With the new year already begun, it seems like summer will be here before we know it. Lots of people I know are already trying to plan their trips for the year and a lot of them are asking me about our trip to Havasupai last year. You can see a big list of posts and links you should check out at the end and hopefully this post answers your questions on this amazing trip.
Permits & Registration
First up is the not fun stuff, permits and registration.This is always subject to change, but here is how it went when we booked the trip last year.
If you are looking to book your stay at the lodge then you will need to call at least a couple months before to get a spot. I called around the middle of February and was able to secure the weekend I wanted in the middle of June, but I would say to call as soon as you know, they don’t always take reservations that early but will tell you when to call back. The lodge is about a mile from the first waterfall so you will have to walk at least a mile each way, but you are in the small town so you can easily get food and supplies.
The same is true for the campground, if you know when you are going then just call and secure the spot. Understand that this is not a tourism board, there is the chance you will have to call multiple times before someone picks up sometimes. Be patient and be prepared to pay for at least some of the charge upfront. The campground is about a mile and a half from the town so about 9 miles from the trail head. It is between Havasu and Mooney falls in an amazing area, but the walk is a lot longer to get food at the small store so be prepared.
Hotel the Night Before
There is really not a lot of close options for staying near the trail head the night before your hike starts. I would recommend Peach Springs which is the closest to the trail head but is still about 65 miles away. Google Maps will tell you that it is 2-3 hours drive from here but when we went the road was a two lane highway and it was in good shape so that drive took a lot less then we had planned.
Here is a link to the Hualapai Lodge that we stayed at.
Also there is not a lot in Peach Springs so don’t assume you will be able to get coffee or gas if you leave early in the morning as a lot of places are not open.
Getting to Supai
So now you have your reservation, have a hotel for the night before, now you need to think about getting to Supai. This little town, down in the Grand Canyon is located about 7 miles from the trail head. It is not to hard on the way down as you will drop about 3,000 feet of elevation but on the way back up it can be brutal, especially during the summer if it is hot, so plan accordingly for your own personal hiking time. We ended up leaving at 4:30 from the lodge to get out before the sun and the campground is an extra mile and a half past the lodge so you may need to leave even earlier.
Mules and Helicopter
If hiking is not your thing you can still get to Supai via other means. There is a helicopter ride available and horses or mules that you can rent for yourself or for your gear. I do not have a ton of information about these as I did not use either but I know they are available as I heard the helicopter and watched it land in the city many times each day.
Food & Postcards
I would recommend that you bring a decent amount of snacks for the hiking and for your time at the falls even if you are staying at the lodge. You would not want to miss when the store is open and end up with no food. With that being said there is a small restaurant that has everything from hamburgers to burritos and is decent food. There are also two small stores that sell everything from water to snacks, so there is a lot available for you in that regard. If you are camping though the walk to the town is about a mile and a half each way so you would be better off to bring your own food. From the lodge the walk is less then 5 minutes.
When you are in the town make sure to mail yourself a postcard as this is the only remaining place in the United States that still sends mail by mule out of the canyon so it is a fun souvenir.
So now that you have made it to Supai you are ready to play in the waterfalls, which are even more amazing in person then they are in photos. It literally is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Here is a little info on each, in the order you will see them.
New Navajo Falls
- Least busy of the falls
- Two falls, upper and lower
- Lots of people cliff jump off the lower but be careful as this is not recommended
- Read my post
The most photographed and a beautiful and intense waterfall that splashes into pristine blue water.
- Tables you can eat at
- The waterfall the most people will be at
- Read my post on it
The tallest of the falls, this one is pretty breathtaking but do not underestimate the walk down.
- Requires climbing to reach the bottom on a pretty intense slope
- Can continue down the water to see other falls and beautiful areas
- Read the post here
Here is a video on the descent.
Best Time to Go
As we said above this is Arizona so the summertime can be VERY hot. Of course that is great for when you are at the waterfalls but it if you are hiking in or out during the afternoon it can be pretty rough. May or June are usually good months to go as it should still be warm but not hot like July and August.
Hopefully this post sets you on the right path for your own trip down here. If you have more questions please let us know. Lastly, make sure to respect the people and the culture of Supai when you are there.