“Havasu Falls” is made up of five different waterfalls that are located within the Grand Canyon. They are not actually part of our National Park, therefore we are not able to just visit them whenever we feel like it. The falls belong to the Havasupai Indian Tribe and are part of their reservation. A permit is required to enter the reservation and the tribe administers all of the permits.
Quite honestly, the biggest obstacle to planning a trip to Havasu Falls is actually being able to obtain the permit! This is not a trip for the spontaneous traveler; it requires a ton of planning. There are limited permits available and they notoriously sell out within the first couple of months of availability. The reservation phone line (928-448-2121) for the new calendar year opens on February 1 at 7 AM. Do not purchase your air fare before you obtain your permit from the tribe. Be flexible with your travel plans. Do not give up if you don’t get through the first time. Call again and again and then…call again.
I DON’T WANT TO CALL. CAN I MAKE RESERVATIONS ONLINE?
Yes and No. In 2017, the tribe launched an online option but at the present time, it is not functional. May the force be with you.
HOW LONG SHOULD I PLAN TO BE THERE?
The longer, the better! When we plan our next visit, I will plan for a minimum of 5 days and 4 nights. The hikes into and out of the canyon each take the better part of the day. That will give us two three full days to enjoy the different falls.
Before you leave, you have a decision to make. EVERYTHING that gets brought into the reservation has to make the eight mile trek in and out of the village, either by foot or by pack animal.
So I ask you….will you BE the pack animal or will you BOOK a pack animal?
WHERE WILL I SLEEP?
I vote for the lodge. Hot shower. Soft bed. There is no shame in #glamping.
The lodge has 24 rooms with double beds. Rates: $145 for up to four people plus 10% tax. Reservations must be made in advance. All lodging reservations must be made by telephone: (928) 448-2111
HOW DO I GET THERE?
The drive from Las Vegas to Havasupai takes about 3.5 hours. To get to the reservation, you will need to take Historic Route 66 to route Indian 18. Once you exit onto route 18, it’s another 60 miles north to “Hualapai Hilltop”. This is where you will park your car, go to the restroom and begin the eight mile hike to Supai village.
Open this Supai Road Map in a new window.
TIPS FOR THE HIKE:
People. It’s an eight mile hike through the middle of the desert. Bring water. #duh
Plan to bring about a gallon of water (or wear a camelback) because there are NO rest stops or water available along the trail. In the summer, temperatures can reach up to 115 degrees. Plan to hike in the coolest part of the day. Wear sunscreen, a hat and closed toed shoes that support your ankles.
Once you arrive in Supai, you will head directly to the office to pay your entry fee.
If you do not have a valid reservation, they will ask you to hike back to the hilltop. NO BUENO. Once you’ve paid your entry fee, the office will provide each person with a wristband that you must wear through the duration of your visit. At this point, you will proceed to either the Havasupai Lodge or the camping grounds.
WHAT ABOUT MEALS?
Downtown Supai offers a police station, post office, general store and a cafe that are open to the public between 8 AM and 5 PM.
If you are a “plant based” person, plan to bring your own food with you. There are not many options…and by not many, I mean….there are none.
LIST OF NO’s:
NO cliff jumping.
NO night hiking.
NO day hikers (only overnight visitors with reservations).
The tribe does not allow alcohol/drugs or weapons of any kind on the reservation. Drones are prohibited as well. Sorry BB2.
ISN’T THERE A HELICOPTER?
Yes, BUT, they don’t take reservations. Flights are first come, first serve and priority goes to members of the tribe. One way from (or to) the hilltop is $85 and the flight is only about 10 minutes. The helicopter flies back and forth non-stop every 20 minutes between 10 AM and 1 PM.
Be sure to check the flight schedule because during Summer (March 15 – October 15) they fly Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday, and during Winter (October 16 – March 14) they only fly on Saturday and Sunday.
We hiked into the village but we opted to fly back rather than hike. It was a really steep descent to the valley and I was not crazy about the idea of hiking back up to the hilltop.
If you are planning a trip to Havasupai, check out the Girl on a Hike blog. She has some really great information in her posts!