A Brief History
So, you’re interested in scoring a Havasu Falls Permit, aye? Before I begin my series on all things related to Havasu Falls, I’d like to clarify that Havasu Falls is the name of a single waterfall. It is often used interchangeably to describe all five waterfalls and the area surrounding them. The five falls are Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, New Navajo, and Rock Falls.
Havasupai, on the other hand, is the name of the Native American Tribe that has lived in the Grand Canyon for upwards of 800 years. Specifically, the Havasupai people live in Havasu Canyon, in the town of Supai. In this post, I will be referring to the entire area as Havasu Falls and Havasupai, as it is often referred to.
Havasu Falls Permit & Reservations
If you have attempted to secure a Havasu Falls permit and failed, welcome to the club, I tried for three years before locking down a spot. I’ve spent countless hours staring at my computer screen, waiting for Havasupai’s reservation page to load. This is the year I’m finally going, and I’m thrilled! It’s been a long time coming, and my diligence has paid off!
During the process (before and after the hike), I’m going to be posting about the experience as a whole (packing, hiking, parking, crying, etc.). Keep an eye out for future posts if you’re interested in experiencing Havasu Falls. My goal is to have all the information you’ll need in one spot, as to avoid jumping from one blogger’s page to the next.
I have to warn you that the process of getting a permit is frustrating beyond belief. If you’re up for the headache, I suggest taking notes. Thankfully I had a few friends give me some pointers, so I didn’t go in blind, and it helped a ton, so let’s go!
Purchasing a Havasu Falls Permit
The Havasupai Tribe opens the portal to purchase tickets on February 1st at 8:00 a.m. (pacific time). Be prepared with a computer, laptop, and phone if possible. Danial and I had my laptop out, along with both of our iPhones. Sadly, this still wasn’t enough. You’ll see. Once 8:00 a.m. hits, you’ll have to REFRESH, REFRESH, and REFRESH the page in hopes of it loading to the calendar. I heard that the site crashed this year, so perhaps that’s why I had to refresh the page 100+ times. Either way, be prepared to exercise your fingers that day.
Preparing for February 1st
Before the long-awaited day, make an account! This will save you precious minutes, and that can mean the difference in securing a permit or not. On the tribe’s website, Havasupai Reservations, scroll down to “Create Your Account Now” and fill in your information. You will receive an email confirming that you now have an account on the site. If you do not receive this email, try again. I can’t stress how important this is. Make the damn account!
Because we’re all busy, set a reminder for yourself on February 1st. You never know what will come up, and you’ll be pissed if you miss it.
Havasu Falls Permits Transfers and Cancellations
If you’re not able to get permits on February 1st, don’t count yourself out. There is still hope. Sadly, life happens, and people have to sell their permits. When they do, they post them to Havasupai’s reservation page. Many of the permits posted are last minute, so be prepared to hop in the car and go.
I saved Havasupai’s Cancellations and Transfers page to my phone’s home screen, so I wouldn’t forget to check it periodically. This was a helpful reminder to check often, and although I have a permit this year, I still browse the page to get a feel for how frequently permits are available. I’m happy to report they’re posted weekly! There is hope for you. Keep trying!
There are also several helpful Facebook groups that I have joined. The ones I find most useful are Havasupai Reservations – Transfers and Cancellations and Havasupai and Havasu Falls. Along with recaps and tips, permit transfer requests also appear. I’ve seen many posts about people that either want to trade dates or sell them for whatever reason. If you are serious about going to Havasu Falls, it is possible!
While writing this in October 2019, the availability on the official transfer page looks like this:
Price and Duration of Havasu Falls Permits
The cost of a permit to Havasupai varies depending on the day you’re going. Weekdays and weekends differ in price by $25 per night. Havasupai’s Reservation site breaks it down as follows:
ALL campground reservations are 3 nights / 4 days
$100 per person per weekday night
$125 per person per weekend night (Friday/Saturday/Sunday night)
These prices include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes.
This means that a 3 night/4 day stay will be a total of between $300 and $375 per person (depending upon how many weekend nights you reserve).
Don’t let the price detour you. This experience is worth every penny, and considering how difficult it can be to obtain a permit, jump on it when you have the chance!
Can I Visit Havasu Falls Without a Permit?
No! Entering the Havasupai Reservation without a permit is strictly prohibited. A few miles from the hilltop parking-lot, you will be stopped and asked to show proof of your reservation. If you do not have a valid permit, you will be asked to turn around.
Bottom line: respect the Havasupai Reservation and pay for a permit like the rest of us. The profits go to the tribe, which helps maintain the land and their town. You are a guest in their home. Act as such and always remember to pack in and pack out.
*While you’re on the west coast for your trip to Havasu Falls, check out Downtown L.A. I’ve already done the research for you!
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