I can summarize the Havasupai Falls Hike and Campground in one sentence (or less), the most amazing place I’ve ever been.
But, in the interest of letting you know what to expect, I’ll give you some details.
From San Diego the drive is about 9 hours, give or take. You head up like you’d be going to Vegas, straight up the 15 freeway until you hit the 41 toward Needles. Take the 41 east for a few hours until you reach Kingman, Az. When you hit Kingman you’ll take the 66 to Hualapai Highway 18 (only one way you can go). On the 18 be very careful of the wildlife, it’s everywhere. Horses, cows, giant rabbits, deer and plenty of others. All of which stay pretty close to the road.
Once you reach the parking lot (exactly 60 miles on highway 18), park and let the hike begin. We arrived in the parking lot about 11:00pm and slept (or tried to) in the car. In the morning it seemed like many people drove out Friday night and stayed in their cars as well.
Starting the hike toward the village of Supai you immediately begin a steep decent into the canyon.
Hualapai Hilltop Starting the Hike View
Once you start hiking down, it’ll only take about 30 minutes before you hit the canyon floor. Most of the hike is pretty much downhill (hint: cut your toenails, they’ll be jammed into your shoes the entire hike in). On the way in we saw tons of wild horses (as well as packs of mules and horses flying by)
Wild Horses in the Grand Canyon on Havasupai Hike
You’ll see plenty of amazing canyon walls and sandy washes.
Grand Canyon walls on the way to Supai
Plenty of amazing plants and flowers.
Flowers in the Grand Canyon on the way to Supai
Signs you’ll see on the way down (and it’s really marked, don’t worry about that woman in the 70′s you heard about getting lost – it’s much better now)
Supai Campground and Hualapai Hilltop sign in the Grand Canyon
Then once you get past the main chunk of the hike, the magic begins!
Navajo Falls in the Grand Canyon at Supai
The first set of falls you see are Navajo Falls (and probably my favorite). It looks like you’ve walked into an amusement park, something completely staged and beyond what words could describe. The hike you made to get it in makes the feeling that much sweeter.
Once you pull yourself away from Navajo Falls, you’ll come around down a hill to the most popular falls Havasu Falls.
Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon at Supai
You’ll pass Havasu Falls (maybe after a swim, or come back later to swim like we did), then you’ll come to the actual campground.
Campground at Supai Indian Reservation
One picture is a view from our camp spot, right on an amazing blue-green river. Be sure when you get in the campground, don’t settle on your site too early. If you keep going, there are tons of spots. Everything is first come first serve so you won’t have an assigned spot. There are over one hundred sites so take your time.
After setting up camp we went back to Havasu Falls to take in the scene and do some swimming.
Swimming below Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
After swimming for a while we thought it’s time to check out the other falls, the next falls were about 2 miles down the trail… Mooney Falls. This fall was about 200 feet, taller than Niagara Falls.
Mooney Falls in the Grand Canyon at Supai
The first site of the falls is breath-taking.
Descend at your own risk sign at Mooney Falls at Supai
Coming through the crazy descent at Mooney Falls at Supai
Mooney Falls in the Grand Canyon at Supai
Be careful on your way down, the descend at your own risk sign is serious business. Once you start down the trail to Mooney Falls the trail becomes steep cliff side. There are thick wires drilled in the cliff side but with the spray coming off the falls it gets pretty sketchy. We definitely thought a few times about what have we just got in to?.?.
One secret, I can’t giveaway the exact location (unless you ask) but there’s a secret grotto underneath one of the waterfalls, you can swim into the grotto and relax from under the falls.
All in all, best trip and experience of my life. I’ll leave you with some photos, hope you enjoyed it as much as I have!
Tree in the Grand Canyon
Walking through the village of Supai
Rock pillars in Supai Grand Canyon
Stream through the campground at Supai
View from below Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
Tree in the grand canyon
Rock formations in the Grand Canyon
View from the top rim of the Grand Canyon at Havasupai Indian Reservation