Guided Backpacking Tours to Havasu Falls
Taking a backpacking and camping trip to Havasu Falls is an epic vacation you have to do at least once in your lifetime. Disconnect from our busy, material-obsessed world and rely only on yourself, the experience of your professional guide, and whatever you can carry on your back. Don’t have the gear? AOA can provide everything you need. Your guide will lead you through this beautiful and unique canyon, weaving a natural history of how it was formed and who calls it home today. You’ll sleep under the stars and enjoy delicious backcountry meals prepared by your guide while you soak your feet in the healing waters of Havasu Creek.
Havasu Falls Backpacking Trip Details
Price & Inclusions
Price – $1,075
per person, shared occupancy* accommodations
*Find out more about solo accommodations under the upgrades tab below.
START: 6:00pm on Day 1. Meet your guide at Grand Canyon Caverns Inn Campground on Historic Route 66. (CLICK HERE for map.)
END: Hualapai Hilltop after hike-out on Day 4 (usually between 11:00am and 2:00pm).
GUESTS: 4 min to 12 max
- Reservations and overnight permits on the Havasupai Indian Reservation
- Grand Canyon Caverns camping fee
- Meals starting dinner Day 1 through lunch Day 4
- Professional Wilderness First Responder certified guides,
- All necessary high quality backpacking gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, double occupancy tent)
- Trekking poles complimentary upon request
- Kitchen and group gear (cooking utensils, stove, fuel, water filter, food storage where needed, dish washing necessities)
- Personal mess kit (bowl, mug, fork, spoon)
NOT INCLUDED IN COST:
- Personal insurance and expenses
- Pre- or post-trip lodging
- Transportation to and from Grand Canyon
- Airport transfers
- Breakfast and lunch Day 1
- Dinner Day 4
- Optional gratuities to AOA guides
*Round trip ground transportation from Phoenix/Scottsdale to Grand Canyon Caverns/Hualapai Trailhead and back to Phoenix/Scottsdale is available for purchase as an upgrade package. See “Upgrades & Additions” tab below for details.*
Reservations, Payments and Cancellation
Havasupai tours are very popular and advanced planning is often necessary. We recommend making your reservations at least 3 to 5 months in advance. We can accommodate last minute bookings provided space is available, so please call our office to check. Each trip requires a minimum number of participants for departure. Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA) reserves the right to cancel scheduled trips that do not meet minimum sign-up requirements (usually 4 guests).
AOA is a licensed outfitter on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. All of AOA’s trip departures are subject to approval by, and to the policies and regulations of, the Havasupai tribal council. Changes to regulations for licensed outfitters, and any potential effects to AOA’s scheduled departures, are at the discretion of the tribe.
For more details please see our comprehensive Trip Policies and Payments page.
Upgrades & Additions
Solo Accommodations Upgrade
$25 per person
$100 per person
**This option requires you to meet at 1:30pm in Scottsdale on Day 1**
- Ground transportation from Host Hotel in Scottsdale/Phoenix area to Grand Canyon Caverns campground on Day 1.
- Ground transportation from Trailhead back to Host Hotel on Day 4 (ETA 3:00-5:00pm).
- Bottled water and snacks during transfer.
- Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)
- Helicopter ride into or out of the canyon ($85 per person, one way)**
** Helicopter only flies on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday from March 15th through October 15th; or Friday and Saturday from October 15th through March 15th.
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).
2017 Trip Dates
- February 16-19
- February 23-26
- March 2-5
- March 9-12
- March 17-20
- March 23-26
- April 7-10
- April 14-17
- April 20-23
- May 5-8
- May 11-14
- May 19-22
- June 9-12
- June 22-25
- July 3-6
- July 14-17
- July 20-23
- July 28-31
- August 10-13
- August 18-21
- August 24-27
- September 28- October 1
- October 6-9
- October 12-15
- October 19-22
- October 26-29
- November 2-5
- November 9-12
To see all multi-day guided tours, visit our Adventure Tour Calendar.
DAY 1: MEET AT GRAND CANYON CAVERNS CAMPGROUND FOR AN ORIENTATION
Grand Canyon Caverns is a remote motel and campground located on Historic Route 66 about 1 hour from the Havasupai Trailhead. Here we meet for dinner and an orientation from our guide. We’ll distribute group gear and dial in our backpacks before our big hike tomorrow. After setting up your tents for a night under the stars, a campfire and amazing guide-prepared meal will await. We’ll enjoy some frontcountry aspects of this established campground (flush toilets and hot showers) before venturing deep into the Grand Canyon tomorrow.
- Hiking: No hiking today
- Meals: Dinner included
- Lodging: Camping at Grand Canyon Caverns campground (gear included)
DAY 2: PACK UP CAMP AND FOLLOW YOUR AOA GUIDE TO THE TRAILHEAD, HIKE TO HAVASUPAI
Starting at 5,200 feet, the trail to Havasupai switchbacks down until it reaches a dry streambed and levels out. After a trailside lunch, the canyon walls seem to grow taller alongside the trail as you descend deeper into the labyrinthine red sandstone of Hualapai Canyon. At mile 8, the canyon begins to widen and the vegetation turns lush as you enter the village of Supai, the most remote village in the U.S. where even the mail still arrives by packhorse. Here at 3,200 feet, after a welcome rest stop, the Cottonwood-lined paths will lead you through the village and into the canyon’s backcountry. A little further down the trail, you hike past 70ft. New Navajo Falls, 35 ft. Rock Falls and 100 ft. Havasu Falls. From there your group will explore the vast campground for that perfect spot to call home. Estimated arrival time is between 4:00pm and 6:00pm. Our reward for our 10-mile hike is a hearty and delicious guide-prepared dinner, served under the stars before we retire to our cozy tents for the night.
- Hiking: 10 miles
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included
- Lodging: Camping at Havasu Falls campground (gear included)
DAY 3: ADVENT-URE AND RELAXATION IN THE “GEM OF THE GRAND CANYON”
Awaken in camp, nestled beneath the towering cottonwood trees along the banks of Havasu Creek and a short walk from the canyon’s enormous waterfalls. You will find coffee and breakfast each morning. Your guides will lead you on hikes around Havasupai, some of the most spectacular in the world. Cross tropical blue streams and wade through lush meadows of wild grapevines. Clamber up narrow side canyons with red rock walls towering thousands of feet overhead. Even take a swim beside a 200 ft. waterfall. Each day you will dine on healthy, hearty meals prepared by your trip leaders. All the guided hikes are optional and you are welcome to choose to instead spend a lazy afternoon or morning relaxing by Havasu creek. Remember, it’s your vacation. Make it what you wish. We have options from high adventure to peaceful relaxation.
- Hiking: 4-8 miles
- Meals: All meals included
- Lodging: Camping at Havasu Falls campground (gear included)
DAY 4: CONQUER THE CANYON
The scenery and magic of Havasupai and its majestic waterfalls will make you never want to leave, but after breakfast it is time to conquer the canyon! While always challenging, the exhilaration of reaching the rim is an amazing feeling you will never forget. Expect to arrive at the rim between 11:00am – 2:00pm.
- Hiking: 10 miles
- Meals: Breakfast and lunch included
- Lodging: On your own
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When’s the best time to go on this trip?
A: Early Spring through Summer and Fall are excellent times to visit Havasupai. The weather is warm enough for comfortable swimming in the waterfalls of Havasu Creek.
Q: Why should I travel with AOA?
A: We are the Havasupai experts! Arizona Outback Adventures operates more tours here than anyone else. Each of our guides spends as many as 120 days every year in Havasupai. Only they have the intimate knowledge and understanding that comes from essentially living in one of the most beautiful and secluded places on earth. AOA promises to exceed your expectations in 5 key areas: Safety, Comfort, Food, Education, and Exceptional Guides. Our guests return to travel with us again and again. To hear what they have to say, read our Testimonials page.
Q: What are the trails like?
A: Hiking in Havasupai can be challenging, in places the trails are uneven, exposed, and composed of fine gravel or sand. Comfortable, supportive, and well-broken in hiking boots or shoes are an absolute necessity when hiking in the Grand Canyon. The trail from Haulapai Hilltop to our base camp along Havasu creek is 10 miles and for much of the hike there is little shade available. When hiking in the canyon itself we will have access to the creek and shady trees for cooling off.
Q: How do I train for the trip?
A: Before embarking on any Grand Canyon hiking trip you should do significant training to ensure your trip will be an enjoyable and memorable experience. For this particular guided hiking adventure, you should feel confident in your ability to walk for 10 miles. You should also be sure to break in any gear that you will be using well in advance.
Q: What is Havasupai?
A: Havasu Canyon is one of over 600 side canyons forming the 277-mile long Grand Canyon. While over 5 million people per year visit Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, far fewer venture to the remote Havasupai Indian Reservation deep in the heart of Grand Canyon. Home to the Havasupai Tribe for hundreds of years, the canyon is a land of towering waterfalls, beautiful cascades, and tropical blue-green pools. This lush oasis is considered the “gem” of Grand Canyon.
Read our Havasupai cultural history page for more information about the Havasupai Indian Tribe. Still have questions? Read our detailed Havasupai trip FAQ for more information on: weather, accommodations, training, etc.
Grand Canyon Information
Some say you haven’t lived until you have hiked in the Grand Canyon. A guided trek through the heart of the canyon will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, awe, appreciation, and love of the grandest place on earth.
The Grand Canyon is a complex and mysterious place that continues to evolve. As the canyon itself is constantly changing, so too are the hypotheses as to how it was formed. New questions and discoveries are nearly as plentiful as the visitors who come to gaze into the vast chasm. Geologists, archaeologists, and adventurers alike have been canvassing the canyon for decades trying to come to some sort of understanding of the place. The canyon is still very much a wild frontier.
How old is the Colorado River? What sort of creature created this fossil? How is it that rocks only 500 million years old are found at the same altitude as those that are nearly a billion years old? Why is a type of rock found in one area of the canyon and not another?
Geologists are able to date the ages of the rock layers with accuracy. We know that the oldest rock layer, the Vishnu Schist, lies deepest within the canyon and is the layer through which the Colorado River currently flows. This ancient Vishnu Schist is considered some of the oldest exposed rock in the world, dating its birth to approximately 1.7 billion years ago. Scientists generally agree upon the ages of the rock layers and the means by which they were formed, but it is the age of the canyon itself that is debated. Some say the river began cutting into the canyon a mere 5 million years ago, others claim it was as long ago as 70 million years. By as recently as 1.2 million years ago, Grand Canyon had come to look much the same as it does today. The beautiful and complex rock layers that have been exposed offer a glimpse into the incredible tectonic forces that have impacted this part of the world over a span of nearly two billion years.
For more information on Grand Canyon flora and fauna, geology, and weather visit the Grand Canyon Natural History page.
Recommended Reading List
- I am the Grand Canyon – Stephen Hirst
- Grand Canyon: Solving Earth’s Grandest Puzzle – James Lawrence Powell
- Grand Canyon: True Stories of Life Below the Rim – Sean O’Reilly, James O’Reilly and Larry Habegger, Editors
- Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon – Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers