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Havasu Falls Trail


Original Post
Keith77 · · Mountain Top, PA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 15

I'm looking for some info on Havasu Falls hike that I plan on doing in September. Through my research, it looks like the permit fees are over $50, which includes a camping permit, entry fee, and environmental fee. It also seems that "day hiking" is not allowed. Can this trail be poached as a day hike? Any, "off the record" recommendations?

Andrew Mertens · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 105

Though I normally don't like paying for hiking, it seems like the right thing to do in regards to Havasupai. The money goes to the Native American reservation, and as the town is only accessible by foot, it seems to be their main source of income. Which is fair because you basically hike through a lot of backyards to get to the falls.
You could do it as a day hike, but the best part of my trip was making meals and relaxing by the waterfalls, so a day hike would be a lot of hiking for the amount of time you could spend by each fall. Also, it's worth going down to the last set of falls because the coolest section of the hike is between Mooney and Beaver falls, which would make the day hike ~30 miles.
I know some people who raft the Colorado hike up to the lower falls, but there was a man checking permits when I was there. I don't know what happens if you are caught without a permit.
I would recommend doing a 3 day trip, a day to hike in and out and a day in the middle to explore all the falls, which allows lots of time to relax and stare at all the possible climbing routes on the canyon walls (though I'm pretty sure climbing is not allowed).

Red · · Tacoma, Toyota · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 1,478
Andrew Mertens wrote: and as the town is only accessible by foot, it seems to be their main source of income.
all the locals get in and out by helicopter, horse and mules.

To the OP. That would be a lot of hiking in one day and not a lot of enjoying what you are hiking for.
lou · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 60

Hey Keith....I hiked in,, stayed overnight,,,hiked to the colorado river... and stayed another night.. then hiked out the next day... all without paying.. an quite by accident.
Heres how.....I hiked in around 2pm (was gonna get a permit in the village) they were closed when I hiked by. hmmm Ill pay on the way out. I was up before the heat n sun for the hike out.. again.. the "ranger station" was not open when I passed... hence no payment....mind you that was 10 yrs ago.. not sure whats up down there now....dont worry.. the indians get alot of federal aid... a missed hiker or two wont hurt....

cheers lou

Steve_Sil. · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2012 · Points: 105

I did it as a day hike and didn't exactly pay two years ago in June. When I got there in the morning I went to the hut that was at the parking lot got a map and chatted a bit with the guys there. No one mentioned any fees I never thought there would be any for a day hike. Took the whole day had lunch by the falls got a bit of swimming in. Overall a very fun day.
When I got back the parking lot there was a security guard who hassled me a bit about doing the hike in a day and not having a permit. I told him I wasn't aware of the fees and was happy to pay but he had no way to take credit card. I gave him my last $10 in cash and he seemed satisfied with that.

The Pheonix · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 60

That place looks SOOOOO amazing!

Keith77 · · Mountain Top, PA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 15

Thanks for the info guys!

gearwhore · · Orange, CA · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 0

Pay the fees...the tribe needs the money. It's win/win for both you and them.

Be warned though - it's f'n crowded down there with dorks that fly in or have their kit brought in on mules.

Mark Mueller · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 185

Don't give them a penny if you don't have to.

manuel rangel · · Arizona · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 3,888

I'm sorry to hear so many friends willing to anger the people that own the land. If it was any other private land owner that kept you from climbing or hiking, I'm sure you would respect private property rights.

We should consider ourselves lucky to be welcomed onto their land. I am willing to pay the price to use land that does not belong to me.

We already lost a great climbing area because a non-tribal member was cheating the tribe. Why perpetuate and condone behavior that is sure to result in more closures?

D Stevenson · · Escalange, UT · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 25

The environmental fee, which goes to trail maintenence and maintaining the popular falls, is $10, I believe. If you use their trail and land, you should definitely pay it. They are a struggling tribe, and need the money as tourism makes up near 90% of their tribal income, and a lot of that goes to maintenence. It's there land, just pay them.

kirra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 530
manuel rangel wrote:We should consider ourselves lucky to be welcomed onto their land.I am willing to pay the price to use land that does not belong to me. We already lost a great climbing area because a non-tribal member was cheating the tribe. Why perpetuate and condone behavior that is sure to result in more closures?
+1 awesome place to visit -worth every coin. I went with K.Sharp & Co. I think they go every year!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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