Havasu Canyon Trail to Supai

MODERATE 114 reviews

Havasu Canyon Trail to Supai is a 14.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Supai, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
14.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,155 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

trail running

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
10 days ago

Best backpack trip ever, and definitely going back! March is the perfect weather to go - less heat and bugs although going back up that hilltop parking lot is still quite painful as you gain a lot of elevation in the last part of coming back to reality from heaven.

hiking
20 days ago

I took someone's advice and soaked my cloths in water before I hiked out. It was completely worth it. On one of my breaks while hiking out I also soaked my t-shirt again. Bring a cooling towel to soak and wrap around you. This is the only added advice I could give anyone besides what has already been said.

27 days ago

best hike ever! yes you need a permit. they go on sale February 1st at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Maybe you can get ahold of the office and see if there's any cancellations

30 days ago

Does someone knows if I need to pay something before I go ? Like camping or a permit to go down? Or something?

1 month ago

Started out really early in the morning and kept a great pace. We beat the office so we had to wait a bit. Definitely plan on going early... the parking lot is small and fills up fast.
On the way out we started at like 5 am and got to see the beautiful sunrise. Better be in shape for the hike out it's steap and pretty painful if your not used to hiking with a pack.
This was my first backpack hike and I did fairly good for my first. Recommend going early in the season as it's cooler down side is the water is also cooler.

1 month ago

Amazing hike. Don’t helicopter in, take the challenge.

1 month ago

Maybe the hardest hike I’ve ever done. Going down was no problem got it done in under 3hrs. Going back up on the other hard... not fun.. all in all so worth it and wouldn’t change the hike for anything.. by far the most aging waterfalls I’ve ever seen

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked into Havasupai Canyon with no permit and had one of the craziest days of my young life. I arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 pm Sat night, after braving 60 miles of swerving and dodging every sort of wildlife the night could throw at me, and was turned away by a security guard who said I could not start out on the trail until 4 am. This was a change since I had first been here 15 years ago. The other noticeable difference were all the cars parked along both sides of the road for two miles down from the parking lot. Holy shit, this place has grown in popularity in recent years!

I sort of slept in between my car and the one in front of me. I had taken an Aderal around 7 thinking I would need it for the night hike, but after realizing that I wouldn't be needing that extra energy until 4 am, I then counteracted the Aderal with an Ambien. Thank the maker for pharmaceuticals.

I rose at 3:30, got my shit together and began hiking 15 minutes later, passing by the security guard shack with no one stationed there. Maybe the guy shoved off early. It took me two-and-a-half hours to get down to the village. I then decided to wait around for the permit office to open to see if maybe I could get a same-day permit. I heard through the grapevine that sometimes there are cancellations and one can get a permit the day off, but it's a big gamble, because they could just turn you away and you'd have to hike all the way back out.

At 7 am promptly, I was greeted by whom I thought was a friendly Havasupai local lady. I then attempted to get a permit, but she said there had been no cancellations and that I would not be getting a permit and would have to hike back. I pleaded with her saying that I was only an army of one and that I had driven all the way from Florida (a blatant lie) and that possibly she could make an exception of some sort, but she would not budge. I then promptly began walking in the same direction I had been heading into the canyon. Of course she saw me do this and sent a ranger after me, but not before I managed to get a wristband off someone packing out on the tail end of their trip. The next hiker I saw, I managed to get a piece of duct tape off of so I could tape the wristband to my wrist. No less than 30 seconds later on down the trail came a Havasupai ranger on horseback. I thought I was toast. After driving 13 hours, hiking for nearly three now, and going through the trouble to get a wristband off someone, here I was, going to have to turn around and hike back out after I was this close. But this had to be the dumbest ranger ever.

"Hey! Where you going?" he yelled as he came galloping up at full speed.
"Umm, I'm headed back to the campground. I left my wallet on a picnic table at my campsite, " I said.
"Oh. I got a report of someone trying to get down in here without a reservation and you fit the description," he said.
"Oh. Well, I have a wristband," I said and held out my wrist.
"Ok," he said, and rode off.

Phew! Dodged a bullet there. How could this Indian not know I was the guy?! I mean, I didn't just fit the description. I WAS the description to a T: tall skinny white boy with a white shirt and grey shorts, and I was the first hiker coming in that morning. How many others would there be like me at that time in the morning?!

Realizing that the tribe was onto me, I quickly veered off onto a side trail going up a smaller canyon with Havasu Creek running alongside it. It's the side trail about a fourth of a mile before Havasu Falls. I hiked up about 200 feet or so, changed clothes, hid my backpack and hiked up the creek about a mile and had breakfast, I needed to buy some time to let the heat die down before I had to run the gauntlet down into the main cascade area below Havasu Falls.

About an hour later, I did just that. I got back on the trail, ran the gauntlet, and got down to Havasu Falls. I felt safe now, got into the creek and began cascade jumping and walking in the creek all the way down to Mooney Falls. To make a long story not as long, I basically spent all day in the water playing, but I wasn't about to push my luck and try to stay in the campground, as I know the rangers do a couple different sweeps late in the day to check permits.

So, I hiked my ass 10 miles outta the canyon that night. It sucked. I mean, it really sucked. My feet were totally sore, my back was killing me, and my ass was chafed beyond recognition, but a nice Havasupai Indian took pity on me and threw my backpack on one of his mules, which helped me immensely. I threw him a $20 and gave him a ride to the Hualapai Reservation after I got to the top of the trailhead that night.

All in all, I had been up for 36 hours and was a zombie when it was all done. Just completely spent. This is how NOT to do Havasupai. Yes, I got to do it for free, but only for 10 hours or so, and nearly got in trouble and spent days recovering physically from over-exerting myself.

YOLO!

2 months ago

Amazing 8 mile hike from hilltop to the village of Supai. Steep switchbacks for the first mile down then the trail leveled out. The beauty of the canyon and watching out for various trees and plant life kept me occupied. Once I began hearing the soft roar of Havasu Creek, excitement set it! Arriving at the village was amazing and felt like a step back in time. Such simplicity. Leaving the village to hike 2 more miles to Havasu Falls gave me a surge of energy. But, a mile into that remaining 2 miles, my feet began to hurt. My hurting feet distracted me from the Falls (50 ft and Little Navajo) we saw prior to Havasu. But at about the 2mile mark, when I stepped forward and looked to the right, there was Havasu Falls in all Her Glory! Wow. It was surreal. Did not look real to me at that moment. We walked on down to the Falls. The water temp was very cool and crisp. I sat on a rock in the creek looking at the falls and allowing my hurting feet , and eventually the rest of my body, to succumb to the numbness provided by the cold water. Much needed cryotherapy! All the pain stopped and I just took it all in. Luckily, our campsite was close to the Falls, so I visited there daily. A few times, I was the only person there. What a privilege ❤️. This was the reason I had wanted to come to this Reservation for over 20 years. Little did I know, what was in store for me below Havasu Falls. I am sure that I must return someday.

2 months ago

The trail is fairly long and not too difficult. The beginning and ends are where you run into elevation change. The rest of the hike is flat and well defined. Just make sure and bring plenty of water if you go during the summer months as you are exposed to sun for a good portion of the hike if you don't start really early. While the hike can be hard on the feet, the pain you you feel will be a small price to pay for the beauty you will see.

hiking
2 months ago

This place is amazing and worth the hike. The hike in is fairly easy, mostly downhill and if you leave early in the morning you will not feel the suns heat for almost the entire hike. We made it to the camp ground in 3 hrs 40 mins. The water and falls are worth every step. I would love to come back here some day. The hike out is a bit more difficult, the first 2 miles and the last mile and a half are the hardest parts. We made it from the campground to the parking lot in 4 hours flat. Again, Leave early to avoid the heat. by 8:30 am the sun is beating down on the final switchbacks. Leave early, bring lots of water and carry your own stuff if you can.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is exhausting yet exhilarating! We carried about packs down. Mine was 35lbs! The switchbacks were no joke. Once you get passed it it was flat. Nothing extreme except the total number of miles that you put in! By the time we reached little Navajo falls my party was done! We blame it on our heavy packs! We stayed 3 nights 4 days so we had a lot of food and gear since we did not know what the weather would be like. The hike back up was easier since we didn’t hike with our bags. It was hard but not as hard as coming down with for packs. Hiking back up and out of the switchbacks were hard but just take many breaks! I highly recommend trekking poles! Especially when you are tired, it just gives an extra push. We went March 14-17 and it was way cooler but we would get hot once we were moving. Take plenty of snacks and water. I can’t imagine a warmer month how that feels. Enjoy!

3 months ago

PLEASE DO NOT GIRE THE ABUSED HORSES TO CARRY YOUR THINGS. This has been an issue for years and hikers who are unwilling to carry their own things are the problem. Please, please, don’t support the abuse of these animals.

3 months ago

It’s not so much about the trail but the destination with this one. We slept in the car at the hilltop parking lot and got an early start. It was nice watching the sunrise as our adventure began. It’s a nice and easy walk. Be sure to carry your own bag!

3 months ago

We spent the night at a hotel and drove to the Hilltop parking lot in the morning. Started our decent at 7:45am, made it to Supai around 11am to check-in. Going in was long but manageable with two short breaks. Took a longer break in Supai. Roughly a 2 mile walk to the campground, trail is well traversed so I felt it was easy to identify.

The trail down to Mooney is not as well marked. There is a tube you descend to ladders and chains that are very wet due to the spray from the waterfall. Trail down to Beaver is well-traveled and you will cross the river three times on the trail I followed. I think the mileage on the map provided at check-in is inaccurate but I didn't track it via GPS.

Hike out is strenuous with a steep section starting at Havasu Falls that is maybe .5 miles. Then it's just long with gradual incline until the last 1.5 miles (estimate). Then it is a decent incline for about a mile and a steep ascent the last .5 mile. Slow and steady with lots of water and you'll make it.

We carried our own gear and made from Supai to Hilltop in 4 hours. We are in average shape and in our 40's.

The campgrounds are tight and there isn't a lot of room between, so privacy isn't an option. There is a fresh water spring, so water isn't a problem in camp. You can grab food in Supai at the market or the cafe, which can help reduce pack weight (limited options, so don't only rely on it). There is frybread for sale almost daily in camp. There are compost toilet but bring your own paper, as it runs out fast.

It was worth trip. Reservations go the day open for the year. We went in March and it was perfect for hiking and sleeping, not so much if you want warm weather for swimming.

3 months ago

My rating is based solely on the hike to and from camp. It gets hot so try to leave early in the morning or late at night. Bring lots and lots of water.

3 months ago

A long trek well earned with a beautiful destination

camping
4 months ago

Amazing!!!!!! Backpacking and camping could not get any better than this!!!❤️❤️❤️

backpacking
4 months ago

Can’t get any better views than on this trail and down at Havasu Falls!

Bring lots of water and have the best hike ever!

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked this trail in January 2015 and it was a very comfortable temperature, in the 60's. The trail from the rim to the Supai Village was very scenic and offered some shade along the way. After we got to the village, we hiked to the falls and stopped at Mooney Falls. The trail becomes super steep at that point and we turned back to the village where we spent the night. We brought lots of water and snacks, sandwiches. Do not attempt this hike in hot weather. If you do, start super early, put on lots of sunscreen, bring plenty of snacks and water. Then hike out super early the next morning. The hike up is the most challenging part, coming out of the canyon. The falls are stunning and beautiful but the village of Supai is littered with trash and the animals are being taken care of. That was shocking for us to see.

camping
5 months ago

Completed this hike last week. Recommend mules to carry camping gear. Use daypack to hike in. Each one of us brought 2 liters and two extra water bottles. Only use 1.5 each. Weather was great. Sun does come up of the hilltop and gets warm quick. While walking through the canyon, plenty of shade to find. Once you make it to the office to check in, you still have 2 miles to the campground. Brought only what we needed and slept great through the night. Amazing trip. When ppl say pictures dont do justice...very understated. A must!!

backpacking
5 months ago

Can’t believe this is in Arizona. One of my all time favorite trails. The blue water looks like the Caribbean and the waterfalls are a incredible.

backpacking
5 months ago

Backpacked over an extended weekend here. Permits were somewhat difficult to obtain to get on the reservation itself. Fairly flat hike in (except in/ out of the valley). We started very early in the morning but the hike did get very hot during midday sun. No need for a guide, everything was easily followed. The views and waterfalls were out of this world. We happens to take this trip when the Milky Way was above the falls, it was a once in a lifetime experience. This definitely was on my bucket list. Only disappointment was the amount of trash left at parts of the trail. It was definitely worth it, I would recommend this!

5 months ago

Great hike specially if you’re with good company. Start early, it can get hot! If you can, rent a donkey for your stuff, just bring snacks and water with you.

hiking
7 months ago

If you are a lover of animals, BEWARE! You’ll want to remove this from your bucket list if you have any sensitivities to witnessing animal neglect. I wish I had read these reviews instead of listening to word of mouth on how great it was. If I had really known about the conditions of the animals I honestly never would have gone. I felt I was actually in a third world country based on the conditions of the animals in the town of Havasu, the hill top, and even close to camp. Within the first 15 minutes of my hike in I witnessed a horse carrying who knows how much weight in coolers almost fall to its death slipping on a switchback corner then almost getting its neck broken because it was part of a roped group and the horses didn’t stop right away; random hikers were the ones who helped lift/push it to be rescued because the carrier person didn’t want to free it of its gear to be freed of the neck wrapped rope and the impending cliff edge, I saw many starving horses, starving dogs and some animals sick with diarrhea because they weren’t getting proper nutrition and vet care, and horses standing in extreme heat with bleeding open sores. I’ve uploaded pics I could take of horses without breaking tribal respect for no pictures. Being on tribal land and not having adequate cell service to report concerns until by then it could no longer be “tracked/found” was crushing. Please read all the reviews and follow the advice of others in that if you do decide to go DO NOT use a hiking guide company that contracts with the pack mules - force them to use the helicopter, do not use the pack mules yourself, and do not uses horses as a way out. Support the tribe’s needs in other ways... with funding for food, education, etc and alternative options for supporting the tourism that helps them support their own families. Do right by the animals by not further funding this type of demand. Although it was pretty it wasn’t worth all the pain and suffering I saw around me. Also a sewer line broke up in town and was contaminating the water so enjoying the water was off limits the entire time we were there. All I really could and wanted to do the entire time was think of a good solution that would help end the cruelty yet work for the poor families, but I realized as long as people pay to use the pack animals, and there’s no federal intervention, this will continue. This wasn’t what I expected from what others raved about (some people choosing to ignore the problem?) and let’s just say I definitely didn’t get home feeling serene or relaxed from my “vacation” as expected. Go to Zion’s instead. Hike Angels landing, the narrows, or hike the Grand Canyon. Many other bucket list hikes with a good sense of challenge to chose from if you don’t have the stomach for this and aren’t ready to backpack in and out yourselves, or research a company that doesn’t perpetuate the mistreatment (I don’t know if one). Get it in writing though. I’ve seen companies say they were boycotting for change which made it to press, but they are back to using the mules. Do the research if you decide to use a guided service!

7 months ago

Does anybody know if you need permits for this trail?

hiking
8 months ago

We started the hike at 12:45 PM. Weather is OK in November to start late. Took about 4 hours to the village of Supai. A tribe of about 209 people. They are dependent on tourists but tourism is not developed ( a good thing) and adults remain aloof mostly. The children are a lot more friendly. The hike is nice, not too hard. Didn't need more than 1 liter of water per person.

9 months ago

Wonderful. The trail in and out was not bad at all. I will go back again.

backpacking
11 months ago

Our group left the Hilltop at about 2:45am so we could avoid the morning heat. We arrived in Supai just after the sun had risen about 4 hours later. I highly recommend leaving as early as possible since the canyon doesn't offer much shade. Wear shoes with stability because the majority of this hike (once down the switchbacks - about 2 miles down) is in a wash. Gorgeous hike with beautiful canyon sights. We didn't see any other people until we reached Supai and others were up and hiking out. I suggest carrying at least 3L of water and some powdered Gatorade for electrolytes and calories! You won't have access to clean water until you get to Supai and then 2.5 later at the campgrounds spring. We didn't filter the spring water, which was fine! The remainder of the hikes to Mooney, Beaver, and Havasu were gorgeous. You'll pass Havasu on your way to the campgrounds (about .5 miles before the camping area boundary). Mooney is about .75 miles from the beginning of the camping area with a hike down the cliff in addition. Beaver is another 2.8 miles down from Mooney. Our group hiked to Beaver partially through the water (we didn't use the trail for the first mile) and then utilized the trail for the last 1.8 miles. Absolutely amazing trip! If you go during the week, the crowds aren't large. We had Havasu to ourselves each morning until about 8am and we had Mooney to ourselves in the late afternoon. Highly recommend!

backpacking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Our group of 12 started out from Hualapai Hilltop at about 8am for the hike into Supai. This trial is hot and dry and most people head out early in the morning in order to avoid the midday heat. If you're looking for solitude, this isn't the place. As Havasu Falls is very popular, the trail is crowded with people hiking into Supai or on their way back out. In addition to hikers, mule trains would periodically come through carrying packs and supplies to and from the town of Supai. The hike into Supai is relatively easy once you descend into the canyon. From there it is mostly level terrain across the sandy and gravel trail. It took us about 5 hours to get into Supai as we spent a lot of time stopping for photos, taking breaks where our guides would give us some explanation of the area, and waiting for the others in the group to catch up. Once in Supai, you had to check in and from the town it was another 2 mile hike to the campgrounds. We hiked out 3 days later. We left the campground in the dark at 5:15am. A group of 4 of us took the lead hiking at a good pace with minimal stops. We were eager to get back to Hualapai Hilltop before we lost most of the canyon shade and the heat of the day set in. The last uphill part through the switchbacks back to Hualapai Hilltop was definitely brutal but our group of 4 were able to make it back at 8:30 with the last of our group finishing just after 9:30

Load More