Havasu Falls

Havasupai Falls - Havasuw Hagjahgeevma - Havasu Creek


Useful Information

photography
Bridal Veil Falls (Havasu Falls) in 1907. Public Domain.
Location: At the bottom of Grand Canyon. Historic Route 66, Indian Route 18 (dirt road) to Hualapai Hilltop parking lot. The hike to the waterfalls and back is a 32km round trip, about 2-3 days. (36.25534, -112.6979)
Open: no restrictions.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleothemRimstone Pools. GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension:
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography: Theodore S. Melis, William M. Phillips, Robert H. Webb, Donald J. Bills (1996): When the Blue-Green Waters Turn Red: Historical Flooding in Havasu Creek, Arizona, U.S. Geological Survey. p. 37. online
Address: Havasupai Tribe, P. O. Box 10, Supai, Arizona 86435. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1880 reservation established.
1975 reservation substantially enlarged.

Description

photography
Mooney Falls. Public Domain.
photography
Havasu Falls. Public Domain.

The Havasu Falls are a series of waterfalls and rimstone pools, tufa deposits and growing waterfalls. The red rocks of Grand Canyon, the turquoise of the water, and the bright green of the vegetation make this place a unique and magic location.

The falls are located only 2.4 kilometers from Supai, the main town of the Havasupai tribe, in the middle of the Havasupai tribal lands. Actually Havasu Falls is the name of a single 30m high waterfall. A century ago it was called Bridal Veil Falls and the water was falling down over a 20m wide ledge. After a flood in 1910 a notch appeard and all the water is now flowing through this notch, which has changed several times since.

But the limestone rich water created a series of waterfalls and rimstone pools along Havasu Creek. There are several other waterfalls, Navajo Falls, Fiftyfoot Falls, Mooney Falls, and Lower Navajo Falls, but the rimstone pools are actually the impressive thing. Semi-circular white walls formed by the deposition of limestone from the limestone rich water which form a series of turquoise pools. The most impressive set of rimstone pools is also called Beaver Falls

The place is quite famous and was a filming location for movies, eg the movie Next from 2007 starring Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel. It was also used for the music video for Spirit from Beyoncé.

Havasu Creek is the second largest tributary of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. It actually starts outside the canyon and reaches the canyon after 80 km. It flows over the edge and enters Cataract Canyon where it is finally fed by the water of Havasu Springs. This karst spring produced limestone rich karst water and is responsible for the high amount of water and the blue colour.

The trip to Havasu Falls requires some physical fitness and some organisation. There is no road and from the trail head it is a 16km hike to Supai, in the hot arid climate of the Grand Canyon. Most people need two or three days for this hike, so it is necessary to plan for accommodation. The next point is the fact that it is located in the Havasupai Reservation. Supai is the home of the Havasu Baaja, People of the Blue Green Waters. While most rules are quite straight forward, be aware that alcohol is forbidden, taking pictures and even carrying a camera in the town are prohibited. You need a permit to enter and must prebook a room at the lodge or a place in the camping ground. Enough water, appropriate shoes, a hat and sun protection are essential.


Gallery