10 In Arizona/ Travel

Coming Out of Havasu Canyon… On Horseback

While my dad and I were hiking down Havasu Canyon we saw Havasupai people galloping up the canyon. They looked like they were having a blast. They were all smiles and we decided that that looked like a lot of fun! Then, by the time we got to our camp and realized how much we had overpacked for our stay in the canyon we decided we were going to ride out of that canyon on horseback!

We went to the Tourist Office in the Supai village to make our reservation (you have to do so 24 hours in advance). It was crazy expensive ($93.50 per animal- whether you rode it or had packs on it). We decided our legs were so tired that it was worth it. Now we’re debating on that. We kind-of wish we had packed our bags out and hiked up. However, it was an interesting experience I’ll never forget…


Our campsite all packed up on our last morning

Have you ever hiked 10 miles out of a canyon on horseback? Because I can now say I have. I can also say that it is not as fun or as exciting as it sounds.


My dad on his trusty steed

They bring the horses down to the campground, and our “guide” Jose got us on our horses and said, “Go ahead; I’ll catch up.” Huh?! I didn’t quite feel qualified to take a random horse through a canyon, but I did! It didn’t take long for Jose to catch up, and we met up with his wife who was Havasupai. She road up the canyon with us and she was very interesting to talk to.

The ride was the bumpiest ride I’ve ever been on. I used to have a horse and I was spoiled by how easy she was to ride and how smooth her gait was. This horse was impossible to steer, refused to gallop- unless, of course, I didn’t want her to, she walked right through a tree and about knocked me off of her and I had my DSLR with me and she was so bumpy that it made my camera bounce off of my arm, back and shoulder… It was insane! Plus, it took us four hours to ride up (the same amount of time it took us to walk down).


Waiting on a passing mule train


Riding through Havasu Canyon


Almost out of the canyon. Going up the switchbacks.

It did have a couple pros, though… We got to really look at the canyon without having to watch our feet, we weren’t carrying those packs (although we were a whole new kind of sore), and it was something neither of us had ever done.

If you go to Havasu Canyon just know that you can mule your things up and down for $93.50 and you can helicopter in or out for only $85! So, keep that in mind, but remember that the horseback ride just might not be the way to go. Ha.

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  • Reply
    s.rajah iyer
    March 25, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Mule Vs Helicopter..adventurous indeed!

    • Reply
      March 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Ha. It was a lot of fun, but I definitely wish I would have hiked out instead!

  • Reply
    Anita Mac
    March 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Very cool. Have hiked in a canyon in South America … riding a horse wasn’t an option. Would love to give it a try as a total horse nut!

    • Reply
      March 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Which canyon did you hike in South America? We originally planned to hike out, and I wish we would have. It was a great experience and I used to ride, but this horse was nothing like my horse. Ha. It’s always good to experience new things though. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Dear Ashley,

    Could you tell me some details (if u know) about the Lodge @ Havasu Falls.
    I have read a lot of articles, but couldn’t find the proper answer to the food question.
    Can I buy some kind of foods @ the river/falls or i must take all the foods too?


    • Reply
      July 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm


      You can buy food at the little store in the Havasu village, but it was pretty expensive. I didn’t stay in the lodge, we packed all of our food in and camped. You can’t build a fire in the canyon, so you would need to pack food accordingly or bring a jetboil.

      I hope this was helpful. The lodge number is 928-448-2111. Let me know if you have any other questions I could help you with!


      • Reply
        July 24, 2013 at 1:35 am

        It was very helpful. Thanks!

  • Reply
    M Fox
    November 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    $85 for the helicopter. sorry, was that one way or round trip?

    • Reply
      December 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      It’s each way, but that still isn’t outrageous!

  • Reply
    Somewhere Saturday- Havasu Canyon | For the Love of Wanderlust
    December 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

    […] making their way back out, exhausted, but happy to have seen the beauty of this canyon and horse after horse hauling goods, trash and people to and from the Havasu Village at the bottom of this beautiful […]

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