5 Havasupai Waterfalls
Learn About the 5 Waterfalls that Make Havasupai World Famous
Half-way into the Grand Canyon, just west of Grand Canyon National Park, is the town of Supai on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Surrounded by the towering cliffs of the Grand Canyon, this tiny enclave is only accessible by foot, horseback or helicopter. It is one of the most inaccessible towns in the Continental United States. But, surprisingly, it is not this phenomenally unique town that makes Havasupai famous – it’s the waterfalls.
Approximately 3 miles above Supai, a spring rises from the ground, welling up water from ancient aquifers. The water, which has been stored in limestone caverns for millennia, is rich with minerals giving it a stunning turquoise color. The minerals also deposit from the water and create amazing travertine rock formations anywhere the water flows.
From the spring, the water descends as an idyllic creek below leafed out deciduous trees and surrounded by the harsh desert and cliffs of the Grand Canyon. The creek rushes by the town of Supai, and not far below town goes over its first precipitous drop, the water crashing down and then relaxing into deep, tranquil pools with wispy mist swirling above them. The creek has a total of 5 of these falls, affectionately known to everyone who has visited them as “Havasu Falls” or the “Havasupai Waterfalls.”
Havasu Falls is the most famous of the Havasupai waterfalls. However, it is not the first you reach when hiking into the Canyon. It is actually the third waterfall during the hiking journey to Havasupai, and it is the one closest to the campground. It offers fantastic swimming, a relaxing sandy area near the water, wonderful shade, and world-class photography opportunities.
Mooney Falls is the highest and perhaps the most spectacular of the Havasupai waterfalls. Havasu Creek’s turqouise waters plunge nearly 200 feet off Mooney Falls, the sound of which reverberates off the limestone walls surrounding the waterfall, creating a roar that echoes up and down the canyon. Reaching the bottom of Mooney Falls requires a semi-technical downclimb using bolts, ladders and chains.
Beaver Falls is the farthest downstream waterfall at Havasupai. It is approximately 3.5 miles downstream from the campground and requires off-trail hiking, scrambling, wading, and bushwacking to reach. It’s recommended to only undertake this hike if you’re up for 5-7 hours of hiking and are well prepared for it.
LIL’ NAVAJO FALLS
Lil’ Navajo Falls is the first waterfall hikers reach after they leave the village of Supai and descend toward the campground. It is a beautiful waterfall that is worth the 5 minute walk from the main trail to see. Reaching the bottom is more difficult, but worth the effort as visitors often have it to themselves.
FIFTY FOOT FALLS
Fifty Foot Falls is the first major swimming spot between the Village of Supai and the campground. It’s easy to get to and offers a wonderful, refreshing dip on hot days. It makes for an excellent picnic spot and offers great photography opportunities with red rock cliffs towering behind the falls.
MORE HAVASUPAI INFO
TIPS FOR VISITING HAVASUPAI
- VISITING HAVASUPAI: Get info on what’s required, when to visit, whether to go on your own or on a guided tour and more.
- 5 HAVASUPAI WATERFALLS: See photos and descriptions of all 5 of the Havasupai Waterfalls.
- HAVASUPAI RESERVATIONS: Information about how to obtain Havasupai camping permits, required fees, lodge reservations and more.
- HIKING TO HAVASUPAI: Driving instructions, hiking instructions, information about the helicopter, packing lists and more.
MORE GRAND CANYON HIKING ADVENTURES
The Grand Canyon is an extraordinary place, and as amazing as the Havasupai waterfalls are, there are many options for adventure in the Canyon beyond Havasupai. Grand Canyon National Park is home to some of the most unique and spectacular backpacking trips in the world. It also offers stunning views, geologic history, and incredible day hikes for people not interested in backpacking.
Guided Grand Canyon treks include permits, local transportation, meals, gear, risk management systems and professional guides, allowing guests to make the most of their visit to the Canyon, focus 100% on enjoying their experience, and do it all with an increased level of safety and comfort.
– GUIDED BACKPACKING ADVENTURES: these are for people interested in an authentic adventure deep in the Canyon’s wilderness.
– HORSE-ASSISTED TRIP: on this trip to the bottom of the Canyon, guests hike with light day packs and camp near the Colorado River.
– PHANTOM RANCH TOURS: this tour (limited dates) goes to the bottom of the Canyon where we sleep 1 or 2 nights in the Phantom Ranch Lodge 5 minutes from the Colorado River. Showers, A/C, heat…etc.
– ALL-INCLUSIVE HIKING PACKAGES: inn-based and camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of the Grand Canyon.