I stumbled across the Havasu Falls hike somewhere in the depths of the Web… it looked amazing, and yet I hadn’t seen it in any of my US hiking books: “The Havasupai Waterfalls are the most dramatic waterfalls in the Grand Canyon and possibly even the entire Southwestern United States” and “Havasupai (Havasu Falls) might just be one the the most beautiful places on Earth” are a few of the descriptions of this overnight hike. It turns out all these descriptions were spot on – the journey through the Havasupai Canyon to Havasu Falls remains one of the most stunning hikes I’ve done…
Day 1 – Down to Havasu Falls and beyondArriving at the Hualapai Hilltop trailhead at sunrise, I start the hike to Havasu Falls. From the outset there are impressive views down the Hualapai Canyon, which is a side canyon of the Grand Canyon. A few mules are tethered near the start of the trail – this is the only place in the US where mail is delivered by mule (UK Daily Mail). Navajo Falls is reached first, a short detour off the main track about 3km beyond the village. It is spectacular. One of those spots where I know the photos won’t do justice to what I am seeing. I take many photos, and continue… Another 3km and I reach (arguably) the star attraction: Havasu Falls. Being outside peak season there are a few other people on the track and swimming, but there is also a sense of isolation and serenity. It’s somewhere I could happily camp and stay for a few days. Mooney Falls (these are the highest). The base of the Mooney Falls is accessed through a rough track carved through the cliff and then down some less than confidence-inspiring wooden ladders. But it’s worth the effort. Each waterfall seems to outdo the last in beauty and amazing-ness – and this one is stunning,
Day 2 – Supai village back to Hualapai HilltopIt’s an early start again the next day: back through the village, up Havasu Canyon and then the final ascent up Hualapai Canyon to the car. It’s a decent climb and best to start early.
What’s the best time to visit Havasu Falls?March through June is considered the best time. Avoid monsoon season (mid-July to August) when flash flooding can occur – and the trail into Havasu Canyon may be closed due to either heat or the risk of flash floods.
Getting to the waterfalls of the Havasu CanyonThe Havasu Falls Trail starts at Hualapai Hilltop. This is is a 4.5 hour drive (420km / 260 miles) from Phoenix in Arizona or 4 hours (365km / 225 miles) from Las Vegas in Nevada, which are the closest major airports. From here, it’s a 12.3km (7.6 mile) hike from Hualapai Hilltop to Supai village, and then about 2.4km (1.5 miles) to Havasu Falls.
12.3km (7.6 mile) from Hualapai Hilltop to Supai village +1.5km (1 mile) to Navajo Falls +2.4km (1.5 miles) to Havasu Falls +3.6km (2.3 miles) to Mooney Falls +8.5km (5.2 miles) to Beaver Falls
More information on Havasu Falls
- Havasupai / Havasu Falls Campground Reservations and Lodge reservations
- The Havasupai Tribe – official Web site
- Scott S Warren, “100 Classic Hikes in Arizona” – Purchase US / AU
- BigBoyTravel blog – Havasu Falls