Havasu Falls is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States. Located within the Havasupai Indian Reservation, the falls are a series of cascading waterfalls that flow into turquoise pools, set amidst red rock canyons and lush greenery. If you’re planning to visit Havasu Falls for the first time, here’s everything you need to know.
Let’s discover Havasu Falls travel guide – All things you need to know for the first time
How to get Havasu Falls
The closest airport to Havasu Falls is the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, Arizona, which is approximately 90 miles away. However, most visitors drive to the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot, which is the starting point for the hike to the falls. The parking lot is approximately 200 miles from Las Vegas and 300 miles from Phoenix. The hike to the falls is approximately 10 miles roundtrip and can be strenuous, so it’s important to be prepared with proper hiking gear and plenty of water.
Permits and Reservations
To visit Havasu Falls, you must obtain a permit from the Havasupai Tribe. Reservations typically open up in February and sell out quickly, so it’s important to plan ahead. The cost of the permit includes entry to the reservation, camping, and hiking fees. There are a limited number of permits available each day, so it’s important to book early to secure your spot.
What is the best month to visit Havasu Falls?
The best time to visit Havasu Falls is typically between March and May or September and November. During these months, the temperatures are milder, ranging from the 60s to 80s°F, making it more comfortable for hiking and camping. The water flow is also at its highest during these months, which means the waterfalls are more spectacular. However, keep in mind that weather can be unpredictable, and there is always a chance of rain or flash floods, so it’s important to be prepared and check weather forecasts before your trip. Additionally, the Havasupai Tribe may close the reservation during monsoon season (July-August) due to safety concerns, so it’s important to check with them before planning your visit.
There are a few accommodation options within the Havasupai Reservation. The most popular is camping, which is the only way to stay overnight in the canyon. There are several campgrounds along the trail, including Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls. Each campground has a limited number of sites and they fill up quickly, so it’s important to reserve your spot in advance.
There are also a few lodges within the reservation, but they are very limited and often booked up far in advance. If you’re unable to secure a camping spot or lodge reservation, it’s possible to do a day hike to the falls and return to a nearby town for lodging.
Hiking to the Falls
The hike to Havasu Falls is approximately 8 miles roundtrip, with a 2,400 foot elevation gain. The trail is steep and rocky in some sections, so it’s important to wear sturdy hiking boots and bring plenty of water. Along the way, you’ll pass by several other waterfalls, including Navajo Falls and Mooney Falls, before arriving at Havasu Falls. The trail can be challenging, but the stunning views make it well worth the effort.
What to Pack
When visiting Havasu Falls, it’s important to pack wisely. Here are some essential items to bring:
- Plenty of water and water filtration system or purification tablets
- Sturdy hiking boots and comfortable socks
- Lightweight clothing and layers for varying weather conditions
- Sunscreen and a hat for sun protection
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera or smartphone for taking photos
What is the best airport to fly into for Havasu Falls?
The closest airport to Havasu Falls is the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, Arizona, which is about 90 miles away. However, this airport is relatively small, and flights can be limited and more expensive. The nearest major airports are McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. From either airport, you can rent a car and drive to the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot, which is the starting point for the hike to Havasu Falls. The drive from Las Vegas is approximately 200 miles and takes about 4 hours, while the drive from Phoenix is approximately 300 miles and takes about 5 hours. Keep in mind that the drive to the trailhead can be long and remote, so it’s important to plan accordingly and have a reliable vehicle.
Visiting Havasu Falls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy this natural wonder and create memories that will last a lifetime.