Havasu Falls


Original Post
Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 85

Hi All,

Just seeing if anyone has any helpful info for Havasu falls. Ill be in Arizona this coming June and would really like to go here. however all the research ive done hasn't returned much information and what I have found varies wildly. everything from it being a piece of cake to get in to being almost impossible.
if anyone has been there or has information on reservations and camping and whatnot I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45

I was told they steal your shoes!

Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 85
Michael P wrote:Have you read this yet? girlonahike.com/2016/07/how...
I did but then I also saw another blog (don't remember where) of another guy going to the office, getting a permit and going in, like it was nothing.

however the majority of what ive been reading is leaning towards it being very difficult to get permits.
just hoping theres some info to the contrary.
Zach Myers · · Durango, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10

There are way cooler places in Grand Canyon than Havasu Falls, you just might have to work harder to get there. Havasu is cool if you like being around crowds of people.

Cory Tallman · · San Tan Valley, Arizona · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 90

Call in February. That's when reservations open for the whole year. If you can get through you may be able to reserve the dates you want. More than likely, you won't get through unless you commit to calling hundreds of times a day though. You can always show up at the office in Supai the day you want to camp. They will still allow you to buy permits as long as the campsite isn't full. They charge double if you don't have reservations. I have never heard of them turning anyone away, but they can if you don't have your permits reserved.

drewdogg2112 · · halifax, MA · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

I have been there on several occasions. Its amazingly beautiful and definitely well worth a trip. That being said
1. Make sure you get your permits in order. don't be a douche and just try to sneak into the area without paying. Its legitimately the only source of income for these people and as you will see when you walk through the town... they could use all the help they can get.
Things have cleaned up immensely since my first trip down there in 2009 but it can still be a pretty rude awakening for some people when you get there. It is basically a 3rd world country.
2. The hike down there is very easy and scenic but there are very few shade spots so be aware of the heat and sun.
3. PACK YOUR TRASH OUT! I cant tell you have frustrating it is to get down there and see bags of trash left around by "campers" who don't realize that the only way to get trash out of the Supai Reservation is either on horseback or by very expensive helicopter. Pack it in pack it out.
4. While it is definitely not the most solitude you will find in The Ditch (yes there are definitely more beautiful, remote, pristine places to be found) I think that it is a really nice trip and if you have a few days and like to explore there are some really cool places around there.
in my experience, once you get about a mile down river from the camp site you probably wont see more than 3 or 4 people and if you go 2 miles you prob wont see anyone.
There are some cool slot canyons to explore around the area but stay out of the ones that are closest to the campsites (people poop in them sometimes)
5. Use the water tap that they have down there by the camp site instead of filtering all your water from the river.
a. its probably cleaner
b. it contains less travertine which will clog your filter

I have never had a problem with locals, never had anything stolen, and even traded some gear for a few local crafts on my last trip.
Obey the rules of the area, be friendly, and clean up your stuff and I think you will totally enjoy yourself. PM Me if you want some extra info.

Mark Dalen · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 840

If I could do anything different going to Havasu again, it would be bring a pair of Keens or Tevas or boat shoes for navigating the trail downcanyon ...

B-Mkll Mackall · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 1,466

Havasu is totally awesome. Expect indifference from the people or at least a heightened sense of class awareness when in the town of Supai. Do not expect pristine wilderness, especially after the flash floods of 2013. There's still a bit of human detritus around and lots of flood debris.

We went in January and escaped the crowds. Getting a permit was no problem. The falls are NOT closed during this time period, as stated in the article above. Only one other group of outsiders there with us. Nights were chilly but days were warm. June will be hotter on the hike in (2+ liters per person, mandatory)

The campground is great, if not yet returned to its former pristine state. The best campsites are closest to the town, though that may have changed as further repairs etc. have been made. Second the above comment about getting water from the spring. It's delicious. You can filter if you want, but we didn't.

Despite anything you may hear, the hike in isn't bad at all, and it's totally beautiful. Just keeps getting better and better the further down canyon you go. The only part of the hike that is at all steep or technical is the first half mile or so, which does suck. There is little to no shade until about 4 miles in when the canyon deepens, so plan accordingly. You are basically hiking along a dry riverbed after the initial hill, so the "trail" is easy to follow.

We really wished we had time to explore some of the side slot canyons. Definitely allow yourself at least a full day for a down-and-back hike (try to make it to the Colorado!) and a full day for exploring. Trail networks outside of the main trail are faint and not maintained. Please try to limit impact.

HANG YOUR FOOD. A raccoon ransacked ALL of our gear the first night, throwing a pack into the river and leaving us without any of the food we brought for 3 nights of stay. The grocery in Supai is small, not well stocked, and they will charge you incredible amounts of money to restock.

Of a 5-month road trip around the SW and W this past winter, Havasu was top 5 for me and my girlfriend.

PACK IT OUT. Be respectful, and have fun!!!

George Wu · · Newport Beach, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 76
CoryTallman wrote:I have never heard of them turning anyone away, but they can if you don't have your permits reserved.
That happened to a young family that booked their lodge stay to end on a Tuesday. The helicopter doesn't fly on Tuesdays, and the hotel was booked for that night. The staff just wanted them gone, so they loaded up at the store on supplies, and hiked out. Their kids were like 4 and 5, so even though they probably made their own mistake, I felt bad for them. I kept an eye on them until they stopped for lunch.

The hike difficulty varies with the temperature. An easy hike at 70 degrees in April is Hellishly dangerous at 105 degrees in May. May to October, be prepared to cancel if its too hot.

Its definitely beautiful down there.
Kurt G. · · Reading, PA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 85
B-Mkll wrote: We went in January and escaped the crowds. Getting a permit was no problem.
how did you get a hold of a permit? ive tried calling on several different occasions with no answer and according the the article its very difficult to get a hold of someone to get a permit.
B-Mkll Mackall · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 1,466
Kurt G. wrote: how did you get a hold of a permit? ive tried calling on several different occasions with no answer and according the the article its very difficult to get a hold of someone to get a permit.
Kept. Calling....
Roman G · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 45

I am planning to go there this April. Starting Feb 1st planning on calling as many times as I can and get a permit for two nights for early April. Fingers crossed.

A few of you have mentioned that there are more beautiful places in the GC, do you mind sharing those? Something feasible for 3 days or less?

Thanks,

Roman

Chris treggE · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2007 · Points: 8,590

In reply to the question immediately above me: I really enjoyed the hike down from the north rim to the cottonwood campground, then a day hike to Ribbon Falls. Easily done in a few days.

Havasu is awesome, but I was there almost 20 years ago. Perhaps a lot has changed since then.

Zach Myers · · Durango, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10

Lots of cool mellow hikes/ canyoneering routes in Marble Canyon (eastern most part of Grand Canyon National Park (also free). In general the canyoneering in the Grand Canyon is super epic and as long as you have average climbing skills and some appropriate gear then a lot of options will be open to you. Check out Todds Desert Hiking guide online for some ideas or "Grand Canyoneering" by the same Todd for incredibly detailed descriptions of routes. Definitely a different experience from Havasu, but if you are looking for solitude and to get away from people with selfie sticks then canyoneering in the Grand Canyon is the way to go.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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