This must-read Havasu Falls camping guide covers everything you need to know – including Havasupai permits, camping fees, what to bring and more!
Camping at Havasu Falls is a magical experience. Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation about 4 hours from Grand Canyon Village, the blue-green Havasu Falls (and the hike to get there) is an awe-inspiring experience that is a must-see for any avid hiker. The falls are ethereal against the dusty red of the canyon, and the views are stunning!
However, the beauty of the area attracts thousands of visitors each year and reservations fill up fast as a result. There is no way to visit Havasu Falls without a reservation, as day hiking is not allowed, and so the only way to see the area is to book a camping spot.
Havasu Falls Camping Guide: Permits, Fees, Packing Tips & More
The Best Time to Camp at Havasu Falls
While the falls are accessible year-round, summer in Havasu Falls gets very busy and obscenely hot – so hot that hiking can be dangerous and you’ll want to spend most of your time cooling off in the water. July and August also tend to see an uptick in monsoons, thunderstorms, and flash floods.
So, for the best weather and smaller crowds, camping at Havasu Falls during early spring or late fall is your best bet. Early spring will be a little chilly of course and swimming may be a bit unbearable during this time, but the weather will be perfect for hiking. Of course, this all depends on when you can get a reservation and permit for camping.
Havasupai Camping Permits: How to Book
Getting a campsite at Havasu Falls is notoriously difficult as advanced reservations are required and permits tend to sell out the day they go on sale… for the whole year.
To get a campsite at Havasu falls, you’ll first want to create an account at havasupaireservations.com. Then, log in to your account on Friday, February 1st before 8 am (Arizona time), as this is when the sites go on sale for the February through November camping season. Note that thousands of other people will be looking to book at this time, so be ready to refresh your browser as soon as 8 am strikes.
Due to a large number of people trying to get a campsite at the same time, this process can take a while. For your best chances of nabbing a site, keep your dates flexible and be patient!
Also, keep in mind that all reservations at Havasu Falls campground must be made for 4 days / 3 nights (no more, no less), all fees are due at the time of reservation, and that refunds, transfers, and changes are not allowed.
Havasupai Camping Fees
$100 per person per weekday night
$125 per person per weekend night (Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights)
These prices include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes.
How to Get to Havasu Falls Campground
Located on the Hualapai Hilltop, the Havasu Falls trailhead is about a 4-hour drive from Las Vegas, and roughly 5 hours from Phoenix – the two closest major airports.
To get to the trailhead from Las Vegas, take the 93-highway south to Kingman, Arizona, and then continue on east on Route 66. Drive for 57 miles, and then you’ll come to Indian Road 18 — turn left and then drive for 60 miles until you come to the end of the road. You’ve reached the trailhead.
There are bathrooms and a parking lot at the trailhead, and there is a place to camp here near the bathrooms, but there is no water or hookups at this campground.
From the trailhead, the hike to the Havasu Falls campground is about 10 miles one-way. When you start your trek, you’ll notice that the trail begins at a descent that will take you down into Havasu Canyon. The trail can be a little sandy at times and there’s nowhere to stock up on water here, so make sure you bring plenty with you!
After about 7.5 miles you’ll reach the village of Supai where you can grab your wristband and tent tags at the Havasupai Ranger Office. You’ll need to keep your wristband on for the entire duration of your stay in the canyon, and rangers do rounds on the campsite daily to make sure each tent is properly tagged.
From Supai, it’s about a 2-mile hike to the campground.
What to Expect at Havasu Falls Campground
Located partway between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls, the Havasu Falls Campground features sites on both sides of the river and are first-come, first-served. The campground runs about a mile down the river, there are four toilets scattered throughout, and many campsites have picnic tables.
Note that the Havasu campground doesn’t have assigned sites, so you’ll be able to park your tent anywhere that’s respectful of other people at the site. Also, while there is a water fountain in the camping area, there are no showers and campfires are not allowed.
Hiking in Havasupai
Havasu Falls are right near the Havasupai Campground, so you won’t have to do much extra walking to get to this main attraction. That said, the hike on the way in is mid-range and much of it is well maintained. If ever you get lost, just follow the river until you make it to the campground.
Much more secluded than the other falls, Beaver Falls is a 7-mile round-trip hike from the campground and, while there are a few steep parts, is mostly easy-going. Once you’ve been hiking for about 3.5 miles, the cascades of Beaver Falls will be right within view, you can’t miss it!
New Navajo Falls
Located on your trek in from Supai to the campground, the trail to New Navajo Falls is easily missed if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Once you leave Supai, you’ll begin hiking on a sandy trail for about a half-mile. When the trail starts to open up, start to look for a path to your left.
From there, New Navajo Falls is about 300 yards away.
The tallest waterfall in the area, Mooney Falls is breathtakingly beautiful although the hike to get there is a bit tough and requires chains for extra support. Just remember to go slow, don’t feel rushed, and enjoy every minute of this scenic 0.5-mile hike.
Havasu Falls Camping Tips
Due to the trailhead being in the middle of nowhere I’d recommend staying the night before at Hualapai Lodge. Then, start your hike super early to beat the mid-day heat. However, if you want a more extravagant Havasu Falls experience, there is the option of hiking in and taking a helicopter out.
If you plan on taking the helicopter, I recommend getting there at least by 7 am to secure your place in line.
Note that there is no cliff jumping, littering, alcohol, drugs, or drones allowed on the Havasupai Reservation. It’s a $1000 fine if you get caught doing any of these things. Remember to always follow leave no trace principles.
The reservation process for getting a camping spot tends to change often and without notice, so it’s best to stay up to date on the process. Also, because there is no day hiking at Havasu Falls, going there without a reservation isn’t allowed. Not to mention, the falls are way too far to hike there and back in one day.
And finally, stash your food away each time you leave your campsite. You don’t want pesky animals getting into it!
Read more: The Best Cameras for Hiking and Backpacking
Havasu Falls Packing Essentials
Camping Supplies: Due to the fact that you’ll be carrying all your supplies in and out, I recommend keeping your load as light as possible. If you can, try and get a lightweight backpack, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, hammock, and camp chair. Additionally, I recommend bringing along a couple of headlamps and a small lantern.
Water: While there is a spring at the campground that provides safe drinking water, I recommend stocking up on all the water necessities. You’ll want to bring a hydration bladder, a refillable water bottle, some water purification tablets or a portable water filter, and a collapsible water jug for at camp.
Cooking Gear: Because you’ll be camping for 3 nights / 4 days, I recommend bringing a lot of dehydrated food options with you on your trip, as opposed to just fresh food. Not only will dehydrated food be easier to cook up at camp, but it’ll also cut down on the number of supplies you’ll need to bring with you as well.
Toiletries: For any camping trip like this, you’re going to want ample sunscreen, bug spray, deodorant, and after bite. Also, because there are no showers at camp, I recommend bringing some wet wipes, biodegradable soap, dry shampoo, and hand sanitizer.
It’s also smart to pack a first aid kit filled with all the essentials. Bandages, antibiotic ointments, alcohol swabs, ibuprofen, antihistamine, and a pair of gloves are standard.
Clothing: I recommend bringing a couple of quick-dry shirts, shorts, hiking pants, and hiking socks. You’ll also want a swimsuit, quick-drying towel, ballcap, light rain jacket, and a pair of sunglasses (or two!).
Shoes: A pair of worn-in hiking shoes that can traverse sand, mud, and rocks are essential. Also, a pair of water shoes is a must as there will be a few river crossings during your hikes and you’ll need to save your feet.