Many people have seen the incredible photos of the stunning waterfalls along Havasu Creek, and we are often asked if our river trips go to the falls. None of our trips hike all the way to the official Havasu Falls (or Mooney Falls, or Beaver Falls). However, many of our trips do spend time enjoying the magical blue waters of Havasu Creek. Our lower canyon and full canyon trips usually stop here unless recent rains make it impractical. If you are on our upper canyon trip or our 3 day trip, we will not pass by Havasu Creek at all.
Why don’t we go to the waterfalls?
1. They require a long hike to visit. The iconic Havasu Falls is over 8 miles away from the Colorado River!
2. There are so many amazing places to visit in the canyon, we don’t want to spend all of our time at just one. Side hikes on your trip might include hiking to a magnificent canyon vista, exploring a slot canyon or relaxing next to a hidden waterfall.
3. Visiting the falls requires an additional permit from the Havasupai Tribe.
4. About a mile or so up Havasu Creek from the river is a beautiful place with small pour-overs that are a blast to swim and play in on a hot day. Why go any farther?!
Although you won’t get to the falls you often see in pictures, you’ll find no shortage of photo ops as we hike and play in this memorable side canyon. If you really want to see the falls, the best way is to hike down from the rim. Permits are becoming incredibly difficult to obtain, so plan well in advance. If you are not sure where to start, check out REI’s tips on visiting Havasu Falls and how the permit system works.