Hiking To Havasu Falls
Calcium carbonate and magnesium occur naturally in the waters that feed Havasu Falls
: Supai Village Trail, Supai, AZ 86435
(National Park Service)
Entry & Camping Permits/Office
: 928-448-2121, 2141, 2180 or 2237, email@example.com
(Havasupai Tourist Office)
: 928-448-2111 or 2101, firstname.lastname@example.org
: 928-448-2951, email@example.com
: 623-516-2790, Airwest Helicopters
Entrance Permit Fee
: $35/person + 10% Tribal tax (mandatory, reservations required, only by phone)
: $17/person/night + 10% Tribal tax (mandatory, reservations required, only by phone)
Helicopter Services Fees
: Vary + $40 landing fee (only Mon, Thurs, Fri & Sun, weather permitting; no reservations)
Environmental Care Fee
: $5 per person (mandatory)
Havasu Falls is often confused with Lake Havasu City. Both are beautiful water paradises, but it actually takes four to five hours
just to get to the trailhead for Havasu Falls from Lake Havasu City. Then, it is a ten mile hike to the waterfall from the trailhead. It sounds like a lot of work (and it is), but the payoff from hiking to Havasu Falls
is well worth it. Havasu Falls is known worldwide and has appeared in many television show and magazines. The bright blue-green water contrasting against the red rocks of the canyon make for a truly awe-inspiring view. Havasu Falls plunges more than 100 feet into a wide pool of beautiful, clear water. Havasu Falls is a wonderful destination to visit on your way to or from Lake Havasu City, adding to an already exciting road trip.
Calcium carbonate and magnesium occur naturally in the waters that feed Havasu Falls. The waters get their blue color from the magnesium in the water and as the pools deepen, the calcium carbonate is slowly released from the water, causing bluer water as the relative magnesium content increases. As the creek originates from a spring, the water rarely deviates from 70 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
The trailhead is located at Hualapai Hilltop just off Route 66 and is considered moderately challenging, but hiking to Havasu Falls is not difficult if you're in reasonably good shape. Guided tours are also available if you do not want to venture it on your own. If you don't want to hike in and out in the same day, camping is available and provides an excellent way to really enjoy the serene surroundings. The best time to visit Havasu Falls is in the late fall, winter, or early spring. During the summer months, plan to hike as early as possible to avoid the heat and be sure to bring lots of water. At the 8 mile mark, you pass through a small Indian village where there are basic supplies, but it's still a good idea to bring your own food and water.
If camping isn't your thing, the Havasupai Lodge is a no-frills hotel offering basic comfort offering two double beds, a private bath and air conditioning per room. No telephone, television, or roll-away beds are available. Lodge information can only be obtained by phone.
Reservations are mandatory if you are planning on visiting and hiking to Havasu Falls (taken only by phone). The number of reservations granted are limited, so call ahead and lock down your spot before visiting. Reservations are required whether you plan to camp/stay in the lodge or hike in and out in a single day (very challenging to do). The trail is downhill on the way in and uphill on the way out. If you don't have reservations, you will be charged double the normal rates.
The trailhead for hiking to Havasu Falls begins at Hualapai Hilltop. To access this area, from Lake Havasu City, go north on Arizona 95, then east on Interstate 40. Access Route 66 either by (1) going north on E. Andy Devine Ave./Route 66 in Kingman (map
), (2) or going north on Hackberry Rd./Hwy. 141 (map
), or (3) going north on Route 66 in Seligman (map
). Go north on Indian Road 18/Hualapai Hilltop Hwy (map
) and continue for approximately 65 miles to the end of Indian Road 18, which drops you at the Hualapai Hilltop parking area
. It's about a 4-5 hour drive from Lake Havasu, depending on your route and speed of travel. From Lake Havasu City to the trailhead is approximately 175 miles via the Kingman/Route 66 route.
There are no services of any kind including gas, food or lodging - although at times there may be drinks and snacks available from vendors. There is no water available for hikers. Please don't forget to bring water for the hike and fill up your tank with gas.
The parking lot is safe to leave your vehicle in and there is a night watchman patrolling the lot. However, it's best to remove all valuables from your vehicle as security is not guaranteed.
Do not use the road that you may see on some maps that comes directly from the South Rim area (Grand Canyon National Park) - that is a primitive road that requires 4-wheel drive and the drive time takes longer than it takes to use Interstate 40 to Route 66 to Indian 18.
Hiking to Havasu Falls
From the parking lot, the hike starts off steep and winds down switchbacks for at least a 1½ miles. The trail is rugged and rocky. Please wear well-fitted and comfortable hiking boots or hiking shoes. The trail carves through a narrow canyon as you make your way to the village. Please listen and watch out for mule pack trains that frequent the trail during tourist season (it is ill-advised to wear headphones while hiking in). Refrain from touching the pack horses as not all horses are tame and may bite or attack. As you near the village, you will hear and see the creek water. Follow it downstream and make sure you cross the bridge to connect to the trail leading to the village. Please carry plenty of water as the trail can be dry, hot and dusty. To view the location of Havasu Falls from the campground and lodge, click here