Havasupai is the colloquial name for a part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Arizona that has become enormously popular for hiking and camping in recent years. It’s a sovereign nation within the United States and has been inhabited by the Havasu People for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
The area is, of course, now famous for one thing, and that’s the incredible desert oasis hidden at the bottom of a red-orange canyon. The water is such a bright teal blue that it almost defies reason, and over the past few years its’ popularity has skyrocketed.
More people than ever are now trying to visit Havasupai, but unfortunately it’s not quite as easy just showing up, and there are quite a few things to know before arriving, including booking a campsite. This post is a huge, all encompassing guide to camping, booking and exploring Havasupai. Please check the contents and skip to the section you need most!
Part 1: Hiking into Havasu Falls Campground
The hike from Hualapai Hilltop to Havasu Falls Campground is a 20 mile round trip hike with a total elevation change of almost a mile (round trip).
Total recommended hike time is 4-6 hours on the way in, and 5-7 hours on the way out.
The hike, depending on the time of year and the weight of your bag can be incredibly gruelling. It’s important to know what you’re getting into!
Check in at Hualapai Hilltop
Before you set off on the hike, check in with the office at the trailhead. You’ll also find toilets here (your last chance before reaching the campground), and bag drop for the mules.
Otherwise, this is where the fun begins. Buckle up!
Facilities at Hualapai Hilltop
There are basic outhouses at Hualapai Hilltop and the mule check in, that’s all. There’s nowhere to fill your water so make sure you’ve brought some with you.
The Hualapai Hilltop to Supai Trail
Once you’ve completed the drive to Hualapai Hilltop, the major leg of the trail to the Havasu Falls campsite is the trail between Hulapai Hilltop and Supai Village. This is 8 of the 10 miles you’ll have to walk to the campsite.
Setting off from the Hualapai Hilltop, you’ll lose a huge amount of elevation almost immediately as you drop down to the scrub land below via a series of switchbacks. You’ll find this is particularly gruelling on your return journey, but it’s quite an easy start to the hike.
Once you’re on the valley floor, you’re exposed to the hot desert sun for a short while, before dropping down into the canyon and following it all the way to Supai Village. The trail is extremely easy to follow, and for the most part, you’re hidden in the depths of the canyons away from the sun.
Follow this canyon until you suddenly pop out and trees start to appear again. You’ll reach a fork in the trail and a big arrow on a signpost, at which point you’ll bear left and follow a sandy trail for the last mile or two into Supai Village. This is where you’ll get your first glimpses of the bright blue water you’ll be enjoying for the next few days!
Things to know about walking to Supai Village
- There’s no water en route. Supai Village is the closest water source, so it’s important to pack in plenty of water, particularly if you’re hiking in the summer.
- There are no toilets or garbage cans en route.
- The mules also use this route and often come thundering through unexpectedly. Sometimes they’re completely loose and unsupervised. You can generally hear them coming from quite a long way off, so try to give them space as they come thundering through. Mules always have the right of way; step off the trail and let them pass.
- This hike can be incredibly hot, you may want to begin your hike as early as possible (around 4am). Technically this trail is closed between sunset and 4am.
- This is the desert and there are things like rattlesnakes out here. Avoid walking through dense brush if possible and stick to the trail.
- Once you arrive in Supai, put your camera away. You’re not allowed to photograph any people or private property in Supai.
Supai Village and facilities
At the end of your 8 mile hike, you’ll reach Supai Village. A small working village with one or two amenities you can enjoy as a tourist.
Almost immediately on your right, you’ll notice the check in office. This is where you’ll get your camping permit and will have to check in. This is where you can also book a heli copter ride or mule out. It’s important to note that the locals have priority for the helicopter, so if they’re busy using it, you’ll get bumped.
Supai Village is where the Havasu People live, so although there are basic tourist amenities, it isn’t really there for tourism. There’s grocery store where you can grab a few supplies, a cafe where you can grab a hot snack (the fry bread is amazing), a post office, the heli-pad and the tourism office. This is also where Havasu Lodge is, if you’re planning to stay in the hotel.
It’s also good to note that the heli-pad being in Supai means you’ll still have to hike even if you heli in. If you want to see Mooney Falls and beyond, you’ll still need to be able to hike, and even Havasu Falls and the campground is still a mile from this point.
Things to know about the Supai Village amenities:
- The food is great, but bring cash. There wasn’t a working card machine when we visited.
- There are actual working toilets in the cafe that are in really good condition. They are for customers only.
- There is plenty of decent camping food (tins, snacks, drinks etc) in the grocery store, so don’t bother packing in heavy things that you could buy here. Again, bring cash and expect a hefty markup.
Havasupai Lodge is also located here in Supai Village. Apparently it’s a popular alternative for families with kids. It’s more expensive than the campsite, and there are no restaurant facilities there. Bear in mind that even if you stay here, you’ll still have to hike to the waterfalls.
To continue on to Havasu Falls Campground, continue on through Supai and begin the last 1-2 miles.
Supai to Havasu Falls Campground Trail
From Supai, you’ll be funnelled onto the only trail and will start to head downwards once more. This is where the trail starts to get really beautiful, and you’ll get your first sense of what’s to come. The trail is very sandy here, and walking becomes a little more exhausting, but you’ll quickly come alongside the river and several swimming spots.
Between Supai and Havasu Falls Campground, you’ll come across two major waterfalls; Fifty Foot Falls and Little Navajo Falls.
Fifty Foot Falls
The first waterfall en route is Fifty Foot Falls. It’s a less popular spot because it’s fairly well hidden from the trail, but it’s a great place to float around. Many people choose to swim here as it’s the first place you can cool off at the end of that mammoth hike through the desert!
You’ll know you’re in the right area when you see a large set of outhouses on the side of the trail.
Little Navajo Falls
Little Navajo Falls are slightly further along the trail but are roughly in the same area as Fifty Foot falls. At Little Navajo Falls, you can easily reach the water from the trail, and many people choose to take a dip here instead. We swam here one evening on the way back from a visit to Supai Village for some fry bread. The sun was going down and we caught the last light here. Some of the lower waterfalls lose the light much earlier in the day.
Fortunately, the water was calm and it was easy to wade around in the shallows without fear of being swept over the waterfall below. I can imagine there are certain times of year when it’s not a great idea to swim here, but so long as there hasn’t been rain in the area recently, there shouldn’t be much risk.
From Little Navajo Falls, the trail starts to lose a fair bit of elevation, and you’ll descend quickly into the valley below. Watch out for horses/mules as they make their way up and down, as well as a couple of fry bread stands where you can grab a quick snack!
Within a few minutes (remember there’s only a mile (ish) between Supai and Havasu Falls Campground), you’ll see a big line of outhouses ahead of you that will signal you’ve finally reached the Havasu Falls Campground!
The Havasu Falls Campground
This is the next stop on your journey, and the last stop you’ll have to make with your enormous backpack. This is where you’ll be setting up camp.
The campground is a long, thin stretch of land that runs all the way from Havasu Falls at one end, to the top of Mooney Falls at the other. Camp sites vary in attractiveness, as some will lie alongside a river or will be on their own little island. Others will be near the freshwater spring, while the worst spots will be right next to one of the 3 sets of outhouses in the campground.
My recommendation is to set off extremely early on the trail, so that you avoid the heat of the day and can arrive at the campground just as others are leaving their sites. This will give you the best choice of the best tent pads. We set off mid afternoon and arrived in the evening with very little choice at all!
Camp at the beginning of the campground for the quickest access to Supai Village and the fresh water spring, or at the far end for the best access to all the trails and waterfalls. There are technically no actual designated camp spots, so you can pitch a tent anywhere, however there are clearly some spots that are better than others!
Things to know about the Havasu Falls Campground
- There is one fresh water spring at the beginning of the campground. Lots of people were drinking this straight from the spring, but we always used a filter to be safe.
- There are places to camp on both sides of the river, so explore the entire area if you can’t find a decent spot.
- There are tons of little critters that will shred your belongings to get to your food. Make sure you bring a mesh bag for your food, and hang it from the ground.
- Do not leave any open food or litter out, and pack out any litter.
- The outhouses are pretty disgusting. Throw a scoop of sawdust in the hole when you use it.
- There are no lights in the campground, bring headlamps to find your way in the dark!
- We visited in November, so it was actually pretty cool in the evenings. The temperature drops fast in the desert, so prepare with warm clothes!
- No open fires
- No drones
- Quiet hours from 8pm to 5am.
- Music with speakers isn’t allowed
Part 2: Things to see, and hikes to explore, once you’ve reached Havasu Falls Campground
Havasupai is, of course, known for it’s incredible blue-turquoise waters, so most of your time in the area will be either spent swimming near waterfalls, looking over waterfalls, or hiking to waterfalls.
It’s generally a very simple area to explore, as there are only two directions to travel; in or out of the river valley. There’s one trail to follow, so ultimately the only decision you have to make is how much you want to walk during your visit!
Once you leave the campground, there are a number of incredible places to explore in the area. Some are right next to the campground, others require a strenuous hike. Here’s everything you need to know!
Havasu Falls is the first major waterfall that appears when you walk into the Havasu Falls campground area. The enormous waterfall cascades into an unbelievable blue pool below, creating the most unreal view that you almost wouldn’t believe. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I was an early explorer staggering through the desert and stumbling across this. I’d probably have to pinch myself.
This is a great spot to go for a dip, as it’s just a short walk from the camground, and has plenty of space for swimming. Just remember there’s no diving or jumping into the pools.
Mooney Falls is the next waterfall that you come across at Havasupai, and you’ll find it at the opposite end of the campground. In fact, the last camp site is virtually on the edge of the waterfall itself.
To get down to the base of Mooney Falls and on to the remaining hiking trails, you have to descend through the rocks, and down the cliff. The route is part tunnel, part slippery ladder, part chain, and it’s not for the faint hearted. The spray from the waterfalls greases the bottom third of the wooden ladders to make it all a little treacherous. Having said that, we saw children at the bottom of the waterfalls, so most people wouldn’t have any trouble getting down.
Once you get to the bottom of Mooney Falls, the waterfall is right in front of you. You really can’t miss it at all! This one is a little more shallow, so the swimming isn’t as good, but there are a few picnic tables dotted around if you want to stop and have a picnic while you watch the amazing blue water cascade down the orange cliffs.
From Mooney Falls, the trail is relatively easy for the next few miles. You’ll cross the stream several times, so wearing sandals is a really good bet, but for the most part the trail weaves up and down through the brush.
Finally, just before you reach Beaver Falls, the trail gets a little hairy again, and there’s a tiny bit of scrambling required.
Beaver Falls is a wide, cascading waterfall with multiple levels to enjoy. This is a 7 mile round trip from the campsite.
The last bit of trail to reach Beaver Falls is steep and requires climbing down a couple of ladders, but for the most part is fairly straightforwards. We, and a few other groups, walked straight past the turnoff to get down to the falls, but you realise pretty quickly when you’ve made a mistake as the trail gets higher and moves away from the falls.
Beaver Falls was probably my favourite place to swim and we got there around 10am, just as the sun poked into the gorge. This was a nice bit of morning warmth for us, and it made swimming in the water that little bit more bearable (we visited in November, so everything was a little chilly).
Beaver Falls is probably the most unusual waterfall in Havasupai, and easily my favourite!
The Colorado River Confluence
We actually didn’t get this far. We had a bit of a shoe mishap, so decided against hiking the extra 8 mile round trip from Beaver Falls to the river confluence, but we plan to tackle it if we ever go back.
This long hike takes you to the point where the bright blue river running through Havasupai meets the Colorado River. It’s supposed to be an amazing view of the blue water mixing with the regular river water, and just before it arrives, it passes through a stunning slot canyon.
Given that you’ll have already hiked 10 miles into Havasupai and that you’ll still have 10 more to hike before you leave, make sure you have some decent boots before you set off!
It’s important to note that Beaver Falls is the last place in Havasupai considered to be part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, and therefore it’s the last place someone will come and help you if you need it. If you consider to the Confluence and get in trouble, nobody is coming for you! It is therefore not recommended.
It’s a good thing to note that bookings are now a mandatory minimum of 3 nights, so that middle day might be a great time to strap on the boots and go for the extra long hike!
The Hike Out of Havasupai
The hike out from Havasupai is quite exhausting, as the entire walk is uphill. In particular, the last mile of switchbacks is a challenging end to the experience. Make sure you pack lots of water and start early.
We started our hike early (as the sun was rising), but it’s recommended that in the summer months you start your hike out at 2am! This means you can access the Supai to Hualapai trail at 4am when it opens.
Is there a Recommended Havasupai Itinerary?
Yes, there is, and you can find it on the Havasupai Reservations site once you’ve created an account. This is based on a 4D 3N schedule. Here it is:
Day 1: Drive to trailhead, hike in, set up camp, explore the creek and Campground.
Day 2: Rest, relax, enjoy, explore! A good day for the lower waterfalls (Havasu, Mooney, Beaver)
Day 3: Rest, relax, enjoy, explore! A good day for the upper waterfalls (Fiftyfoot, Little Navajo, Havasu)
Day 4 (the day of your Campground Reservation departure date): Hike out and drive to a hotel near the trailhead (Peach Springs, Seligman, Kingman) and rest, relax, recover. This means you won’t have to stress about needing to rush back anywhere that same day.
For the most part, we inadvertently followed this itinerary ourselves, but also went back to Supai each day for the irresistible frybread.
Other ways to get into Havasupai
Take a helicopter into Havasupai
The most luxurious way to travel into Havasupai is by helicopter. This allows you to avoid the challenging 10 mile hike with your huge backpack, and reduces your overall hike to around 1 mile by landing in Supai Village. This might allow you to bring a few more luxuries in your pack and will definitely save your legs for the asdventures once you arrive at Havasu Falls Campground.
The helicopter cannot be booked in advance and is first come first served. So if you get there after everyone else, you may either get bumped off the flight by a local resident or you may have to wait half the day for your turn. The lines start very early indeed, and we were told that some people wait hours only to be told that they won’t be getting a space that day.
As we hiked in, we were given the option to fly out when we checked out, but were told these rules and that there was no guarantee we could fly. This is worth bearing in mind, because even if you plan on booking the helicopter, you may end up ultimately having to walk. It’s therefore important that you’re able to manage the walk in the worst case scenario.
Each passenger is allowed a backpack weighing 20-40lbs. You may be charged extra for additional weight.
How much does the Havasupai Helicopter cost?
Helicopters cost $85 USD per person for a one way flight.
There is a $10 transaction fee, and the acceptable cards are Visa, Master Card, and Discover. Cash is also accepted.
Helicopter flight time: 10 minutes
The Havasupai Helicopter Schedule
March 15 to October 15:
- Sunday: 10 am to 1pm*
- Monday: 10 am to 1pm*
- Thursday: 10 am to 1pm*
- Friday: 10 am to 1pm*
October 16 to March 14:
- Sunday: 10 am to 1pm*
- Friday: 10 am to 1pm*
Taking a mule into Havasupai
This is another option for entering/leaving Havasupai, however we don’t personally recommend taking this option. We just wanted to mention it for the sake of completeness.
There is the option to load your bags onto the mules and meet your bags at the top or the bottom, but we’ve heard a few horror stories about their treatment and aren’t keen on endorsing it. They also didn’t really look too happy as they trudged through the hot desert sun.
If it is something you’re planning to do, you would have to book it in advance or book your return journey in advance when you check in in Supai. At $400 for a round trip, it’s actually cheaper to fly in with the helicopter. Please consider doing that instead or make sure your pack is light enough to manage on your own two legs.
Planning your visit to Havasupai
Booking a campsite for Havasupai and getting a Havasu Falls permit
Without a doubt, actually securing a camping permit for Havasupai will be the hardest thing about planning your visit. The tickets are notoriously sought after, and now that everybody knows about it, spots usually book up within minutes of becoming available.
Tickets are now only bookable online, and require a minimum 3 night booking. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay for 3 nights, but either way, you’ll be paying for it.
To make a reservation, visit havasupaireservations.com and create an online account. In a typical year, reservations become available on February 1. You must have created an online account and accepted all the rules, terms and conditions prior to this date in order to make a reservation.
Once reservations open up, book the dates you’re interested in. Now is also the time to book a mule or helicopter, because there may be a waiting list if you arrive and try to book them in person.
How much does a Havasu Falls Reservation cost?
Tickets cost $100 USD per person, per night, and $125USD per person, per night Friday-Sunday. There is a minimum 3 night booking requirement, meaning you’ll be paying at least $300USD per person
For the two of us, that cost us almost $1000CAD for our 3 night stay. Apparently this is a relatively recent increase in prices, as our friends that visited a few years ago only paid around $50 for their total stay!
Important things to know about your Havasupai reservation
- There is a primary reservation holder associated with each booking. If that person is not present with valid photo ID at the time of check in, the reservation is not valid.There is now a system online where you can add an alternative primary reservation holder, which you can then transfer in advance, if necessary.
- The Potential alternative Trip Leader cannot check in unless they become the trip leader online in advance. There’s no cell service at Supai, so make sure you do it in advance!
- Reservations can be made for groups up to 12 people
- All visitors must have created an online account on havasupaireservations.com in advance, so that they have all accepted the Havasupai terms and conditions in advance.
- You must always have your proof of reservation available during your stay. A printout of the reservation is a good idea.
- All reservations are paid in full at the time of booking, and are not transferrable or refundable.
Havasupai Cancellations and refunds
There is now an excellent policy at Havsupai that allows people to cancel/sell their tickets. Basically, if you can’t make your reservation, you can re-list your reservation on the Havasupai site. If someone re-books your reservation, you receive the money, minus an admin fee. You only receive that money if someone else books your spot. There is no point trying to resell it anywhwere else, as you won’t be able to change the name on your reservation.
There are generally plenty of cancellations later in the season, and this is a great way to scoop a site if you weren’t able to get one when they were initially released. We missed the early reservations, but checked back later in the year and found several options in November and February. This is how we got our reservation.
2020 Reservations affected by COVID
As of today (August 4, 2020), all Havasupai reservations until August 18 are suspended. Any reservations (beginning March 15, 2020) from this year are eligible for rescheduling in 2021. This means it’s probably going to be particularly challenging to grab a spot in 2021. Make sure you’re poised to book when they eventually open up again!
Getting to Hualapai Hilltop from Las Vegas
Assuming you’ve managed to get yourself a coveted Havasupai reservation, the next step is to plan your visit! First things first, how to get to Havasupai:
For all intents and purposes, Havasupai is located in the middle nowhere. If you’re flying in, the nearest major city is Las Vegas. As a result, most people choose to fly into Vegas, pick up supplies and drive over. This is exactly what we did and I’d really recommend that option.
After our visit to Havasupai, we did things differently. We had a bit of extra time, so instead decided to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats and fly out of Salt Lake City. This is a much larger road trip (roughly 10 hours).
From Las Vegas, the drive is around 4 hours (225 miles), and honestly, there’s not much on the way to stop for if you take the most direct route. Lake Mead is kind of cool, but otherwise it’s just a straight shot to the trail head.
As I mentioned before, I’d really recommend picking up your supplies from Las Vegas before heading out. There aren’t stores like REI’s once you get closer.
Staying in Peach Springs before the hike
To begin your journey into Havasupai, you’ll need to enter the Havasupai reservation and park at the Hualapai Hilltop. This is where you’ll leave your car for the next 3 days and begin the Supai trail into the desert.
The Hualapai Hilltop site is located about an hour from the nearest town, Peach Springs. As it was going to be a long day in the desert, we decided to stay in Peach Springs the night before and start our hike fresh the next day.
There aren’t a huge number of hotel options in Peach Springs, so we booked online and picked Hualapai Lodge at random. Hualapai Lodge is a fairly dated motel located right in front of a freight rail track. It has a gas station opposite and was the closest place we could find to the trailhead. It worked for us, but if you’re a light sleeper you might want to find somewhere further from the rail tracks!
Don’t bring any drugs or alcohol
From Peach Springs, you drive into the reservation and don’t see much until a police check stop. The state troopers will search your car for booze and drugs, and confiscate anything they find. If you’re caught with any contraband, you’ll be turned around and you’ll forfeit your camping reservation.
On a side note, The Havasupai Reservation is Federal land, and any substances that are considered illegal federally (such as marajuana) is illegal. It may be tempting to pick up a few things in Las Vegas on your way over (including alcohol in this case), but do so knowing that you’re putting your reservation/freedom at risk if they find it!
Important things to know about driving to Hualapai Hilltop
A couple of things to know for this part of the route:
- if you’re driving in at night, don’t speed. There are plenty of cows and wild animals roaming around (we saw a family of boar!), and sometimes they wander into the roads. Roads tend to retain their heat better during the cold desert nights, so animals like to lie on them.
- The heli pad (if you’re flying in), is located just before the parking area at Hualapai on the left hand side. There’s a small shelf on the canyon side where all the heli pickups happen. If you get to the main parking lot, you’ve gone too far.
- Fill your car with gas before leave Peach Springs
Parking at Hualapai Hilltop
Hualapai Hilltop is where you’ll leave your car and begin the hike. The parking area is actually quite small, so you might want to get there earlier in the day to ensure you get a closer parking spot.
We decided to start our hike later in the day, so we were one of the last cars to arrive. As a result, we had a good half mile between our car and the trailhead. Wasn’t too much of an issue on the way in, but when you’re leaving, that extra bit of distance in the hot sun really hurts!
I’m not sure if crime is an issue in the area, but you’ll be leaving your car in an unsupervised area for 3 days. I’d recommend taking anything valuable with you. There’s also no shade for your car, so expect the inside of your car to be hotter than the sun when you get back!
Your vehicle must display your Campground Reservation Confirmation Code on your windshield.
When is the best time to visit Havasupai?
Havasupai is open for much of the year, but our recommendation is to visit in the Winter, as we did. We visited in November, and the temperatures in the desert, although still a little warm in direct light, were very manageable. The night was a little chilly but I’d much rather wear an extra layer than sit in my tent sweating.
Swimming in November was a little chilly, but we live in the Canadian Rockies, so it really wasn’t the worst water we’ve swum in. Additionally, the water is a constant 70F year round (21C), so actually we found it was almost water in the water than out!
The general recommendation by Havasupai is that if you like swimming and playing in the water, then summer is best, but if you like hiking and exploring, then winter is best. The general adivce is that the climate is the same as in Phoenix.
Bear in mind that the temperatures in summer can reach well over 100F, and that July-September is monsoon season. There are risks of flash floods during this time and being in the canyon past Mooney Falls isn’t recommended if there’s any chance of rain.
Where do you sleep at Havasupai?
So if I haven’t made it abundantly clear already, 99% of people staying at Havasupai will be camping at the Havasu Falls Campground. That means you have to pack in your own tent and camping equipment. Everything you need needs to be carried in either on your back or via helicopter!
For those of you that aren’t interested in camping, there is 1 other option. That option is the Havasupai Lodge. This is a hotel located in Supai Village, that you have to book directly through the Havasupai booking phone number:
928-448-2111 or 928-448-2201
There are no online bookings. Apparently bookings have ballooned in 2020 from $175 per night to $440 USD per night now. There is also an additional entrance fee of $110 per person when you arrive in Supai.
Note: Tourism is currently suspended in Havasupai. Don’t try to book right now!
Can you day hike into Havasu Campground?
Nope. You need a camping permit to enter the reservation.
What is a good amount of time to spend at Havasupai?
It’s now mandatory to book for 4 days and 3 nights, but I’d say we’d seen everything we wanted to see after 3 days and could have happily left earlier. We decided to stay until the end but could see ourselves paying the full fee and leaving early next time.
What is the weather like at Havasupai?
The weather in Havasupai is likened to that of Phoenix. Here is the annual weather by month in Celsius. That means a low of 30F in Jan and a high of 100F in summer. It also shows very little rain fall year round. I would highly recommend visiting in November, like us; the weather was perfect!
What makes the water so blue at Havasupai?
The blue water at Havasupai is actually down to the mineral deposits that the water picks up as it travels through the ground. It has very high amounts of magnesium, calcium and calcium carbonate (limestone or Travertine) in it, , which reflects a very bright teal colour when sunlight hits it. In addition, the riverbed is a white limestone, which makes the colour of the water stand out even more!
Is Havasupai suitable for all abilities?
Unfortunately I would probably have to say that it requires you to be quite fit and able to use a ladder if you’re to fully enjoy Havasupai. If you flew and stayed in the lodge, you could avoid bringing a heavy bag, but you’d still only really be able to see Havasu Falls, and even then you’d have to hike 2-4 miles in the blistering sun.
It isn’t recommended for small kids at all.
Where is a good place to pick up supplies for Havasupai?
We stopped in at REI in Las Vegas before heading out, and picked up a load of dehydrated meals, mesh bags and other important supplies. We’ll write a packing list sooner or later, but as we mentioned, definitely make sure you grab enough supplies before leaving for Havasupai and have enough gas for a 200 mile drive.
Havasupai is an absolutely breathtaking, otherworldly place to spend a few days, and should be on absolutely everyone’s bucketlist. It’s become astronomicallly expensive over the past few years, but it’s for good reason. There’s nowhere else like it on earth, and it’s easily one of the most special places I’ve ever experienced. It’s exhausting and gruelling, but absolutely worth fighting through the pain for.
Finally, I would also add that the high price of admission is really worth paying. The money goes directly to the Havasu people (Havasupai literally means blue-green water people), who historically have really been through a lot of trauma and displacement at the hands of the American government.
This is a great source of income for this community, and our tourist dollars are definitely going towards a good cause. The high cost of admission also means they can limit the number of people coming in and have more money to treat their animals properly.