| Havasu Creek from top of Havasu Falls
|| Tara, Leon, and Jadon in front of falls
Hualapai Canyon from Hualapai Hilltop
||Location: Supai, Havasupai Reservation, Grand Canyon National Park, Coconino County
Height: ~100 ft.
Distance: 10 miles (1 way)
Elevation: 5200 ft (-2200 ft)
Directions:From I-40 at Seligman, take exit 123 and drive 33 miles west on Hwy #66 to Indian Road 18. Turn right and drive 60 miles to parking lot at Hualapai Hilltop (at end of the road). Indian Road 18 can also be accessed from Kingman, by driving ~50 miles east on Hwy #66 (~6 miles past Peach Springs). There are no services after Seligman (or Kingman).
Havasu Falls is paradise on Earth. This is an absolutely amazingly beautiful waterfall located in a remote canyon of Arizona. It takes a good deal of effort to get there, but the reward is worth it. It was even more beautiful than we could have imagined (and we had seen plenty of pictures of the waterfall beforehand - hence the reason we wanted to go there in the first place). If you go to Havasu Falls, you will no doubt think you are somewhere in Hawaii. It is an oasis in arid Arizona.
The hike to Havasu Falls begins at Hualapai Hilltop, about 100 miles from Seligman, the nearest town. Many people stay at Seligman the night before hiking into Havasu, then get up early and drive to the hilltop. We stayed at Sedona, a 3 hour drive away (it was free for us, to stay with my parents there). The first 1.5 miles of the hike is a steep descent down to the bottom of Hualapai Canyon (1000 ft. elevation loss). Remember this descent because you will have to go back up it when you climb back out of the canyon (at the end of a long 10 mile hike). The rest of the hike is mostly flat (6.5 miles to the village, or 8.5 miles to the campground). It is an absolutely beautiful hike along the bottom of Hualapai Canyon, an amazing experience hiking through a steep canyon with the cliffs towering above you. But it is also a long hike. It seemed that the canyon was never-ending. We kept looking around the next corner for the end of the canyon, where it finally joined up with Havasu Canyon and creek, but it never seemed to come. Eventually though, you will reach Havasu Creek. From there it is about a 1.5 mile hike to the village of Supai, as you hike through Havasu Canyon now, along Havasu Creek. Havasu Creek is one of the most beautiful creeks we have ever seen, with amazingly clear blue-green waters. The name "Havasupai" means "people of the blue-green waters", and it is easy to see where this name comes from.
Havasu Falls is a 2 mile hike past the village, located just before the campground. It is a beautiful double waterfall along Havasu Creek, falling into a crystal clear pool, perfect for swimming on a hot day. There is a large beach area for lounging and picniking in front of the waterfall. You can also get to the top of the waterfall and look down (but be careful). There is something very alluring about this waterfall. It is one you just have to see to believe.
Want to go see it yourself? Hydros Adventures offers guided trips to
Havasu Falls and the other waterfalls near Supai are all located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, in a remote canyon offshoot of the Grand Canyon. The small village of Supai is home to about 450 Havasupai, whose main industry is now tourism. You will need permission from the Havasupai to hike into the village. In 2003, the entrance fee cost was $20 per person. A room at the lodge is $75 (single) or $80 (double). The campground is $10 per person. If hiking into the village is too much for you, you can also ride a horse (or have your heavy packs brought in by horse), or you can even take a helicopter into the village. For more information, go to the Havasupai web site.
Unlike most waterfalls in Arizona, the ones along Havasu Creek are good year-round. That is because Havasu Creek flows from a spring, and has constant flow throughout the year. So you can come here anytime without worry that the waterfall will be great. However, if you come in the winter months, you could get a lot of rain and cold weather. And in the summer, it will be very hot (+100F in the valley), and July-August is monsoon season (and this is an area for flash floods). We recommend March-April as the best time of year to go here to beat the heat and crowds of summer.
Normally, we would have stayed at the campground here, but this time we stayed in the lodge. We felt that best, considering we had a baby with us. The lodge was surprisingly nice and well-kept (we had heard of others having problems, but we had none). Next time, though, we will stay at the campground (cheaper). We cannot recommend the cafe in the village for food. It is greasy, expensive, and just not very good. But it is the only restaurant available in the village. However, apparently, a new restaurant is now open, which is actually located in someones house. But we do not know if this is any better, and they seem to have the same type of food.
The Havasupai people seem to be generally quiet and reserved. Some people have said that they are unfriendly or resentful of tourists. But we did not find this to be so. They always responded with a "hello", and they were not unfriendly. Some of the people were genuinely outgoing and friendly to tourists, others were just quiet.
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