Havasupai Q&A

Hey guys,

First of all, I want to thank everyone who was following our trip to Havasu Falls.  Since my blog post was posted, I received a lot of questions about Havasu Falls, so I decided to collect them all and answer them in one post.

Here we go!

What to pack for my Havasu Falls trip? 

Packing For Havasu Falls tips

Where can i get the reservation and the permit? Can anyone answer my question?

Here

You definitely need to get a permission to go there. Our suggestion would be to plan this trip in advance.  Their reservation system is 20th century and you have to call multiple times to get a hold of somebody.  Reservations for camping start in February.

How long did you call before you reached someone?

We spent 1 week..We were calling them every day, using 2 phones.

Which tour did you take to go to the Havasupai Falls?

We didn’t book any tours.  We planned everything ourselves. We like to be independent.

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Thank you for sharing with us your adventure. What month did you guys end up going? For the last picture of your adventure near the tall grass, is that near havasupai falls, or mooney falls? I’ve been trying to figure out where could you point out where exactly which falls it is near?

We were there in the middle of June.  By the way, don’t go to Havasupai July-August because it’s a flood season. And it’s not fun. Some people say that the best time to go there is April-May.

The tall grass is near Havasu falls, right next to the camp site.

 

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So if after a 10 mile hike you come to a restaurant, store and wifi, how does food get there? Someone hikes it in?

 Food gets there on helicopters and mules.

Do you think it’s possible to bring a dog in this hike?

 I would not bring a dog to the reservation. There are many dogs living on the reservation. You can see them walking freely around the campground and near the falls.  Even though they are pretty calm and not interested in people, I think there could be problems with your dog because you will enter their territory. So I would leave the dog at home. Also, the hike there is not easy, so your dog would not enjoy it.

Is mountain biking an option to get there?

Not an option. The trail is too rocky and not safe to share with hikers.

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Can you camp at the waterfall or near it?

 Yes, there are a few sweet spots right on top of Mooney Falls.

Can I ride my mule?

 Your own mule? 🙂 I’m not sure if there are rules against bringing your own mule.  I would call them.  As far as using their mules, they only use them to transport cargo, not people.  They used to let people ride them, but not anymore.

What camera lens set up do you use?

Canon 70D with a Canon EF-S 18-200mm lens and a GoPro Hero 4.

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 Did you go on a guided tour or do your own travel agenda? If you did your own thing, how did you go about getting all of the required documentation… if you did a tour, which one was it?

We did our own travel agenda.  Tour guides would only ruin the experience.  You have to experience nature for yourself, without some annoying tour guide telling you their opinions about the scenery.

To get a camping reservation you have to call their office.  For us, it took like a week to reach them because their number was always busy.  We arrived a day early of our reservation because we couldn’t book the exact dates we wanted, because of their stupid phone reservation system.  When we arrived, nobody even asked us about our reservation.  We just told them how many nights we’re staying, got a pass, and that was it.  Apparently the reservation system is not that strict.

I’m an avid hiker this is a must for me. I have done Mt Whitney 4 times 1 of which was a in 1 day ( brutal) but made it, with minimal training. Is it comparable? Can i use a hammock? & what is the best time of year? I would like to do it in the night.

 You’ll be fine! Yes, you can use a hammock. It’s a great idea to bring one.  Best time of the year is April-June.   July-August is flood season.

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Can people take the helicopter to this place and if so how much?

 Helicopter costs $85 per person (one way). The only problem is that they fly to the village only a few days per week, so you have to plan your trip according to the helicopter’s schedule.

How much does it cost just to hike it?

 You can find more information about prices here.

Our suggestion: Book your trip in advance.  Reservations for camping begin in February.  Be prepared to call multiple times to reach somebody.  They still haven’t figured out how to use the Internet for reservations, even though they have a website.

My boyfriend and I are doing this the first week of November! I’m hoping the weather will be nice? Also, if you have the helicopters or mules take your bag back up, where do you retrieve it once you make it up?

 There’s a place in the campground where  they “park” their mules and pack and unpack cargo. You will see this place because you will walk though it. Don’t forget to ask the person in charge about the time when you need to drop off your backpack. Also, it may take some time for them to deliver your stuff.  We left our bags at 7am and received them back at the parking lot around noon.  They leave your stuff near the Halaupai parking lot office.

Are the pools deep enough to cliff jump from the top of the falls?

 If you are talking about Havasu Falls, then no. You definitely can not jump from the top of the cliff because the pool is not deep enough.  The best place to cliff jump is at Navajo Falls.  You’ll see people jumping there.

Any specific shoes you recommend?

You’ll be hiking over rocks and through water once you get to the trail past the camp site.  Get shoes that drain water quickly, have a hard sole, and won’t give you blisters.  Blisters are almost guaranteed on this hike.

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I would absolutely love to do this hike however I am terrified of snakes… Did you see an awful lot of them?

 Yes, we saw a couple of snakes.  Just be careful and look where you step.

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After 10 miles of hiking in the canyon, you will reach the Indian village, where you can find a restaurant, a store, and wifi. Don’t get too comfortable – you have to hike 2 more miles to the camp ground.” Ummmm restaurant, store & wifi, you can drive there….

 Good point haha but no, you can’t drive there.

All communication with the world outside is done via helicopters and mules.

How difficult for a person with fear of heights?

 You’ll be fine up until you get to Mooney Falls, which is past the camp site.  To get past Mooney Falls, you have to climb down a rock wall using ladders.  Might be scary for some people.

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How is the lodging set up? Tents, Cabins, Hotel? Do you have to bring your own tent? Is it group hiking? I don’t know anyone to hike with but really want to go.

You have an option to stay at their hotel in their village, or to camp using your own tent.  You have to bring all your own stuff.  It’s not group hiking.  Everyone hikes on their own at any time they want.  Just make sure you talk to the parking lot attendant and get a pass.

Question? I have been doing a lot of hiking with my 2 children. I have a 7 month old that I carry on my back and a 3 yr old that hikes just as good as I do. He’s all over the place! This place looks awesome and I have been wanting to go there for a long time but do you think it would be to difficult for us? We’ve done long hikes in sedona and page and we did fine even with our packs loaded up.

There is only one challenging part.  It’s at Mooney Falls.  You have to climb down a rock wall using ladders.  I don’t think a 3 year old should be climbing that.  But the trail up until Mooney Falls is doable, just really long and hot in the summer.  Bring tons of water and electrolytes. However, I’d think twice before bringing your children there…

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Wait, so do you start at the trailhead parking Hualapai Hilltop and hike up to the falls, then the village, then the campground? Meaning you must hike with EVERYTHING (tent, clothes, etc.) on your back all the way up to the campground?

You start at the Hualapao Hilltop parking lot.  That’s the trailhead.  Then you hike with all your stuff to the village, then Navajo Falls, then Havasu Falls, then the camp site, drop off your stuff, then hike to Mooney Falls, then Beaver falls, and if you’re really rave, you can even make it all the way to the Colorado River.  You can make the hike easier if you pay for a mule to carry all your stuff to the camp site and back.

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Omg! is it an actual hike or just a super long walk? Can you get there on like a quad?

It’s a super long walk.  Very long walk through the Grand Canyon desert. Quad bike is not an option. The trail is too narrow, steep and rocky.  Only hikers and horses/miles are allowed on the trail.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions!

Jx

See more adventures on Instagram: @juliapelio

Find Arthur on Instagram: @djpelio

 

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33 thoughts on “Havasupai Q&A

  1. Hi! great blog post, I love the pictures you guys were able to get on your amazing trip! I was kinda frustrated with the fact that a lot of the pictures we got do not quite show off how truly beautiful blue the water was. I was wondering how you captured the blue water and got it to pop so beautiful in your pictures while still keeping the colors of the canyon looking natural? Did you have to use any editing to show off the blue better? or maybe it helped if you were there on a day with better more sunny lighting for pictures??

    Also, I got my boyfriend a go pro 3 to take but I was a little disappointed with the fact that pictures from the go pro tended to come out more dull and grey even when it was sunny. Even your go pro pictures look bright and clear, do you find that maybe the go pro Hero 4 has a better sensor so it does not require as much editing to get the pictures to look light and clear? Was the picture of you in the stream next to the tall grasses taken with the go pro Hero 4? thanks!!! you can check out more of our trip in the flickr link attached if you like!

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  2. Hi, first of all… thanks for doing this q&a! I love our pictures. I am planning to go here in March. For someone who has a person in their group that needs to take a helicopter…. where do you get it from? And where does it take you? How much hiking is involved for the helicopter route to get to beaver and mooney? I really appreciate your response.

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    1. Hello, Mo and thank you for the kind words. You can book a helicopter by calling to the office. Make sure to book your ride as soon as possible because it’s not easy to reach them. The helicopter takes you to the village. After landing and checking in you still have to hike 2 more miles to get to the campground. Mooney falls are pretty close to The campground, you will have to walk around 1 mile. Beaver falls hike is approximately 4 miles (one way).

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  3. Hello my name is kendra am Beasileira I saw your documentary on a website. I am very passionate about the grand canyon and Havasu falls, was wondering if you paid something for the camp, and it is very difficult to achieve book ? I’m just looking to learn , it’s a big goal of mine, but I do not know site , phone or I talk to , could give me some tips ? Oh , I mean also that love your pictures heheh Big kiss !!

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  4. Super nice photos and videos. This place looks amazing. Ok, me my wife and 3 kids will be out around there in late July. My kids are 16,13 and 4.5. Would love to stay here for a couple days, I just question if its a good choice. What are your thoughts? To ambitious for the month and kids ages? Thanks

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  5. Great pics and videos. What a sweet spot. I am going to be around there in late July. Me, my wife and 3 kids ages 16, 13 and 4. Would love to spend a few days there. I just dont know if it a good choice, given the month and kids ages. What are your thoughts
    on my situation?

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    1. Thank you! I’d suggest to choose different dates for this hike because It’s a flood season there (July-August). And it’s not fun. Some people say that the best time to go there is April-May. I think this hike is doable for kids. We saw a lot of kids at the campground. Just prepare them for this very long walk.

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      1. Thank you for your advise. I am stuck with the timing. Wife pushing for the desert on the way to the west coast. Although I am thinking that the desert in the summer might not be the best idea. I am a waterman so I am always looking for watering holes. I have seen blue hole in New Mexico. Looks nice but not much to it. Have you been there?

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  6. So we were trying to call all day today to get our reservation.. we keep getting “your call can’t be completed as dialed” is this something you ran into when trying to book?

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  7. Hello! Surely your photos left me very very excited to know this place. I really want to go, but in May have just a entire free day in Arizona, is it possible to track and return the same day ? ( I know it will be very tiring ) but I really want to do. Thanks in advance

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  8. I’ve been here twice and this isn’t “Havasu Falls.” It’s Havasupai Falls. And Mooney Falls (where a boyscout died in 2012). And Beaver Falls. None of these are “Havasu Falls”. Please get the name right.

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    1. When I say Havasu Falls, I mean Havasu Falls, not Mooney or Beaver falls, so it is correct, at least National Park Services website, Wikipedia and Havasupai Tribe’s website use that name for the falls that I was thinking about when I was writing this post. And yes, if we are talking about ALL falls that are located on the territory of the Havasupai Tribe then it’s Havasupai Falls.

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  9. Hey! Im really interested in this hike my friend and I are trying to do it this weekend… but i called and they are booked for the whole summer! Would it be possible to just camp out at Mooney Falls without a reservation??

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  10. I’m planning a trip to the falls, needed to know if the parking lot has security day and night, I’d prefer not to have my car broken into while I’m off hiking.

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    1. There was one person responsible for reservations in their office, but I can’t really tell if she’s responsible for security. Just don’t leave anything valuable in your car and you’ll be fine.

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  11. Hi, i am planning to go to havasu first week of july but i only have very limited time and i really want to see this place. im thinking of an option to ride the helicopter 1 way and hike back. do you think that’s possible? helicopter ride back and forth might not be possible as it is 1st come first serve so i am entertaining the thought of hiking back. we’re going july 7 thursday(helicopter opperates) and hike back, so we dont have to rush catching for helicopter back.

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  12. I’m looking for a good hiking shoe that can handle rocky terrain and go in water and dry quick, can you recommend a good shoe?

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  13. Love your blog. It has been very helpful for planning a future trip. I did read somewhere that they don’t take reservations for that year until February 1st but someone else said you have to call a year in advanced. I am trying to plan a trip for Spring 2017. I want to stay at the lodge not the campsite. Do you know if I would have to wait until February 2017 to call or should I keep trying to get a hold of them now. I have sent emails with no response and called with no answer.

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  14. I read your information about taking helicopters in and out of the falls and mules carrying camping gear BUT do you know if they still have horses that ride people in an out of the falls. A friend if mine can not hike it and is also afraid of helicopters so I was looking at taking a horse in and out. I looked on the wildland trekking company website and do not see any information about horses. Thanks again

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  15. Hey Julia, This is a good read. Just curious. How long did it take you to hike down to the village and how long did it take you to hike up to hilltop?

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  16. Hey there Julia ! Great Blog, super helpful. When you say “A LOT of water” for the hike can you quantify that ? Only have so much room in my pack. Thanks.

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