The descent from the arid upper canyon rim of the Grand Canyon into the tropical oasis that is the Havasupia Indian Reservation took my breath away from start to finish. For years, I have tried to obtain permits to hike Havasupai but because of the strict regulations and limited number of hikers allowed each year, I have never been able. My ticket to Havasupai could not have been more well timed or well placed. I know that I was meant to be on this trail, surrounded by the individuals I was, and at this time, for a purpose. Havasupai was a testament to me of how aware our Heavenly Father is of us and our needs. Walking amongst his hand sculpted art healed me. The end of my trail at Havasupai gave me a start on my new one.

Enough of that serious stuff though! I just knew that I needed to express my gratitude for heaven sent Havasupai in order to be true to my experience there. Don’t be fooled though, we partied hardy alllllllll the way to the Grand Canyon, the whole time we were there, and alllll the way back! Prepare yourself because this post is definitely a photo overload…

BUT, I don’t think you’ll mind…

The road to Havasupai obviously had to include a stop at the world renowned large chair in Beaver, UT.
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We left Utah at around 9:30am and arrived at the trailhead around 9:30pm. I wish I would have gotten a couple pictures of our set up at the trailhead because it was a night that will never be forgotten. The whole experience can pretty much be summed up in one famous quote, “Everyone is miserable.” Let’s just say, thank goodness for tarps, 5 layers of clothing, long awaited sunrise, & most importantly, spooning trains. If I felt like I didn’t really know anyone that well before that night, that certainly wasn’t the case come sunrise… 4am finally came and we started our descent into the Grand Canyon.

Havasupai Falls Hike

I took this photo just as the Native America yelled at me “No Photos!” #rebel. I couldn’t help myself though! I felt like we were walking back in history.
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I don’t think any of my friends thought this was as cool as I did… This tribal irrigation system has been in use for over 200 years! The entire Supia Village is a twisted mix of the old ways meeting modern convenience.
Havasupai Falls Hike

I would love to know how they got this trampoline into the village (it’s only accessible via foot, horse, and helicopter).

Havasupai Falls Hike

Havasupai Falls Hike

The only 2 story building in the village…

Havasupai Falls Hike

There were 150 people in our group. Before beginning our adventures in Havasupai, we were required to stop in at the tourism office where we read and signed this waiver. Just behind this desk sat the single telephone that they take reservations over every February 1st at 9am.
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I love this picture. At this point, we had done 8 miles and had been told that we had “just a little farther” to go before reaching the campground. We had been hearing “just a little bit farther” all day long! Havasupai Falls Hike

We finally arrived and started setting up camp! Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike

Our next move was a true test of human will power. We had just finished setting up camp after a descently tiring hike into the Grand Canyon, but we knew that there was no time to waste. So, despite it being overcast and our bodies begging us to settle into our hammocks, we grabbed our swimming suits and set off for adventure…

Our first stop was Havasupai Falls. As we neared the falls, the rumble grew louder. The power of the falls created a wind of cool mist. We wasted no time diving right in. It was outer-worldly. I had seen pictures, but never before had I imagined that such a place existed. Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike

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The next morning, a group of 6 of us decided to hike into the village for breakfast and to secure a couple extra donkeys to haul our packs out. The scenery and outrageously large pancakes did not disappoint! This is probably one of my favorite photos from the trip… Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike

After regrouping back at camp, we decided to set off for Beaver Falls which was “only about 2 miles away.” Longest 2 miles ever! …But also dang pretty too… Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike

The struggles of trying to get a good group walking selfie… Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike

Once we arrived at Beaver Falls… Let the cliff jumping begin! Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike

Side-note: My mom saw this picture after the trip and asked me if I looked like a wild woman the whole time? I think the answer is probably yes haha.

Havasupai Falls Hike

On our way back from Beaver Falls, we stopped to enjoy the gorgeous, 190 foot, aqua blue, world renowned, Mooney Falls. Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike

You bes’ believe that’s my fine looking booty in one of the worlds most beautiful places! Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike

After an afternoon of adventure, we returned to base camp to eat and summon our second winds. Then, because we like to go hard in the paint, we set off to find Hidden Falls… Which, as luck would have it, is actually quite hidden… Like hidden so good we couldn’t even find it. But, we did end up settling with this picturesque little oasis. I ain’t even mad. Havasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls HikeHavasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike

This is a moment I want to keep forever. Sunset over the Grand Canyon…Havasupai Falls Hike Havasupai Falls Hike

That night, our last night on the reservation, we sat around the camp and laughed. It was, by definition, the perfect day.

The next morning, we woke bright and early in order to get packs to the mule train in time and to get an early start on the trail. I was so surprised upon arriving in the village to see a couple of friends from home! They were just about to start their adventure in Havasupai! 
Havasupai Falls Hike

The only negative thing about the trip was something I had no control over!… Because of a sudden and violent stomach bug that had decided to hit me with it’s best shot, I ended up taking the helicopter out of the canyon… Having not kept any food down in over 24 hours, it was the best $80 I ever spent. The pictures were worth it too I guess…

Havasupai Falls Hike

 This might have been the first time I found myself at Supia, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Havasupai was Heaven sent. Truly.

UPDATE:

I visited Havasupai again in 2016, so if you’d like to read another account of the same trip, you can do so by clicking here.

Author: bradiejill

Student, lover, hiker and blogger.

22 Replies to “Heaven Sent Havasupai

  1. We are looking at going May 2016. When in May did you go? What was the weather like? Hammocks look like good sleeping gear were there plenty of trees to hang them from at base camp? I have so many questions lol 🙂 can’t wait!

    1. Hello Sam! We went the last weekend in May. The days were warm(ish) (we hit it on a stormy weekend) and the nights were a little bit chilly. A Hammock was definitely the way to go! There are tons of trees! I would suggest taking a tarp and paracord to keep you safe from the rain. I am happy to answer all of your questions! Just send them my way at theposhpine@gmail.com! I am SO excited for you to experience this once in a lifetime adventure!

      1. Thanks so much for your response! We plan on staying four days. Do we just leave our hammocks and packs at base camp and camp down to each of the falls each day with a smaller pack and lunch? Can we buy food supplies at the camping area? Thinking about taking the helicopter out. I read locals come first so it may take a while. Is it worth the wait or should we just hike back out? Were there any shower house areas? We’re bugs a problem at night. We’re there alot of people there? Thanks in advance 🙂

        1. Yes you can just leave your hammocks and packs at your base camp–but I would hang them because the squirrels will get into literally everything! The way we did it was by tying paracord from one tree to another and then putting our packs in the middle. There is a store and restaurant in the village–but supplies are very limited and the locals don’t really keep any kind of set schedule so it’s kind of hit or miss. I would suggest taking everything you need to avoid relying on the village. Plus, from the camp sites, the village is a 2 mile walk through sand, up hill. Deciding whether to hike out or take the helicopter is totally a personal decision. I got ill the last night so I took the helicopter. It did take forever! I didn’t get into the village until 9am so the line was already long (people start lining up as early as 5am). My friends left me at the line to set out to hike out. They ended up having to wait for me at the trailhead for an hour and a half. I do admit, it was nice to get out of the canyon via a 2 minute ride though. There are no showers but that is what the waterfalls are for, right? 🙂 Bugs weren’t very bad in May but I’d take spray just in case. As far as people go, there are always a lot because the locals sale as many permits as they can–which I am grateful for. But I never at anytime felt like it was too crowded. Hope that helps! You’ll love this paradise!

  2. How were you able to secure a permit? I’ve been calling and calling and can not get through. We would also like to go in early may.

  3. LOVE your blog post about Havasupai! I hope you don’t mind me asking, I have so many questions that I can’t find answers to online (& the phone constantly rings busy)!

    1. How long does is take to hike/tour the waterfalls in the canyon? We plan to take horses into the canyon and horses or helicopter out so would one overnight be enough or should we plan for two nights?

    2. How strenuous are the hikes? our children are 17 & 13 yrs.

    3. How long does it take to drive to Hualapai Hilltop from Grand Canyon Village? I’ve read it is 200 miles but they are mostly dirt roads correct? Can a small motorhome make the drive? What are the condition of the roads to Hualapai Hilltop from Grand Canyon village?

    4. One person in our family needs to be diary and gluten free. Will there be such food to purchase in the canyon or should we pack it in?

    5. How do you get your name into the lottery if you can’t get through on the phone? (I just emailed). Do we need to still be in the lottery if we plan to stay in the lodge?

    Any other tips and information we should know is much appreciated! 🙂

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Angela! I am SO excited you get to visit Havasupai! You will LOVE it.

      1. If you can, I would spend 2 nights. That would allow for you to have 1 day to explore the waterfalls near the campground and 1 day to hike out to Beaver Falls. Honestly, you can never have too much time down in the canyon.

      2.The hike in to the canyon is fairly easy. It’s 10 miles all downhill–then an additional 2 miles from the village to the campground. Even though it is primarily downhill, it still beats up on your feet so good hiking boots and feet that have been conditioned to hike 10 miles at a time are a must. Going out is a totally different story. It’s 10 miles, uphill, literally climbing out of the Grand Canyon. Some things to think about: Have your kids hiked before? How far and for how long? Maybe do some practice runs to see if you’re all in the condition to take this on. I was raised hiking but I have seen people on the trail before who are miserable because they are unprepared.

      3. As far as the drive from Grand Canyon village to Hualapai Hilltop–I’m not sure. I came from the Las Vegas side. What I remember of the road was that it was good the whole way in (keep in mind I wasn’t coming from the same place you are) it was mostly paved and even the dirt road sections were well maintained.

      4.I would not count on the resources within the canyon for much of anything. They keep odd hours, are rarely stocked and just super hit or miss. I would take in most of what you might need, and definitely food for someone with dietary restrictions. I cannot stress how limited and overpriced the resources in the canyon are.

      5. I’m not sure how they manage the lottery situation. Or the lodging reservations. I apologize.

      The only tip I would give is that you prepare physically to enjoy this trip! Take good water shoes, bandaids, zip locks to keep your digital equipment dry and plenty of water. I would recommend a water filter.

      Let me know if you have any other questions! Also, if you put photos from your trip on Instagram, make sure to tag me at @bradiejilll because I want to hear how your trip went!

      Happy hiking!
      Bradie Jill

  4. Omg!!!!! This post is like the best thing ever girl!!! Thank you thank you 🙂 I have a few questions for ya

    How long was this whole process? I know you took the helicopter back but if you hadn’t how longer would it have been?

    Can you try and please remember everything you took LOL

    And I’m guessing you didn’t take sleeping bags all you used were the hammocks correct?

    Oh and you said there was 150 people in your group… Do you have to stick with them through the whole process??

    And what’s the earliest you can get there?

    1. Hey girl! I am so excited for you!

      The hike out took my friends 6 hours! If you’re in decent shape, plan on a pace of about a mile and a half an hour. It’s a 10 miles climb out of the canyon!

      I took:
      food
      flashlight
      stove
      matches
      hammock
      sleeping bag
      water shoes
      sanitation wipes
      swimming suits
      camera
      ziplock bags for electronics (everything gets wet)
      good hiking shoes
      bandaids
      jacket
      coat
      swim suit coverups to hike in
      water bottle
      towel
      sunglasses
      propane for stove
      pain meds
      roping for hammock
      bug spray
      sunscreen
      water filter
      large tarp
      paracord to hang tarp with

      I would definitely take a sleeping bag to put in your hammock! Maybe a sleeping pad too, to have between you and the the bottom of your hammock as well! It gets chilly at night! We were also there during a rain storm and luckily one of the kids in my group brought with him a large enough tarp to string from tree to tree to protect our hammock cluster from the rain. So DEFINITELY take a tap and string to hang to keep you dry in your hammock!

      No–we did not stick together as a group. The camping area is huge and we all just spread out in our own clusters throughout the area. I hardly even saw a lot of them!

      You can get there as early as you want the day your permit begins. We left the trailhead at 4am to avoid hiking in the heat of the daytime and ended up rolling into the town around 9 or 10am. 🙂

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Happy Hiking Dear!

  5. Hi! Loved your blog! You answered a lot of my question already. I am actually going the 1st week of May and it may rain. Good idea about the tarp. Did the rain affect the color of the water at all? I saw online that some people get there and it just brown and I’m like nooooooo.

    1. Hey Christelle!
      Thank you! I’m glad you found my post about Havasupai! YOU WILL LOVE IT. If it rains heavily, the river does take on more of a brown tint, I’ve heard, but it never rained that hard while we were there. I would think that it would settle pretty quickly either way though–like within a couple hours. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      1. Oh I forgot to ask. How long did you stay there? I’m only staying 2 nights. I was wondering if that is enough time to go to all the falls. I really want to go Beaver falls but I heard it was far. If I want to stay a day longer, will they give me a hard time?
        Also can I get there with my water shoes or will I need to put on my hiking shoes?

        1. Hey Christelle!
          2 days is plenty of time to get a pretty good grasp on the area! That’s how long I had too. No matter what, you’re going to feel like there is still exploring yet to be done! That’s why I’m going back AGAIN in a month! We got there, went to a falls, slept, spent the day hiking to and from Beaver, slept, and hiked out. Soooo… Super quick! Beaver Falls: Definitely worth it. BUT a tough hike nonetheless. The whole way there you’re in and out of water so you’re going to want your water shoes. By the end of the day my feet were DESTROYED from going in and out of the water the whole time. So, make sure your water shoes are up to par, and that you take something to switch into incase you get miserable. As far as staying another night is concerned, it’s a little risky… I am pretty sure they make you post your permit in your campsite. Down in there they operate on their own authority… So I think it’s probably best to just follow to rules, but you do you! I am so excited for you!
          I expect a full report on your adventure! Happy Hiking Sister!

  6. Hey!

    Thanks for this post! Super helpful. I called about a month or two ago to get a permit and was told they are filled for the rest of the season. I definitely want to get a permit for next spring though and am wondering how early before my trip do you recommend calling to get a permit?

    1. Hey Melanie! Phone lines open February 1st at 9am Arizona time! I suggest calling all day that day until you get through!

  7. This is so helpful! We leave for Az tonight! 🙂 We hike in on Friday and out on Monday! SO excited! We are a group of 15 parents and older kids. Sounds like it will be an amazing adventure. I think I read the water in the camp is spring water? You still think a water filter is a good way to go? Our low temp is supposed to be around 68 degrees. I am taking a hammock and seriously considering just taking my fleece sleeping back liner. Would that be enough you think?

    1. Hi Karen,
      I am SO sorry to just be seeing this! I was actually down there Thursday-Sunday! How crazy! I am sure we crossed paths somewhere in camp or at the falls! I hope you were able to figure out what would work best for you! I certainly thought it was HOT enough all weekend to survive with only a blanket! The spring is super useful!… It’s just nice to not have to walk to it sometimes. Anyway, I hope you had a dreamy adventure! I hope I saw y’all on your trip at some point!

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