14 Important Havasupai Falls Travel Tips and FAQ

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Visiting Havasupai is not your typical camping trip. My friends and I soon found out the hard way that there are many rules and regulations you need to follow to be welcomed to the Supai Reservation. During our visit, we learned the most important travel tips for visiting Havasupai Falls.

Havasupai Falls Travel Tips

Havasupai Falls Travel Tips and FAQ

As you plan your trip to Havasupai Falls, use this guide to understand the 14 most important travel tips.

1. How To Make Havasupai Reservations

This is one of the most important travel tips I can offer in regards to Havasupai Falls. You MUST have reservations to visit. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Unfortunately, making a reservation is the most difficult part of the trip. Forget the 10-mile trek out of the canyon with 30 pounds of camping gear on your back; that’s the easy part. Getting a reservation will be exhaustingly difficult.

Exploring Supai in Arizona

So, listen up!

Booking begins on February 1st, but reservations are in seriously high demand. You’ll need to be prepared before this date in order to make your reservation for the season.

Mooney Waterfall Arizona

Visit the website Havasupai Reservations and set-up an account.

As February 1st comes around, book your reservations via the same website with the account you have already set up. Prices continue to increase over the years, so it’s best to visit now before the prices become even more expensive.

An Important Note On Havasupai Reservations

Be sure to have a flexible schedule. It’s likely that they will not have your desired travel dates available. My advice is to take whatever is open.

Havasupai Falls Travel Tips

Pro-tip: You are more likely to get the dates you desire if they are during the week. Weekends are a very busy time in Supai.

2. Can You Go To Havasupai Without Reservations?

Reservations are 100% necessary.

Going to Havasupai for a day hike is out of the question. The Supai reservation forbids it and they do check to make sure you have a wristband. You MUST have a reservation.

3. How Far Is The Havasupai Falls Hike?

The hike down to Havasupai Falls is approximately 10 miles each way.

The trek down into the canyon is very easy and can be accomplished by people of all fitness levels; you’ll begin by hiking downhill for the first mile, followed by nine miles of flat canyon trekking. Keep in mind, you will be carrying your camping gear, food, and other things you decide to bring.

Havasu Falls Hike

The hike back up the canyon is a bit more difficult. Be sure to wear proper hiking shoes and bring enough water to keep hydrated. It’s also important to pack out everything you brought in. It is our duty to keep this place thriving.

4. How To Get To Havasupai

The most exciting way to get to Havasupai is by taking a road trip.

We drove from Colorado, but traveling from any neighboring state will be an awesome adventure. We stopped at several amazing places along the way including Horseshoe Bend and Natural Bridges National Monument. You can also stop at a national park since there are many in the area (Grand Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Petrified Forest, etc).

If you aren’t close enough to drive to Havasupai, I would recommend flying into Flagstaff and renting a car. The drive will take you about three hours. 

Supai Waterfalls

An Important Note On Driving To Havasupai

One of the most important travel tips to remember when visiting Havasupai Falls is to take I-40 to Route 66 through Seligman as opposed to US-180 to Willaha County Road. 

Willaha County Road is a back road that is actually not a road at all. Luckily our vehicle had high clearance because we drove over huge boulders, through potholes, and over shrubbery. I’ve driven on unmaintained roads before, but this was the worst.

The signs posted down this “road” say it all: “continue at your own risk”. Take my advice and don’t do it. Take the long way.

5. Don’t Use The Donkey Service

This is the hippie, save-all-the-animals side of me talking now. Since the hike down to the falls is a bit of a haul, pack animals are a quick way to transport camping gear.

Havasupai Falls Travel Tips

Please, please, please don’t use the donkey service.

These animals are underfed, overworked, and neglected. They are running back and forth for the majority of the day and many have severe sores on the back of their legs due to heavy bags and boxes.

6. Can You Take A Helicopter To Havasupai Falls?

If you insist that you cannot carry all of your things, take a helicopter. Expect to pay $400+ for the flight, but it’s much better than subjecting these poor animals to additional torture.

7. Don’t Overpack

Overpacking for this backpacking trip is a huge no-no. This is one of the best things to remember and one of the most important travel tips I can offer about Havasupai Falls.

Since the hike to Havasu Falls is 10 miles down and 10 miles back up, bringing as little gear as possible is the way to go. Your backpack should carry minimal clothing, food, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag, but that’s it!

The best way to shed a few backpack pounds is by leaving all of your clothes at home. Since you’ll likely be wearing a swimsuit for the majority of your visit, it’s pointless to pack loads of clothing.

8. Bring A Hammock To Supai

After arriving at the campground in Havasupai Falls, I quickly learned that one of the best travel tips is to pack a hammock.

Hammocks are comfortable for sleeping in and they’re much lighter than a tent. There are trees EVERYWHERE in the campgrounds so you won’t have to worry about where to hang.

Hammock Camping in Havasupai Falls

The hammock I use, love, and highly recommend is the ENO DoubleNest Hammock.

9. Be Subtle With Alcohol

Alcohol is technically illegal on the Supai reservation, however, many campers bring alcohol with them.

Havasupai Falls Travel Tips

If you decide to bring alcohol, please be discreet. Be as respectful as you can; this is their land, not yours. The courteous thing would be to leave it at home, but obviously that will not hold a lot of ground with many people.

10. Will I Get Cell Phone Service In Havasupai?


This answer will solely depend on your service provider. Verizon users will have access to LTE network in the canyon. We didn’t get service at the campgrounds but we did get service when we sat at the top of Havasu Falls and in the village of Supai.

AT&T users are out of luck. Our friend had AT&T and didn’t have service at all in Havasu Canyon.

11. Is There A Store In Havasupai That Has Supplies In Case I Run Out Of Something?

This was my biggest concern. What if I ran out of fuel to cook my food?

I tried to find information regarding stores in town and if they would have supplies for us. I couldn’t find anything on the internet.

Havasupai Falls, Arizona

I found out that there is a store in town that has supplies, food, water, etc. Keep in mind, supplies are limited, but they do have basic camping necessities.

12. Can I Purchase Food In The Canyon Near Havasu Falls?


For several hours during the day and early evening, there is a food stand just outside of the campground. This food stand will not be enough to keep you well-fed throughout your time at Havasupai Falls, so be sure to bring your own food, too.

There is also a burger joint in town that serves food, however, I’ve heard mixed reviews.

13. Is The Water They Provide At The Havasupai Campgrounds Safe To Drink?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to this question.

There are a couple of watering holes for people to refill their water tanks and bottles. It’s basically a hose coming out of the rock wall of the canyon. Many people believe that the water is not clean enough to drink without treatment while others insist that it is safe.

Mooney Falls at Sunset

My friends and I used filtration systems and iodine tablets just to be sure the water was clean. Meanwhile, I watched many other campers fill their water bottles without any treatment. The choice is yours.

14. What Is The Best Time To Hike Havasupai Falls?

The best time to hike to Havasupai Falls is anytime you can get a reservation. Unfortunately, flexibility isn’t much of an option since this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southwest.

As far as the best season to visit Havasupai, I recommend planning your trip for late spring or early fall. This will give you the best opportunity to lock-in reservations.

Waterfalls in Arizona

It’s also important to note that going to Havasupai in the summer can be insanely hot. If you can handle the heat with a 10+ mile hike, go for it!

The Wrap-Up: Havasupai Falls Travel Tips

If you’re thinking of adding Havasupai Falls to your bucket list, don’t hesitate. This is one of the most magical places in the USA. Use these important travel tips to get the best out of your trip to Havasupai Falls.

Looking for more Arizona adventures? Check out Antelope Canyon!
And add even more USA adventures to your itinerary by checking out our USA recommendations.

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