When is the best time to hike Havasupai?
- April/May - Most popular time to go. Still coolish but warm enough to swim in the day. Nights are still
. Busy time of year you may want to get reservations.
- June/July/August over 95 degrees in the day and they have "monsoons" in July and August. Supposedly you can't hike at night because of the danger of flash flood in these months. You may also be asked (told) to move your camp to higher grounds because a flood is coming in 5 minutes. I have talked to someone who experienced this and they lost a few items in the brief flood.
- September - Cool and nice.
- Nice breakdown of seasonal
at the Havasupai Tribal Site. I think these highs look a little low. A local told me it's 100 degrees at midnight in July/August.
Contacting the Havasupai Tribe
I would love to post the trail fees, campsite fees, helicopter fees, lodge fees and so on here, but I know it will get out of date in no time at all. My suggestion is that you call the Havasupai Tribal Office or send them an email for the most current information.
NOTE: The campsites do fill up in some seasons and you will want to make sure to make reservations for the campsites not just the lodge.
Here are the links for hiking Havasupai:
I will cover my experience with the campsites and lodge on the Havasupai Camping and Havasupai Lodge page.
In May of 2004 I paid the following for my hike down to the Havasupai Falls:
- Entry/Trail fee $20
- Campground per night $10 x 2 = $20
- Helicopter out $85 (money well spent)
$125 for one of the most awesome places I have ever been is a great deal.
I was a little worried about the difficulty of this hike at first. I'm not in bad shape, but I don't run a mile a day either. Being in my late 20's and
an extra tent and sleeping bag for others on the hike with smaller packs; I thought the hike was not hard, long, but not difficult. It can wear you out and make you sore the next day, but it isnt a real killer to begin with. I wouldn't take anyone younger than 8 years old or anyone very out of shape though. We also started from the parking lot at 6:00am, which kept us in the shade for 90% of our hike (in mid-May). I know this had a lot to do with easing the hike.
We made it to the Havasupai Village in about two and a half hours and then to the camsites from the village in one and a half hours. The whole hike took us about four hours. Expect four to six hours of hiking depending on your speed, the weather and how busy the sign in office is in the village.
The last two miles after signing in at the village is really the tough part. You don't exactly know how far two miles is and you don't know what the campgrounds look like. Here's a little tip. Keep hiking until you run into 6-8 porta-potties. The sand from the village to the falls is deep and it sucks the life out of you.
There is one store in the village that you won't find on the official Havasupai Tribal site.
A local family runs it. It's the first building you run into on your hike into the village and they have ice cold gatorade, canned food, ice-cream, some kinds of hiking stove fuels, candy, soda and other items you might expect to find in a little general store. These people are real nice and if you buy something they will give you
info about the area, but don't get personal. The locals don't like to be treated as a tourist attraction they live here.
NOTE: Everyone has to sign in at the office in the village and get a permit.
This is the first and only switchback starting at the parking lot. Picture from the chopper. The first mile is really the only steep part after that it's a gradual slope down to the falls. If you look close you can see the hikers at the bottom of the image on the trail. The parking lot is just to the right in this picture, but you can't see it in this photo.
I took a water purifier and did not use it. If your real worried about your water than take a filter or purifier. In the campgrounds is a spring that comes out of the wall of the canyon from a pipe stuck in the wall. I think they call it "fern springs" or something like that. The water tasted and smelled good to me. None of our party ended up with any kind of stomach problems of any kind.
Common sense and
can make this a very safe hike. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a Havasupai hike.
- Water - bring at least 70 ounces per-person for the hike down. More if you are hiking in midday. I have heard a report of at least one person dying of heatstroke hiking out of the canyon, so the danger is real.
- Swimming - bring water shoes or sandals. The bottom of the creek and falls have small poky rocks that make it hard to walk bare foot.
- Diving - I have heard of at least one person dying from diving into a rock. Watch where you dive and swim around first looking for rocks. There are signs that say "No Diving".
- Rattlesnakes - there are snakes on the hike down and in Havasu Canyon. I didn't see any, but I know someone that did. Just
watch where you're
going and you'll be fine.
Watch for flash floods in July/August. There may not be a cloud in the sky where you are and you can still have a flash flood.
Saddle / Pack Horses
Arrangements must be made in advance through tourist office. ½ down to guarantee reservation.
One Way In-Arrangements must be made in advance through this office. We require the full amount in advance to guarantee reservations.
One Way Out- Arrangements can be made in person through our office at least a day prior to your departure date.
|Havasu Falls Day Tour
from Lodge to Falls
|Hilltop to Lodge -
Pack Mule Restrictions
A pack mule will carry up to (4) articles or weighing no more than 130 lbs. Articles going on the mule should be of proportionate size and weight to maintain balance and to achieve easier packing. Duffel bags are highly recommended.
NOTE: You can pay for one mule and have it pack gear for more than one person.
Riding Horse Restrictions
- Below are the conditions one must pass to reserve a horse.
- Have minimal riding experience, able to mount, dismount and guide horse unassisted.
- Riders must not weigh more than 250 lbs. Riders must be at least 4' 7" or taller
- Riders can carry a small day pack (less than 20 lbs.), a camera and canteen. Riders are not allowed to carry backpacks on a riding horse.
- An adult is permitted to ride with a child no older than 5 years of age. However, the total weight shall not exceed 250 lbs.
- Riders with recurrent health problems or condition should consult a physician prior to riding a horse
Editors Favorite Gear:
Marmot Jacket - Summer or winter, there is a Marmot jacket for the adventure. Great quality jackets and a lifetime warranty. Don't wast your money on another jacket.
Petzl Headlamp - I own two Petzl headlamps and they have never let me down. You can find cheaper headlamps, but that's just what you'll get. Get a Petzl headlamp and you will never buy another brand headlamp.