Reservations are required and can be notoriously difficult to obtain. The online reservation system
has helped make this easier but planning months in advance is suggested. Trail access is typically made by backpacking in 10 miles from Hualapai Hilltop via the Havasu Falls
trail or by helicopter and then a two mile hike from Supai Village. Water shoes are convenient to combine hiking, water crossings, and swimming.
Start from the Haulapai Hilltop parking area and follow the Havasu Canyon Trail which immediately descends into the canyon via a mile of switchbacks. Despite its grade, the trail is well maintained and quite wide. After reaching the canyon floor, follow a riverbed deeper into the canyon; you'll find the shade as the canyon walls seem to grow around you. At the canyon junction you'll turn left into a relative oasis. The river here has allowed for trees and shrubs to grow and you'll feel refreshed by the shade. In a couple of miles you'll reach the village of Supai where you can check in at the Havasupai Tourist Office. A couple miles beyond the village you'll reach Havasu Falls and the Havasu Campground.
After about a mile, the trail narrows and drops 200 feet suddenly through a series of narrow switchbacks, two tunnels, and a misty section of exposed scrambling and ladders to the bottom of Mooney Falls
. The trail continues on along the left side of Havasu Creek for about a quarter mile until a knee deep stream crossing is required to the right side of the creek. About 200 yards later, a series of marginal makeshift bridges are available to cross back to the left side of the creek.
The trail continues for another mile with a large section of wild grapevine and then tree cover until another knee deep crossing is made to the right side of the creek. The trail continues for nearly a half a mile ending with simple scrambling up the lower portion of the canyon wall and then dropping back down a series of ladders to the beautiful cascades and pools of Beaver Falls.
The area of Beaver Falls is nice to explore both in and out of the water as there are fine spots to wade and scramble around the cascades.
Continuing down the trail you'll cross the creek several time (use rock cabins to guide you) and negotiate several cliffs and ledges (sometimes they have stairs...). There are trees and shrubs along the bottom of the canyon so its possible to find shade if you need it. You'll reach one steep section where you'll need to climb up and over a canyon way but from there to the river its pretty easy going. Because of all the calcium carbonate dissolved in the water, limestone is deposited, reflecting sunlight and giving the creek its wonderfully bright blue-green color.
Once you reach the river, take a rest to enjoy the views!