Distance: 19 miles
Duration: 8 hours
Elevation gain: 4,400 feet
Trailhead: River left, mile 156
The Havasupai (“People of the Blue-Green Water”) have lived for centuries along Havasu Creek’s Edenic waterfalls and travertine-lined pools that reflect the sky. A permit is required to enter reservation land. Backpackers and equestrians can make the trip from Hualapai Hilltop down to Supai Village, where there’s a campground and a motel, at eight miles.
From the river, the village is 8.5 miles. Most river runners only go as far as Beaver Falls, but even a short hike up Havasu Creek leads to shady pools, perfect on a hot summer day.
From the river, the trail up Havasu Canyon crosses the creek several times and can be difficult to follow as it washes out frequently. At about three miles, you’ll reach Beaver Falls, a pretty series of travertine cascades. The trail climbs around Beaver Falls to a ledge before dropping back down to the creek.
At about six miles, Mooney Falls plummets nearly 200 feet into the turquoise-colored pool below. The trail to the village, another 2.5 miles, tunnels through the travertine at Mooney Falls, a slippery route with ladders and chains for handholds. En route to the village the trail passes Havasu Falls, twin plumes of water falling 100 feet, as well as and 75-foot Navajo Falls.
Although you’ll be wading and swimming a lot on this trail, you should pack plenty of water. The water in Havasu Creek water isn’t drinkable, and most day hikers from the river won’t make it to the campground or village, where water is available.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition