Best Time to Hike Havasupai Falls
The Havasupai Falls, tucked within the Grand Canyon, is a paradise for avid hikers. The best time to hike Havasupai Falls is between March and November, when the weather conditions are most favorable, providing an optimal hiking experience.
During these months, the temperatures are moderate and the water levels of the falls are high, making it an ideal season to hike. However, it’s crucial to book in advance as permits are limited. The journey is challenging but rewarding with breathtaking views and stunning waterfalls.
Did you know that Havasupai Falls is among the most difficult locations in Arizona to get a permit for? It’s because so many people want to pay a visit to this place!
Regardless of the season, hiking Havasupai Falls is a mesmerizing experience every adventurer should undertake. With that said, how do you time your visit to even get to Havasupai Falls? And when’s the best time to Hike Havasupai Falls?
Generally, it appears that the months from April to September-October are the best for visiting, particularly because the waters are warm enough for comfortable swimming. However, the early and late seasons seem to be the best since they are less busy and crowded with people.
With that said, let’s have a look at what to expect at Havasupai Falls throughout the year.
In December-February of the 2018/2019 season, the Havasupai Falls Campground was closed for visitors, so you obviously shouldn’t plan your trip to the Grand Canyon around this time.
Spring is perhaps the best time for visiting the Havasupai Falls. The days are long, hiking is comfortable enough since the snow has melted, and you may also comfortably swim in the area (not always though).
In March, the campground and falls appear to be slightly less busy than throughout the rest of the season. The average temperature in March is 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and on colder days, it’s not always comfortable to swim in the waters of the Havasupai Falls.
In April and May, temperatures go to around 76 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit on average high respectively, so it’s generally more comfortable to swim. However, the Havasupai Falls Campground gets pretty crowded in late spring.
The summer is hot, with average high temperatures ranging from 95 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit in June and July. In August, the average high temperature is 95 degrees, just like in June.
Since it gets pretty hot during the day, you’ll need to start your hike early. Most people planning a visit to Havasupai Falls realize this, and they will all try to lodge in the Hualapai Lodge the night before the hike.
Swimming is the easiest throughout the summer. With that said, the summer months are the busiest here, with plenty of people on the trail and in the water. Thunderstorms and flash floods are also highly likely during these months.
September is pretty similar to August – it’s still a very busy month, and flash floods and thunderstorms are likely. The temperatures are a little lower though – 90 degrees Fahrenheit on average high, to be more precise.
In October, the summer heat fades away, and the temperatures lie in the fairly pleasant range of 48-77 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather is still hot enough for pleasant swimming, but the scorching heat of the sun is no longer there.
In November, the temperatures drop to 37-63 degrees Fahrenheit. A less busy month, November is solid for a visit to the Havasupai Falls, but the water can get uncomfortably cold here at times. If you do want to swim in the waters of the Falls, then perhaps November isn’t the best month for your trip.
Things to Keep in Mind with Havasupai Falls Campground
Before making a reservation at the Havasupai Falls Campground or Havasupai Lodge, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. These are outlined on the US National Park Service’s website.
- Repair works are continuing to restore the Havasu Canyon after the flood that occurred in the summer of 2018. Some areas in the canyon are off-limits to visitors due to the repair works, as well as due to unstable ground conditions. The canyon may be closed down at any moment during your visit.
- There are fewer campground and lodge spaces available than there are reservation requests. This means that you will need to place a reservation very early before all free spots are sold to others. The entire 2021 season was sold out on the first day, for example.
- No day hiking is allowed at the Havasupai Falls trail. You will have to do at least an overnight hike.
- A permit is required to hike the Havasupai Falls trail. You may get the permit by getting a reservation in the Havasupai Falls Campground or Havasupai Lodge. Before 2019, you were able to show up and pay double the price to receive a permit, but this no longer is allowed.
- Emergency assistance isn’t always available at the trail.
- Drones are prohibited in Havasupai.
Where to Stay During Your Trip to Havasupai Falls
To be able to pay a visit to the Havasupai Falls, you will need to place a reservation on either the Havasupai Falls Campground or the Havasupai Lodge well in advance of the trip.
Below, we will overview the options available to you, as well as provide you with information on reservations available as of early October 2023.
Havasupai Falls Campground
Staying at the Havasupai Falls Campground was the cheaper option for the 2023 season. The pricing was as follows:
- $120 per person per night (weekdays).
- $135 per person per night (weekends).
In 2023, all campground reservations were only allowed for 3 nights/4 days. This means that a stay at the campground was between $300 and $375 per person.
While information on the upcoming 2024 season isn’t available, probably not much will change in how campground reservations work. The prices will probably increase quite a bit though, if we were to judge by the skyrocketing prices at Havasupai Lodge for the 2024 season.
Campground reservations must be made online. In the 2023 season, no phone reservations were allowed. You will thus have to sign up on the Havasupai Falls Campground website to place a reservation.
The reservations for the 2024 season will most likely start on February 1, 2024. You will also most likely be able to create an account on January 8, 2024. This was the day when you were allowed to create an account for the 2023 season.
You need to be quick since the entire season may be sold during the very first day of reservations. Besides, keep in mind that you will probably have difficulties accessing the Havasupai Falls Campground website in early February due to the influx of people wishing to book a spot.
Thus, the reservation process is kind of a lottery – you will need to get lucky to place a reservation at the campground. With that said, you can still get lucky if someone cancels their reservation in the following months. If you are quick, you may be able to take the freed spot.
Another option for staying is the Havasupai Lodge. It’s a more expensive option than the campgrounds, but it may be a little more convenient. It’s situated pretty close to the campground, so the accessibility to the Havasupai Fall hiking trail doesn’t differ that much.
Reservations for the 2024 season opened at 8 AM Arizona time on June 1, 2023. Here’s what you need to know about:
- For the 2023 season, the lodge fees are $460 per room per night, with rooms accommodating up to 4 people. The price per room per night for the 2023 season was $175, so the prices have increased by more than double.
- You will need to pay a deposit of $100 per room per night.
- You will be charged a $110 entrance/environmental fee per person.
- All fees include taxes.
Judging by the drastically increased price for reservations at the Havasupai Lodge, the prices for the Havasupai Falls Campground will probably increase as well for the 2024 season.
The refund policy is as follows:
- Full refund if canceled 2 weeks prior to the reservation.
- Non-refundable if canceled after 2 weeks prior to the reservation.
Keep in mind that reservations at the Havasupai Lodge are only made via phone. No online reservations are available, unlike the Havasupai Falls Campground.
The Havasupai Lodge is perhaps a safer bet than the Havasupai Falls Campground. It may turn out to be a little pricier than the campground, but you can at least place a reservation now and not worry about the lottery of the campground.
Keep in mind though that the number of rooms is limited here as well, so you will either have to make a reservation as soon as possible, or you will have to hope that you’ll get lucky with the campground reservations.
Hualapai Lodge/Grand Canyon Caverns Inn
You don’t need to stay at the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs along Route 66, but it’s a good option in summer. The route from the Hualapai Lodge to the Hualapai Trailhead (around 66 miles) is the quickest, with the drive being only around 1.5 hours. The Hualapai Trailhead is where the hiking trail begins if you didn’t know.
People usually move to the Hualapai Lodge or Grand Canyon Caverns Inn the night before the hike. If you were to start your journey from the Hualapai Falls Campground or Hualapai Lodge, you would need to cover 8 miles on foot or horse before reaching the Hualapai Trailhead. In summer, these 8 miles could make things much more difficult for you.
An alternative to the Hualapai Lodge is the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn. It’s also situated on Highway 66, and the drive is again around 1.5 hours.
Keep in mind that you will have to book a place at Havasupai Falls Campground or Havasupai Lodge to get the permits for hiking. You won’t be able to access the trail if you go straight for the Hualapai Lodge or Grand Canyon Caverns Inn.