Arizona, United States

Hiking Into Havasu Falls

Arizona United States

Hiking into Havasu Falls, the waterfalls of The Grand Canyon, was one of the most exciting trips of my life. It definitely had its ups and downs but one I can’t wait to share with you all! On the first day driving out of Phoenix to Havasu Falls, we stopped at Cathedral Rock. Lots of yoga retreats are held there; I didn’t go to one this time, but got some photos there anyways.

We eventually made it to our hotel for the night. It was literally in the middle of nowhere. We had a beautiful sunset that night, and then were up bright and early (like 2am) to begin our long day hike into Havasu Falls. This was a 10 mile hike that took us about 6 hours. It is highly recommended to start your hike before 6am so you can watch the sunrise while on your hike into the canyon and beat some of the heat!! It was such a beautiful hike, especially once we started seeing some waterfalls!!

You will need a permit for your weekend of camping at the falls, so it’s best to book your trip with a group. This will be the best way to get permits and the best way to have everything organized to ensure you get the most out of your experience. All food is covered with groups and will save you the planning for main meals and you can just worry about snacks.

We had the option to have all of our camping stuff either flown into the camp grounds or taken down by mules. We chose to have our heavy camp gear flown into Havasu Falls, and just kept our hiking backpacks and necessities with us for the 10 mile hike. There was both good and bad to this option though. Once we got down to the falls, our gear hadn’t made it down there yet, and the planes can’t fly all the way in to where you’ll be sleeping, so there is about a 1-2 mile difference that you will still have to wait for your belongings to be dropped off and then continue on to hike for about 1-2 miles until you reach the campgrounds. There are locals that have horses though and will charge about $20/backpack to take your bags from the plane drop off area down to the falls. In this area, there is a little store where you can purchase some last minute things – they take CASH ONLY.

We stopped at different spots along the canyon, made many friends along the way, and learned a lot about each other throughout this entire trip. Once we got down to the village, we came to learn that there was a festival going on that weekend, so there was a lot of locals around on the Indian Reservation. It was interesting to see their local tribe culture. This made the falls a little more overcrowded than normal, especially when it came to planning our helicopter rides out of the canyon on our last day there. There are many local festivals that go on on certain weekends throughout the year. Do some research before booking your trip and make sure to reserve a weekend that doesn’t have a festival going on. For example, “The Havasupai Peach Festival” will take place on August 6th, 7th, and 8th, so as long as you’re not planning on going when there is a festival, you’ll be just fine!

They had yoga down at the waterfall in the morning, which was such an amazing experience. It was so peaceful to be able to practice yoga while having the sound of nature and the waterfall in the background.

We did have some bad luck the weekend we were there. There was a monsoon that ended up flooding us out of our campground area. We had to quickly pack up our campsite and rush to the highest point we could find for the night. Imagine all of your camping gear soaking wet, nothing dry or warm to sleep in, the bright blue water, suddenly became dark brown with the blink of an eye. This wasn’t what we were expecting, but continued to try and make the best of our eventful weekend.

The next morning we arranged a helicopter flight out of the canyon. This was where it mattered who was at the Indian Reservation for the weekend festival because all the locals that were attending the festival had planned to leave that same day as well. The helicopters could only take 4 people at a time, so the locals had priority, and then it was first come first serve for the flight out. We woke up at 3am to start lining up for the helicopter ride out (the locals told us that people would start lining up between 4-5am). Because of the festival and all the locals that had to be flown out, we didn’t fly out of Havasu until 6pm. So I will say it again – DON’T GO ON A WEEKEND THAT HAS ANY SORT OF FESTIVAL GOING ON!!

With that being said, this was an amazing experience, absolutely breathtaking and I highly recommend you to take this trip. If you want more detailed information, feel free to join me in my Facebook travel group “Solitaire Travels,” I’m happy to help you plan your trip in any way that I can!

P.S. None of these photos are filtered!! The water really is that blue!!

Contributed by Michelle Solitaire