Visiting Grand Canyon’s Havasupai Falls


One of my favorite Grand Canyon experiences is actually not even part of the Grand Canyon National Park. Full of lush waterfalls that look like they belong in the rainforest, the Havasu Falls are a true oasis in the desert. In some ways the Havasupai Falls Trail experience is easier than the traditional Grand Canyon hikes…though not a cheaper one. In this post, I’ll talk about the hike down to the Supai Village, staying in the Supai Village, and the waterfalls you’ll see in that region.

Hiking Havasupai Falls Trail

Havasupai Falls Trail Hike horse

Havasupai Falls Trail Hike

The Havasupai Falls Trail is 8-10 miles long, depending on whether your destination is at the Havasupai Lodge in Supai Village, or the campground two miles further down the trail towards the Falls.

This hike is part of the Havasupai Reservation. There are several checkpoints along the hike where you’ll have to prove you have a permit for your hike. Permits come along with your reservation of either the Havasupai Lodge or the campground.

I may be alone in thinking this, but of the 4 trails I’ve hiked in the Grand Canyon, (North Kaibab, South Kaibab, Bright Angel, and Havasupai Falls) I thought Havasupai Falls Trail was the easiest (by a small margin). It’s a sandier terrain, and about 2,000 ft less elevation change than the popular Bright Angel trail.

In the last miles, you start to see signs of the village approaching, which somehow doesn’t interrupt that sacred Grand Canyon feeling of being totally remote.

Staying in Supai Village

Booking a night (or 3…)

Spending the night in the Supai Village is not cheap. A year after re-opening to tourists post-Covid in 2023, a few things changed from the systems that were in place back when I visited in 2018. For one, rather than having simply a limited-time phone reservation system, you can now use an online system to reserve either a room at the Havasupai Lodge in the Supai Village, or the campground closer to the Falls.

Here are the things you’ll need to know about this process:

  • Booking online, and even checking the booking calendar, requires creating an account which is easy enough but…
  • You’ll have to create a separate account for the lodge and campground even to see the calendar for either. The pages look near identical so this confused me for a moment and I wasn’t sure why my login credentials weren’t working. (Again, it’s because they’re separate accounts – the lodge account and the campground account.)
  • When you create your account, you’ll have to assign a “POTENTIAL ALTERNATE TRIP LEADER (PATL)” (who MUST be present for the reservation.)
  • The prices have nearly doubled since I went in 2018. For example a 4-person (2 bed) room at the motel-style Havuspai Lodge was ~$440 per night and is now $759 per night*. The campground is ~$151 per night*.
  • *Reservations are actually made in 3-night blocks, so you must reserve 3 nights at a time. This is true for both the campground and the lodge. That means the real costs are $455 per 3-night campground permit/reservation per person and $2,277 per 3-night lodge room for up to 4 people.
  • Even though reservations are for 3-night blocks, it’s really better understood as a 4 day block because the calendar only really allows you to select dates where 4 days are unbooked. So you may see 3 nights in a row available, but it won’t allow it if the 4th checkout day is not also available.Havasupai Booking Calendar

Additional Lodge Details

  • Maybe because of the steep price increase, the good news is that the Havasupai Lodge is not nearly as competitive as the more common Phantom Ranch and at least at the time of writing this, it’s much easier to get same-year reservations. For instance at the time of doing this research (mid-April) I was able to find availability as soon as July 2nd of this same year. That’s not at all the experience you’d have trying to find Phantom Ranch availability.
  • The Havasupai Lodge is much more like a normal motel than Phantom Ranch. From inside your room, you’ll have no idea you’re not in a Days Inn or Red Roof Inn for example – not at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
  • For both the lodge and campground, You can check in anytime between 8am and 5pm, and while there’s not an official checkout time stated, you must start hiking out no later 2 pm on your day of departure. Time your hiking in to arrive at the lodge before 5pm.

Additional Campground Details:

  • If you don’t want to hike all your camping gear down with you, there are mule services for ~$400 roundtrip. Learn more about those here.

The Village

One of the appeals of this trail is getting to see the remote, Supai Village. This is not a tourist town, (despite having quite a few tourists and a handful of features for tourists.) It’s a real village where the Havasupai tribe lives an incredible life tucked away from the chaos, commotion, and convenience of the rest of Arizona.


Unlike Phantom Ranch, where the only place to get a meal is the pre-ordered meals at the Phantom Ranch Canteen, the Supai Village has a little cafe and store where you can order from a menu, or get some pre-packages snacks. The cafe has simple but classic items like burgers and fries, or the local fry bread as well. (Eating vegetarian will be difficult.)


There is a helicopter landing pad just outside the cafe area and you can watch locals come and go with this helicopter. At the time of our visit, it looked like there were occasional tourist groups also making use of the helicopter. To learn about pricing or to make reservations, you’ll have to contact AirWest. Find out more about that here.

Before you go, familiarize yourself with other Havasupai Reservation rules.

The Falls

You may think that 3 nights at the bottom of the Canyon is too many, but I assure you, it’s not. The Havasu Falls are the most famous of the Falls in this region, but there are actually quite a few Falls you can explore – most within leisurely hike-ability of the Lodge or campground.

If you start your morning in the Supai Village (either because you’re breakfasting at the cafe or because you stayed at the lodge) here are the waterfalls in the order you’ll encounter them.

Little Navajo 

A little over a mile down the trail from Supai Village, you’ll find the the Little Navajo Falls. Not quite as photogenic as the other falls, it’s still a great opportunity for dipping your toes, and is quieter than the other more popular falls.

Navajo and Little Navajo Falls

The Fifty Foot Falls

Right in this same area if you follow the river upstream a short ways, you’ll find the stunning “Fifty Foot Falls” (also called the Upper Navajo). This is a must-see spectacle – a playground where you’ll feel surrounded by Falls, all with that iconic “dripping” limestone that looks like its mimicking the falls themselves.

Carrie at Fifty Foot Falls Fifty Foot Falls - Havasupai Fifty Foot Falls - Havasupai Flowers at Fifty Foot Falls HavasupaiLimestone formations at Fifty Foot Falls - Havasupai

Havasu Falls

Just past the campground (around 2 miles from the Supai Village) you’ll see the famous, Havsu Falls with that bizarrely turquoise water and the dripping limestome. There’s lots of space for swimming here.

Havasu Falls with surrounding cliffs

Mooney Falls

One mile further (3 miles from the Supai Village) is the tallest, Mooney Falls. This is where things get dicey and you are reminded that you’re not in a federally maintained National Park. Arguably just as beautiful as the more famous Havasu Falls, this one requires you to climb down a stretch of cliff on a series of ladders. There are chains along the way to help you hang on, if that makes you feel any more comfortable. This is for sure-footed folks only, but if that’s you, you’ll enjoy more great swimming and a rope swing here.

Mooney Falls limestone Mooney Falls Ladder Climb Mooney Falls chains Mooney Falls approaching the climb down

Beaver Falls

If you did not burn all your energy hiking 8-10 miles to Supai Village yesterday and you are not worried about conserving energy for another 8-10 mile hike back out tomorrow, there is another cascade 3 miles further called “Beaver Falls”, (6 miles from the Supai Village).

We did not visit this one because it would have meant a 12 mile day, and because by the time we reached there and hiked back toward the lodge, we weren’t sure how the cliffside ladder climb at Mooney Falls would go at dusk, coupled with the fact that others there said the path is a little harder to navigate – again, a bad combination with approaching dusk.

Travelers say that, while the falls themselves are not unlike the other cascades you see in this area, the hike there along the creek is the real treat. You can read more about hiking to Beaver Falls here. If you want to add this into your day, just be sure to start out early enough in the morning to tackle the Mooney Falls section safely on your trip back.


This trip was such an incredible highlight for me, right up there with African safaris and overwater bungalows. And while the 3-night / 4-day requirement for either of the lodging options may seem restrictive, there is so much to explore, being able to stay inside the Canyon for more than one single night and swim around this waterfall playground to my heart’s content was one of the huge appeals for me.

Having said that, I was startled by how expensive it now is to stay at the bottom, particularly in the lodge, but at the campground as well. I suppose like some African safaris and sea-planes to overwater bungalows… adventures that fit into this more remote, immersive, and explorative category do sometimes come with expenses that can’t be as easily mitigated with miles and points.

I’m interested to hear how all of you approach these sort of special travel cases in terms of using your miles and points to help mitigate costs. Comment below! (And Greg, Nick, Tim, and Stephen if you’re reading this…I want to see a podcast about adventure-travel from a miles and points perspective!)

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I just came back from Havasupai Falls yesterday and had a moment of fit when I saw just the headline of your post thinking I may have missed a using my points opportunity. Glad this wasn’t so and that I did crazily spend $455 for 3 nights in a campground with no running toilet. Was it amazingly beautiful – yes! Was it worth it? – in a “Die with Zero” type of way!

rick b

Maybe the douchy instagram influencers can pay that much to show off, but this is a ripoff.

Same price gouging is now happening in the slot canyons, and other Navajo landmarks.

I get it they’ll push it to see what they get away with, but for normal people this is a no bueno. I can find plenty of other nice waterfalls around the country.


(And Greg, Nick, Tim, and Stephen if you’re reading this…I want to see a podcast about adventure-travel from a miles and points perspective!)

I second that emotion…


The cost is ridiculous. We hiked Supi all through the 90s . It was $8 a day. No one bothered you. Now it’s a trendy thing on social media.there are signs and checkpoints everywhere. The camp grounds are littered and natural flura is trampled..I certainly could find many other ways to spend $3000 for a couple of days.


$150usd/night for a campsite is inexplicable.


Yeah, I have never paid anything remotely like that for camping. On the other hand, I think I’m okay if the Havasupai Tribe wants to raise prices to what the market will bear. It is their livelihood and, honestly, I prefer this over building another skywalk or a cable car.


Ah the Travel Is Free wandering amish young lady. That was a great blog when active. Hope all is good. Photos of falls is good.


Sounds like a lot has changed since we were there about 35 years ago. I’m not sure there was anyone else at the campground at that time, and it certainly wasn’t $150 a night (I don’t recall it being more than your average NPS campground) and no minimum number of nights. I recall the hike in as being not difficult at all, just a long and gentle descent on a sandy canyon-bottom trail.


Havasu Falls is one of those destinations that kinda got caught up in the social media/influencer trends in recent years so popularity spiked (and as a result prices as well)


As someone working on visiting all the national parks and loves hiking/camping/backpacking, I love seeing these posts!


Great article! I’ve done S Kaibab / Bright Angel combination several times and it is such an incredible experience. I retire next year and have been thinking of doing rim to rim if I can figure out the logistics, but now I think I might have to add on Havasupai Falls (or have it as a backup if the NPS reservations for Bright Angel Campground fail me). If my math is correct looks like the campground to Beaver Falls day hike is only 8 miles, so sounds like one advantage of camping besides the obvious of price(!)

I would love to see an article or two on points for adventure travel. I can use most of what is written in the community about using points for flights, but hotels are so different for adventure travel because hotel stays tend to be overnight stops along the highway or in an airport hotel for an early flight. Lodging where I am going is rarely bookable by points. I think this probably changes the value of transferable points, e.g., points driven more by airline value than Hyatt, although I have never fully done the math.

Points Adventure

I think this is one area with limited points options. Best Western is probably more useful than the 4 leading chains combined (at least for hiking). There are a few high end options like JW Masai Mara. One of my favorite uses for mid-range was 4 days in Springdale UT for 40k IHG points total. Wake up to the most beautiful light hitting the canyon wall, and drive 5 minutes to Zion gate.

Points Adventure

Thanks for the update. One of my favorite experiences pre-covid (we camped). Truly a magical place for nature buffs.


How was the campground? Photos I see online look nice, but it seems perhaps bringing a water filter is a good idea?

Points Adventure

It was fine in 2016. I forget whether we brought filtration or drinking water, maybe a combo. The backpack was pretty heavy and made the hike down not easy (but absolutely worth it). We did take the helicopter out. No showers back then, no problem just swim in the clean river. Mountain House (freeze dried food packs) tasted good at the end of day.


Thanks! I’m getting old enough I carry ultralight pack and gear these days. Forty years ago, I did the Bright Angel Trail carrying super heavy car camping tent and pads, but my knees are too old for that now…