Havasupai is hands down the greatest backpacking trip of all time that you could take in Arizona. The red rocks of the Grand Canyon, paired with stunningly blue water attracts people from all over the world. Camping permits are hard to get and are generally sold out for the year a week after sales start.
I know that Havasupai has been written, photographed, and blogged about countless times, but this is my trip down and it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life!
Planning what your going to pack for the trip is essential so that you are not bringing extra weight down. Go as minimal as you can on gear. Only bring essentials, if you bring more you will regret it on the hike out! Start the hike early in the morning as most of the hike is un shaded throughout the day.
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- Backpacking 35-50 liter pack
- Lightweight sleeping bag
- Hammock or tent (I only took an ENO Hammock)
- Food for the amount days you will be there. (I took Cliff bars, and Dehydrated meals)
- Jet Boil with fuel and eating utensils
- Nalgene bottles
- a pair of swim trunks
- 2 pairs of socks total (I used Darn Tough socks)
- Hiking shoes and shoes to wear in the water. I used the Moab ventilators. They did great!
- Sun protection, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, long sleeve breathable t-shirt.
- Toilet paper (incase their bathrooms are out)
A side note, I went on this trip with my friend Chris in September of 2016. He is sitting next me me in the photo above, we hadn’t talked in a while and he just emailed me out of the blue asking if I wanted to go to Havasupai as he had extra permits. I jumped all over the opportunity! He was bringing two of his friends from out of town, whom I never met but we all got along and had an amazing trip! The other two dudes were Mike up front and Nate in the back. At 3AM we started hiking in and found we had a lot in common!
Continuing back to the hike now. I had to introduce my friends first though!
Keep hiking through town and past all the Fifty Foot Falls and its not far from town to the first and most iconic waterfall in Arizona. Havasu Falls. The blue in the water comes from minerals in the water called travertine. You will be on a downhill slope and come around a corner and find the most amazing waterfall you have ever seen in a desert.
We found a perfect campsite early in the morning as soon as we got down in the canyon. This spot was amazing, we had it all to ourselves, and you had to cross a makeshift bridge to get to it from both sides. We were on a small island of sorts with the water running by on both sides. It was absolutely perfect.
We all had decided to camp in hammocks for the trip as it was plenty warm enough, make sure to hang your food in the trees, or bring a trash bag to line the trash buckets to store your food in, place a frisbee with a hole through the middle over your food so the mice and other critters don’t crawl down your rope to your food if your hanging it. There are toilets in the canyon that compost themselves. Bring some extra toilet paper with you incase they are out.
We spent the rest of the day swimming in the water at the base of Havasu falls, and went to bed early as soon as the sun went down, there are no campfires permitted in the canyon so it is easy to go to sleep early. The next day we decided to go to the next biggest falls in the canyon, Mooney Falls, which were also very impressive, as well as hike down through the canyon close to the confluence where Havasupai meets with the Colorado River.
After hanging out on top of the falls for a while and enjoying the scenery, we decided it was time to make our way down to the base of the falls.
Coming around the corner to make your way down to the base the views are spectacular.
When you hike to the base of these falls, you have to go through a small system of caves and wooden ladders and hold on to some chains as you’re headed down, you can feel the temps change in the caves and some mist from the waterfall itself.
At the base of Mooney Falls you can look up and see how much deeper you are in the canyon. It was still pretty early in the day and this was an entire day of exploring, we were going to be hiking close to 10 miles today through the water and the canyon to get to the Navajo Falls area and really to just explore this beautiful place further. After checking out Mooney Falls for a bit we continued our hike through the canyon which becomes very thick with vegetation. There are grape vines everywhere and occasionally you can see some goats down in the bottom snacking out.
Once you get to the bottom of all the falls in this section you will have to walk through the water and some of the hike is only in the water.
After some time of hiking through the water you will come out of the water and enter the canyon filled with vegetation. This place is amazing and although there are times you won’t see the water, you can still hear it, but the greenery looks incredible mixed with the red of the walls in the Grand Canyon.
Eventually you make it back to the water and shortly will find the Navajo Falls area. It is a cool spot with some layered small falls.
I cannot find all the photos of this area and where we hiked in to get to it, but there is a small waterfall at the top of this that we all jumped off of, its a small one but fun, just really know where your jumping, my friends all jumped off and were fine, but I hit the bottom, luckily I hit it in a way that I didn’t hurt myself badly, but scrapped my knees up pretty well, and they got swollen which made hiking out tiresome. Everything is still worth it.
We continued past this area and found us a sweet cliff to jump off of, this was the highest thing we jumped from on the trip.
We made our way back to camp to sleep for the night before we trekked out the next morning to finish of the trip.
There is a fresh water spring in the camp area that you can fill your water bottles from and it was some of the tastiest water I’ve ever had from a natural spring!
The next day we got up, made breakfast and started exploring and hanging out before heading out of the canyon.
We noticed that there was a small cave not far from our campsite, we wanted to go see what was inside, so we hiked up and checked it out.
We hiked back down to our campsite, packed up and got ready to make the hike back out of the canyon. We were tired, and a little bummed to be leaving but all good things must come to an end.
After a long 3 days and over 30 plus miles of hiking, lots of jokes, blisters, and bruises, we finally made it out of Havasupai. I had so much fun down in the canyon with my friend Chris, and my new friends Mikey and Nate. Since going on this trip I still keep in touch with Mikey and Nate, and Chris and I have tackled a few other awesome adventures and I’m sure we will have many more adventures through out our lives. I will never forget this trip, and will forever be grateful to Chris for obtaining the permits and inviting me to go. I can’t wait for more adventures guys!
If you have any questions about this trip ask away! I love talking about Havasupai, or if you want to take me with you on your trip down let me know! haha thanks for checking it out, it was fun writing this post and revisiting Havasupai in my mind. It is the longest post I have done yet and hopefully it is not the only time I get to go to Havasupai. Enjoy the Photos!
“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can” – John Muir