Backpacking to Havasu Falls

Backpacking to Havasu Falls

Guys, I finally did it! I finally got to experience Havasu Falls and all I can say is WOW! The water really is as turquoise as in pictures and the waterfalls were much bigger than I thought. I wanted to share my experience for others who are considering taking to the trek to Supai.

Getting There

It’s only accessible by foot, mule, or helicopter, so we decided to do the 10 mile hike in. In the first mile you descend over a 1,000 ft. You can imagine how difficult it was coming up on the back, but the views at the beginning of the hike are absolutely spectacular. As you’re make your way down, the trail overlooks a huge valley filled with shrubs and red rocks. What a start!

After the huge valley, we slowly began to hike into the canyon and were encompassed by breathtaking rock formations. The hike was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever done and being in the desert with no one but mules around was fulfilling. 

It took Michael and I about 4 hours to reach the small village of Supai, home of the Havasupai natives; I really wasn’t expecting the town to be as big as it was. It was amazing to see natives living away from society by one of their sacred spaces. I wondered how much of their way of life is still in tact, considering they are much more isolated than any other rez I’ve been to. 

After hiking 8 miles, we checked in at the camping office and got our tourists wristbands. Then we headed for the camp; this was the homestretch, only 2 miles left, but easily felt like 4. 

Navajo Falls

Michael and I were pretty tired at this point and we decided to stop near Navajo Falls, the first waterfall you see after leaving the village. I quickly grabbed my sour patch watermelons and took a seat right at the edge. 

After our little pit stop, we continued on to the campground. We decided to put our tent away from the water so we could be warmer during night. I loved our little campsite!

We set up our site in less than ten minutes, since I’m practically a pro at setting up/taking down tents. After our site was secured, we headed to Mooney Falls, the biggest waterfall of the four. 

Getting there we walked through the rest of the campsites and saw less than four groups. Going in February means NO crowds and plenty of space for solitude almost anywhere.

Mooney Falls

Approaching Mooney, the sound of the water hitting the bottom became louder and louder. I was surprised by how big Mooney actually is! I believe it’s around 150-200 ft. You have to hike down the side of a cliff to get all the way to the bottom and it’s a little sketchy.

We found a small overlook perfect for us to just sit and be

I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous of hiking down and my legs were killing me at this point, so we decided to go about half way down. Next time I’m going to force myself to make it down to the bottom so I can visit Beaver Falls! At least I’ll know what to expect and be ready for it.

We went back to our site and made some delicious Pad Thai (who doesn’t love Pad Thai?) and crashed afterwards. It was a jam-packed day and our bodies were just done.

The next morning, I woke up to the sound of waterfalls and birds and it made me so happy. Spending all winter inside has made my brain want to fall out. I cherish these moments where I’m outside and feel like I’m home.

Havasu Falls

Day 2 was all about Havasu Falls! It was the waterfall that was closest to our site and the one I was most looking forward to. Although it wasn’t as big as Mooney, the bottom of Havasu is surrounded by little pools that made it feel like I was in the ultimate oasis.

Look at how small I am! 

Getting Out

After enjoying the presence of Havasu we decided to get an early start on the hike back. I knew it was going to take us at least 5 hours with the terrain and I wanted to enjoy the scenery (unlike on the way there).

Headed out. We’ll miss you Havasu!

On the way back, we passed much more than on the way there probably because it was Saturday.

Some beautiful flora on the way back

Both of our legs were feeling the hike ahead, but hey no pain no gain, right?

A very flattering photo of us exhausted on a rock

After about 4 hours we finally made it back to the valley and the side of the cliff that we descended down on the way in. At this point I was feeling a little intimidated by going up 1,000 ft. in 1 mile after 19 miles of hiking in the last 24 hours. Just make sure you got plenty of water! #waterislife

Michael and I made it up the cliff about an hour later right before the sun was about to set.

Looking back, this was one of the most strenuous hikes I’ve ever done, and I only wish we could’ve stayed in Supai longer. I highly, highly recommend this trip to anyone who is willing to put in the work to see some of the most exquisite desert scenery out there.

If you’re already planning a trip to Havasu, I recommend checking out Bearfoot Theory’s Camping Guide. I used it before we went as a checklist to make sure we didn’t forget anything. And we didn’t!

See you next time Havasupai! 



  1. Karlee
    February 22, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    It’s amazing what you can do when your mind doesn’t get in way 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    February 22, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    This looks like an amazing place to see. However i would never survive the 20 miles of hiking ha!! I would have to use the mule rides.

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