8 In Arizona/ Travel

The Hike Into Havasu Canyon

When I first saw photos of Havasu Canyon and the beautiful turquoise river and waterfalls flowing through the red rock canyon, I was instantly mesmerized. I then proceeded to read in a few books or hear from people that it was one of the most spectacular places they had ever been. I knew I had to go, and last week I did the 10 mile hike, with my dad, down the canyon and to our campsite.

We got to the trailhead on the Havasupai Indian Reservation just about an hour after sunrise. It was really cold when we started off on our hike, but once we got moving it warmed up really quickly. The first mile and a half was made up of a series of switchbacks that got you down into the canyon. Then, we trekked through the canyon for 6.5 miles until we got to the Supai Village.

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The canyon is absolutely spectacular and although it’s a really long hike, it wasn’t especially strenuous while going down (I can’t speak for coming out) but I have to stress do not overpack! We loaded way too much into our packs and our feet, legs and hips paid for that!  The feeling of walking in a canyon was mind-blowing at times.  There was nothing but rock in every direction we looked.  The trail was very clearly worn and we frequently had to make room for pack mules and horses galloping up the canyon.  It was absolutely incredible to see the power of flash floods.  There were these massive boulders that completely dwarfed my dad and me that had been washed down into the canyon.

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We were really struggling and we were never so relieved to take our packs off in our lives! The people at the Supai tourist office were very helpful. The village was really interesting. There were a lot of run-down houses, but they had satellite dishes and cell phones. I had the urge to take a lot of pictures of the people down there because their lives seem so different and foreign from mine, but the more I watched them and interacted I realized they’re doing essentially the exact same things that I do, just in the bottom of a canyon.  The people would speak to us in English, but if you passed by groups of the Havauspai speaking in their native tongue, it was a beautiful, fluid sound.  It was a really great experience.

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We had to put our packs back on and walk to the campsite, which was another two miles away. We were exhausted and hated putting our packs on. We were walking through the village and these two little boys were playing with those snap-pop firework things and when they saw us coming they extended their arms and sweetly smiled saying, “Welcome to our village.” As we graciously thanked them and walked past they threw the snap-pops at our feet scaring me! Haha It was really cute, and funny.

We finally made our way to the campground past amazing waterfalls (which, I’ll share more about in my next post). As soon as we walked into the campsite and threw our packs down in the very first spot that was open, sat up camp and had dinner.  Their campground is set up really well.  The river flows through it and on either side is Havasu Falls or Mooney Falls.  We could hear Havasu Falls rushing over the edge of the cliff while we were falling asleep.  Need a great new tent to pitch there? Check here. They had toilets and a spring with constant running water.  It was really great.  It was a great hike in, but the best was yet to come!

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Havasupai Waterfalls | For the Love of Wanderlust
    March 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    […] For more on the hike into Havasu Canyon, read my post about it.  You can find that here. […]

  • Reply
    Aubra George
    March 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Seeing these falls has been on my bucket list for a while now. I first saw the falls featured in National Geo years ago. Was it warm enough to swim? Do recommend the spring as a good time to go, or would summer be better? I’d love to pick your brain later on the planning details! What an awesome experience!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      March 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      They’re absolutely amazing. It was not a disappointment at all. It was warm enough to swim, but it was chilly. They said in the summer it’s much more enjoyable to swim. I would recommend the spring, just from talking to a woman from the tribe for a few hours. She said that the hike down and up is unbelievably hot. However, it was still chilly in March. I want to go back, but I will probably go in mid-April. The nights were still really cold in our tent. I have a post on the actual falls up now. https://fortheloveofwanderlust.com/2013/03/22/havasupai-waterfalls/
      Feel free to ask any questions. I’d love to help as much as I can! Thanks for reading!

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

    […] last March my dad and I did the 10 mile hike into Havasu Canyon to see the glorious, beautiful falls that are contained within.  This view is after the first […]

  • Reply
    Havasupai Waterfalls | For the Love of Wanderlust
    August 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    […] For more on the hike into Havasu Canyon, read my post about it.  You can find that here. […]

  • Reply
    Havasu Falls, AZ - For the Love of Wanderlust
    January 3, 2015 at 11:00 am

    […] my favorite places on the face of this planet! A couple of years ago, my dad and I hiked down into Havasu Canyon (a smaller canyon off of the Grand Canyon) and saw the beautiful turquoise waterfalls & pools […]

  • Reply
    Mooney Falls, AZ - For the Love of Wanderlust
    October 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    […] down in Havasu Canyon are a series of amazing waterfalls running over red-rock cliffs, falling into turquoise pools. This […]

  • Reply
    Somewhere Saturday- Havasu Canyon - For the Love of Wanderlust
    September 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    […] last March my dad and I did the 10 mile hike into Havasu Canyon to see the glorious, beautiful falls that are contained within.  This view is after the first […]

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