If getting there is half the fun then you will have a lot of fun.
Havasupai is real close to nowhere, unless you live in Arizona. Even then you have a few hours to drive. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is about 3 hours drive from Havasupai. Since we traveled from Utah we stopped at the South Rim Grand Canyon over night and spent a day looking at the 7th wonder of the world. If you have time and you have not been to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon I would suggest you squeeze it in.
Airports Towns Site Seeing Helicopter Hiking Map
- Phoenix Airport
- Bullhead City
I looked at airfare to all of these airports and none of them were cheap. I don't know if it was the season (mid May) or if they are always expensive flights. Between the airfare and a car rental I decided a 14-hour drive sounded very easy. You may have connections and/or better ways to get cheap flights. If you have any good tips please let us know and we will post them here.
Towns to stay at:
Driving from East:
- Seligman AZ - 3 or 4 motels. I stayed at the stagecoach and it was clean and $35 a night. Probably a 1 or 2 star motels, but fine for a 1 night hiker stay. 3 or 4 restaurants and gas stations. Less than 2 hours from town to
Driving from West:
- Peach Springs AZ - Looked like a 1 motel setup. Not sure of the quality. Did not see a gas station or restaurant. About 1 hour from town to
- Kingman AZ - Lots hotel/motel restaurant options. I even saw a K-mart. Probably 2.5 - 3 hours from town to
Sites along the way:
- South Rim Grand Canyon. 7th wonder of the world. Must see.
- Historic Route 66
- Kiabab National Forest
- Hoover Dam, Lake Mead
- Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell (on our way at least)
- Tuba City AZ
- Las Vegas NV (Sin City, stay away)
You can get a
from Tusayan, AZ (Grand Canyon) to Havasu Falls. They will drop you off at 10:00am and come get you at 4:00pm. WARNING this is not near enough time to enjoy the falls and you will wish you had at least 2 days. You will still have a 2 mile hike to the first falls from where the
drops you off. Good map and driving times at the official Havasupai website.
Once you get to
Hilltop (parking lot for Havasupai Hike and
Helicopter) you will have to travel 8 miles to the Havasupai village to check in and then hike/horse ride 2 more miles to the falls. The village is as close as a
will get to the falls (unless you are injured). There are 3 or so ways to travel to the village and then to the falls.
- Mule/Hike (mule takes your pack and you walk)
For now we will focus on the
and we will cover hiking and horses under the hiking page. We hiked down to Havasupai falls and took the
out. It cost $85 for a 1 way flight and that included my 50lb backpack at the time of this writing (2004). You can call to get current prices and reservation information from the Havasupai Tribe website contact page.
Don't expect a airport/helipad
with flashing lights and a guy with ear muffs and a white baseball cap waving two orange beacons. What you will find is a grass field about the size of a baseball diamond and a desk with papers flying around on it. No one is in a uniform and you need to look for the guy with a clipboard.
The chopper starts taking out Havasupai residents first. They always get the first flights and seats. You sign up for the chopper on the day your going to get out on it. They do not have a list before then. The chopper only fly's 3 or 4 days a week so call ahead and get the fly days from the tribe. We signed up at 9:30 and flew out by 11:30 a local told me that was fast because they had the big 6 seater that day. If I did it again I would get there at about 8:45am - 9:00am sign up for the chopper and get breakfast at the cafe next to the "helipad". This $85 flight lasts about 5 minutes, but it sure is nice to fly over the 8 miles of desert that you hiked a few days before. You will also do a fair amount of hiking getting between falls and camp while you are there so plan on being a little tired if you are not an
athlete. I hiked about 17 miles in the two days I spent at Havasupai. The flight in is probably about the same as flying in. I'm not sure if you can get a reservation for the flight or if it's a first come first serve thing like the flight out.
The hike down to Havasupai has a page worth of information. See the hiking Havasupai page here. You will also find some horse and mule info, safety tips and other info on the hiking Havasupai page.
We traveled from Salt Lake City, Ut to Havasupai and the journey took
14 hours. Of course we stopped at the Grand Canyon and stayed the night and a day to break it up a little. Then we stayed at Saligman for a night and traveled to the Havasupai parking lot getting there at 5:30am for a cool hike down.