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The Complete 2 days / 1 night itinerary for hiking Havasu Falls

COVID-19 Update: the Havasupai Tribal Council has closed Havasu Falls to tourism until at least February 1, 2022. No date for the reopening of tourism has been set yet.

The small Native American village of Supai is nestled deep in the Grand Canyon. This remote village is a popular hiking destination for visitors from around the world. What attracts people to hike 10 miles each way deep into the canyons is the crystal blue waters of the Havasu Creek and the breathtaking waterfalls.

Fun Fact: Havasu means “blue-green water” and pai “people” meaning that Havasupai means “The people of the blue-green water”.

There are several hikes you can do and waterfalls to see besides the most popular Havasu Falls, most notable Mooney and Beaver Falls. You can also hike to Confluence, where the water of Havasu Creek meets the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Visiting Havasupai Falls does take some proper scheduling and preparation. While we recommend to visit for 3 days and 2 nights, not everyone’s calendar allows for the longer trip. We have created this 2 day – 1 night itinerary for hiking Havasu Falls to make sure you maximize your adventure and see as much as possible. Keep in mind that unfortunately now you are required to buy a Havasu Falls Camping permit for 4 day – 3 night you can always leave earlier if you do not have that many days available.

With a shorter time span it means you will have to push yourself to keep a steady hiking pace and be prepared for a long day of hiking upwards of 14 miles the first day and 10 miles the second day. The recommended times in our itinerary are based on our moderate hiking speed, which is required to have enough time to visit Beaver Falls.

Read More: The Complete Havasupai Packing List

This itinerary is made for people visiting Havasu Falls during Spring, summer and early fall, when the sun is up for longer. If you are visiting particularly early or late in the season, make sure to bring headlamps as you will find yourself hiking before sunrise.

For more information about the hiking trail and the waterfalls themselves, make sure to check out the first part of our complete guide to Havasu Falls.

Without further delay, enjoy our Havasu Falls hiking 2 days – 1 night itinerary.

2 day – 1 night itinerary for hiking Havasu Falls – Top Things to do in Havasu:

DAY 1: Hiking Havasupai Falls from Hualapai Hilltop to Beaver Falls

Park at the Hualapai Hilltop and start your hike before 6AM, to get to the village around 9AM when the tourism office opens. This way you can register and get your camping permit without having to wait. Bring your ID and credit card with you as you need them to check in at the Havasupai Tourist Office. Walk to the campground and set up your tent at the beginning of the campground.

Tip: Do not start after 10AM as it gets super hot really quickly. The latest we recommend going down is 8:00 AM-9:00 AM.

The Supai hike starts with a steep set of switchbacks, then you walk in the wash until you enter the canyon. Wearing sunscreen is really important for the first part of the hike as you are more exposed to the sun. While in the canyon the steep walls helps providing some shade. The last few miles of this long hike are through the village to the campground. This is the easiest and prettiest part of the hike as you will be walking along the river and pass several small falls.

The 10 mile hike to the village and campground is not too bad, but remember you are carrying all your belongings, which adds difficulty to it. If carrying your stuff is a problem you can always send your bag with the mules or the helicopter. Either way bring a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. The hike can take a total of 3 to 4 hours depending on your speed and the amount of photos you take along the way.

Leave your big bag at your camping spot and keep enough water and food for lunch and snacks. Then head towards Mooney Falls making your way down the wooden ladders and chains, to enjoy the rest of your morning in the cool blue waters at the base of the falls.

Mooney Falls are just passed the campgrounds. In fact, the campground trail leads to the top of the falls, where there is a lookout/photograph area that overlooks the 210-foot canyon wall that the waterfall cascades over.

The first half of the hiking trail is an easy walk until you reach the entrance to the cave, where the trail becomes more challenging. The start of the cave is only large enough for one person before opening up into a larger cave tunnel. At the end of the second cave you have to climb down the vertical rock face with the help of chains, ladders and handholds in the rocks. The entire climb down can be slippery due to the mist from the waterfall along with a build up of mud. There are several sections of the climb that you might want to do backwards, or facing outwards from the rock wall, for added stability.

The small cave is large enough for the average human, and leads to a small opening in which another cave is entered. At the end of the second cave the “trail” becomes a vertical rock climb that is similar to descending a ladder. Strategically placed chains, handholds, and ladders aid in the climb. Mist from the falls often makes the rock slippery, so climb down backwards (like you would a ladder) to make it much easier.

After lunch gather your supplies and head towards Beaver Falls. Enjoy making your way through this breathtaking set of cascading waterfalls before returning for dinner at the campground. You do not want to leave Beaver Falls too late, as climbing the ladders and chains at Mooney Falls can get quite difficult in the dark. After dinner you will probably want nothing more than to go straight to sleep.

Beaver Falls are about 3 miles from Mooney Falls. If you are in better shape it is not a difficult hike otherwise it might be too much!

At the base of Mooney Falls is the start of the 3 mile trail through the canyon to Beaver Falls. Over the next three miles the trail can be rugged, with multiple creek crossings and countless spots where the trail is easy to lose. For this hike it is best to wear hiking sandals to avoid having to take your shoes on and off or be stuck hiking in wet boots full of sand and pebbles.

The next landmark to look for is a small picturesque clearing with a large palm tree. You will pass several similar points, but you will know when you reach this fork in the trail. Here you can cross the river to the left and head to the top of Beaver Falls. Or stick to the right and climb a set of ladders that take you to a path to the base of Beaver Falls. We recommend this route as you get amazing views of the whole falls from above and will still have the chance to climb around in the falls themselves. There is a guard from the tribe stationed here to make sure everyone gets back safely and leaves Beaver Falls with enough time to reach camp before dark. Remember, you will still need to climb up the ladders and chains at Mooney Falls to get back.

DAY 2: From Havasu Falls back home

Wake up just before dawn and pack up your tent. Getting to Havasu Falls right around sunrise will give you the best photos without any hard shadows to worry about. Enjoy your morning at Havasu Falls and the endless number of surrounding pools.

Havasu Falls are the most famous waterfalls in the Supai Village. We leave them for the last day as they are right before the campgrounds just 1.5 miles from the village of Supai, so it is great to do it on your way back to the car. You will definitely see them the first day as you walk right past them to get to the campground.

After lunch it is time to start heading back to the hilltop. On the way to Supai village take a short break at New Navajo Falls and the pools above the falls. Make sure to leave no later than 4PM so you can hike after the heat of the day and get back to your car before it is super dark. This will bring you to the end of a fun filled and exciting two days visiting Havasu Falls!

If you have any questions about your upcoming visit to Havasu Falls or any additional tips or suggestions from your own trip, please share with us in the comments below.

How to get to Havasu Falls?

The easiest way to get to Havasu Falls is to fly of the two closest airports to Havasu Falls; Las Vegas (4 hours) or Phoenix (5 hours). From there rent a car and drive towards Hualapai Hilltop, where the Havasu Falls trailhead is located.

  • Directions to Havasu Falls from Las Vegas: From Las Vegas drive down 93 South towards Kingman, Arizona and then head east on Route 66. 57 miles later, turn left on Indian Road 18. Drive for 60 miles until you reach the end of the road, which is a large parking lot and the start of the trailhead.

What is the best time to visit Havasu Falls?

The best time to visit Havasu Falls depends on what you want to do and your weather preferences.

  • Spring and late Fall: During the Spring and late Fall you will encounter less people but the temperatures are more volatile. Also, it is warmer during the day (75-90°F) but super cold at night (50-40°F). We went in mid April and the weather was great during the day; we were able to swim and hike comfortably.
  • Summer and early Fall: It can get really hot, meaning the hike to the falls might be too much but then it is better if you want to enjoy the water all day. Also, you need to pack less, so less carrying things in. Summer is also monsoon season with flash floods being most likely from mid June to late September.

How to Get a Havasupai Permit and Camping Fees

The first thing you must do when planning a trip to Havasu Falls is to buy the Havasupai hiking permit. You need to make the reservation ahead of time in February 1st.

You must open an account at HavasupaiReservations.com to create a 2020 campground reservation. The lodge is completely sold out for 2020 and campground reservations usually sell out immediately on the morning of February 1st, so be sure to set up an account in advance. Reservations are online ONLY!

Campground: All campground reservations are 3 Nights / 4 Days.  That means if you only want to stay 2 days, you will still have to pay for 4. The prices below include all permits, fees, and taxes.

  • $300 per person (Mon-Thurs)
  • $375 per person (Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights)

Lodge:

  • $440.00 per night – Up to 4 people
  • $100.00 deposit per room / per night

Transportation:

  • Pack Horse (up to 4 bags per horse) $400.00 – Round trip
  • Helicopter Service $85.00 per person – One way*

*The Pack mules need to be reserved online.

For more information, visit the Official Havasupai Website.

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