The Grand Canyon is more than just a photo op. One could spend months exploring the miles of trails, river and mountainside of the canyon and still only catch a glimpse of what it has to offer. Hiking to Havasupai Falls, however, is a surefire way to see one of the canyon’s most beautiful hidden gems.
Havasupai Falls is located within the Havasupai tribal lands some 10 miles away from Hualapai Hilltop, which is the nearest place you can reach with a car. If you think you can endure an intensive hike that offers little shelter from the sun, encounters with wild animals and steep trails, then you should consider the trip — the stunning waterfalls and turquoise pools at the end of the trip will be worth it.
After the first 7-mile leg of the hike, if you can make it that far, you’ll come across the village of Supai where you’ll need to check in at the tourist office and ask for a permit to access the falls. Havasupai means “people of the blue-green water” and you’ll see why once you cross the river outside the village.
Havasupai Falls is only a short hike from the village, about a mile. Once you’ve finally reached the site, you’ll probably be sweaty, hot and ready to relax. And a stunningly beautiful waterfall and natural swimming pool is the place to do just that. The water at the top of the waterfall drops 100 feet into a turquoise pool that leads to another small pool, which is perfect for swimming.
The 10-mile trek back to your car is going to be tough. It’s more uphill than the trek there, and chances are you’ll be pretty tired. If you’re too wrecked from the day, there’s a campground nearby. Either way, Havasupai Falls is a must-see for anyone who wants to see a true Grand Canyon gem.