If you are wanting to experience the waterfalls near the Grand Canyon, a Havasupai Falls permit is absolutely required to do so! We’re here to give you a complete guide to Havasu reservations like when permits go on sale, permit costs, and pretty much anything else you need to know to obtain your all access pass to Havasu Falls.
Havasupai Falls Permit
In addition to permits, you also need to book your stay in advance. If you don’t make reservations in time, there might not be enough accommodations in the campgrounds and many also find that the Havasupai tribe can be challenging to reach since they are somewhat private.
This is also one of the most popular areas in the Grand Canyon to visit which means that the lodge or campground can become booked full quite fast.
Where to Stay at Havasupai Falls?
If you want to visit Havasupai Falls, you have two accommodation choices…
- Havasupai Campground
- Havasupai Lodge
Regardless which option you choose, both accommodations require a permit and/or reservation.
In terms of proximity to Havasu Falls, the campgrounds are definitely the closer option of the two, but the lodge may be a little more comfortable for those seeking a bit of a reprieve from nature.
Depending on where you setup camp at the Havasupai Campground, you can be a few feet or up to .5 miles away from Havasu Falls. Whereas if you stay at Havasupai Lodge, located in the village of Supai, you are about a 2 mile hike from Havasu Falls (where that “reprieve” starts to look less accommodating).
Do You Need a Permit to Hike Havasu Falls?
The short and sweet answer, yes. You cannot visit Havasu Falls without a permit.
All people wanting to visit Havasu Falls MUST have a permit prior to arrival. Purchasing permits on site is not an option and access to Havasupai lands and Havasu Fall is absolutely prohibited unless a permit is obtained.
Don’t even try to sneak in either; there are consequences. Be smart, plan ahead, and visit Havasu Falls the right way – with permits in hand 🙂
Oftentimes, the money spent on the permit goes towards maintaining the land anyways.
NOTE: Each person will get a permit to place on their daypacks as well as on their tent. The Havasupai Tribe will go around and check so be sure to have your permit on your gear.
When Do Havasu Permits Go on Sale?
Keep in mind, there are two ways to purchase permits – 1) Havasupai Campgrounds and 2) Havasupai Lodge.
Permits for Havasupai Falls campground go on sale for the entire year on February 1st at 8am Arizona time.
Reservations for Havasupai Lodge go on sale June 1st at 8:00am for the following year, April to December. Meaning, Havasupai Lodge reservations cannot be made in the current year. You are reserving rooms for your stay the next year. On the bright side, that gives you plenty of time to prepare for the 10-20 mile hike.
TIP: Arizona does not honor daylight savings time. When trying to get reservations and permits for Havasupai, BE SURE you know what 8am Arizona time is in your time zone.
How To Get a Havasu Falls Permit?
1) Havasupai Campground Reservations
Havasupai reservations for the campground, can ONLY be obtained by purchasing permits from the Havasupai Tribe Website. You cannot make campground reservations for Havasu Falls over the phone.
To get your Havasu Falls permit, log into the site before 8:00am, and be ready to book your reservations as soon as the clock strikes 8:00am!
We seriously mean be ready. Havasu Fall permits can sell out for the entire year in just a few hours.
2) Havasupai Lodge Reservations
If you think Havasupai Falls campground reservations are going to be hard to get, well, the Havasupai Lodge reservations are even harder.
Havasupai Lodge only has 24 rooms, and those 24 rooms are what everyone who didn’t get campground permits want. Lodge reservations can only be made by phone – (928) 448-2111 or (928) 448-2201 – starting at 8am on June 1st.
How Much Are Havasu Falls Permits?
1) Havasupai Permit Costs: Campground
Depending when you visit Havasu Falls campground, during the week or weekend, prices will vary.
- Weekday Cost: $100 per person per night (Monday – Thursday)
- Weekend Cost: $125 per person per night (Friday – Sunday)
Havasu campground reservations are bookable on a 3 night / 4 day basis. Meaning, your total Havasupai permit cost will be in the range of $300 – $375 per person.
Single day permits and two day permits to Havasu Falls are not an option.
When making your reservations for Havasu Falls permits on February 1st, the Havasupai Tribe require payments made in full at the time of your booking.
2) Havasupai Reservation Costs: Havasupai Lodge
The 24-room, rustic lodge charges visitors the following rates to stay in the village of Supai.
- Deposit: $100 per room per night
- Nightly Rate: $440 per night
- Room Size: Rooms can accommodate up to 4 people
- Additional Fees: A $110 environmental fee per person
- Cancelation Policy:
- Full Refund: Cancelation 2 weeks before stay
- Non-Refundable: Cancelation within 2 week of stay
What Does The Permit Include?
Simply put, your permit allows you to access and enjoy the land, and that’s about it. Think of your permit as your “all-access” pass to the Grand Canyon waterfalls of Havasupai and nothing more.
Everything else you’ll need to enjoy / survive the trip needs to be brought in by you – i.e food, camping equipment, gear, clothing, etc. Literally everything.
Nothing is provided or given to you at Havasupai upon check in (besides your permits), so if you want/need something over the course of your time there, you’ll need to pack it yourself.
Havasu Falls Permit Transfer & Permit Refund
We get it, unforeseeable things happen. Such is life. So what happens if you bought permits to Havasupai Falls and can can’t go anymore?
Thankfully, something. Havasupai Falls permits are now 100% transferable as of 2019!
Havasu Falls Permit Transfer
For those folks weren’t able to get Havasupai campground permits on February 1st, you can check in daily for a list of permit cancellations on cancelation/transfer list on the official Havasupai Reservations website.
In order to view the permit cancelation/transfer list, you’ll need to login to your account or create an account to check the site for permit updates. The website is updated regularly.
Havasu Falls Permit Refunds
The folks who have permits and can no longer go, you can put your permits on the “transfer list” for sale.
Once your permits have been officially transferred and paid for by someone else, the Havasupai Tribe will issue a refund (minus a 10% transfer fee).
Havasu Falls Permit For Sale
If you don’t have any luck with getting Havasupai Falls permits on the cancellation/transfer list, try again next year. Purchasing tickets outside the official Havasupai Reservation site and cancelation/transfer list is prohibited.
Regardless, people still try and resell permits to visitors who are dying to see the amazing Grand Canyon waterfalls of Havasupai.
BE WARY of this as it is more than likely a scam (and probably illegal)!
First, you will pay significantly higher costs for the permit. Second, you will be stopped and turned away at check in when the tribe realizes the name on the reservation/permit doesn’t match the name on your ID.
All in all, stick to purchasing permits on the official site or try again next year. It’s not worth the risk and it’s disrespectful to the land.
Tips For Buying Havasupai Falls Permit
We’d be lying if we said getting permits for Havasu Falls is easy. These permits are a hot ticket item and rightfully so. Based on our experience we’re going to give you a list of helpful tips for buying your Havasupai Falls permit.
1) Make Your Account Ahead of Time
Before February 1st, you’ll need to put in some work ahead of time. Pay a visit to Havasupai Tribe Website and create an account. You’ll need to have an account in order to purchase permits for Havasu Falls.
We would hate for February 1st to come around and while everyone else is racing to buy permits, you are behind creating an account.
2) Be Logged In & Ready To Go
Cancel meetings, call into work and free up your morning, you have important things to accomplish!
Login to your already created account and be ready to go before the clock hits 8:00am because when it does, it’s go time!
3) Know What Time It Is In Arizona
Arizona does not honor daylight savings time. The night before tickets go on sale, it is in your best interest to double and triple check what 8am Arizona time is in your time zone.
4) Be Flexible On Your Days
The best thing you can do for yourself is be flexible on your days. You honestly have no idea what months and/or days of that month are going to be available until you’re in the site.
Have a range of months that you know will work for you and your schedule. Focus on that range and be ready to jump on whats available!
For instance, we focused on mid-September to mid-October. Whatever the first 4 days we saw that were available, we jumped on and bought. It might not be ideal, but this is the best way to get a reservation.
5) Avoid Desirable Times
Avoid long-weekends like Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends. These are perfect 3 night / 4 day getaways for Havasu Falls buuuuut that is what everyone else is also thinking.
Try and book during non-competitive times, like during the week. Week days not only save you money but are often easier to reserve permits for when compared to the weekend.
Also, pay attention to months that fall during Spring Breaks or Summer Break holidays. Families like to vacation during these times.
6) Avoid Group Buys
It’s best to limit your group to a small party – think 2-4 people.
The bigger the party, the more permits you have to buy which adds another layer of complexity. The permit buying process is already stressful but to try and coordinate a group of ten is SUPER stressful.
NOTE: There is 10 person maximum per permit reservation.
7) Don’t Give Up
We repeat, do not give up! When we purchased our permits, the website crashed on us 5+ times as we tried frantically for 2 hours to get our Havasupai Falls permit.
We thought for sure all the permits were sold out for the year but still, we DID NOT give up. To our complete surprise, once we were finally able to get into the site, there were permits available in the time frame we wanted.
Long story short, do no give up until you know FOR SURE that all Havasupai Falls permits are sold out for the year. And worst case, just check back often to see if anyone has had to give up their reservation.
Is Visiting the Havasupai Falls Worth the Effort?
With so much effort just to get a permit, many wonder if it is worth the trip at all. Well, these beautiful falls are considered to be one of America’s hidden gems.
Traveling to these falls is like finding an oasis in a desert. The crisp turquoise waters are a truly remarkable sight to behold and the journey to these falls is quite the hiking adventure.
So, in short, yes, visiting these falls is totally worth all the effort of getting campground reservation and making phone reservations.
That is, if you enjoy hiking and camping. If you like access to amenities and comforts, there are tons of other places throughout the United States that are fun to visit yet don’t require quite the same level of discipline (and luck) to earn a reservation.
Havasupai Falls Facts
These falls in the Grand Canyon are not just beautiful to behold, they’re a great place to seek out if you want to learn more about the Grand Canyon and the Havasupai tribe.
Here are a few quick facts to learn about this wonderful waterfall:
- The waterfall is very high. The main chute has a 27 – 30 meter vertical drop into a series of pools.
- The waterfall gets its unique vivid blue-green color from high levels of calcium carbonate in the water. The water is so rich in minerals because it comes from underground. It’s also safe to drink, though we recommend purifying the water just to be extra cautious.
- Flash floods have changed the design of the plunge pools of the Havasupai Falls several times. Prior to a flood in 1910, the water flowed over the plunge in a thin sheet and there were sometimes multiple streams.
- This is probably one of the best waterfalls for swimming in the world. The falls consists of a large 1.8 meter deep pool and even non-swimmers can enjoy the cool waters since there are plenty of shallows.
- Unlike most waterfalls that start in rivers, this waterfall is spring-fed. The water comes from underground.
- The Havasupai tribe have been living in this region for nearly 1000 years. The Havasupai reservation has a total population of about 650 people.
It might be tough to get all the needed permits and gear to travel to the Havasupai Falls but in the end, it will be worth all the effort because swimming in those turquoise waters is a truly magical experience – one that’s not easily replicated elsewhere in the country.
The long hike to and from these falls, sleeping under the stars, and enjoying an exiting adventure that any true traveler will love to experience all makes a trip the Havasupai Falls worth it.
The best way to enjoy this exciting trip is with a few close friends who love hiking and the outdoors just as much as you. And, if you decide that you want to extend your trip, there are many big destinations only a few hours away, like Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas, and the Hoover Dam.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)