Getting a permit to Havasupai Falls is the first step in your adventure to the beautiful, turquoise falls, but how do you get one? And how far in advance? What about group size? These are all questions I hear all the time when it comes to wanting to travel to Havasu & Mooney Falls. I’ll fill you in on some secrets, tips, and the know-how so you can have the best waterfall adventure yet!
How to Get a Permit Online
I’ll be up front with you – getting a permit to Havasupai is one of the worst and most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had. Now that you know what to expect, I can pass this info along to you so you (hopefully) won’t become as frustrated as I did. First you need to know that as of 2018 the Supai Navajo Tribe begins accepting camping & lodging reservations every year on February 1st at 8am Arizona time. Office hours are 8am-7pm. Reservations typically fill up for the entire year within minutes.
Updated January 2020
You can now make ONLINE RESERVATIONS HERE!
First, make SURE you create an online account BEFORE February 1st.
On February 1st, the online reservations open at 8:00 AM (Arizona Time).
You will be able to select the dates that are available. Once you complete all steps & pay for everything, they will immediately send you a Confirmation Email with your receipt. This is the preferred method for getting a permit. Be advised that online permits typically sell out with 10 MINUTES!
You should get an email confirmation that looks like this:
Join the Havasupai Facebook Page!
Havasupai Contact Info
There are TWO phone numbers you can call for help. Reservations are not accepted over the phone.
There is also an email which the tribe says you can make a reservation through. I have never heard of anyone being successful at getting a reservation through this email, and those who do end up hearing back get a decline on the permit (weeks after emailing them).
How much does it cost to go to Havasupai Falls?
UPDATED JANUARY 2020
1 person, 4 days/3 nights: $375
Weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun), Holiday weekday nights (Feb. 19th, May 28th, July 4th, September 3rd, and October 8th), and Spring Break weekday nights (March 5-8 & 19-22) will be charged an additional $18.33/night.
Fees include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes.
The tribe will ask for ONE payment for your group, to minimize paper work and fees on their end. No refunds will be given. After you check in upon arrival during your trip, the office will provide each person with a wristband or tag that you have to wear the entire time in Havasu Canyon, as well as a tag for each of the tents. These are checked daily by a ranger who patrols the campground.
How much does it cost to stay at the lodge?
If you get a reservation at the lodge, you can skip the tourism office and go straight to the Havasupai Lodge. All fees are collected upon arrival, but you can only check in between 9am-5pm daily, so plan your 10 mile hike around these times to make sure you get there before it closes. There is no kitchen or food provided at the lodge. You’ll need to come prepared with your own food and stove/jet boil. You can get food from the Supai Cafe or the grocery store in the village, but hours are unpredictable due to the remote location and prices are not cheap. Keep in mind that the lodge is still 2 miles from Havasu Falls, so you’ll still need to hike to get to the water.
Up to 4 people per room: $175/night
Deposit: $61 per room, per night
Entrance fee: $55 per person )
Cancellations for Havasupai Lodge
If you need to cancel your reservations, you need to do so at least 2 weeks in advance. You won’t get your money back.
Can I skip the permit?
No day hiking is allowed. There are signs posted everywhere, and if you are caught in the area without a permit (or a reservation while walking to the permit office), they will fine you. Rangers do patrol the campground and falls. We got checked once while in camp, and once while at Beaver Falls.
NO DOGS are allowed at Havasupai!
NO DRONES are allowed at Havasupai!
When is the best time to visit the falls?
How to take a mule or Helicopter
If you are worried about pack weight or maybe have knee/hip issues, an alternate way to get your gear to the campground or lodge is via Mule or Helicopter. If you aren’t even up for the 10 mile hike, you can ride a horse the full route in & out. With any option you decide on, you must make arrangements a least 1 week ahead of time. Be sure that when you get a mule or horse that they are taken well-care of. Recently in the news, photos have surfaced of the animals not being cared for. Please check over the horse or mule for any signs of abuse before paying to ride them.
Rates for Mules & Horses
(subject to change)
Round trip Hilltop TH to camp & back: $264
One way to OR from camp: $132
One way out (arrangements must be made in person through the tourism office one day prior to your departure date): $132
Bringing your own Horse
You must bring your own feed and pay a fee at the tourism office. Reservations are always required to camp or lodge with a horse, so mention this when you call to get a permit. Keep in mind that parking is extremely hard to find at the TH, and with a trailer it would be even more difficult.
Helicopters depart at 10am & 1pm, and accommodates people on a first come, first serve basis. Local Supai Tribe members ALWAYS get priority to fly first. The cost to fly one way is $85. My friend arrived at 6am to get in line to fly out at 10am. Because all the tribe members got to go first, plus with strong winds, he didn’t end up leaving the village until 8pm. Be prepared to wait all day. He also said that the helicopters have frequent mechanical issues, so there may only be one helicopter to service a lot of people, and they can only fit 4-6 people in at one time due to weight load.
How do I get to the trailhead?
The last stop for gas is in Peach Springs, AZ or Kingman, AZ. Fill up on gas here – you can also fill your water bladders with ice, grab last minute snacks, and use the restrooms before getting on the road for the last hour.
On your Apple or Google Maps App, you can type in “Havasupai Campground Parking Lot – “Hill Top”, Supai, AZ 86435″.
GPS Location of the Hilltop Parking Lot: 36.9791353,-114.1715494
Route from Las Vegas, NV
Route from Phoenix, AZ
Tips for getting a permit
1. Plan on hiking here during the week. Weekends always fill up first.
2. Plan to come after Mid/Late August. This is when the kids and teachers are back in school, and parents are back to work. You’ll have a much higher chance of getting the dates you an during August, September, and October.
3. Have several friends applying for a permit at once. The more help you have, the more likely you’ll get through.
4. The smaller the group, the easier you’ll get a permit.
5. It may be frustrating, but don’t give up on refreshing the screen and keep checking for dates! If you give up, then there’s no way you’ll get a permit.
6. Be SUPER flexible in your dates. I highly recommend picking whatever dates you see first, THEN get a group together who can go on those dates.
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Check out my post on Hiking to Havasu Falls!
Read about hiking from Mooney Falls to the Colorado River Confluence!