and paying double is no longer allowed. I’ve read trip reports from 2017 indicating that there were rangers checking permits near the start of the hike, presumably turning back people attempting to hike down without one. I wouldn’t risk it.

    Thank you for all the great information and recommendations for backpacking to Havasu Falls. I took this trip when I was 15 (I’m now 56) and am so jazzed to be going back again with a group of 10! I cannot tell you how vivid my memories of this experience are. I still remember the switchbacks going down, sharing the trail with the mules, the sandy trail at the base and most importantly, hiking to the general store from our campground on day 5 to enjoy one of the best burgers! I’ll be using my hiking poles on this trip and carrying a little less weight this time but I cannot wait to see those falls again! Thanks to you and your blog, I am more excited than ever! Leaving in 5 days….!

    A friend who went last year said they no longer allow amplified music so no more Bluetooth speakers. They got really pissed at him.

    Great article and tips. I just got back from my first Havasupai Backpacking trip and it was amazing. Thanks for the up-to-date info and tips. It really helped.

A little Instamagic