The Havauspai Experience: What to Expect and How to Prepare.

Waking up in a hammock over the blue waters of Havasupai was nothing short of incredible. It looks like something out of a movie and there are no pictures that can prepare you for seeing it in real life. Most of our preparation for this hike was done at the Hilltop of the hike (a little last minute), but luckily we were fully prepared and had everything we needed for the two night, two day trip. 

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 Havasu Falls Overlook

Havasu Falls Overlook

Our one and only full day there was spent exploring every inch of the reservation. We started at Mooney Falls at sunrise, which was amazing because we got to experience it with absolutely zero people around- which made it feel even more prehistoric. We then made breakfast at camp, and from here we walked up to Havasu falls. We spent the first part of the afternoon playing frisbee in the water, jumping from mini waterfalls into spring-like water holes, and witnessing an absolutely magical wedding ceremony at the bottom of the falls with tribal elders dancing and singing. It felt so sacred, and truly allowed us to experience the full effect of how the tribe exists. 

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After Havasu Falls, we walked back towards Mooney and started the 3 mile hike to Beaver Falls. We stayed at Beaver Falls for quite awhile, as we made friends with one of the rangers and we talked each others ear off- us asking questions, him giving us awesome insight into the Havasupai culture. (He was the nicest ranger we met while we were there). Once we realized that it would be getting dark soon, we headed back to camp to make dinner and enjoy our last night of sleep before the 10+ mile trek out the next day. 

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5 Things To Expect:

  1. Temps drop at night and are coldest when you’ll be waking up. Be ready- good sleeping gear goes a long way! 
  2. Expect some ratchet stank bathrooms. They ask that you do not go to the bathroom anywhere other than the designated “restroom” - and it can be a little scary. All apart of the experience, right?
  3. Expect to be stopped by rangers if you are breaking any rules or do not have the proper visible credentials. You will be asked to hike out! (Cliff jumping is clearly stated as a no-no, but it’s basically at your own risk at this point. Keep in mind there are no Emergency Services if someone gets hurt. There is one helicopter that can come in and out, but it can only land up at the village- and you'll have to pay for it's services should you need them.)
  4. Expect SQUIRRELS! They will climb into your bags, pick the food they like best, and take it for themselves. Prepare accordingly!
  5. Expect lots of people, especially during summer months. Be patient, be kind, and be respectful. For less of a crowd, try to go during weekdays. 

5 Ways To Prepare:

  1. Get your permits and keep the information handy when you start your hike down. 
  2. Food! Pack lots of snacks for the hike in and out. 
  3. Bring Life Straws, or easy ways to filter water. Most all of the camping/hiking is along the rivers, streams, and waterfalls, so having a way to use that water is super helpful! There are a few water spigots throughout the grounds, but they are few and far between.
  4. Bring water shoes or sneakers to wear in the water! I went with the Columbia brand Womens Megavent and it was perfect for walking through rivers, climbing over rocks, etc. 
  5. Take the trip with a good group! Having people around you that are prepared, ready to go with the flow and have fun is so important! Be ready to take in the whole experience and enjoy it to the fullest. 

Over all, there is no way that a few words of this article can actually prepare you for the sights and experiences that Havasupai will provide you. It is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and everyone needs to put this as a priority on their adventure list. 

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Side Note-
Due to social media, Havasupai has seen a giant increase in exposure and tourism. In light of this, they have implemented a more structured and regimented permit system- please be courteous to the Havasu people and their land, and follow the rules when it comes to obtaining a proper permit and respecting the grounds once you are there. 

Have any questions on the hike, the experience, or the gear? Or want to ask about something I didn’t mention? Shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to answer any inquiries as best I can. 

Just Go With It

-Mo