Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls Trail

HARD 487 reviews

Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls Trail is a 21.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Supai, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
21.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,628 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

cave

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Permit Required The Havasupai Indian Reservation is not part of the Grand Canyon National Park, but you cannot tell that from the scenery. From your very first step at the trailhead parking lot until your return at the end of your trip, you will be swiveling your head side to side to take it all in. The water is a turquoise blue/green and the perfect way to refresh the tired legs and back after the 12 mile trek down to the campground. Hitting the trail The parking lot at the trailhead is stunning to say the least. It is perched more than 1000 feet above the valley floor and provides one of the best vistas of the trip. The trail starts with a steep descent down the face of the box canyon to the valley floor by way of a series of switchbacks. If you have creaky knees, you will definitely feel this descent! Be on the lookout for the approaching mules. They have the right-of-way, and won't stop to wait for you to move to the side. Once you reach the valley floor, the trail bends to the north and follows the wash for 8 miles into the Indian town of Supai. Along the way, the canyon walls draw closer and the surroundings become more grand. You get a sense for the true size of the canyon walls when then tower hundreds of feet straight up as you make your way down the canyon. There is more shade in this narrow section of trail. The sun doesn't have the angle to penetrate the canyon and it helps to keep temperatures down. In this slot section ( which starts at about mile 7), you really need to watch for the mule packs. As they approach, move to the canyon wall side and not the cliff side. The wrong move could be disastrous as these animals move through. At the end of the slot section, it opens and the Havasu Creek comes in from the right side. As you cross the open expanse, following the trail as it curves to the left, you will hear the water for the first time. It comes into view as you enter the heavier vegetation. The town of Supai is close. You will follow the irrigation channel into Supai. The two miles following the town of Supai are packed with waterfalls, blue-green water, and tons of photo opportunities. It's just 2 miles to Havasu Falls from Supai. The campground and Mooney Falls are just beyond that.

hiking
4 days ago

Absolutely loved my time here! It’s a beautiful oasis worth the wait and effort to go!

16 days ago

Awesome fall, supai permits required
Unless you are hiking in from the Colorado river.

backpacking
24 days ago

Spectacular hike. Well worth it and totally doable. We were a group of moderately in shape adults and one 11-year old, and while it was definitely a challenge it was totally doable. Hike EARLY or LATE to avoid the sun, because it is brutal. We didn't use the mules or the helicopter and 100% recommend doing it this way! You feel so much more accomplished when you finish, and it's totally worth it.

We started the hike down at 5:00am and were to the campground at about 10:00am. The campground is great and there is plenty of shade and great places to hang hammocks (we were worried about this before, but we didn't have trouble finding trees to strap to). The spring water at the bottom is clean and doesn't require a filter, which is awesome!

We carried 4 L of water each down and up. On the way down we had plenty of water to spare, but on the way up we were cutting it close. We left about 4:20pm and hiked up waterfall to waterfall, making the distances in the sun short before getting to the next waterfall to spend a few last minutes in and immerse ourselves before continuing. We arrived at the village at about 7:00pm, where we filled our water one last time and began the final ascent, arriving to the parking lot a little before midnight. Make sure you have plenty of water and a good snack waiting for you in the car. Hiking in the dark wasn't bad and it made the weather perfect for the hardest parts of the hike! The trail is pretty easy to follow, as long as you are paying attention. Also the stars were spectacular, seriously maybe the best I've ever seen, so that's an added bonus to hiking at night.

We didn't see any snakes and only one scorpion on the way up, which I was relieved about. The squirrels are a real issue, just make sure you don't leave stuff out and you should be fine.

THIS HIKE IS WORTH EVERY MOMENT. I have never seen water that color before and it was just spectacular all around. YOU CAN DO IT.

backpacking
26 days ago

Awesome all three times I visited this amazing place!

backpacking
27 days ago

One word.... “Amazing”!

backpacking
1 month ago

Getting the permit for the Havasupai and Mooney Falls can be difficult to get. Permits are ONLY sold by the the Havasupai tribe. Please be respectful as you are a guest into their lands. Obey all rules, regulations and possible warnings throughout the hike. BACKPACK OUT YOUR TRASH!!! Bring WATER!

For our trip it was 3 day/2 night. I backpacked mainly snacks and 2 courses for dinner. But down in Supai, they also have a grocery store, small restaurant and selling stands so if you want, you don’t need to really pack a lot of food. I took my 3L water bladder with me. There is water down in the store to buy to refill your water bladder. Also a spring and creek water you can drink (recommend bringing a filter). I brought my sleeping bag but didn’t use it. Mainly used my sleeping pad to sleep on since it is summer. Also HIGHLY RECOMMEND packing light as possible, the hike back up can get difficult. BRING WATER SHOES!!!

When I started our trip down, our group started at 4:30am and got down to Supai, AZ around 8:40am (we took our time). The first section has a few switch backs but nothing too strenuous. Second section you get to the bottom of the canyon and hike on flat surface until you get to Supai. That’s roughly ~9miles from top to Supai. Be aware there are mules on the train that run cargo in and out of the canyon. If you leave early enough, you won’t have to worry about them until the bottom of the canyon. When we went they are meeting us in the 2nd section of the canyon.

Once you get to Supai you will follow the trail leading into the main section of the community. Again, stay on trail until you get to Supai. You need to check in at the Tourist office with your reservation. From there another 2 mile hike to get to the campgrounds. On the way you’ll see Little Navajo Falls and Havasupai Falls. Then the campground. Mooney Falls is just past the campgrounds as well as Beaver Falls.

As I was there is was an amazing experience to see the falls and also to get to know the locals of the Havasupai tribe. The families we met were very kind and willing to answer questions I had about the tribe and meaning of the waterfalls. Learning their history and culture brought the hiking experience more alive.

1 month ago

Wow, just wow.

Started the hike into the reservation at 5:30 AM sharp and ended up down to our camp site by 10:30 after having checked in and stopping at the little market to get some coffee and drinks. The hike in wasn’t too bad as it is all downhill and we left early enough to avoid the sun entirely. Don’t make this mistake and leave any later as the sun will make this hike way more challenging than it needs to be. We walked all the way through the campsite to the far left near Mooney Falls because the sites there are right by the creek and magnificent, I recommend it.

We hiked out at 3 am sharp and I implore you to consider the same. The sun gets HOT and the incline back up with heavy backpacking gear is brutal. We left at 3 am and went HARD and finished by 6:40 AM, avoiding any heat or sun entirely. It was excruciatingly difficult with the heavy backpacking load but unbelievably beautiful to watch the sun rise and so rewarding to finish as strong as we did.

TAKE WATER, more water than you think you need.

Have fun :)

hiking
1 month ago

If you are somehow lucky and get a permit, this is the most unbelievable place. I always believed that the images seen online were edited. The area is just one wonder after another. The actual hike down is super quick and easy. We took off 4 am and never had an issue with the sun. Great desert landscape, but the real beauty is of course the falls. Havasu and Mooney are as amazing as they look. We loved the Mooney stairs down and rope swing. The hike to Beaver is absolutely worth it. Just a note, the hike out is much more difficult as it is more accent and you have probably just spent the last few days playing in the water. We were worn out before we even started and seeing that last mile of switchbacks up to the parking lot was not a fun sight. We also went right after someone drowned and right before someone died of heat exhaustion. Great hike, beautiful fall, dont be an idiot and you will be fine. Lots of water, hike early.

backpacking
1 month ago

I've been twice now: once with a youth group and once with family and friends. I certainly plan on returning at my next opportunity. The trek in and out is tough in the spring and summer heat but so worth it and can be mitigates by hiking in the early morning hours. The many majestic falls, waterway features, striking red rock, fauna, and wildlife combine to create one of nature's most spectacular desert oases.

We went, and 3 days isnt enough. you really need a day or even two at the popular falls. Also if you go to beaver falls, try and get there early, so there is plenty of sun to enjoy. This is also where you will get some of the famouse pictures of you walking in the beautiful waters. We packed to much stuff in my opinion. I wore the same clothes, swim suit, almost the entire time. Also leave extra water in your car for when you return. 32oz. almost didnt cut it, when we got back. Also pack extra mole skin.

1 month ago

Backpacked in 33 lbs. scenery was beautiful nearly all the way down. It got pretty dusty in the air by the village to check in because of the soft sand/dirt. I wish I would have packed something to help with that.

1 month ago

My favorite place on earth.

hiking
2 months ago

Cheers!
Does anyone have 3 extra camping/logging permits for June 13-20, 2018. I would love to buy it back if possible. Please help if you can. My email is izabella.h.jankowski@gmail.com

camping
2 months ago

Most amazing camping/hiking trip I’ve taken!

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful waterfalls! The hike to the falls isn’t very scenic but once you get there it’s insanely beautiful. If you go this time of year (June) I’d suggest bringing a light long sleeve and lots of sunscreen to avoid a sun burn. There is a store in the village (about 2 miles from the campgrounds) where you can buy snacks and drinks. Pack light!

2 months ago

Enjoyed the whole time . Downhill going in , challenging up on way back . Plus a bunch of alternative watering holes to hike to . Hike to Mooney was fabulous and a nice little challenge

2 months ago

What an adventure! Helpful tips would be, get there EARLY if you want a prime camping spot, take some cash for that fry bread burger at camp, take plenty of water for the hike out, seriously consider paying for a donkey to carry out your pack ($30), be prepared for hiking in mostly sand and watch out for the donkeys... they have no personal bubble lol.

2 months ago

Havasupai is an amazing backpacking trip! Don’t underestimate the sun, even if it’s 70, it will feel much hotter. I recommend backpacking and carrying your gear, not using the mules or horses- if you need assistance with your gear, maybe consider the helicopter. Definitely check out “the jungle”, it was our favorite swimming spot.

2 months ago

Beautiful and amazing hike!

2 months ago

This hike needs to be on everyone’s bucket list!

hiking
2 months ago

It’s a difficult hike with an amazing destination. It’s 1 mile of steep switchbacks down, another mile of winding less steep switchbacks, and then about 5 miles on the canyon floor. This will bring you to the last mile before Supai which is through the sand (you are in the desert) with the stream going alongside the trail on one side and the houses at the outskirts of the city on your other. During this mile, you’ll cross a couple of bridges and see signs directing you to Supai. Once you check in at Supai and get your wristbands, you hike another 2 miles to the campgrounds. It’s about a mile in that you see Navajo Falls on your left (beautiful and less busy than the other falls because it’s further from the campgrounds), then a half mile later you’ll see Havasu Falls on your right. Another half mile will bring you to the Ranger station at the front of the campgrounds. Campgrounds are a mile long ending at the top of Mooney Falls. That last 2 miles to the campground is sandy and very steep. The campsites at the front are closer to the ranger station, water, and Havasu falls but aren’t very private or too pretty. The further back you go, the more private and beautiful the campsites get. I’m a terribly slow hiker AND we used the pack miles to carry the majority of our things to the campground ($$$). The hike in took me 5.5 hrs and I was wrecked. We left at 5 am (before official sunrise but light enough to see) and got to camp at 11:30 am. We spent most of our days at Havasu Falls as my body was wrecked from the hike in but we did hike halfway down to Mooney to take pictures (stopped before the cave to the chains and ladders). I would’ve liked to go to Navajo falls but the uphill sandy 1.5 miles was too much for my wrecked body. On the way out, we left again at 5 am and it took me 5.5 hrs out (which is an amazing pace for me). The first 2 miles out through the sandy uphill was as terrible as I had anticipated. The 5 miles was fine as we were in the shady canyon. That last 2 miles is as brutal as everyone says. I had to take a lot of breaks but was normally able to find some shade to do so. My husband is a faster hiker than I am and got up the switchbacks before I did to get the car (parked 1 mile away) and was able to meet me with the car when I got up there. Tip 1: at the end of the hike, go straight to a restaurant (we went to Grand Canyon Caverns where we stayed the night before the hike) because you will be ravenous and want some real food. Tip 2: bring less food than you think you need. We had extras that we luckily were able to give away to some other campers in need but we definitely brought too much. They also sell fry bread near the ranger station at the campground which is delicious, inexpensive (bring cash!), and will help lighten your load. Don’t count on it in case it isn’t open, but don’t overpack food). Tip 3: camp near the bathrooms. There are 4. Finding your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night with a headlamp and bats swooping down towards you is terrifying. Tip 4: bring your camp shoes, swimming stuff, and tent with you if you use the pack miles because they don’t arrive down in the canyon until 3 pm and you want to set up your tent to reserve your spot ASAP (first come, first serve). Then you’ll immediately want to take your hiking boots off and cool off in the water. Tip 5: leave as early as you can to hike in and out. The sun/heat is brutal and you’ll want to take advantage of the cool mornings as much as possible while not hiking in the dark. Tip 6: bring at least the 3L of water per person for hiking in and out. We got close to finishing our water on the way in and did finish our water on the way out with those uphill switchbacks. Tip 7: bring something to keep from inhaling so much dust. Dust masks and bandanas across the face are common and will help a lot! Tip 8: For food and scented items (sunscreen, deodorant, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc), pick up at least 2 of the Home Depot/Lowe’s buckets at the ranger station at the campground on your way in, preferably with lids. Use them for your scented items, food, and garbage to protect from the squirrels. They are very adamant to get to your things. If you leave anything scented in your tent or bags, they will chew right threw them. Tip 9: I did this hike in late May and wish i hadn’t brought any jackets or long pants to sleep in. It was very warm even overnight and you do not need layers. I imagine this is true from May to at least August. To conclude this review, the hike and the waterfalls were gorgeous but the landscape is unforgiving so be very well prepared. Side note: I’m terrified of snakes and did this hike in late May 2018 and did not see/hear any snakes at all. There are rattlesnakes and coral snakes (highly poisonous and very small) in the area so be cautious of where you step and sit to rest.

hiking
2 months ago

Consistently one of the prettiest accessible places in the world that I have seen. GO!!!

backpacking
2 months 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

2 months ago

Have backpacked this trail 5 times the most recent trip was Sept 2011. The rating assigned here is slightly high as I would rate it a Moderate hike. Fantastic views great camping, new and improved toilet facilities and great food at the Indian operated cafe in the village. For those hikers with time on their hands and average endurance, the hike from the campsite to the Colorado River is well worth the effort. It’s a 6-8 hour round trip hike so allow yourself plenty of time so you don’t find yourself climbing up the difficult Cliff at Mooney Falls in the dark !

hiking
3 months ago

We were camped about a half mile from Havasu Falls on the Havasu Creek. I loved being close enough to Havasu Falls to leave camp anytime and sit or swim in the Falls. And I loved camping on the creek and hearing the continuous water flow. On the second day, we hiked down to Mooney Falls. I was nervous and knew that I might not make the 125 ft. descent down to Mooney due to fear of heights. But the more I heard about the hike below Mooney to Beaver Falls and the beauty of Beaver Falls itself, the more I knew that I had to try. Tamara, trail guide with Wildland Trekking, encouraged me to do it and told me she would be with me helping me to place my feet. I trusted her and I really wanted to make that descent. Upon inspecting the ladders and rocks and chains, I realized it looked scarier in person. I had read about this and had watched utube videos, but in person, it appeared much steeper and further down. But Tamara talked me through every step. I tried to only focus on taking the step she told me to take without thinking ahead to the step after. So, step by step, Tamara brought me down the 125 ft of tunnels, rocks, ladders, and chains! By the time I reached the bottom, I could hardly speak, my heart was pounding and my whole body trembling. A little to my embarrassment, I realized I was crying a little. A bundle of emotions ensued where fear, excitement, and pride were intertwined. “I thought I was going to die!!!”, “I did it!!”, “I’m so relieved to be on the ground”. “I WILL NEVER do that again!!”, and “oh my, I will get to see Beaver Falls!” - all this in just a few seconds, then I gathered myself and enjoyed the moment with Tamara and with my new friend, Kay, who lended words of praise and encouragement. We admired the 200 ft Mooney from the ground and it was spectacular! Now time to hike to Beaver Falls!

Wow, this part of the trip was an unexpected wonderland. This trip is not just about the Water Falls. I loved walking the path and seeing green vegetation, the lush Havasu Creek, the sand and sky. One of my favorite spots was a large Palm Tree that opened to a hidden oasis of the bluest water I have ever seen flowing in a creek or river. It looked so untouched and serene. I could have spent days there just enjoying the view and playing in the water.

We arrived at Beaver Falls. Wow!! I was not prepared for the beauty of this place. Tiered water falls, beautiful canyon walls, and a great spot for a picnic! We staying a couple of hours to visit, eat, swim, and marvel at God’s creation.

The hike back was incredible. Our guides promised us a surprise and they delivered. Big Time. We saw a gorgeous waterfall that was a gentle trickle. We enjoyed getting behind it in a cave. The scenery there was pristine. More tiers of waterfalls, tall trees. larger body of the flowing blue green Havasu Creek, the gentle spray of the waterfall. I had a feeling of being in the very most remote part of America. This land felt untouched by any modernization. I felt we had traveled back in time. I did not want to leave. AAANDD.. I really did not want to leave when I learned we must scale the rock waterfall to depart. Fear again. It was maybe 2 of me vertically. Maybe 12 ft high or so. Nothing like the 125 ft of Mooney but still, I was scared. Our male guide, Dean, said I would be fine. I asked him to go up right behind me and talk me through it. He did and it wasn’t so bad!

For me, the climb back up Mooney Falls was scarier than coming down. I’m not gonna lie.. going up was terrible for me. Tamara was right behind me which helped. She told me where to put each foot. At some point I panicked and just wanted off that ladder!! I started climbing fast and 1 of my feet slipped. I couldn’t find another spot for it. It was scary not having a point of contact for that foot for a couple seconds. The chance of falling was a reality to me. Everything was a little damp and my body felt tired by this point in the day. Fortunately, I found another rock for my right foot and quickly got myself in a better position. Tamara, told me that I was panicking and making bad decisions. At that point I began focusing. I told myself to focus on the rock I was on until Tamara told me to step to a new rock. So this is what I did until I made it into the tunnel. I felt safer in the tunnel. I think I abandoned all focus and abandoned Tamara at that point and just “got the heck out of dodge”. I was so relieved to be out of the tunnel and up from Mooney. My heart raced, my mind screamed something to the effect, “there is no way in hell I would EVER do that again”!!

It was a mile back to the campsight. I felt subdued as I tried to process all the day had held. So much I had longed to see for decades and beauty beyond just the Falls. And fear beyond any that I had ever volunteered for before. I wouldn’t have made it without Tamara, Dean, or Kay.

I’m still processing this trip a month later. Everyday I tell myself to focus on the

backpacking
3 months ago

beautiful.

3 months ago

I love it!!!!

backpacking
3 months ago

Thank you all, this group is really helpful....

Hiked in and out with 34+lbs backpack ,
Timeline for 3 days and 2 night. 04/29/2018-05/01/2018

Night before:
Drove to trailhead around midnight and slept in my car Parking lot was full so had to park around .60 mile away.

Day 1
Started at 6:50am, 9:50 am at supai village office, after small 5-10 min breaks at village and Navajo falls, I reached campgrounds around 10:45 am. Luckily got spot close to Mooney falls. Which added .8 mile.
(Things I did on first day, village, little Navajo falls, Havasu falls, Mooney falls, Fry bread **only cash**)

Day 2
I did confluence on day two, started at 7:00 am by 8:00 am at Beaver falls and 10:00 am at confluence. Don’t hike alone to confluence, luckily met Someone wonderful near beaver falls and we hiked together.
Important things: bring a lot of water or water filter. I had 4 liters and on my way back I had few drops left near Mooney. You don’t use as much water going but coming back you will need a lot. I wish I had water filter.
Start early to avoid heat and no hiking allowed after 11:00 am from beavers falls to confluence, I am 5’7 and deepest crossing was only waist high. After Mooney trail gets little confusing but easy to navigate. Had to cross river twice to get to beavers falls and ladder once’s. I did not go down to beavers falls. You will see small hut, stay on the trail above and you will see a small board on the ground saying no hiking after 11:00 am. If you don’t see that sign stop and ask. Had to cross river around 5-6 times after that. Hike to confluence is very pretty. After passing Small tunnel, you only cross river once to your left. If you stay on right side it’s hard to go down to confluence but if you stay left and get to small cliff, it’s easy to get down to river. Left confluence at 11:35 am and was back to Mooney around 3:30pm took few breaks coming back up. ****Follow the Cairns/stack of stones***

Campground to confluence 2:50 hours only water break, Confluence to campgrounds 4 hours.

Things I did on Second (confluence, swimming

3 months ago

Gorgeous place to visit the falls. Water is so refreshing.

3 months ago

great place to visit! the falls are spectacular

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