There truly isn’t anything quite like it.
Havasupai is the eden of the Grand Canyon. Its magnificence is hardly served due justice by photographs. It’s a place that you NEED to visit yourself. I mean that. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself needing to visit it often. I don’t know that I’ll miss a year for the rest of my life…
If you read my blog post from last year (you can by clicking here, if you’d like!), you’ll remember that I took a risk and went on this huge trip with a group of complete strangers! Well this year, I hit the same trail with the same people I ventured with last year… Except now they’re some of my dearest friends.
There is something so special about this segment of wilderness. You can feel the spirit of it. Heavenly Father spent some extra time making this place what it is. The spirit of the Native People who have called Havasupai home for centuries can also be felt. The word Havasu means “blue-green water” and pai means “people.” I am grateful every year that the Havasupai people open up their homeland for us to visit.
In this post I want to address some of the logistics of a trip to Havasupai:
Getting Permits to Hike Havasupai:
On February 1st at 9am Arizona Time, yearly, the Havasupai Permit Office opens. Call then if you have specifics you’re trying to meet (such as travel dates and group size #s). Be prepared to spend the morning calling time and time again to get through. Also know that by the time you do get through, you might have to adjust your travel dates, so be flexible.
Logistically, for our group, the trip involved a 10 hour car ride from Salt Lake City. You aren’t allowed to enter the reservation until the day your permits officially begin. I’ve heard it rumored that you WILL be kicked out or fined if you go any earlier. So, starting from the trailhead the morning your permits begins is the way to go. We arrived at the trailhead at 10pm the night before, set up makeshift beds to get a couple hours of sleep and then awoke at 3am to hit the trail. That sounds crazy, I know, but hiking into the canyon before the sun comes up and the sweltering heat hits you is crucial for success.
It’s 10 miles to the village (where you need to stop and check in) and then another 2 miles to the campground. When you get there you’re going to be exhausted:
Any trip into the wilderness is only as successful as you are prepared. So be a Boy Scout, and go prepared.
What to Pack for Havasupai:
- Hammock (Hammocks are the best for camping at Havasupai. They’re the way to go, no arguments about it. There are plenty of trees, too)
- Sleeping bag or light blanket (I took a 0 degree bag and slept on top of it all but one night. In June, would have been fine with a sleeping pad and a light blanket. Although, I was glad I had my sleeping bag last year in May. Check the weather so you know what you’re going up against)
- Dehydrated meals or non perishable foods (No refrigeration, plan for 3 meals a day. When in doubt, toss the extra meal in… After a long day in the sun and water, you’re gonna be famished)
- Rain Gear (My first year at Havauspai I wasn’t prepared for unseasonabley cool temps and I almost died (Only kinda sarcastic). Sooo I would suggest that you prep for the worst come rain or cool temps)
- Water shoes (I don’t even hesitate to call these essential. You need shoes that your feet will be okay hiking in and out of the water in. HIKING. They should be comfortable and made of a good fabric. I love my Chacos for this kind of stuff. Spendy, but if you’ll use them frequently, they’re totally worth it)
- Water filter (This isn’t an essential because there is a water spring you can always fill up at but it is nice to have an in camp filter that saves you the walk to the spring)
- Water Boiler Stove (For boiling the water for your dehydrated meals)
- Propane for Stove
- Clothing (This is where you want to keep it simple. Bring an outfit to hike into the canyon in, 2 swimming suits, pajamas, some clothes to wear over your swimming suit, underwear and an outfit to hike out in. No clothing required for basically the whole time you’re in the canyon)
- Personal toiletries
- Sanitation wipes
- Ziplock bags for electronics (To prevent water damage)
- Good hiking shoes (I like to bring more than 1 option)
- Bandaids/Basic First Aid Kit
- Cold Weather Clothing
- Refillable Water-bottles (At least 16 Oz worth)
- Hand Towel (For drying off with. It’s lighter than a large towel)
- Pain Meds
- Cords/Rope for Hammock
- Bug Spray
- Sunscreen Galore!
- Large Painters Tarp (This will be used to protect your hammock in the event of a rainstorm)
- Paracord (Great for clothes lines, odds and ends fix ups and for hanging your tarp to protect from rain)
Please feast your eyes on the following photo dump:
I said it last year and I’ll say it again… Havasupai is truly Heaven sent. It is my belief that in visiting this unparalleled place in nature, you will discover within yourself strengths and characteristics that are just as rare. This trip will truly change you. There are moments I have experienced amid the roar of the falls of Havasupai so private and special I would not even share them here. I want you to go and have the same experience.
I hope that this post helps you as you plan your trip to Heaven Sent Havasupai. Please feel free to comment with additional questions.
If you’re looking for more of a detailed post about hiking the trail itself, visit my post from last year by clicking here.