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5 Amazing Waterfalls of Havasupai

  

Category:  Fields and Streams

Via:  kavika  •  11 months ago  •  34 comments

By:   Kristen Bor (Bearfoot Theory)

5 Amazing Waterfalls of Havasupai
Planning a trip to Havasupai? Learn about the five amazing waterfalls of Havasu Canyon including where they are, tips for visiting, and more!

Many people regard some of the western states as nothing but desert. But in that desert are hidden gems that are well worth any trip and this is one of them. 

The Waterfalls of Havasu Canyon in Arizona is the home of the Havasupai people and has been for thousands of years. They are the guardians of the river and falls.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



ByKristen Bor February 17, 2023

Planning a trip to Havasupai? Learn about the five amazing waterfalls of Havasu Canyon including where they are, tips for visiting, and more!

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Havasu Canyon is home to the Havasupai Tribe of Arizona, whose name is translated to "people of the blue-green water." If you've seen photos of the Havasupai waterfalls, it's easy to understand how they got their name.

The creamy aquamarine, spring-fed Havasu Creek gets its exquisite color from heavy limestone deposits in the cliffs that line Havasu Canyon.

Most visitors who get a permit to Havasupai can't wait to see the stunning Havasu Falls, but what they don't realize is that there are actually several waterfalls in Havasu Canyon, all of which display that incredible teal color.

Both times I've visited Havasupai, it felt like I was transported to an otherwordly turquoise oasis that was magically placed in the middle of the desert. Honestly, this place seems to defy nature.

In this post, I give you the scoop on these 5 waterfalls of Havasu Canyon along with some of my favorite photos from my trips. If you want more info on the trail, camping, permits, directions, and other logistics, be sure to read my Havasu Falls Permit and Camping Guide.

Important Reminder: As it goes in all of the destinations we share, please practice good trail etiquette and remember to Leave No Trace. This means packing out all of your garbage (including toilet paper), being respectful to others on busy trails, and following the established rules.

Where are the Havasupai Waterfalls?


Havasu Canyon is located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Arizona. The canyon empties into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park.

The map below shows the location of the 5 waterfalls of Havasu Canyon. Three of the waterfalls (Havasu, Mooney, and Beaver) are located closest to the campground while Old Navajo Falls and Fifty-Foot Falls can be visited either on your hike into the campground or on your way back out.

Important: You cannot visit these waterfalls without a permit or as a day hike. You MUST obtain Havasupai Campground reservations before hiking to see these falls.

The 5 Waterfalls of Havasu Canyon


1. Fifty Foot Falls


Fifty Foot Falls is located about 8.5 miles from the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead and a mile or so past Supai village where you need to check in at the tourist office before continuing on the campground.

On my first visit to Havasupai, I was tempted to keep going past Fifty Foot Falls. I thought we should find a nice campsite, set up our tent, and then go hang out at Havasu Falls - thinking that one was going to be the real treat.

The only thing that stopped us from continuing to the campground is that we were hot and tired from the hike and ready for a swim. Plus the river was insanely beautiful with tons of travertine pools where we could sit and hang out right in the middle of the river.

After passing through the village of Supai, we took the obvious side trail down the hill that led to the river. Once you are down the hill, head left on a less obvious trail until you get to the large pool below Fifty Foot Falls.

This waterfall and the cascades below it ended up being my favorite for swimming. The falls get plenty of afternoon sun and - at least when we were there - we had the pool all to ourselves!

Fifty-Foot Falls

The lesson is, Fifty Foot Falls is definitely worth a stop on your way to the campground. The two miles from Supai to the campground is downhill and once you get down there, you probably won't want to make your way back up.

Alternatively, if you do really want to get to the campground early to get a good campsite, you can also visit Fifty Foot Falls on your hike back to the trailhead at the end of your stay.

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2. Navajo Falls & Little Navajo Falls


Navajo Falls is directly below Fifty Foot Falls so you can easily hit both of these at the same time.

Apparently, Navajo Falls used to look quite different but in 2008, a flash flood roared through the canyon and completely changed the waterfall. From what I've heard, Navajo Falls today is smaller than it used to be, but it is still amazing.

There's also a second waterfall that was created due to the flood called Little Navajo Falls (or New Navajo Falls), which is just a short distance down the river.

Be sure to check out the ledge behind the falls!

One of my favorite features of Navajo Falls is the hidden ledge that runs behind the waterfall. Be sure to check it out!

There's also a really nice flat rock right above Navajo Falls that is the perfect spot to take in the view and spend some time sunbathing!

Pack a lightweight backpacking chair so you can sit and relax at the falls

A note about monsoon season: Monsoon season in Arizona typically runs from mid-June through September. Havasu Canyon has historically seen flooding, including dangerous flash floods. Be prepared by checking the weather forecast, complying with rules and regulations, and checking in at the tourist office before you head to the campground.

3. Havasu Falls


Havasu Falls is down the hill about three-quarters of a mile past Navajo Falls. The first time I visited Havasupai, I was worried that when I got to Havasu Falls, it wasn't going to be as beautiful as the pictures I'd seen. That was definitely not the case! I was so happy to find that the falls are even more stunning in real life.

When you first approach Havasu Falls, the trail comes in from above on the left side. There are some great photo ops on the way down the hill, so make sure to stop and snap a few shots.

Views of Havasu Falls from the trail above

Once you get down to the bottom of Havasu Falls, hang a right down the side trail to get to the pool. There are several picnic tables where you can sit, have a snack, or stash your stuff while you go for a swim.

Beware of sneaky, food-snatching marmots, though, and make sure you don't leave any tasty treats or loose gear out for them.

Havasu Falls is much more powerful than Fifty Foot and Najavo, but the pool is still totally swimmable. It does see shade in the afternoon, which could be good or bad depending on the time of year you visit.

For nighttime photography, Havasu Falls is your best bet. It's the closest and easiest to get to from the campground in the dark. Plus the canyon walls aren't so tall that you can't get the night sky in your photos.

4. Mooney Falls


Mooney Falls is a short distance past the campground, but the trail to get down to the pools at the bottom is pretty sketchy by most people's standards. I recommend wearing a small daypack for your stuff so your hands are free to help you down the steep, slick rocks, and ladders.

The trail down to Mooney Falls is steep and can be slick. Take your time and go slow

I'm not saying this to scare you, the trail down is totally doable, but it's better if you know what you are in for. The good news is that the climb down is pretty short and doesn't take more than 10-15 minutes. Once you are there, the canyon opens up for many more miles of river to explore.

Mooney Falls is the tallest and most forceful of the 5 waterfalls of Havasu Canyon, and if you choose to swim in Mooney Falls get ready for some turbulence. The mist alone is enough to leave you pretty soaked!

Mooney Falls is the tallest and most powerful waterfall in Havasu Canyon

5. Beaver Falls


In terms of scenery, Beaver Falls was my favorite of the five Havasupai waterfalls. It's deep down in the canyon about 2.5 miles past the campground. The trail to get there is dynamic, with ups and downs, river crossings, and amazing views.

Before you walk down the hill to get to the falls, there is a small bluff with a picnic bench. I recommend stopping here to take some pictures. It's also a great place to have lunch before or after your swim.

What was really cool about Beaver Falls was that you could walk up from one pool to the next and there is also a trail that runs up the left side. While some places were deep, a majority of the pools were shallow enough to wade in and you could sit right in the falls and let the water pour over you.

Beaver Falls is - in my opinion - the prettiest waterfall in Havasu Canyon

You should be aware that Beaver Falls (at least in March) was totally in the shade when we arrived. The canyon walls are steep and by the time we arrived in the early afternoon, the sun was long gone. Again, in summer, that's probably a good thing, but just something to keep in mind, depending on the weather.

Best Time to Visit the Havasupai Waterfalls


Permits for Havasupai are available year-round and reservations for the year open on February 1st. Permits usually sell out quickly on that date.

The best time to go depends on what you're hoping to see and do.

July and August are typically the busiest months since many people are on summer break or vacation, but these months are also great for swimming.

If you're looking for cooler, but still pleasant, temps, spring (March, April, and May) and fall (September, October, and November) are my favorite times to visit.

Winter can also be a nice time to plan a trip, but be prepared with warmer clothes, especially if you intend on hiking to the different waterfalls.

READ NEXT

  • Havasu Falls Permit and Camping Guide
  • Complete Havasu Falls Packing List
  • Havasu Falls: Do's and Don'ts for a Successful Hike
  • 3-day Backpacking Checklist

Have you visited Havasu Falls? Which is your favorite Havasupai waterfall? Which one are you most excited to see in person? Leave a comment below!

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Article is LOCKED by moderator [Split Personality]
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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     11 months ago

Please click on ''seeded content'' to view the photos of the falls.

It's a 5 to 7 hour hike into the falls and there are no roads one must hike, pack mule, or use a helicopter.

Permits are required and the wait can be over a year to obtain one. 

It is well worth the trip and I would highly recommend it having done it a number of years ago and staying for more than one overnight I became infatuated with the canyon, the falls, and river, and the people.

Photos of Havasu Canyon and the falls. 

Enjoy your hike.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @1    11 months ago

Super beautiful but at my age I can't do a 5 hour hike with a bunch of gear.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1    11 months ago

They have pack mules to take you in or for the super spoiled a helicopter...jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png

Come on girl I did it in my late 50's.

512

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @1.1.1    11 months ago

Mules live to 50+?

I might trust a mule. I would rather go by helicopter

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.2    11 months ago

I forgot to add on the helicopter you have to repel out of it, you know just like in the military. jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.4  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1.1.3    11 months ago

meh, the pilot will hover 3' over a deep spot for a $50...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @1.1.3    11 months ago

Now you're just pulling my leg

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @1.1.4    11 months ago

That I can do. I just hope the deep spot is at least 10 feet deep

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.7  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.5    11 months ago
Now you're just pulling my leg

I would never do such a thing, Trout. Well maybe once, ummmm on second thought, yeah I would.jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1    11 months ago

part of my favorite vacation land.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @1.2    11 months ago

Have you been to Havasu canyon, devan?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2.2  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1.2.1    11 months ago

no, I need the helicopter...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.3  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @1.2.2    11 months ago

LOL

 
 
 
shona1
PhD Quiet
1.2.4  shona1  replied to  Kavika @1.2.3    11 months ago

Morning...looks a truly spectacular area to visit. You don't realise many desert areas have spectacular gorges, rock formations, water falls and billabongs..lot more to offer than just sand, flies and assorted bities...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.5  seeder  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @1.2.4    11 months ago

Some of the areas are truly spectacular, shona.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2  Buzz of the Orient    11 months ago

Beautiful.  Where I grew up there was a small waterfall nearby called Webster's Falls, and we lived less than an hour's drive from Niagara Falls.  Waterfalls have always been special to me.  I once thought I would have loved to live in the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Falllingwater House, but more recently I realized what it would do to my bladder. 

By the way, I changed the seed category from News and Politics, which it is not, to Fields and Streams.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    11 months ago
but more recently I realized what it would do to my bladder. 

LOL, I know the feeling. 

By the way, I changed the seed category from News and Politics, which it is not, to Fields and Streams.

Thanks, forgot to make the change.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    11 months ago

I grew up near Fallingwater but never toured it

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
3  Gsquared    11 months ago

It looks like a very beautiful spot.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @3    11 months ago
It looks like a very beautiful spot.

It is, G. The water is the color of turquoise which comes from the limestone walls of the canyons.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
3.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @3.1    11 months ago

Fantastic.  I'm assuming you've been to Tahquitz Falls in Palm Springs?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @3.1.1    11 months ago
I'm assuming you've been to Tahquitz Falls in Palm Springs?

Many times, G. My uncle back in the day was an attorney and worked with the Agua Caliente for years. There was a time that the Aqua Caliente closed the area to everyone. They (tourists) were trashing the area and not respecting the culture and history of the area.

They are opening a new and spectacular cultural center in the center of Palm Springs. It should be opening anytime.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
3.1.3  Gsquared  replied to  Kavika @3.1.2    11 months ago

I've also been there many times, starting in the early 60's when I was a kid.  One of my favorite places.

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
4  Hallux    11 months ago

And then there is Bears Ears National Monument in Utah ... visit it before it possibly disappears.

Utah Wants to Disable the Law That Led to the Creation of Four of Its Magnificent National Parks

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5  devangelical    11 months ago

I was on a fishing trip at glen canyon in may of '85, the rainy season. we had rented a 12' aluminum boat and headed down canyon from the marina. it was late in the afternoon, so we headed down an arm off the main channel to find a camping spot. after searching and searching for a beach we finally came upon a big pile of sand and beached the boat. we had to level a spot in the sand to pitch the tent. then the thunderstorm hit and it was raining so hard we had to cook inside the tent. the rain seemed to be coming down in a continuous torrent, judging by what the roof of the tent was doing, but we managed to get to sleep. the next morning I opened the tent to find that the pile of sand we had pitched the tent on was missing on my side of the tent and the canyon arm was clogged with driftwood that had washed down the inlet. apparently the sand pile where we had decided to camp was what was left from the last thunderstorm inspired waterfall off the top of the canyon above us. we changed camp sites and were a bit more cognizant in the selection of the next one after being reminded of dangerous flash flooding in the desert. I got to witness this type of impromptu waterfall event at other times since then, from a safe distance.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @5    11 months ago

Now that is an adventure.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @5.1    11 months ago

Too adventuresome.

I like "glamping"

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1.1    11 months ago

camping = no room service

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @5.1.2    11 months ago

My idea of roughing it is no coffee maker in the hotel room

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6  Perrie Halpern R.A.    11 months ago

Wow, I never heard of these falls. They look amazing and I would like to add them to my bucket list. I'm with Trout, that it is a bit much to hike... Maybe a donkey? Not a fan of helicopters. 1 engine and no wings.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6    11 months ago

LOL, you're too funny. They are mules not donkeys and they carry your gear, not you. You have to ''hoof it'' down to the bottom and back out. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @6.1    11 months ago

f that...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @6.1.1    11 months ago
f that...

Is that a ''no way''?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.3  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @6.1.2    11 months ago

with an exclamation point...

 
 

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