Havasu Canyon Trail to Supai

MODERATE 80 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
2155 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

trail running

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
1 day 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!

24 days 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.

26 days 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!

27 days 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.

1 month 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.

1 month ago

A long trek well earned with a beautiful destination

camping
1 month ago

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

backpacking
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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!

3 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
4 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!

5 months ago

Does anybody know if you need permits for this trail?

hiking
5 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.

6 months ago

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

backpacking
9 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
9 months ago

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

backpacking
10 months ago

Best advice for this hike - start as early as you can! We left the parking lot a little before 6:30 am and our early hike out time helped us reach the partly-shaded path in between the canyons before the sun reached its full morning strength. Hiking down isn't too bad - I would definitely suggest a walking stick, though. Hiking up on the other hand.... I didn't really believe that the switchbacks would be too hard (I am in good aerobic shape), but WHEW LET ME TELL YOU - hiking up those switchbacks with 35+ lbs on my back in the blazing sun is HARD. I would suggest at least 3L of water for the trip down to Supai and 4L of water for the trip back to the parking lot. Leave as early as you can for the trip back - there isn't any shade once you leave the canyon - and shade in the canyon is hard to come by as well, if you leave later! Also, the morning glow makes the canyon walls look super cool. This hike is well worth it, because it leads to one of the most magestic places on earth!!!!! Please don't abuse the mules - hike your own gear in and hike your own gear out (if physically capable and you haven't developed some sort of food poisoning / sickness while you are down at the campgrounds). Enjoy!!!

backpacking
10 months ago

Keep your pack light, your feet wrapped tight and your stay long... Majestic!

10 months ago

The hike into the campground from hilltop is mostly descending, and I would say yes it is moderate to easy getting there. The hike back out on the other hand, is challenging indeed. we left camp at 5:15am and didn't get to the Hilltop until 10:30, we dont take many rest stops and we hustled. I'd recommend leaving earlier to beat the heat (we went end of may). Those switchbacks are killer coming out when you're already tired and the heat is kicking in. Do the horses and mules a favor and don't contribute to thier use - its Animal abuse, and those who don't have horses wouldn't see it. enjoy!

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome hike, not very difficult but pretty. Stayed at the campsite & did the Beaver Creek Trail which was so peaceful, but get on the trail early to have it to yourself

camping
Monday, February 20, 2017

A must see and must experience the full hike to camp.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Really busy on Sunday

backpacking
Monday, October 17, 2016

Amazing! A must for your bucket list! Make time to see all the falls and camp out!

backpacking
Monday, September 19, 2016

This may be the Garden of Eden. The colors and sights are absolutely surreal. An incredible and challenging hike. I backpacked in during the end of April and temperatures were perfect.

camping
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Yea it could be done in a day but why? My wife and I hiked the 10 miles to Havasu falls and camped for two nights and Hiked out the third day. We went in April of 2016, weather was awesome, not too hot in the day and not too cold at night. We chose to go with a guide that packed our tent and provisions we only packed in our packs with clothes and typical hiking gear. Pygmy Guide service was great and seemed to be the cheapest of the available guides. Do yourself a favor and go to Moody falls, it is a bit sketchy getting down the canyon but well worth it, take some gloves.

camping
Friday, July 29, 2016

This is an incredible trail, correctly rated as moderate because of the steep descent on the way down. Once you get to the reservation, it's another couple of miles to camping. I don't think it's right to not make a reservation and not pay for camping. These are people who make most of their money off of the tourist seasons and who are generous enough to allow us on their spectacular land. Call WELL in advance for summer reservations, keeping in mind that flooding can happen in August, which is what shapes and changes the canyon and the waterfalls. Ah, the waterfalls. Bring a bathing suit because you'll want to spend every day swimming in the pools.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Did not have reservations, so bumbed two old bracelets (Natives use braclets for campers, color coordinated by day) off hikers leaving the camp. Left at 6am, arrived to the falls at 9:30 and falls at like 10ish. Did a day hike, and the hike back took about 4 and half hours. Doing the whole thing and avoiding paying for camping is doable.

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